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I am a beginner in Chinese language. I have taken the Chinese - level 1 course on edX [MandarinX]. I did learn the basics which I could use when I travel and go to a restaurant while I am there as a part of the course. I did score 94% in my final exam but I lack the people who speak in Chinese so that I can practice. I have Chinese friends but they want to learn English and I teach them, but they never speak in Chinese when I tell them I want to learn. It's kind of discouraging. Is there a place, a website or a good application where I could find Chinese speaking people to learn, practice and grow.

  • How about to make a contract with your friend, such as speak English on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and speak Chinese on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and free on Sunday? And try to speak Chinese as far as possible, regardless of which language they speak to you. – songyuanyao Nov 11 '15 at 3:00
  • Maybe I think I will do that. Thanks a lot for the suggestion :) @songyuanyao – ShellZero Nov 11 '15 at 15:31
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Depending on how easy it is for you to get in touch with native speakers IRL, I suggest the following:

1) natives everywhere:

download Wechat 微信 and use the "People near me" function (附近的人), it will show people in a 5-10km radius near you that are online right now. Given that Chinese people do tend to use Wechat more often than non-Chinese, your chances to meet people will increase. You could start chatting people up randomly or based on mutual interests, and even hang out together.

However, don't expect natives to be willing to speak in Chinese to you ALL the time. Keep in mind that people speak their native language naturally, which means they will quickly become frustrated if they have to put too much effort in communicating with you. The worse is your Chinese, the sooner they'll feel like switching to a language they can have an actual conversation with you with. In order to mitigate this outcome, you either improve your level BEFOREHAND or you specifically look for someone interested in language exchange.

2) I just have an internet connection:

speaking about language exchange, that's exactly what you want to go for if there are no natives able to physically go out with you. I can recommend LingQ, lang-8, HelloTalk (app) or the excellent italki where you can connect with real people that will correct your sentences and answer your questions (provided you do the same for them).

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你可以加入一个中文的SNS,尝试交些新朋友。例如:微博(like twitter)。

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I would recommend Sharedtalk and Hellotalk for finding online language learners who are interested in language exchange.

Once you have gained a good base of written communication you could try social media such as 微博 or friend/activity finding apps like 陌陌.

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