Is anyone interested in learning Chinese

Choosing a Chinese language partner is another wonderful way to improve your language skills. You can of course learn the language very well with the help of Mandarin text books and apps. But to be honest, if you want to speak Chinese fluently, you need consistently Chinese speakers around you. In this guide I am giving you the best tips on how to find a Chinese partner. I will also give you advice on how to find the right language partner for you and how to maximize your time together.



First, let's discuss how to find a language partner:

  • In China
  • Outside of China
  • On-line


Find a Chinese Language Partner in China:

  1. At universities: When in China it shouldn't be too difficult to find a language partner. It still takes some skill, however, because not everyone in China will be interested in learning English with you. But there is a place in every city where you can find a lot of people who are interested in foreign languages. Find a university or college near you. Most Chinese universities allow you to enter their campus. There you should get the English language section search. This should help you find young Chinese who are interested in a language exchange with you.
  2. In language schools: If you are interested in enrolling in a language school in China, we can recommend a Chinese language school with its own language partner program. The language school offers its services to both foreigners learning Chinese and Chinese learning English. As soon as you are registered, you will have the opportunity to work with a Chinese-speaking partner.
  3. At an "English get-together": Attending an English round table at a university is also a great way to quickly meet a lot of people who are interested in foreign languages. Even if you don't have a university near you, you can ask around to see if people might meet in houses or cafes to exchange languages.


Find a Chinese language partner outside of China:

  1. At universities: Universities are also the best place to meet Chinese outside of China. Almost every university in the west has a diverse mix of international students, with Chinese being the most common. Visit a university's international student office and inquire about conversation clubs or international meet and greet activities. You will definitely meet someone who is Chinese. Chinese people who are new to the west and enroll in universities often have a hard time making friends. Their upbringing is usually very different from that of their Western peers, and many of their classmates do not care about them. If you want to make friends with Chinese international students and learn more about their culture, they will likely be happy to meet you!
  2. In the Chinese restaurant: A restaurant is not the ideal place to make Chinese friends. However, it might be your best choice if you don't live near a university. Many small Chinese restaurants are owned by Chinese. While they may not be interested in hanging out with you themselves, they may know someone who is.


Find a Chinese language partner online:

Hello Talk: This free app is all you need to meet a Chinese language partner online. When registering, select your mother tongue and the language you would like to learn. You will immediately see those Chinese users who want to learn your language. Any of these users can then send you a message. You will probably soon have more people to talk to than you would like! You can use the messaging interface in Hello Talk to make calls, video calls, text and voice messages. You can also use it to correct text messages from your Chinese language partners so that they can see the correct way in which they can compose their message in a foreign language. You can also use Hello Talk to search for users from a specific region. Maybe you can find someone close to you!


Choosing the right Chinese language partner


Here are some features to keep in mind in order to find a great language partner:
  • Someone with passion: Ideally, you don't need to persuade anyone to become your Chinese language partner - he or she will be as eager as you are. You shouldn't work with someone who is half-hearted about language learning. Such a person might keep saying that they are too busy, too tired, or simply “forgot” to meet you. A really passionate Chinese language partner will consistently conduct the language exchange with you.
  • Someone with the right language level: If you are a beginner, you shouldn't team up with a beginner in any other language. Neither of you will have sufficient lexical resources to communicate. You need someone with better language skills to have a conversation.
    • If you have intermediate or advanced knowledge, the best thing to do is to find someone who is close to your level of proficiency. This way you can split your conversations 50/50 and avoid one language dominating the conversation.
  • Someone who likes to try new things:Over time, language partners easily tire of meeting in the same place and talking about the same things. However, when you find someone who enjoys trying new things and exploring new places, it becomes easier to build a natural friendship. Make an effort to keep your language exchange alive!

