What Interpals is…
Interpals is a website where you can meet people from all over the world!
There you can speak to people in whatever language you like. You just have to find someone to talk to. And there is no lack of people! Interpals makes it incredibly simple.
How it works…
Each person on the website has their own profile with their country, languages and level, their likes, hobbies and other personalisable information.
There are a multitude of ways in which you can find people who you like. These are the most likely examples:
- search by language
- search by country
- search by name or nickname
- search for random people
Once you find somebody you have something in common with, you can send them a private message or publish something on their “wall”. Some people also offer other options, such as skype usernames.
Last but no least, there is the option of adding someone you get along with to your friends list. Much like in facebook. Once added, you have that contacted saved for the next time you feel like chatting with them.
Interpals generally works as a language exchange system. You help people out with your native or advanced language, and they help you with your target language. There are also plenty of people who share their languages simply to help out others, or to make new friends from other countries.
How to make the most of Interpals…
To make the most of this website, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
First of all, feel free to share your native languages with others. Just remember why you are there!
Be careful not to waste too much time chatting in your native language. It’s nice to help others, but don’t forget your mission! Practise your target language! There are many people who want to speak with you only in Spanish, for example, and never in English. There is nothing wrong with this, of course, but it is NOT what you are looking for.
The second thing is that you should remember that this is not purely a social site.
Yes, go make friends, that’s awesome! Just remember, again, that you are there to practise a language. So practise it! One thing you can do to help is to add Interpals to you schedule. For example, you could make yourself a challenge of speaking with someone from Interpals (in your target language of course) for at least 10 minutes a day.
Third and final: The most Important thing is that writing messages is great practise, but the end goal here is to talk over skype or another video platform.
Voice calls (i.e. the telephone) is also fantastic, but video is optimal.
A few more observations…
- Interpals is by no means the only website that serves to meet people and get in some good speaking practice. It is however the only one that I use often, and have done since I was only 16! I highly recommend it because it has given me an enlightening experience in the world of foreign languages.
- On Interpals, you can find some amazing people; best friends who will stay with you for the rest of your life! Just remember that, as in real life, these people are difficult to find. Most of the people you will meet will be entertaining, useful and fun at least for a short while. Then there are those who you will never share more than a “hello” with. Go in with an open mind and keep an eye on your expectations when meeting new people.
- Again like in real life, there are all sorts of people hanging around the site! NEVER give out your personal details to anybody. If you let your children onto the website, supervise them and make sure they are fully aware of the potential dangers of meeting people online.