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Sep 4, 2016 6:05 AM
Comments · 12
It shows if and when a person does take the time to actually look through your profile and understand what you're looking for or if they just sent invitations to every English speaker on the list hoping to find a free tutor. When I get an invitation from a random new user (no profile page, etc) who doesn't speak the language I'm studying, then I usually just ignore it (sometimes I would reply back giving them a reason if they took the time to write an introduction). Being language partners mean that you learn from one another so it's not a mentor-student relationship. For that, there are community teachers and professional teachers available. If it's someone who speaks the language I study and wants to learn one that I know, then I usually add them to the the friendlist. Even if they're quiet the first few days or weeks, I always try to start a conversation using both languages in chat before I ask for their Skype ID (or before I give mine).
September 4, 2016

I guess most English native speakers get more requests than they can handle. If you are serious about the language exchange, both partners have to be a good fit, otherwise the exchange isn't effective. Also, you can only have a good and intensive language exchange with a very limited number of partners. After all, we also have lives outside of language learning.

As a German native speaker I also get a lot of requests for German and English. Actually I disabled the function "add as a friend" and I clearly state in my profile that I am NOT looking for a language exchange partner and that I am NOT available for Skype exchange, but a lot of users ignore this and send me this typical "Hi"-messages anyway. So, I second what Chris wrote. Especially number 1, 3 and 5.

So, sometimes, I ignore these kind of messages (especially if the profile of the other user looks fishy, i.e. maybe fake profile, only interested in dating etc.). But if it is a new user, who seems to be serious about language learning, but just doesn't seem to know how to effectively approach potential language exchange partners, I send a reply and explain that I am not available for regular language exchange, but that I am always willing to answer questions about German. And I add the link to this very useful discussion by Richard:, with helpful advice for English learners on how to find language exchange partners.

September 4, 2016

1. They don't read my profile where I state I'm NOT looking for a language partner.

2. They don't speak any of the languages I'm learning or wanting to practice.

3. They write a short one-word or one-sentence message like "Hi".

4. They want someone to teach them a language from scratch without taking any professional lessons. 

5. On my end, I don't have a regular time to have a language partner. 

September 4, 2016

1. They don't read my profile and know nothing about me whatsoever

2. They ignore the fact that I am not looking for a language partner.

3. They think that italki is a dating site

4. They are not really looking to learn a language

5. Their profile is empty

6. They think I will do all their homework for them for free.

September 4, 2016
At this time I prefer teachers, so I almost always deny friend requests. I guess I should disable the function, but sometimes I get seduced by the idea that a really interesting person wants to be my partner, and very few follow up on their initial requests after I accept, so I just leave it.
September 4, 2016
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Language Skills
English, Portuguese
Learning Language