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  5. Suggestion: "Pen pals"


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!

December 13, 2013



I LOVE this idea!!!!


I recommend https://www.penpaland.com its a new generation penpal website.


I've heard https://www.speaky.com/ is a great website for this. You can video chat or direct message people in the language you'd like to learn. I've been planning on using it myself, but haven't yet tried it out.


great idea that would be awesome!


Will you be my pen pal? I against any type of profanity.


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.

<h1>love that!!<3</h1>


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.

4) converse!

Don't let technical imperfection restrain you language learning!


It's a good idea, but I believe it would be most beneficial if there was some type of guidance based on the lesson plan involved. Otherwise, we could easily find a pen pal on our own and Duolingo could dedicate its efforts to other things.



Duolingo doesn't need to be able to do everything, there are lots of other resources online.


this is great thanks xx


Duolingo doesn't need to have the Incubator, or a discussion forum, or a mobile app, or a leaderboard. But those features improve it. Just like a "pen pal" feature would improve it.


its not free, the design and implementation seem like they were born out of a 1998 geocities website. Duo could implement this a hell of a lot better


It's free but you can't contact anybody.


The site requires your money if you want to contact somebody...


This would be awesome. It would definetely help those who are learning a language but don't have anybody to speak with!


wow you have thought this through x


This is just like Lang-8, and it would definitely help with immersion.


Practicing with another person could really help the process of learning languages!


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.


Agree with ziggKogg. I would rather have Duolingo team working on other features than implementing this.

Also you should checkout Lang-8.


Yes, I agree. And I can also highly recommend Lang-8.com!


Wouldn't it be fun to do a secret-santa type exchange, except with languages?


This is a good idea.


Yes !! this is great ^_^


Sí, muy bien...


That would be awesome :D


i would love to do this, great idea!!




Interpals is a really great resource for aspiring polyglots who want to do the skype/penpal language exchange thing.


I really like this idea, suggested people to write to (based on equal levels) & an inbox, would work pretty well.


esto es una buena idea!


How about smalltalk-discussions in targettarget language only. (I am curious how an everyday's gothic would evolve...)

[deactivated user]

    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


    if you are still looking for someone with English i wouldn't mind trading emails with you. I'm working to relearn Spanish considering I haven't spoke it since I was 4.


    I would love to help you! :3


    I'm looking for a German pen pal who wants to improve their English skills. You can message me at suzane7@bellsouth.net if interested


    I'm learning spanish and I speak english


    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!


    Yes I think Duolingo should add a pen pal feature! to would make learning more fun for those of you like me who are learning a language, but don't know anyone speaks it. I like the idea of buying it with your lingots. Either way duolingo should totally add a pen pal feature.


    YESSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PEN PALS!!!!!


    This is a good idea. Probably not one I'd be willing to use, for reasons I'm not going to discuss, but a good idea, nonetheless.


    This is an AMAZING idea!!!!


    I am learning German and French. I speak Russian & Uzbek. If there's anyone willing to exchange with emails plz add me. Thank you!


    hi i speak english and i ve joined duolingo to learn french. Anyone interested to teach me, plz add me. thanks !


    This is a great suggestion! Till something comes up, do we just leave email ID's with our language of expertise?


    i am learning french, is there anyone that wants to exchange emails/letters? add me :)


    I am learning Portuguese and know English (yep not very impressive)


    Would love to talk with you!


    Awesome idea! That would be soo cool!


    this is an an amazing Idea... !!!

    • 1562

    I've often tried to find someone to practise with but not sure how to on Duolingo. This is a good idea!!


    Yes that is a wonderful idea!!! :)


    So if everyone likes the idea, why not?


    Great idea! Like others said duolingo doesnt need to do everything, but I would love to see this happen! It would be very motivational...


    Oui , Oui , Oui , OUIII ! I love that idea . i live in a place where you either are bilingual from hearing voth languages or you dont know another language. :(


    What about a chat in Duolingo?


