Badoo Review: A Great Place To Learn A Foreign Language


The most important thing part of learning a language is using it. Communicating with people. Unfortunately, finding ways to use a new language is not always obvious to the one learning it, so today I introduce Badoo.

First, get over the preconceived notions

Yes, it's true, many people use Badoo and sites like it for dating. And you can too, if that's what you're into. But you will also find a lot of people there who just want to make some new friends, pen pals, etc.

But think about what dating really is: It's getting to know people. It's making conversation. In the end, you often find that most people are generally very nice, and easy to get along with, but very few are people in whom you would ever have a romantic interest anyway.

So why not just skip that difficult part, put all that "dating", and "love", and "romance" out of your mind completely? It's so much easier to talk to people when you're not trying to make them fall in love with you!

Of course, if you're the type of shallow, insecure person who needs validation from flirting with someone of the opposite sex, I'm sure you can find that too.

Use it for what it is

Ok, so once you clear your mind of all the complications and expectations, you can start to really use a site like Badoo to improve your learning. Just fill out a profile and say you're looking for friends, chat partners, pen pals, etc.

Then, start making conversations! You can find people in your city, or widen your search, by distance, eventually including your whole country. But you can also display people in other countries, which is sure to be more useful. And as a bonus, you can show only people who are currently online.

If you're still new with a langauge, you may find that you need to keep Google Translate open in another window. This is particularly true if you've been learning everything from books, rather than from talking to people.

One thing that's particularly nice about Badoo is that it can go at two speeds: slow, offline conversation that give you a chance to look things up as you need, and faster, real-time conversations when you're both online, for those whose command of the language is pretty good.

Having conversations with real people is invaluable. It's been said 1000 times, because it's true: what you learn in books and from lessons is not the way the language is actually used.

And the best part is, it's worldwide

I've only been playing with Badoo for about a week, but I've already used it to chat with people in Mexico, Russia, Italy, Venezuela, Argentina, Kazakhstan, Ukraine... as well as several local foreigners right here in Chicago.

I'm really only capable of real-time chat in English, Spanish, and Russian... though I can kinda keep up for a few minutes in Italian. But I've already had no problem finding people to chat with in those languages, and I'm sure there are plenty of other people in whichever language you speak.

You'll definitely learn a lot. Most likely, you'll have some casual chat friends who will come and go, and by going throught the act of meeting new people you'll become very comfortable with the language. But occasionally, you might also make a really good friend, someone you can talk to regularly, and maybe even visit one day.

Author: Yearlyglot
I'll lead you through a 12 month journey from knowing absolutely nothing about a language to having professional fluency.

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  • Nice tip! I never thought of using a personals site like Badoo for finding native speakers, but it makes a lot of sense.
    The site says it's for "single men and women", but looking at the profiles that show up on the front page, a lot of people say they're just looking for friends, so it looks like users have evolved beyond the intended purpose of the site.
    Still, in order to not break my rule about not being skeevy on websites like this, I think those of us who aren't single should probably make that extra clear.

  • I think the idea of trying to find romance overseas is pretty unrealistic anyhow, for reasons I assume are pretty obvious to anyone. Yes, a lot of people are on these sites just for the purpose of dating or romance, and those who are generally ignore my attempts to start a conversation. If I was looking for a date, that might hurt my pride, but since I make it clear that I just want to make a new friend from abroad and practice my language skills, I imagine those who ignore me are doing me a favor, rather than wasting my time.
    I've had a few conversations already with people who tell me all about their boyfriends or husbands or whatever, and I believe that since I'm asking about their significant other in a sincere way, they perceive me as a non-threat.
    I'm tempted to lie in my profile and say I'm married, just in hopes of that opening up even more opportunities for conversation! :)

  • It definitely sounds like Badoo's users are using it in ways not intended. It'd be nice if they gave us language learners a little love and made some stuff aimed at us (the ability to select your language and your ability in each language is a good start).

  • I agree. The hallmark of a great web business is the ability to recognize when the users are establishing a business model you didn't originally plan for. It would be nice if Badoo would take that hint! Though there do appear to be some language-based settings which you can enable by paying for a premium-style membership.
    I wonder, though, how much of this they actually control. Based on a lot of what I've seen on Badoo, I'm inclined to think it's some sort of dating site platform, rather than simply a dating site. Much of the tooling that makes it go is nearly identical to Знакомство, the Russian dating site that is partnered with, Rambler, and others.

  • Ciao! I had never heard of Badoo before. I usually use LiveMocha and have had really great success finding interesting and friendly folks to chat with. My experiences have all been positive and I have made several really great friends through this site!

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  • Thank you for introducing this site! I've already found a lot of interesting people to communicate and to improve my German with there :) Some people are really looking just for some strange things (like chatting with a cam and doing nonsense together) but there are also people that just need some association und understanding. I'm really glad I read your article! Thank you very much! :)

  • I agree... certainly, nothing is impossible. That's why I carefully chose my words: "trying to find romance overseas", is not the same as getting to know someone on a language site and then eventually meeting and falling in love. Легко искать - сложно найти. ))

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