Florian K.
Professional Teacher
Can you describe your ideal language partner?
 An ideal language partner for me is someone who is authentic and interesting. An interesting person for me is someone who is knowledgeable about life, someone who is well- traveled or someone who is insightful. I have talked to so many people who is intelligent yes but unrelatable. I can memorize a book on my own so I don't really need a know it all partner.
It is one thing to speak about a language and another thing to be able to communicate with interesting topics. There are certain types of people that we are drawn to. In my case, I would want a partner who is not by the book. I can study grammar and vocabulary on my own as a voracious reader. Imagine if you are talking to a person who is great academically but he does not know how to talk about life and life’s pursuits? Would you continue talking to him about history and science. Perhaps yes if you are interested in those subjects.

         When you are an intellectual, perhaps you are drawn to people who are at the same level of intelligence or maybe you like to talk to people who are the exact opposite. I’ve met a lot of smart people, perhaps too many but the most interesting people to talk to are those who are open to communicate about a variety of topics. Imagine if someone is contrive to just talking about plants and animals? Even if that person is fluent, would you talk to him/her?

            My ideal language partner is someone who is spontaneous and authentic. Authenticity is important for me because if the conversation is real and the person is spontaneous , it's a memorable conversation. I can memorize a book on my own. I am a REAL person, IMPERFECT but REAL and so I am INCLINED to have language partners in the future that is similar. I can't imagine myself talking to someone who rehearsed lines.
I make MISTAKES, I make grammar mistakes even as a teacher. I certainly am not a saint I am sure so I am looking for someone REAL, someone who can talk to me DESPITE my IMPERFECTIONS.

What about you guys?

Jun 15, 2020 11:12 AM
Comments · 16
People get very upset over so-called simple, neutral topics: What should humans eat for optimal health? What's your favorite animal? How can one improve one's chances of finding a language partner?

The first question can lead to bitter fighting between carnivores, vegans, and everything-in-moderationists. The favorite animal question can lead to anger that some people don't adore the same animal you do or like an animal you can't stand. The third, with suggestions to write coherently, include some information and think about what you can offer, can anger people who think it's dictating to people what they should do or offering false hope.

For this reason, it's not entirely clear what makes a topic controversial or why debate is unprofessional. Of course, like you, I understand it's not my platform and maybe there's a reason it's bad to discuss relationships, values, and family arrangements around the world.
June 15, 2020
I would like it to be someone who is curious, interested in the world, enjoys talking, doesn't try to make it like a class and doesn't put pressure on me to commit to something long-term after just one chat.

The most important thing is someone who understands it's a casual conversation, not a class. I would not want someone who tried to get me to teach them, tell them why things were said the way they were, or someone who tried to do the same to me. I can open a book if I want to know why and get a more accurate explanation anyway.

June 15, 2020
@Guyomar I could have given up a long time ago if I am not learning anything. With humility, I accept that the last discussion was a bit off. I got too comfortable making thought-provoking discussions that I did not take into consideration my status as a teacher. I'll find a way to keep the discussions interesting but still within the rules.
Although I must say that most interesting topics are outside of the rules but hey I will find a way.

June 15, 2020
@Guyomar Good suggestion.. It's a learning experience of course. I'll keep the topics light in the next few days or weeks. That is a good suggestion.. I'll have to read the guidelines again so as not to step out of the line. 🙂
June 15, 2020
I'm sure you'll find a way to keep discussing questions that don't have an obvious answer, Florian. The way to do it is to follow the stated rules and then just ask questions that are ostensibly about cultural norms.

For example, it's not against the rules to state and ask:
<em>In my culture, most people have long-term relationships with one other person only. Is it the same or different in your country? Are other types of relationships accepted, tolerated, or discouraged? How? Does your opinion on this topic fall in line with that of your culture?</em>

This is not inappropriate, doesn't break any rules, is about normative behavior and how it is enforced, and invites the sharing of perspectives from different cultures.

June 15, 2020
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Florian K.
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, Filipino (Tagalog), Finnish, Other
Learning Language
Chinese (Mandarin), Finnish, Other