Make first contact for a language tandem

Submitted by Arthur Müller on Fri, 12/01/2017 - 06:08

You are an avid language learner, but your knowledge has been based mainly on teaching or self-study. You would like to finally try the living foreign language with a language partner, but you do not really know how to write to someone? In the end, it all seems a bit artificial and set up.

Fill your profile

A language tandem is often purely pragmatic, which is likely to change over time. But why not approach the search and the contact for interested parties just as structured.

Before you contact someone using a ping, you should put some minimal words into your SprachDuo profile. This is important because when you get in contact, the recipient receives a direct link to your profile. Especially the short description of your person should not be left blank. Only with a nice profile picture you won't always get on ;)

You could post following information in your profile. Best bilingually!

  1. Present yourself briefly, what you are doing and what impels you. The simplest information is the background and profession, possibly certain hobbies or an interesting attitude towards life. This information can also serve as a later link to the first personal conversation for your language partner. So write a few concise things. But it should not become a novel, nobody will read then.
  2. Share the reason for learning the foreign language. Are you enthusiastic about the culture of the other country and really want to travel there in the future? Are you already abroad and misses your mother tongue? Or you learn the language for the work? That's okay, too. Tell a story of your learning path so far.
  3. Set preferred time for language tandems. You may only be available in the city during the week, because you are a commuter. Or vice versa - you only clear your mind for learning a language on weekends.

All of this information not only helps the person, whom you send a ping. You could be contacted, too. But rather dare the first step and go on the tandem search.

Note: We do not recommend to publish your telephone number or e-mail address directly in the profile.

Fire a ping

If possible, the information from your profile should not be repeated later in the pings. Not at all be their copy. However, it should correspond to your profile. While the profile focuses on you and your language interests, try to concentrate more on person you are writing to:

  1. Express your interest. Explain why you are interested in this person. Did you notice certain details in the description of the person? For example, you share a common hobby or like to go to the same events. Or this person comes from a country that is particularly interesting for you, where you may already have spent time. Perhaps the language partner just has a nice smile, if his or her profile looks rather empty.
  2. Awaken interest on you. At this point you can create a connection from the current situation to your profile. For example, you have recently reached a certain level of language. Or you are temporarily in another city and take the opportunity to meet new people. Do not repeat yourself. Your profile will be seen and read by the other person before the ping content.
  3. Make a concrete proposal for the meeting. From the profile of the person you have hopefully learned the preferred times for language tandems. This could be helpful now. It's best to suggest a fixed location or event that you could visit together. This will make the positive decision much easier.

These points make it easier for you to reach a language tandem. Contact some language partners. Not everyone will respond promptly. Did you get an answer, then there starts the first meeting with the tandem!