7 conversation tips


Once you've found someone who is a match for you, keep these 7 tips in mind to maximize the potential of the exchange.
  • Be respectful: In the West, we usually find it easy to make fun of our country, our culture, or even political leaders. This is not so common in China. Even among the younger generation in China, it is normal for people to be very proud of their country, culture and leaders. If there is any aspect of China that worries you to talk about, do so with respect. Otherwise, your partner may take your jokes or criticism very personally.
  • Go Deep:Don't just talk about the weather! Discussing topics like cultural differences can be interesting, but it can also become redundant. One of the best ways to keep interest in your conversations is to share details of your personal life with your partner. This makes the person you are speaking to feel that he or she can open up to you about his / her own life and you will soon have a lot more to discuss. In this way, you can talk to your language partner as if you were a close friend.
  • Bring your text book: It is best to prepare vocabulary sets and grammar points that you would like to discuss with your Chinese language partner. Instead of relying on your partner to introduce you to new aspects of the language, you can use the time to clarify questions about the grammar points and the new words you are learning.
  • Keep it natural:You can meet at the same time and place for your first few meetings. However, if this continues, it can be easy for both of you to lose interest in the exchange. Ask your language partner to do what you enjoy doing too: going to parties or sporting events, traveling, etc. Some of the most widely spoken languages ​​can be learned through interaction in a more natural setting.
  • A tandem partner is not a professional teacher: Your language partner is most likely not a professional language teacher. He just grew up with Chinese and so may not know all the rules of the language by heart. If you ask him or her why he / she uses one or the other grammar structure, you should answer “I don't know, let's just say it! “Calculate. If you have reasonable expectations accordingly, unnecessary frustration can be avoided.
  • Ask your Chinese language partner to correct you: Chinese are often very polite, especially when it comes to a foreigner's ability to speak Mandarin. They can be very reluctant to correct what you say for fear of offending you. Remind your language partner to correct your mistakes, you need this!
  • Feel free to laugh at yourself: You'll make speech defects ... a lot. Learn to laugh when you say something wrong. This can keep you from getting frustrated or from taking it personally if your Chinese language partner keeps correcting you.
Here is the last question I will discuss in this guide, as many people who are single and want to learn a foreign language often do:


Should I find a romantic partner who will be my Chinese language partner?

Obviously, one of the fastest ways to learn a language is to fall in love with a native speaker of that language. This is the ultimate way to use the language throughout the day as you interact with your partner a lot. However, we strongly recommend not to use this as a factor in choosing a romantic partner. When choosing a life partner, you should focus on that person's personal characteristics, as well as the compatibility of your future. It's easy to get dazzled by your passion for Chinese and not think clearly about the person you are falling in love with.


Cultural differences

This is particularly important to take into account as Chinese culture can be very different from the West. One example concerns money. In China, children are usually expected to provide financial support for their parents and grandparents as they get older. In many cases, they can choose to live together or close by. This can be problematic if you ever want to return to your home country to live there. When you marry a Chinese person, it is often said that you will not marry just one person. You are marrying a whole family. And since the wishes of Chinese parents can sometimes precede the wishes of a spouse, there is a risk of serious conflict. This is especially true for western Chinese couples.


Practical hurdles

It is also important to consider how compatible your future can be with a Chinese citizen: it can be difficult for Chinese citizens to get a tourist visa for western countries. If the Chinese are known to be visiting a romantic partner in these countries, they are usually not given a tourist visa for fear of illegal immigration. Applying for an entry visa can be lengthy, expensive and stressful. It usually takes a year or more to process an entry visa.
China also does not allow dual citizenship. This means that when visiting China and your home country, a processing visa is always required for both. Perhaps you can find a wonderful Chinese life partner who suits you well. If so, this can help your Chinese language skills a lot too! However, if you choose a partner primarily to improve your Chinese, you may quickly run into a multitude of obstacles that you did not expect.



Finding a Chinese language partner is not difficult, especially if you speak English well or any other major world language. All you need to know is who to look for and where to find such a person. And how you can organize your language exchange well. Needless to say, this is how you can find great friendship too. Good luck on your way to learning Chinese! The author of this post is Lance Devore. Lance started his adventure in 2012,to learn Chinese in China. Since 2018 he has been married to a Chinese woman from Guangxi, where he now also lives.

The following articles offer you further helpful tips on how to improve your knowledge of a foreign language with a tandem partner:


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