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Barcelona tips, Spain Trips, Uncategorized

Sunday Morning Sailing – A Barcelona Language Exchange Adventure

Looking for a unique and refreshing experience for your next Sunday morning? Join Barcelona Language Exchange Sunday sailboat trip, which includes the combination of language learning and sailing in a stunning coastal setting. I recently had the opportunity to enjoy this unforgettable experience, and I can’t wait to share my recommendation with you.

The Allure of a New Sailing Experience

Over the weekend, I had the special opportunity of going on a Barcelona Language Exchange Sunday sailboat trip. I have been sailing a few times before, but on a small sunfish boat that could not hold more than three people, so I was really excited. This adventure allowed me to explore the open waters with a group of like-minded language enthusiasts. We chatted in various languages and told stories, as the ocean wind ran through my hair. The prospect of expanding my sailing horizons was truly exhilarating.

Setting Sail into Serenity

As our sailboat departed from the coast, the participants introduced themselves, sharing their fluent languages and which languages they would like to learn. With the impressive Barcelona skyline fading in the distance, majestic mountains emerged on our right, captivating us with their grandeur. The breathtaking beauty of the surroundings left me speechless, as the seamless transition between the endless ocean and the sky blurred the horizon. Amidst this awe-inspiring backdrop, engaging conversations with fellow travelers filled the air, while the gentle warmth of the sun provided the perfect excuse to recline on the boat’s bow.

A Refreshing Dive into the Azure Waters

To beat the summer heat, we decided to take a refreshing dip in the ocean. Swimming in the open water, far from the shore, with the sailboat anchored nearby, created a unique sense of adventure. The camaraderie among the participants fostered numerous interesting conversations, it was lovely getting to know a few new people, all from different places!

In summary, the Barcelona Language Exchange Sunday sailboat trip is a remarkable opportunity to combine language learning with a memorable sailing adventure. The breathtaking views, refreshing swims, and engaging conversations create an immersive and enriching experience that will leave you with fond memories. Check out some of my favorite pictures from the day, and get ready to embark on your own extraordinary journey.

If, like Ginger, you also want to take advantage of the summer in Barcelona, sailing and, at the same time, improve your languages, sign up for the next Sailing & Language Exchange, but but hurry up because there are not many spots left! Youalso have the option of watching the sunset from the sailboat during the Sunset Sailing & Language Exchange.
You can also sign up for the Day Trip to Cadaqués and Roses, where a private guide will discover the most beautiful corners of Dalí’s beloved white town.

Or you can join the weekly events we do all year round. You just need to confirm your attendance on Meetup.

And if you want to share your story and see it published as Ginger’s, you can send it to us at

See you at the Language Exchange!


Language Learning

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Learn About my First Time at the Language Exchange!

I arrived in Barcelona a few weeks ago, as a college student from the United States doing an internship for the summer. Part of my internship program is taking Spanish classes, with a requirement of using what I learn in class in real-world situations, while in Spain. I was trying to find places to practice and stumbled upon the Barcelona Language Exchange. Here is the story of my first language exchange experience.

On Thursday night, I headed to the Space Cowboy, to attend a language exchange meeting for the first time. To be honest, my Spanish could use some serious work, I am only able to comprehend very simple sentences and verbs, often getting lost in translation when asked a simple question, such as “would you like a bag with that?”

I am used to my thoughts coming across clearly to strangers and friends alike, back in my home country, being unable to share my thoughts clearly has been a new experience. Being at a loss for words when trying to communicate simple ideas takes some getting used to, requiring the confidence that even if when I make mistakes, it is still worth continuing to try to improve my skills.  

However, when attending the Barcelona Language Exchange event, the fear that I will confuse people with my mismatched Spanish is much less intense, as the precedent is set that this is an environment focused on learning. Being able to switch between helping others improve their English while learning Spanish was a lot of fun. You are both the teacher and the student

Reflection on my First Experience 

This experience was refreshing and empowering. For those who are trying to learn a language through a social conversational setting, you really should give it a try. Here at Barcelona Language Exchange, we have many events every week, from Thursdays at the Space Cowboy to sailing on Sundays. We hope to see you soon!  

What about you? How did you adjust to learning a new language for the first time? Share your story with us either in the weekly language exchange in bars, in the Sunset Sailing & Language Exchange on Saturday June 17th, the Brunch & Language Exchange on Sunday June 18th, or the Paella & Language Exchange on July 1st. We would love to publish your story! You can send it to us at  


Barcelona tips, Special Dates

This week we celebrate the Revetlla de Sant Joan

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This week, due to the celebration of San Juan, we will only have 2 language exchanges, Wednesday at Soda Bus and Mojito Night on Saturday at the Jardinet de Gràcia.

But, what is it celebrated in the Revetlla de Sant Joan?

It is a magical night that celebrates the summer solstice, the shortest night of the year (June 23-24).
It is popularly known as the Night of Fire or the Night of the Witches, it is celebrated in all the Catalan lands, as well as in different parts of the world.
The origin of the celebration of the Night of Sant Joan is pagan. With a tradition that goes back long before Christianity, it is a cult of the sun and the lengthening of the day, due to the summer solstice. It is a festival with very marked and symbolic elements and customs: the purifying fire, the midnight baths, the herbs of San Juan, the songs, the dance or the cures and more magical rituals. Currently it is a celebration that the Catholic Church makes coincide with the date of birth of Saint John the Baptist.
Bonfires are the central element of the Night of Sant Joan in the Catalan lands. Pyrotechnics have a prominent place in the celebrations. Gastronomically, family gatherings are usually accompanied with coca de Sant Joan, coca de recapte or coca de llardons (pork rinds).
Is this holiday celebrated in your country? What is it’s name? How it is celebrated? Share your culture with us either in the weekly Language Exchanges in bars, at the Sailing & Language Exchange that we do during the summer, at the Paella & Language Exchange on Saturday July 2nd or at the Brunch & Language Exchange on July 24th. And if you want to see your story published, you can send it to us at

