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People on this site are not very good negotiators. As I look around I see the same thing every single time
"Looking for 50/50 language partner". How come you never see anyone looking for a 60/40 language partner to get a little more time. Or a 70/30 split. Or somebody that drives a hard bargain, perhaps a 55/45 split, for just a wee bit of extra learning. Dont you think it's strange?
There's also 100/0 partners too where it's not about you learning their language, but them learning your native language instead.
But other than helping others learn English, I have not actively looked for a tutor for German or Japanese yet.
How do you have a complete 50/50 conversation without one language being more "important" than the other?
I think you have to set a timer, ok you get 30 minutes and I get 30 minutes.
Language exchange is not all based upon profit exchange , so you cannot expect everything is euqally divided in the process of language exchange . I prefer to make friends with my language partners instead of trade off . I am deeply convinced equal conversation can set your relationship sustainable though . However, it is not reachable for every language partner as everyone share different level of language . I have met a language partner who likes to chat in Chinese with me . Everytime we cannot speak much chinese as she is a beginner . She felt tired and effort taking I can feel . In most situation , My english is more fluent than her Chinese , The time I speak in English is more than that of her speaking chinese . Of course I can share the half time with her , yet , you have to measure your partner's level .
Hi SteveMP, I think you make a really good point about language and the difference between literal and figurative meaning. The expression fifty-fifty can be taken literally, particularly in relation to splitting a bill, or simply to suggest a sharing arrangement, where both parties benefit.
It is not easy to clear cut between either side in langauge exchange while you are practing a target language with others . Time , amount of practice or know how sharing ? which is the foremost ? no absolute 50-50 sharing in my perception . I believe the most challenging is to compromise a favorable session for both of you instead of equality principle .
When I first read this discussion heading, I thought it was comical. Then as I read further, I wondered, what exactly is the underlying theme? Even as I read til the end of the thread, I still don't know. Are you feeling short-changed?
I agree with Soren. My profile says that I am not actively acquiring a language. I am here to contribute. I don't feel short-changed.
There's someone from a different langauge exchange, which I am also a member of, trying to teach me Arabic. He diligently searched for materials for me. He aslo trained my listening skill, every time. Frankly I don't understand why. @_@ Because he is the one who needs to practice English, yet it ends up being me practicing Arabic. Well, I suppose that is how things are ~
Wanchain, I think I can explain the phenomenon. For me, I am too nervous to speak, so if I am on Skype with a language partner, I mostly help them because if I try to speak I forget everything and my mind gets blank. So I suppose I help them more like 80/20 until I feel comfortable enough with the hem to speak. Does that make sense?
I guess most people say 50/50 because that's the norm on here - you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours kind of thing. It's probably also easier to split it down the middle than trying to work with other figures. Maybe now that you've brought it up, people may start changing their tactics.
SteveMP: Interesting, but makes sense. So are you hoping for a more equitable proportion?
I think this phenomenon appears in many other relationships, where one gives more than the other. And then there is the question of how do you quantify the efforts?
Made this mistake. I think you're right.