Suggestion: "Pen pals"
We should be able to receive Pen Pals according to the the language that we're learning. You could get paired with people learning your native language, and you learning theirs, to help practice and achieve fluency in the language that you are working on. You can do it by email, by letter, or by some sort of special place on Duolingo like a mail center especially for that. We could even buy the feature with lingots!
Fabulous idea! Maybe when you first start DuoLingo there could be an option to "buddy-up" with a person who is also starting that week/or month. For weight loss and physical fitness routines, having a buddy is really supposed to help your chance of maintaining the program.
This is only because of the competition it creates and the fact that someone expects you to be there, but the latter hardly works as well with online applications such as Duo, as you don't have the same expectancy, or if you don't turn up you don't have the same follow up. It's still a good idea, just not one that'll work anywhere near as efficiently as IRL.
What we can do now: we can exchange emails, skype or facebook account names etc. through our streams, and then converse through these channels. Now, there are few drawbacks:
the profile is visible to anyone, even to those you wouldn't want to share your address with (it can be visible to spambots too)
often I get a message in the evening, and when I get to Duolingo some ten hours later, it's hell to scroll done through pages and pages of my friends' posts and accomplishments. Following quite a lot of people, this makes communication through streams very clumsy, sometimes to the point that I refuse to really read the message
no formatting wouldn't inhibit mail address exchange, but it makes conversation through streams even clumsier, especially when longer messages are involved (I rarely can express what I need in a short message, but I usually make my post readable through formatting... when it's impossible, I either don't respond, or spend a long time over a wall of text that probably won't be read by the other person - I feel ridiculous in either case).
At first, personal messages visible for the recipient only and allowing formatting are enough for "pen pal" program. Guidance for matching ideal partners would be nice, but it's not necessary as long as we can communicate this with each other, and it would mean lots of extra work for duolingo team - extra work. Duolingo team does a good job and Duolingo is developing at extreme pace (in comparison to many similar projects), but we can't expect them to perform miracles.
If you really want to have a pen pal:
1) browse discussions and people's prefiles and try to find someone who is from a country where your target language is spoken. For better effect, change your language (for example from "I know English and I want to learn French" to "Je parle francais et je veux apprendre anglais") and then pick anyone who doesn't state in their profile that you share a native language.
2) contact the person you have chosen through their stream. Write something like this: "Hi! I learn French and I've read you are a native French speaker. I would like to converse with you, so that I improve my French conversation skills. If you are interrested, send me an email. My address is abcd(at)gmail.com." That "(at)" instead of @ is a safety measure, because it fools most bots so that they won't send you spams.
3) repeat points 1 and 2 until you find enough pen pals, or a one you are happy to chat with.
Don't let technical imperfection restrain you language learning!
It is much easier to learn a language when you are immersed around native speakers. I would suggest maybe having it as an account option when you sign up, if you are interested in having a "pen pal" in a certain language. That way you other people who are interested in the same thing can search for these people easily.
Alternatively, you could have people apply for "coaching" spots and find people that want native coaches to help them with their language. Maybe get a little icon by the account name.
This sounds wonderful! Pity is that this seems to not be one of the many many projects the mods are working on.
It would be fantastic!
I speak Spanish and Catalan, and I'm studying English and Italian. I am more interested in improving my English. Does anyone want to exchange emails/letters?
I started with Italian only a few days ago, and I want to know more than the present tense before writing anything in this language haha
This idea is genius. I would love it if Duolingo would implement this. We should have some guidelines to help protect users from spam and viruses, though. It would be nice if it was an option to use, since some users wouldn't appreciate this kind of feature. And buying it with lingots is a superb idea, so many users have no way to use all of them and they just pile up. I would say a live chat center would do the job, and the "Let's make conversations" thing seems like exactly what ShayneBower1 is trying to describe!
I think having the feature wld be cooler bcuz then you and ur pen pal can talk in whatever language u are learning together so ur language skills get better by using whatever language u r learning to communicate with each other. This is beyond beyond the coolest idea ever.
Yes, but finding someone is the hard part. Where would you find them? There was requested for a search function for users learning your language, or maybe even speak the language you are learning. That would actually be helpful because there are probably thousands of Duolingo users that probably are learning the same language as you and are at the same level but you don't know about them, just because they don't have a name you'd probably search in the name search function, or don't translate too much, or reply in the discussion area. So, maybe if this was actually implemented, (with the search function), this would probably be pretty helpful.
That is an amazing idea. I hope that Duolingo reads this, that would be great for learning. I could actually use the language that I am learning with someone rather than depend on myself to just remember everything for the day that I may use it. Maybe not buy the feature with Lingots, but sending a message will cost a couple Lingots. I don't know, but what I do know is that this is a great idea.
Like how I' English and learning Greek? And I should like, try to find someone whose native language is Greek and they're learning my language, English? How do I do that?
I have a pretty fun way! if for exemple you live in London you can get in this fb page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Greeks-in-London/1379543895684794?fref=ts and try and meet people who want to learn english or meet more british people :D ( you only need a few good language exchange buddies to improve your level) Good luck!
I love the idea and also I do not know if you know about language exchanges or the fact the it is not that hard to find people to practice in any big city in the world especially in Europe :D look up for example "Français à Londres", "Españoles en París" or whatever you want to find and then you just try and talk to them or offer them a language exchange! Many people who live in a foreign country need/ want to practice too :D if anyone lives in Nantes, France I would be delighted to teach them French or help them find the decent event or fb page to do language exchanges in person and make foreign friends! Good luck with your learning to all of you :)
Make an account at Conversation Exchange: https://www.conversationexchange.com/
You can find a penpal and write with him/her or give the penpal a call by phone, Skype or whatever you like. It is always a very good exercise to use the language in conversation and this website is for people seeking a penpal. I have met a person there and we have been exchanging mails since and sometimes talked on Skype in many languages. I can clearly recommend it! :D