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Language Learning
(Reading time 2 minutes)

Sometimes at the language exchanges very deep conversation topics come out, that kind of conversations that hook you and make you admire the people with whom you speak. Other times we tell funny anecdotes that make us laugh out loud. And, on the best days, the two types of conversations are combined.

One of those days, we were talking about cultural differences. Stella, from Brazil, said that when she was very young she went to visit a pen pal in Finland. It was her first big trip and she was very nervous. Upon arriving at the destination airport, when she saw her friend, Stella jumped over her to hug her and tell her how happy she was to see her, but her friend did not react the same way. There, it is not normal to hug so euphorically in a public place, so rather, she felt very uncomfortable.

Something similar happened to me. After a long three-month vacation in Argentina, I returned to Norway, where I lived and worked. There, when I saw my manager, I went over to give him two kisses and greet him happily. The poor man couldn’t dodge my kisses because he had a wall behind him, but he became tense and straight as a stick in his failed escape attempt. At that moment I realized that I had returned to Norway and that I should behave differently.

Stella and I agree that we have different personalities depending on the language we speak, due to the culture with which we associate it. It is important to always observe before acting, especially when you are in another country, since in each place there is a different culture and what for you is a show of affection, may be the opposite in another part of the planet.

I wanted to tell you about Stella today because she, along with Stephen, from the United States, are co-organizing the virtual language exchanges on Fridays, since I am at the face-to-face events. So, now, our Online Bar works on Tuesdays and Fridays from 7pm to 9pm.

If you also want to learn about other cultures and, at the same time, improve your languages, come and practice them with natives while having a drink, just follow this link and choose the day that suits you best.

What about you? Do you have funny anecdotes related to cultural differences? Share your story with us either in the weekly Language Exchanges in bars, in the Online Language Exchanges, in the Sailing & Language Exchange on Sunday June 27, at the Brunch & Language Exchange also on June 27 or the Paella & Language Exchange on Saturday, July 3. And if you want to see your story published, you can send it to us at info@speakquick.es

Best,
Aina
0

Language Learning
(Reading time 2 minutes)

Last month I was studying Swedish in Sweden, it was an intensive 4 week B1 level course and I learned a lot. In order not to lose what I learned, I decided to practice it weekly, the problem is that since the pandemic, no Swedes have come to language exchanges, as they used to do before… So I decided to publish a post in the group of Swedes in Barcelona. I had some answers, although I only met one of them, Johan, two weeks after my return.

As I started speaking Swedish, I realized that in two weeks I had forgotten many words and had lost fluency. When I regretted not remembering some basic words and taking a long time to form sentences, Johan told me that my knowledge of grammar was much better than his wife’s, for example, who has lived there for many years.

Learning grammar doesn’t make you fluent, although it does make you speak correctly. The only way to speak a language fluently is to practice it and speak it regularly, ideally every day.

As many times it is not possible to speak it with other people, what I do is speaking it with myself; for example when I go to do the groceries, I make the list in Swedish and try to speak Swedish in my mind before speaking to the salesclerk. I also count in Swedish and I comment on everything I am doing (like “I put a package of rice and three cans of tuna in the basket” in Swedish obviously).

It may seem silly to talk to yourself, but it is very effective and it is more silly to lose a language to which you have spent many hours learning.

The more you practice a language (speaking, listening, writing and reading) the faster you start to think in that language and, by stopping translating everything in your mind before you can speak, you will be able to speak fluently.

If you also want to speak fluently in another language, come and practice it with native speakers while having a drink, just follow this link and choose the day that suits you best.

What about you? Do you feel like you are losing your languages ​​instead of improving them? Share your story with us either at the Weekly Language Exchanges in bars, at the ONLINE Language Exchanges , at the Sailing & Language Exchange on Sunday June 27th, at the Brunch & Language Exchange also on June 27th… And if you want to see your story published, you can email it to us at info@speakquick.es

Best,
Aina
0

Language Learning
Some time ago, at a language exchange, I was talking with a guy from the States who said that it was not important for him to learn other languages ​​since English is becoming the universal language and wherever he went he could communicate “almost” without problems . So he only went to language exchanges to socialize.

That made me think about my own experience at language exchanges… I started running them because, after years living abroad, I wanted to keep the languages ​​I had learned and, for me, the only way is by practicing regularly. But I realized that I was not only practicing languages, but also creating new groups of friends (for myself and for many other people).

Socializing is a very good reason to participate, although there are many other reasons that would encourage anyone! Do you know that learning languages ​​has many benefits? For example, it has been shown that dementia is less likely to occur if you are bilingual. In addition, it is proven that people who speak two or more languages ​​are better at multitasking and that IQ increases with each language we learn.

So, if you still doubted whether to start participating in these kind of events, there are many more reasons to do so than you thought.

Would you like to socialize? Would you like to speak other languages ​​fluently? Would you like to increase your IQ? Follow this link!
If you are looking for a language teacher, you can find him/her on our website.

You can do all this and much more with us, either at the ONLINE Language Exchanges, or at the Brunch & Language Exchange this Sunday, April 25th.
And if you want to see your story published, you can send it to us at info@speakquick.es 

Best,
Aina
0

Language Learning, Uncategorized
During a Brunch & Language Exchange, I sat at a table where English, Spanish and Italian were practiced; each of the 4 people had different levels. Although we all could communicate, there was a guy who hardly spoke, so every question we asked, I asked him to be the first to answer. He, in turn, declined the preference and asked someone else to respond first.

After a while, seeing that he was not really practicing the languages which ​​he came to practice, he told me: “I feel shy if you are here, because you speak all languages ​​perfectly.” I laughed and replied that I appreciated the compliment, but that nobody speaks any language perfectly. He looked at me incredulously, so I asked him, “Don’t you ever make mistakes in your native language?” Of course his answer was “yes”.

I shouldn’t say this because I do my living with the Spanish teaching, but I am the first one to make mistakes in my two native languages, Spanish and Catalan. In both of them, mainly due to the influence of the other, but sometimes also due to the influence of the other languages ​​I speak and other times because the word simply does not come to my mind. This is not something to be ashamed of, it is something totally normal and that happens to everyone.

Participating in language exchanges is the best way to lose the fear of getting out of your comfort zone and to really learn a language. Practicing a language with native speakers makes you improve your vocabulary, fluency, expressions, pronunciation… In addition, the more you practice, the easier it is to think in that language, which usually leads to fewer mistakes (although remember that we are human and without a doubt we are going to make some in any language 😉).

If you also want to speak other languages ​​fluently and to have fun chatting with native speakers, follow this link..
If you’re looking for a language teacher, you can find him/her on our website.

What about you? Do you practice regularly? Are you comfortable speaking in other languages? Share your story with us either at the ONLINE Language Exchanges, or at this Sunday’s Brunch & Language Exchange. And if you want to see your story published, you can send it to us at info@speakquick.es 

Best,
Aina
0

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