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Courage to talk to a language partner

I have a lot of anxiety about speaking with a language exchange partner. I know it is not only me. I know the only way to deal with it is to just do it. I feel my Mandarin is good enough now to try - but - how do people deal with the awkward gaps and silences while one tries to figure out what to say, or to understand

the other?

i find that exhausting.


Mar 10, 2018 4:32 PM
Comments · 17
Robin, you could also hire an italki tutor for a few lessons, more as practice rather than for learning. That way, you practice conversation, and you have a person who will talk with your for a whole hour, in your target language and falling back to English if you need to. You will observe how the teacher fills in awkward gaps, by talking about/using vocabulary you know and making the best conversation from that. You will gain confidence. You will gain confidence to meet free partners and fill in time making the most of vocabulary you have. And perhaps you can be like me, and take a convoluted detour around words I can't yet translate. All fun.
May 29, 2018
My country has an idiom 'อยากได้ลูกเสือต้องเข้าถ้ำเสือ it directly means If you need a baby tiger, go ahead to where it is without any fear 
By the way, I'm Chinese mandarin learner as well. I'm at the workplace where there are many Chinese and the biggest problem is that they don't even speak a bit English. In order to communicate with them I need to improve my Chinese. At first I no nothing about Chinese then I keep improving. Now Chinese always my Chinese pronunciation is very good, but actually I can speak a bit. All I want to tell you is just don't be afraid to do what ever you want. My English grammar might Sounds weird for English native speaker like you. Hope you don't mind 
March 10, 2018
Do  not  keep  silence,  especially  if  you  are  not  good in  the language. Ask questions to which  you  know  answers if  they are  not related to grammar. Learn simple descriptions if you cannot pick up a precise word. It  will look  stupid,  but there won't be the freaking silence. I know , it's easier  to say  than to make.  And  with some people all  these  tips  do not work, but in general  they do. :D
March 10, 2018

I just wanted to comment and say that I relate to this so much hahaha. I've only recently tried italki again, and it's still taking me some time to finally muster up the courage to contact potential language partners. You have no idea how many profiles I've gone through looking for people who I feel I can get along with. 

Reading through this discussion thread, I think I picked up some great advice and I'm encouraged to finally go for my first language exchange :)

Best of luck to all of us!

May 29, 2018
May 29, 2018
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Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, Korean
Learning Language
Chinese (Mandarin), Korean