My Language Exchange: Ancient Site But Still Great (Review)

  • Donovan Nagel
    Written byDonovan Nagel
  • Read time1 mins
  • Comments1 has been around forever and appears to have barely changed, but it still provides great value.
Try My Language Exchange
My Language Exchange

My Language Exchange
My Language Exchange
Pricing: Free + Premium plan at $6 per month
  • Excellent way to meet other language learners and penpals
  • Millions of native speakers to connect with
  • Chat companion with lesson plans
  • Costs almost nothing for premium
  • Ancient website

Summary is over two decades old and has barely changed in that time, yet surprisingly still offers great value for finding other language learners to connect or 'penpal' with. It may also be the only language exchange site that facilitates the meeting and the actual structure of the conversation via pre-made lesson plans.

Depth: This is 'content' richness. How comprehensive is My Language Exchange and does it take you far in terms of levels, or is it more suited to low level/tourist learners?
Uniqueness: Is My Language Exchange innovative or is it just an imitation? Does it have a unique selling proposition (USP) that makes it stand out among competitors?
Quality: Overall product quality indicator that covers everything from video/dialogue clarity, authenticity, explanations, and effectiveness.
Cost: Is My Language Exchange acceptably priced and how does its pricing compare to market competition? was the very first language learning website I ever used, all the way back in high school two decades ago. 😊

After all this time, the website is going strong with an active community of over 3 million users - it’s grown a lot since then yet oddly still hung on to its primitive platform/design.

True story: One of the very first language exchange ‘penpals’ I met on the My Language Exchange website was a Russian guy from Stavropol (I had a brief fascination with Russian long before I took it up seriously many years later). We kept in touch for a long time by written letter (I still have his handwritten letters and photos he sent me).

As my regular readers know, I ended up moving to Russia in my early thirties where I became fluent in Russian, and finally had the chance to go stay with him in Moscow.

One of the best experiences I’ve ever had and I credit My Language Exchange for making it happen. 😊

The general concept of the site is quite simple: you create a profile with your language preferences, you browse the list of native speakers, and you connect by email.

In that regard, it’s not much different to italki (read review).

Where it does differ is that My Language Exchange provides structure to your online chatting through what they call a Chat Companion and a preferred methodology referred to as the Cormier method (devised by CELM). Online chat sessions are done in small groups and timed carefully.

Of course, none of this is actually necessary and you can use the platform simply to meet the right native speakers.

One thing that’s great about this site is that because it’s mostly free, it attracts native speakers from obscure parts of the world who may speak a minority language that you can’t find anywhere else.

The premium pricing enables you to initiate contact (that’s the primary benefit), otherwise you’re restricted to receiving messages only.

Overall, is still a really handy site for making friends and participating in group language exchanges.

My Language Exchange
Pricing: Free + Premium plan at $6 per month
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Donovan Nagel
Donovan Nagel - B. Th, MA AppLing
I'm an Applied Linguistics graduate, teacher and translator with a passion for language learning (especially Arabic).
Currently learning: Greek


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Capn Jimbo

Capn Jimbo

This was a wonderful suggestion, thank you. Based on your article I joined the free version. This is a wonderful resource with many other learning articles and opportunities. But for me I joined specifically to find a Spanish/English exchange with just one regular partner.

The website is very much like a Craiglist for language exchange. I posted my details and exact needs, and can search the other profiles and listings for other people who are currently looking. I am moving to Mexico City, so my listing and profile states my interest for an exchange from that city. I love the fact that I can list my interests in my profile, and check the profile of others to find a partner that has similar interests - in my case food, sports, and music - as I believe that finding someone with similar interests will be of great value.

Thanks again for your site - truly a wonderful and comprehensive resource . Your efforts are much appreciateed.

"The limits of my language mean the limits of my world."
- Ludwig Wittgenstein
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