New Language Exchange Partner

July 27, 2016

I'm happy to have someone to speak Slovak to again. I found someone from Slovakia who's looking for a Russian exchange partner on the wall of our language exchange club's Facebook page.

What is a language exchange partner? You get together in person and spend half the meeting conversing in one language (presumably the native or near-native language of one of the partners), then switch to the other language for the second half.

It's very simple. If people get along well, it can be a long-lasting form of quality conversation practice. I have don't language exchanges in Georgian, English, and Russian during the past year.

It helps greatly to have some sort of local language exchange club where people can find language tandems among other language enthusiasts. We have this in Tbilisi, and it is realistic to find a language exchange for just about any reasonably well-known language.

Preparation for conversation in Slovak

Now that I have some opportunities to use my Slovak for the first time in over a year, I am motivated to start listening to podcasts in Slovak again. I found some in the Apple Podcast app by searching for some common Slovak words such as "prečo" (why). This is a good trick to find podcasts in a particular language.

It's even easier if your language has a unique alphabet, such as Georgian or Armenian. Then just enter any letter of that alphabet and do a search. I've found some good stuff that way.

To get myself used to speaking Slovak again (it's awkward at first), I've done a bit of shadowing at half-speed using these podcasts. I'm a huge fan of shadowing.

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