It can be frustrating to learn Spanish and not have anyone to talk to.
That's why many language learners look for language exchange partners to practice conversation skills.
Thanks to technology, finding a Spanish conversation partner is now easier than ever.
You have millions of native speakers at your fingertips.
At the same time, there are so many options that choosing the right one can be overwhelming. Luckily, I’ve scoured the language learning apps and sites for you and narrowed it down to the 6 best options for finding a conversation partner.
Let’s get started:
1. Hello Talk
Hello Talk is an app available on iOS and Android platforms. It helps you find Spanish speakers (and for 100 other languages) around the globe.
- This app instantly connects you with native speakers of your target language. It’s on your mobile device so you can communicate where ever you are
- Chat via texts, calls, or voice messages…all for free
- If you have trouble understanding a voice message, the app can write the message or even translate it for you.
- There is a free version of the app but some of the features, such as unlimited translation and video calls, are only available for paying members.
- Some of the features can use quite a bit of bandwidth
Tandem is an app that initially screens applicants. Once your profile is accepted, you can use tutors, teachers, or a tandem (a conversation partner) to practice speaking through the app.
- Pre-screening provides peace of mind that you are talking to real people that want to learn languages, and not scammers or other undesirables online
- The site has a user-friendly interface and allows you to see when people are online
- Message translation is only offered with the premium (paid) version
3. We Speke
WeSpeke offers text, voice or video chat to practice speaking. It can be accessed through an app or desktop.
- It's completely free.
- WeSpeke matches you with possible conversation partners based on your interests.
- There is also a separate section for travel so that you can get connected in your destination before you even take off.
- Some users commented on the slow speed of the app, which lead them to continue their conversations through other interfaces and only use the app to connect with new people.
iTalki is a language exchange and tutoring site that allows you to find conversation partners and tutors from all over the globe. Its interface makes scheduling easy, and there are also forums where you can ask questions and get feedback from professional tutors.Read about my first iTalki session here.
- iTalki has a language exchange section where you can search for people based on the language you want to practice and then review their profile before beginning a conversation.
- The site also offers language teachers and tutors at reasonable rates.
- You can search for people by country of origin.
- The main focus of the site is the paid tutoring and the language classes.
5. Language Exchange
Language Exchanges is a website created for the sole purpose of finding language conversation partners.
- Everything on the site is free.
- There are different options depending on your level: pen-pals, text chat, voice chat or word games.
- Language Exchange has conversation lesson plans, which provide clear guidelines for what to talk about and how the conversation should be structured.
- This site is really only geared for intermediate and above.
- The conversation lesson plans are limited to 4 topics and are written in the target language, which could be overwhelming for beginners.
6. Meet Up
MeetUp.com has groups for almost everything. It has a website and app available on most platforms. Anyone can start a group and schedule events for people around any niche hobby or interest. If you search for “Spanish” and “[Your City Name],” more than likely you will find a meetup for Spanish speaking practice. If you don’t, it’s easy to start one yourself.
Once you find a group, simply join and RSVP when you see an event you’d like to attend. (Note: Some meetup organizers moderate their membership, so you may have to wait for an approval before you can see their events.)
- It’s free to join as a member and attend meetups
- The site is super popular, so you will more than likely find a group already in existence
- You can use the site to connect with and meet new people
- There may not be a meetup in your area
- Even if there is a meetup, they may not meet regularly or at a time and place convenient for you
- Some meetup organizers charge fees to RSVP to or join meetup groups
- If you want to start your own meetup, it will cost you
No matter the kind of conversation you are looking for, there is an option out there for you.
No site or app is perfect. If you don’t like the first one you choose, try again or use a combination of sites to meet your needs.
What matters most is that you are conversing and practicing on a regular basis. The more you speak Spanish, the easier it will become.
Take advantage of all the available options and practice, practice, practice.
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¡Hola! My name is Tamara Marie. I'm a language coach specializing in brain-friendly methods to learn foreign languages faster. I speak English (US native), Spanish (advanced), and Brazilian Portuguese (beginner). I'm a Latin music & dance addict and passionate about helping people learn languages.