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Yesterday I did my first face-to-face language exchange, swapping English for Mandarin. My partner was fun but my Mandarin was brutal. If you have ever heard a recording of your own voice & hated it, that's how it felt.
I found an exchange partner on italki. I would recommend it if you don't have anyone to practice with as there are a ton of Mandarin speakers looking to exchange. With skype etc, should be easy enough.
Although it brings up a new problem that I've had with language swaps - how to practice when you're not capable of saying much. Luckily one of the books I had with me had some dialogues in it with chinese & english.
Next time, I want to try and start using some chinesepod dialogues. If you're a subscriber, you can download pdfs that look like below. They are usually much better than traditional books because they use real, everyday chinese and not the formal language nonsense that most books have. I'll let you know how it goes.
Does anyone else have tips for making language exchanges more productive? Especially in the beginning?
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