Chatting in Italian

Talking isn't the be-all and end-all when learning a language. Nor is it the hardest area of language learning. In fact it might not even be the most important. I don't know. I'm no linguist or expert, just a dood with time on his hands and a keyboard within reach.

As it happens, I like listening and reading in other languages, access to culture 'n stuff.

But, there is a tendency to avoid this exciting, and some might say, crucial part of the learning process.

The good news is that you can find people to talk to easily, especially if you speak English, and this is because lots of people are learning it. They need people to talk to as well. Someone like *you* or me. Well, mainly you as I already have Italian conversation partners.

And where did I find them??

I used My Language Exchange - a great site for finding your language exchange partner or partners with the advantage that you can search according to age and so on. I'm not an affiliate of theirs, click, join, don't join, it's all the same to me. If you do join, um, use normal, sensible internet precautions. Not everyone on the internet is your friend. Most people are. Some aren't.

Conversation exchanges are or can be a stupendously amazing way to improve. Or absolute rubbish. It depends.

Having done a fair few of these, a few points spring to mind.

You don't click or gell with everyone when you meet them in the real world, whether that be in the street, in the pub.

So if you don't love everyone you meet, just in your day to day living, are you really going to totally bond and connect with every single potential language partner?

No. So don't worry about it.

If a language exchange doesn't work for you, find someone else. Someone who maybe has the same hobbies, like train spotting, butterfly hunting or language learning. It can take a while though to find someone, but in the end you will get there. Plenty more fish in the sea, and all that, goes just as well for language exchanges as matters of the heart.

Granted, if you are shy, the whole process can be rather daunting, but My Language Exchange also allows you to look for email exchanges only. Other sites probably do the same. Type 'language exchange' into your favourite search engine, and see what you find.

You don't have to talk. You can write. As Brian said 'You're all different'. Monty Python - British humour at its best.

A language exchange must be fair

The other is that an exchange needs to be fair. It must work for both of you. If talking is your thing, and language exchange is the giveaway here, then it should be half in Italian, half in English.

I've have found, from experience, that if you don't start out this way, the exchange will always be unbalanced.

Unless an exchange is fair, which in a language exchange is 50:50, either you or your partner will feel miffed, cheated and put out and the exchange will go nowhere.

If you don't know what to say, look through the Italian Sentences. They are in *gulp* Italian, and have audio.

Have fun!