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Miriam
How to italki: discussions
If you're completely new to italki, you should read the beginner's guide first: https://www.italki.com/discussion/203952
The intention of this post is to help you make the best out of the discussion section.

1. What is the discussion section?
It's the area where you can practice your target languages by discussing language and culture related topics.

2. What should I NOT post in the discussion section?

- Content that violates the italki community policy: https://www.italki.com/communitypolicy. Especially:
* Spam: don't repeatedly post the same message. 
* Promotion of external businesses, especially competitors to italki
* As a teacher: self-promotion. Don't offer classes outside of the italki paying system or free classes. Don't make posts only promoting your teaching services and don't lure learners into believing that you're offering free help when they are looking for exchange partners.
* Discussions about religion, politics and sex: This kind of discussions get heated quickly and will most likely end in you being blocked.

- Content that you're supposed to post somewhere else, e.g.:
* Texts for correction: If you want corrections for a text of yours, post it here: https://www.italki.com/notebooks. This is a post on how to write notebook entries: https://www.italki.com/discussion/204748
* Simple language related questions like "Is this sentence correct?", "How to say "XY" in English?", "What's the difference between 'present' and 'gift'?". Post such questions here: https://www.italki.com/questions

- Language partner requests: The English discussion section is recently filled with so many language partner requests that it's difficult to find real discussions. Requests like "I want a native English speaker help me learn English" aren't effective because there are more English learners than native English speakers and thousands of similar requests. Try these steps first:
* Use the language partner search tool: https://www.italki.com/partners
* Scroll through the forum and reply first to already existing requests
* Engage in the community by taking part in discussions, answering questions and correcting notebook entries. This is a far more effective way to make friends here. Italki is NOT the perfect place to quickly find speaking partners for instant conversations. But if you take part in the community, you can meet interesting people and make great friends over time.
Read here why it's difficult to find language exchange partners: https://www.italki.com/discussion/106909

If you have a very special language partner request (not "Let's talk in English!), e.g. a language that isn't listed or very rare, a meet-up in a certain city, wanting to discuss a special topic, then you can post your request in the discussion section but think twice before you do so.

3. What CAN I post in the discussion section?
Any topic that helps you and others to practice their target languages. If your target language isn't listed, choose "Other". If it's a general topic, post it under "English". You can only post in languages that you have chosen for your profile as native or target languages. Possible topics are:

- Language learning tips, resources, methods, quizzes and games
- Comparing languages and cultures
- Discussing books, movies or TV series
- Interesting traditions
- Asking opinions about specific topics

Teachers can use interesting discussions to make themselves noticed by prospective students. Students can use interesting discussions to draw attention from possible language exchange partners.

See this previous discussions as examples:
Survival Spanish phrases: https://www.italki.com/discussion/183248
Why did you stop talking to your exchange partner? https://www.italki.com/discussion/184252
Which apps or sites do you use for languages and why? https://www.italki.com/discussion/204780
Do you have any specific method for language learning? https://www.italki.com/discussion/204683

4. What are the upvote and downvote buttons for?
Users can express their agreement or disagreement with posts and comments. If you don't like a topic, it's best though to either ignore it and walk away or explain your disagreement with a comment. Downvoting "just because" makes people feel bad and won't change anything. Only flag (=report) a post/comment if it violates the italki policy and not just because you disagree. Flagging will result in the other user being blocked.

5. What about Netiquette?
Read this discussion about the core rules of netiquette: https://www.italki.com/discussion/203604

Apr 20, 2019 10:34 AM
Comments · 13
Richard, I hope I inspire them and that they translate this into the languages of the biggest groups of English learners here, for instance Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Arabic etc.
April 20, 2019
I'd like to add: even though the discussion section is not primarily for getting corrections, it's ok to ask for feedback regarding your post. You can do that by adding: "Corrections welcome" to your post.
April 20, 2019

italki should hire you Miriam.

It seems your guides for new members is exactly what italki should be posting.

April 20, 2019
@Alan

Italki ist eine chinesische Firma mit Sitz in China. Es wundert mich nicht, dass politische Themen verboten sind. In der Vergangenheit haben sie oft zu Streit geführt. Wenn du wissen willst, warum italki sie nicht zulässt, musst du das italki-Team fragen. In ihren Regelungen steht:

"6. Political or Religious Discussions

italki does not permit discussions or graphics relating to political or religious events or groups. Politics and religion are sensitive topics that often lead to polarizing and hateful comments. It is our position to not have these types of discussions on a site that is meant for language learning." (https://www.italki.com/communitypolicy)

Wenn du über Politik diskutieren willst, dann kannst du das bei Quora, Reddit oder Even Greener Pastures tun: https://evengreener.createaforum.com. Bei letzterem wirst du viele bekannte Gesichter aus dem italki-Forum treffen.

April 21, 2019
Ok, I have to add a point:

6. How can I change the title of the discussion or delete the discussion?

You can neither change the title of a discussion once it's posted nor delete the discussion itself. You can only change the content of your post. If you want to have a discussion deleted, contact the italki team.

April 21, 2019
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Miriam
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), French, German
Learning Language
Chinese (Mandarin)