When I found this site I was overjoyed to find such a service existed. I quickly started following people and sent out many requests for the same in kind. I was surprised when those who did not have similar lanugage ambitions followed me, but courtesy made me follow them back.
When I found a couple of people who were willing to partner with me, again I was so happy, because I was very determined to reach my language goal. Personally I'm willing to learn with anyone who is serious. Age, gender and marital status matters not, as long as respect can be held for that fact that I am not open to anything more than a platonic relationship as I am happily married. However what I have found strange is that if you are not single and perhaps open to a relationship, conversation soon dwindles with males, while some females seem completely uninterested if you not a male.
Hmm, this has led me to wonder, do we put restrictions on our willingness to learn a language based on who we have a preference to learn with? What is it that turns people off from potential learning partners? What can be done to improve the chances of finding a compatible language partner? I'm eager to learn, so let's discuss! Even better, does anyone have any inspirational success stories to share?
I should have been alittle more cognizant. I can see where you would have even a more challenging time finding a partner because the langauge you are learning is not as common learned and appears the selections for partners are fewers than mine.
It may be fruitful to perhaps try contacting the University language departments out in the that region and introdcucing them to Italki. I would imagine many of their univeristy students of many levels of studies would entertain the idea of utilizing this platform.
Also, online if you find other discussion boards with members learning YORUBA, you can invite those members too. This may increase your selection of partners to choose from. You are certainly gifted in writing and your rhetoric so whoever finds you will be LUCKY!
Wow, thank you for such and indepth response MissLinda. You've given me a lot to think about. I love the techniques employed by you and your friend for making learning a language relevant to you both, as well as getting around time differences.
I hadn't thought about the level of creativity of a language partner, if anything I have found that I'm usually the one that comes up with the creative methods of learning, such as learning children's songs or playing 'I Spy'. The latter usually works best in person, though I am devising a way to get around that, for examply looking at the same image of a collage etc. I'm loving the idea of using Viber voice notes.
I haven't gotten to the stage of needing to 'interview' potential partners, but going by past experiences in general, I can see how that would be effective for ensuring a long term friend/partner to work with. Bearing in mind I am Yoruba, I should in theory, have friends and family to practice with, but my problem lies with constantly having to chase after them in order to do so. This is where I think the method you employ to vet potentials resonates with me. I need any language partner I have to WANT to learn. To be as eager as I am to learn and improve. I have no time to be begging and chasing, I just wanna learn!!! LOL
As for the creativity with introductions, I have become a bit lazy due to lack of interest in the responses I have received. Some people I give a proper introduction, but to those who haven't been online in some time, I don't put in the same amount of effort.
Thank you ver much for your response, it has given me hope!
Also, I think people need to be more creative in the messages they send to language partners. Too many people send these kinds of messages:
"Can you help me in English?"
"Can I teach you and you teach me?"
99.9% of these messages, I delete.
Thanks for your contribution. Just like finding true friends, finding language partners is no easy task! It's not your fault if some people try to use italki as a dating site ;) I understand your frustration though.
The best partner I've had so far was when I was a teenager learning German. I had a lovely penpal from Hamburg with whom I used to regularly exchange letters and emails. I wonder what made us click? Maybe being girls around the same age, sharing experiences about growing up, comparing what it was like in our respective towns.
So, do I have any tips? Not sure...
Having some common interests with your language partner might be a good start. Sharing a passion or a topic of interest makes for much livelier conversations.
I'm curious to hear about other people's experiences as well. Good night :)
P.S. I wish I could help you with Yoruba, since I love literature and I would be most interested in hearing about your journey to writing children's books in Yoruba and Twi. We might have been a good match but I am just a student myself so no luck here !
This is an excellent question and have thoughts on this to share later.