One of my goals for this year 2017 is becoming more fluent with both German and Russian, I keep a daily schedule for both languages, I watch videos, learn new vocabulary, listen to radio and for sure if I keep doing these activities and others every day I will gain more knowledge of my focus language but, will I become more fluent?
Very often I find people who have been studying Spanish for a while, in fact they studied it at the university for a couple of years and can read it and understand it a lot but when it’s time to talk they barely say anything. I found myself in the same situation recently when I was staying in an hostal in Miami, there were a couple of Germans and even when I could communicate very well with them in English I decided to practice my German.
I was able to understand almost everything they were saying to me but when it came my time to say something I had to struggle a bit while building my sentences correctly, I should say the whole experience was very positive, I practiced my German, I was able to understand but more important, I noticed where my German needed some tuning up.
This was a very direct way to assess where my language skills were, I realized then that certain exercises I was doing every day were not as effective as they were in the past, it became clear that I had to look for an on-line language partner,
My first option was Polyglotclub.com
, I contacted some people in the chat and the video chat as well, it helps much more if you have Whatsapp
since more people have this application than messenger or Skype
which is the one I have. I was not able to find any German but the Russians are very interested in learning English so that helped me.
Another option, a website very similar to Polyglotclub.com
, it’s Italki
, their platform is very similar, the only difference is that you can find on-line tutors and some of them are very inexpensive and offer packages, you can contact other users as well and make friends
The third option was Couchsurfing.com
, this website is not focused on language learning, it is more a site for backpackers to find hosts and make friends while traveling around the globe but there are different clubs, some of them for language learners, so everyday people is looking for language exchange partners : Portuguese for Chinese, Japanese for German, German for Italian as well as conversation groups through Whatsapp
or messenger, this website is free, here again I contacted some Russians interested in learning English.
The fourth option is a well known app called HelloTalk
, here people correct each other’s sentences and chat as well, it is not a very good application to talk but you can contact people and later talk with them through another medium like Whatsapp
There are a lot of applications similar to Hellotalk
like Let’sTalk, Innovative language, Hello, Talkall, HelloChat, Olla
just to name a few. There are also several apps customized for specific languages as well.
A language is a living thing and even if you are studying on your own eventually you will need it to communicate, at some point of your language learning you will feel you’re not ready for a language partner but think about the millions of people who migrate from country to country looking for better opportunities, there is no option for them, they have to learn it the hard way but we all know that immersion is the best way to learn the language, it is not easy but it is effective.
For sure there are more sites and ways to find language partners around the world, think about dating sites for example or gaming sites as well, the world is becoming smaller and through the internet we can find languages partners and people interested in learning our native language, just remember that you have to be proactive, don’t wait for people to look for you. Look for language partners, don’t wait, the time is now.
Please leave comments and let me know if you know of other websites, if you already found a language partner let me know how you did it, any tips? Any other websites? Apps? Thanks for reading and happy learning.