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I see a lot of people recommending doing language exchanges for practicing their foreign language conversational skills… But why? You lose half of the practice time you normally would have and the conversations are often contrived and uninteresting.

It’s much better to just go hang out with native speakers online and pretend to be one of them. This goes for both intermediate and advanced learners. Think up a native sounding name and location to be from and just try your best to blend in and be one of them.

In my experience, if you use a foreign sounding name or say where you’re really from, the conversation immediately becomes unnatural. They start asking you the same boring questions about why you’re learning the language and such. It’s much more interesting to talk about subjects you enjoy and joining those discussions as seamlessly as possible.

The more people in the chat, the better. This takes a ton of pressure off of you and really allows you to absorb what’s going on around you while also letting you chime in when you have the words and something interesting to contribute.


Lately, I’ve decided to increase my knowledge of polish by going on a vocabulary binge. Since, my vocabulary is currently so small in the Polish language, I really have a hard time parsing my way through random sentences and posts on twitter.

To do this, I’m going to try relying heavily on mneumonics at first to get the words initially stuck in my head. Then perhaps review in an SRS or by a different method. I haven’t decided yet.

I just started writing in my notebook Polish words with their meanings beside them. Under that, I try to make up some sort of mneumonic that will help me remember the word.

For instance, “zmora” means nightmare in Polish. So I wrote beside it “I had a nightmare about a vicious Moray eel.” With “Mor” of “Moray” underlined to stress the point of the sentence.

I think it’s also important to review your mnemonics themselves so the stories stick better and you form stronger memory connections.

For a test run I’m going to try a test run of 100 words and see how it goes.

Lately, I’ve been realizing more and more that twitter is one of the best language learning tools. I always have twitter open and check it compulsively every 5 seconds anyway so I might as well have multiple languages being streamed automatically to me anyway to increase exposure.

Right now I’ve focusing on Japanese and Polish so I’ve been subscribing to more and more people who speak these languages just so I can have more content to read constantly. If they turn out to be one of those people who just spams their twitter feed every 2 minutes with uninteresting content, it’s simple enough to just unfollow.

After a while of doing this, you’ll develop interesting and funny language content streams that are constantly delivered for free in front of your eyes throughout the day.

Twitter @loafyi

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