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Old Jun 9, 07, 2:23 pm
  #2  
LapLap
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: London
Posts: 14,105
I go to Madrid and practice my Spanish with people there all the time - no need for it to be an intercambio.

I HAVE done something like this in the past in London - I taught Spanish and a girl taught me Japanese. I guess it's because I had more experience with teaching English, but she ended up learning much more Spanish than I did Japanese... I didn't mind though, I learnt an awful lot from her about Japanese culture and I quite enjoyed teaching Spanish. This scenario is quite common - please don't feel bitter if you feel your intercambio leans heavily on one side.

The internet has changed things now - I only got onto myspace recently and found that an awful lot of my Madrid friends are using it in Spanish - you should be able to find people interested in intercambios this way. In the past I would have said to find some local publication and put an advert in there to find an exchange buddy, but I'm not sure that would be the best approach anymore.

It's always best to find people with whom you have a common interest besides the language anyway - otherwise you will literally have nothing to talk about and you'll get nowhere.

Just look on the net and find people in Spain who share your interests - amongst those there will be a percentage who would like to improve their language skills or who will be happy to be patient and encouraging when you try and improve yours. This actually works best if you have an interest shared with a minority of Spaniards. Someone will be so happy to get to explore this subject with ANYONE that their tolerance to your grammar and limited vocabulary will be high.

If you are famous or particularly glamorous there are fewer obstacles. When I've taken my husband to Spain (who has a decent grasp of the language) he occasionally gets marginalised once my friends get into the flow of conversation. Although they initially make an effort, their patience quickly evaporates and they revert to Spanish at their usual break-neck speed. If a band like Ladytron goes to Madrid it's a different story as they're massive fans - I end up shocked at how good their English is and they have no problems persisting with a language they insist they can't speak. One of the band members is thinking about moving to Madrid this summer to learn Spanish, I don't think she's going to have any problems at all picking up the language.
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