How to italki: Looking for language exchange partners
1. How can I look for language exchange partners here?
First of all: unfortunately, there is NO place on italki for placing language partner requests. And italki is NOT the best place for finding partners for instant conversations.
The purpose of the answers/questions section is to ask language and culture related questions. Rule number six of this section is: "6.Do not ask for language partners!
Bad: Someone teach me English! Bad: I want to learn French * If you're looking for language partners, try searching for one!" Read more here: https://www.italki.com/question/new
The designated tool for looking for language partners is this one: https://www.italki.com/partners
. When you browse through this tool watch out for following points when you consider writing someone to offer language exchange:
- Is the user still active? There are many abandoned accounts. Users who haven't logged in for months or years are very unlikley to reply to messages.
- Is the user indicating that they're interested in language exchange? Not everyone here is looking for language exchange but just for taking classes or using the other community sections.
- Is the user studying your native tongue? The nature of language exchange is that you give and take. You can't expect a native speaker of your target language (especially if it's a language as high in demand as English) to talk to you without gaining anything from the conversation. Users who are studying your native toungue are more likley to respond.
- Is the user studying your target language and also interested in talking to other non-native speakers? For some languages, it might be very difficult to find a native speaker as a partner. Therefore it makes sense to look for other fellow learners for practising.
- Does the other user have certain restrictions? If a user is looking for a partner from a certain gender, age range, nationality, profession or something else and you don't fit their profile, just respect their boundaries and move on. Nobody is obliged to do language exchange with everyone.
2. But if I'm not allowed to place language partner requests how can I gain the attention of potential partners?
- Have an interesting introduction in your profile. Write something about your language learning goals, hobbies and what kind of exchange you're looking for. Many users don't like to trust "empty" profiles.
- Make sure that your mother tongue and the levels of your target languages are correctly displayed.
- Take part in interesting language and culture related discussions. This way you will meet like-minded people.
- Answer questions and correct notebook entries. Being helpful to others is the best way to make other people also want to help you.
- Don't use a stolen picture in your profile. You don't necessarily have to use a portrait of yourself as avatar but don't use pictures of other people you found online. Other users will think that you're a scammer and block you.
3. I send out 100 messages but nobody replies and I never receive any requests by other people. What am I doing wrong?
First of all: Check if other users can actually send you messages. Go to your privacy settings. If you want to be contacted by other users allow them to send you friend requests and switch your contact permissions from "friends only" to "anyone". As non-premium members can only send two friend requests per day, your chances of finding language partners will increase if you allow direct private messages.
Second: What do you write in your first messages to potential partners? Many users don't reply to simple "hi" and "hello" messages. Don't send out generic messages but introduce yourself in the first message, explain what kind of exchange you're looking for, why you're interested in the user you're contacting and what you can offer them.
4. I can't find any native speakers as partners. Why nobody wants to help?
For some languages, especially English, it's very difficult to find language exchange partners. There are many more learners than native speakers here on italki. That doesn't mean that the native speakers don't want to help but that they already have partners and/or helping in other ways (correcting notebook entries).