Finding Language Partners (in person)

Hello everyone.

I currently live in Japan, and I’ve struggled to find language partners for the last 2 years. I live in a big international city, but it’s still hard to find people who want to speak to me in Japanese.

To clarify, I’m talking about someone who will talk with me for more than a month in person. I find that most people tend to be less enthusiastic to meet after the first meeting. After a few weeks, I’m usually the one pushing the friendship boulder up the steep hill.

I should also mention that I’m Asian American and a woman, which may work against me because most English-learners in Japan seem to be women looking for foreign boyfriends. International meet-ups tend to be rife with people like that.

I do join hobbies, but I find that the people there tend to only talk to me during the activity, and make little effort to meet me outside of it.

I’ve used HelloTalk and have a few message partners, but I’d really like to be able to sit down with someone and talk face-to-face. I don’t mind messaging, but in-person conversations are much more comfortable for me.

Any advice? Or community recommendations?

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Anyone on HelloTalk you’d feel comfortable meeting in person?

Have you tried My friend who has been living in Japan for several years introduced it to me. Since then I’ve been able to meet lots of people, both local Japanese and foreigners, with the purpose of language study/exchange…and coincidentally, a local randomly messaged me yesterday wanting to practice English. I’m also an Asian-American woman and I had my picture on my profile, so I doubt they were trying to look for a foreign girlfriend lol

One thing I’ve noticed is that due to the work culture, people are less likely to lend their free time to meet with people they don’t know as well on a regular basis because it is a lot of work. This is especially true if they lose interest in wanting to study English, then it doesn’t feel like making a new friend, but committing to relationship which has no apparent benefit to them.

I’ve been very successful with settling with online voice chat in the evening with an initial no pressure feel to continue. Hopefully if you continue to try you will eventually find someone who is serious about meeting a foreigner friend and is willing to take the time get to know them.

I have a friend who’s been living in Japan for nearly eight years, for more than half that time he had been pretty unsuccessful at meeting good friends, but when he did, it’s been really rewarding for him. I say keep at it and you’ll eventually find someone who will open up.

I’ve met a few creepers on there, but there’s this nice girl that lives in my city and I have plans to meet her this weekend.

She’s friendly, so we’ll see how this goes.

I haven’t met any creepers…
am I the creeper???

Although I did have one lady contact me asking about dating advice. I just answered 2 questions, told her I was here for language exchange, and we’ve had nice chats since then. :smile:

I wish you luck with that! <3

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