A few decades ago, traveling overseas or communicating with people who speak a different language was not part of everyday life. Today, though, countries and communities around the world are becoming more connected. The world is getting smaller and smaller, so it’s the perfect time to become a foreign language learner.
Apart from the usual language learning methods, pen paling is a fun and refreshing way to dive deeper into the culture and language that you are learning. Want to know more about pen pals and how to get a pen pal yourself? Read on!
What’s a pen pal?
When you think about the meaning behind ‘pen pal’, you’ll find it rather self-explanatory. The term is often used interchangeably with pen friend, and it is a noun that refers to a ‘friend or contact with whom regular correspondence is conducted’. Traditionally, this is via snail mail. So a pen pal language exchange happens when two people, who learn each other’s language, practice together by using snail mail or any other form of communication.
Why should you find a foreign language PenPal?
1. It’s a new and fun way to learn
Having regular communication with a native speaker of your target language does miracles for your language learning progress. It’s as close to full-on immersion as you’ll get without having to pick up and move to a foreign country.
2. Pick up and retain colloquial phrases
It’s fun to learn some everyday language, especially when you’re learning with a formal method of instruction like a classroom or textbook. Those often leave out more informal language, which is fun for communicating with natives.
3. Insights into the culture
Get to know people that you wouldn’t have met otherwise and get first-hand insights about their life, culture and traditions.
4. Getting post – that isn’t just bills…
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to wake up one morning, or indeed several mornings, to a beautifully crafted piece of personal post written to you by someone in a far off land?
5. Making a new pal
The next benefit to having a pen pal is right there in the name of “pen pal”. Making a new friend! Some would argue that it’s the best benefit of them all. In the process of learning, you’ll form a bond with someone who’s a million miles away, yet, it may feel like they’re right next door.
Let’s say you make a friend in Berlin. You’ve always wanted to go to Berlin. Guess what? Now you can go, and you may not have to pay for accommodation. That’s not always the case, but then you’ve still got yourself a free tour guide, and you’ll get to go to all the cool local places that are free of Hawaiian shirts and selfie sticks.
How to find a pen pal for your language exchange?
There are different websites to find different kinds of pen pals. One particular fun, big and safe platform that connects you with people around the world would be the PenPal.me platform
. Privacy is guaranteed since the platform sends a real postcard on your behalf, without showing your address to other users. You just have to sign up, match with other pen pals and create a postcard online.
PenPal.me will then send it as a real postcard to your recipient's address. Moreover, at PenPal.me you can even set your matching preferences to only be matched with people from certain countries, so you can connect with a native speaker of your choice. Once it’s done, all you have to do is wait for a reply. If this sounds like music to your ears, then check out PenPal.me
and start making friends from across the world!