How penpals can change your life

How penpals can change your life

Penpals are one of the best way to learn a language, they make the learning process more fun, help you get used to thinking in the target language and can even become great friends. This article will tell you how and where to find the perfect penpal. 

Before we get started, let me tell you a story.
French PenpalIn 2010, my English sucked, it really did. “Hellow how are you?” was one of the most elaborate sentence I could pronounce. Since English lessons didn’t help much, I decided to try something else. I browsed the web and sent messages to people from all over the world.

The first conversations were frustrating, it would take me 5 minutes to say in English what I could have said in French in less than one minute. But I started to get closer to my penpals, and talking to them quickly became something I was looking forward to.

Some of them became awesome friends, we met, stayed at each other’s place and shared a lot. We still do. There is no way to express how much these experiences changed my life.


Where can I find a French penpal?

Plenty of sites on the internet can help you find a penpal. You usually just have to register, say what is your native languages and what language you are learning and you are ready.

Among all of these websites, interpals is my favorite. It makes it easy to find penpals from all over the world, and allows you to see each user’s profile. Like that you can quickly see which persons would make a good conversation partner for you.

When you register on a penpal website, make sure to give as many informations about you as possible. The more personal your profile is, the more like-minded people you will attract. These are precisely the kind of people who will give you the desire to learn French (or any language you are learning).


How to find the perfect penpal?

In theory, any person fluent in the language you are learning would do. But speaking in a language you learn isn’t easy, and it’s important to find someone who really motivates you. Ideally the perfect penpal would be someone who


  • Is fluent in the language you are learning. This is of course better, but not absolutely necessary either. One of my first penpal was Korean, and my fascination for the culture gave me the desire to speak English with her.


  • Is learning your language. That way you could both help each others,


  • seems interesting. Talking to someone in a language you are learning isn’t easy, so you need to find someone you will look forward to talking to. Of course that person is different for everyone and depends on your interests.


Here is the best advice I can give you : get past the language difficulties, do your best to get to know other cultures, be curious and you will never regret it.


 How did you find your penpals? Did they become good friends? 


Photo credit : flickr

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  • Jenny

    Yeah, penpals are great motivation for learning French! I’ve known people in France and Canada for a couple years now, and they’ve helped me improve a lot. :-D

    • Benjamin

      Yeah it’s much easier to learn when you actually have fun doing it ^^.

  • Antoine

    I just discover NekoPlaza ( a French website, many french people here are looking for english penpals !