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Thread: Making New Friends During a Pandemic

  1. #1
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    Making New Friends During a Pandemic

    The pandemic hit soon after I retired. I spent the first few months doing a lot of phone calls and zooms with my other retired friends, and that was nice, but most of these friendships involved doing things together and it seems like we sometimes ran out of things to talk about with the lockdown preventing all those fun outings.

    Then I discovered the friendship-building benefits of studying a new language. I signed up for some online courses and that created a lot of opportunity for interaction with nice people.

    Through those courses I've meet a few folks who are happy to also zoom one-on-one for more language conversation practice. And I've made some good new friends that way. And we always have plenty to talk about, because if you're learning a new language, suddenly "small talk" becomes absolutely fascinating!

    I offer this as an idea that might help someone else who wants to develop a little more human interaction in their life while we're all still locked down.

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Wow! I love that! It kills two birds with one stone--intellectual challenge and socialization! Which language platforms are you using? And which language?
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  3. #3
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    Wow! I love that! It kills two birds with one stone--intellectual challenge and socialization! Which language platforms are you using? And which language?
    I think that is very smart on your part. I would like to know more as well please.
    As Cicero said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.”

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    Very clever!!! So glad it is working for you.
    To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer." Mahatma Gandhi
    Be nice whenever possible. It's always possible. HH Dalai Lama
    In a world where you can be anything - be kind. Unknown

  5. #5
    Member ewomack's Avatar
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    I use some online language-learning tools but I haven't yet experienced this. Perhaps I'm using the wrong tools? Like the others above, I would also like to know more. It was hard enough making new friends before the pandemic.

    I'm guessing that the courses are more live, remote online courses, such as signing up for a live online French class through a local French society, rather than using a tool such as Duolingo or Memrise. These tools have almost no social dimension to them, but they do help.

  6. #6
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    Sorry to be so tardy in replying.

    Yes, I really recommend live, human lessons -- online, via Zoom. Google <Alliance Française> -- you will find chapters in many states. They all offer French instruction with live instructors. You don't have to live in the same state to sign up for a course at one of these places. That's just for French language, of course. For any language, you can google <Instruction> + <Language> -- you may find small privately-offered classes, and again, you don't have to live near them in order to attend on Zoom. The entire country is your online learning playground!

    You can also check out your local community colleges -- the tuition can be quite reasonable.

    Lastly, you might also be able to find online Meetup groups for foreign language conversation.

    I'm sorry to have to recommend something that costs money -- but once you develop some skills and meet some other students you can set up your own one-on-one practice sessions for free. And in my opinion, the health and sanity benefits of having a robust life of social contact is significant.

    I hope this is helpful.

  7. #7
    Member ewomack's Avatar
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    I have been a member of my local Alliance Française for years now, but I've not yet taken a class from them - they aren't always cheap. But maybe I need to take the plunge finally.

    I also wonder how community education has fared during the pandemic - they also offered language classes. Perhaps I need to check that out.

    Thank you!

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