I use Japanese everyday. I read a good bit and spend a lot of time speaking to my wife, my one year old son, the dogs and various inanimate objects that happen to be in my way. However, I rarely speak Japanese with anyone else.
I realized a few months ago this made my Japanese pretty casual. For example, I rarely have a need to use ます・です forms. Yesterday I was on the phone with a Japanese teacher and found myself unconsciously dropping the ます and going for the plain form of the verbs. Each time I did a mental “aughh!” and went back to the polite forms.
This reminds me.* We put out a Denwa Download pack for learning set phrases associated with phone Japanese. It won’t help with forgetting to use ます, but it has ten dialogs and some eighty common phrases with sound.
That teacher was really nice and I greatly enjoyed the chance to speak with her. Since the town we live in has a Japanese population of one (including my wife), I don’t have a great chance to practice my polite Japanese. It is odd to say the least using keigo with Yumi.
* Honestly, I didn’t write this rant around the product, but if you think it will help you, buy it anyway!