    That sounds just like: http://www.speaky.com (Lingots appreciated)


    You can just find someone and set it up by yourself. You don't need a feature. Just send them a message through their stream explaining your idea and maybe he/she will go for it.


    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.


    Add me on Skype then, I can learn you English and Afrikaans and I want to learn French


    Yes! That's a great idea! Duolingo, please consider this.


    This is a fantastic idea


    Yes yes yes! This needs to happen!


    Yes, I would also love this!


    That would be so much fun. In my french class at school we have pen pals in france.


    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.


    I think it is an awesome idea. Hannah is right.




    AWESOME IDEA!!!!! (even though i suck at the language i'm learning)


    What language are you learning?


    I speak English and am studying German. My son is in Germany studying 11th grade now and I want to be able to speak with him in German when he gets back. Does anyone want to pen pal with me?


    Yeah! I added you as a friend. We seem to be in about the same spot on the tree, so obviously our conversations would start out limited, but I plan to be on here every day so what better way to learn and motivate each other!


    Duolingo is good foundation to build on. I also study Rosetta Stone and attend a German Language Class once a week. Everything kinda meshes together after awhile.


    this is a great idea! anyway i can speak english and joined duolingo to learn italian.. anyone can hit me up if they know the language and want to perfect their english (:


    I like that duolingo should totally add something like that.


    Would love to see Duolingo put something in to directly facilitate this. You can always just message people via their profile. If anybody wants to msg me in German, don't hesitate! I need the practice.


    Good idea but that might be a nightmare trying to pair up 15 million Duolingo learners to other learners that are learning the same language.


    ¡Sí, me encanta Pen Pals! Porque es muy divertida y simpático.


    This seem like a cool idea! I hope this becomes real. I can't wait to get started!


    That would be a really cool addition


    That is the best idea I have heard all day!


    i was thinking the exact same thing, this is a must. I've been looking for native Spanish speakers on here


    Looking for a penpal who speaks or is learning swedish. I speak english and portuguese and a wee bit of french :)


    that would be amazing!!


    That would be so COOL!


    This is such an awesome idea! I'm willing to help anyone that wants to learn English!


    Anyone for a Spanish pen pal!?

    [deactivated user]

      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 :)


      This would definitely be a helpful feature with more applications than simply language! It also allows the learning of culture as well.


      great idea! I would love a penpal!


      Does anyone want to pen pal with me I could use the help if so paz add


      guys until this feature is added (if it is) HelloTalk is a great app where you can talk to people who are fluent in your target language and who want to learn the language set as the one you'd like to teach or are fluent in !!


      That would be amazing! I am learning Spanish and maybe I could teach other people English!


      sounds awesome!!!




      I Think its a absolutely brilliant idea! and if used correctly could really benefit us individuals looking to expand our knowledge in a specific language. It would also play a crucial part in speeding up the process.


      Anyone want to be pen pals in either french/spanish?


      I just started but if someone could help me then I'm up for it


      Ya! I speak Chilayen spanish! I could help ppl learn that! My dad is from chile so I learnd from him!


      ciao:) is there anyone looking for an italian pen pal? I need to improve my spanish! text me if interested


      I am! Im looking for one to! How do I contact u easyer?


      I won't be able to learn you much. except for English! I'm looking for a fluent Spanish speaker from Spain (NOT Latin America) message me on Duolingo or SoundCloud: skittlia or ✿ βᗰØ KΔWΔII✿


      This is the best idea ever


      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


      It's funny you should say this as my sister and I were talking about it a while ago. A service such as that integrated into Duolingo would be fantastic.


      What a great idea! It would be awesome!


      OMG! What a fantastic idea. I'm a native English speaking trying to learn 12 languages and I'm sure I could help others. You could send letters to pen pals either by using your native language or theirs. They could do the opposite.


      This is a WONDERFUL idea! I'm a native Chinese looking for a language partner to practice English with. Anyone interested?


      Awesome idea indeed


      Why is there no private messaging option on here?? Talk about dark ages.


      Why hasn't this happened yet? :(


      I was just talking to my friends about this! Duolingo please add this feature! It would be amazing!

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