Language Learning
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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

Language Learning
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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

Language Learning
Today I’d like to tell you about Mark, a Canadian who regularly connects to the online language exchanges to practice Spanish and Italian. He and his wife love to travel to warm countries in winter, which is why he has studied Spanish for 5 years. He started practicing online during the pandemic, and decided to jump in and try Italian as well. Now he has been practicing Italian for a year without ever having studied it and his fluency is not far from what he has in Spanish. Do you think it is essential to study to speak a language fluently?
At the time when I lived in Italy, I met another girl from Barcelona who had arrived two years before me. She had never studied Italian and yet she was fluent. However, she made quite a few mistakes due to the influence of both Catalan and Spanish. On the contrary, I spent my first 3 months in Florence studying Italian, it was an intensive course that followed the communicative method (which implies speaking from day one). I’ve always been a bit of a “pain in the ass” when it comes to using languages, and even though she didn’t know it, I couldn’t help but mentally correct her every time she said something wrong.
Returning to Mark, in his case, he only needs to speak enough to communicate on his trips, which he can already do in both Spanish and Italian. Personally, I like to speak languages ​​perfectly, so I prefer to study them, in addition to practicing until I master them (but I guess that makes me a language geek). So, before studying a language, perhaps we should ask ourselves what is our goal when learning that language and what are our self-demands.
In any case, practice is essential. And now you have the option to practice both online and in person, at our weekly and free language exchanges.
Follow this link  to see the next gatherings.
What about you? Do you prefer to study or learn by doing? Share your story with us either at the ONLINE Language Exchanges, at the Weekly Face-to-Face Events or at the Brunch & Language Exchange, on Sunday, May 30th. And if you want to see your story published, you can send it to us at

Barcelona tips, Language Learning
A few weeks ago, at the Brunch & Language Exchange, the typical cliché came out when someone said that in Barcelona only Catalan is spoken
That reminded me of an American guy who crossed the ocean for love and moved to a town in Lleida. Everyone there spoke only Catalan, so that was the language he learned. But after a few years, he and his girlfriend broke up, so he decided to move to Barcelona, ​​thinking that a big city always offers more opportunities. His surprise was when, he arrived in Barcelona, ​​he found that almost no one spoke Catalan; therefore, without speaking Spanish, his options for finding a job were limited.
When someone brings up this cliché, I usually ask: Where? In what part of Barcelona is Catalan the only spoken language?
Then, it usually turns out that it is not in the city, but in a town in Catalonia. Such thing has an explanation as simple as that if in towns people do not usually speak Spanish, it is because they do not need it for their everyday life. That does not mean that they do not understand it, simply that they do not practice it daily, therefore they are not fluent and do not feel comfortable speaking it.
I compare it to English. It is a language that we have studied for years in elementary school, high school, etc. But, generally, it is not a language that we use daily, all the films are dubbed into Spanish and we are not in the habit of using it at all. Then, when a foreigner asks us something on the street, we become paralyzed, we begin to sweat trying to remember what that teacher repeated to us for years and we feel as uncomfortable as those people who live in towns where Spanish is not used.
In short, languages ​​must be practiced regularly to be able to use them without even having to think, it does not matter if it is a language very similar to yours or completely different, the more you practice it, the more fluent you will be and the more comfortable you will feel speaking it.
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, at the weekly face-to-face gatherings or at the Brunch & Language Exchange on Sunday, May 30th. And if you want to see your story published, you can send it to us at
Big hug,

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

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 😉).
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

Language Learning
A few weeks ago, at the Online Bar, I spoke with a Spanish girl who is learning Italian. She has been attending to classes for a few months and she still doesn’t feel comfortable talking it. She asked me for how long I had studied Italian, my answer was “3 months”. She was shocked and asked how had I managed to learn it so quickly. To which I replied: “one thing is to study and a different one to learn!“.
I moved to Italy in 2006 without knowing any Italian (apart from “ciao”, “birra” and “grazie”). I toke an intensive course of 4 hours a day from Monday to Friday for 3 months and, when I left class, I tried not to speak other languages, although my Italian was painful at the beginning, I used it at all times and with everyone, even with foreigners.
Shortly after arriving in Italy, I started dating an Italian, which helped me a lot to improve my accent (even now some Italians ask me if I am from Florence). I lived there for a year and when I returned to Barcelona, ​​my ragazzo came with me, so I continued to use Italian at home for a couple more years.
I did not learn Italian in 3 months, that was the time I invested in my classes. But I did many hours of practice. In fact, I did so many that I even forgot my other languages! When I returned to Spain, I was unable to speak Spanish, I had neglected it for a year and it took me a month to regain my confidence and fluency.
As I always say, languages ​​have to be practiced regularly to be able to use them without having to think, even if it is your native language. The only way to learn fast is by spending hours. The more you practice it, the more fluent you will be and the more comfortable you will feel speaking it.
If you also want to speak other languages ​​fluently and have fun chatting with native speakers, follow this link.
If you are looking for a teacher of a language, you can find it on our website.
What about you? Do you practice regularly? Are you comfortable speaking other languages? Share your story with us either at the ONLINE Language Exchanges, at the Paella & Language Exchange this Saturday, April 3rd, or at the Brunch & Language Exchange on Sunday, April 11th. And if you want to see your story published, you can send it to us at

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