Hunters and anglers, two types of language exchange seekers, which one are you?

I have been observing you, I mean the members of Babelvillage, for more than two months now and I see two type of members. I called them a hunter and an angler.

A hunter is active. An angler, quite the opposite, is passive.

A hunter starts sending language exchange invitations just after signing up. An angler never send language exchange invitations. She or he waits and only responds to invitations sent by… hunters.

Which one of these two strategies is better? Which one is more effective? Which one bears fruit faster, meaning, gives you a chance to practice your target language?

According to my experience, the first one wins. Being a hunter gives you advantage.

When I started my adventure with language exchange phenomenon, it was a couple of years ago, I thought that being an angler is enough. I did not use then the name “angler” but I behaved exactly as these of Babelvillage members who I call “anglers” today.

I signed up to several language exchange websites, created modest Member profiles and waited. Regrettably without the results. There were no language exchange invitations in my Inbox.

I was disappointed and got cross with the language exchange idea for some time.

After several months I got back on track with different approach. I decided to be a hunter. As above, I did not use at that time the name “hunter”.

Instead of waiting I decided to take action. I decided to be the one who sends the invitations and initiates my language exchange partnerships.

With the new strategy I became a real language exchange practitioner. It did not happen during one night of course. It took some time and some efforts, but there was a time period, a couple of months, when I had three to six regular language exchange meetings a week, every week. I had five to six regular language exchange partners at the same time. With two of them I was doing regular weekly language exchange for more than eight months.

I am absolutely sure that if I stayed in the “angler” mode, all that would not be possible.

So this is my advice for the anglers. It is simple and unequivocal. Do not be an angler, become a hunter. I am sorry, there is nothing more to say. :)

Being active increases your chances to find a valuable language partner tremendously. So be active!

In one of the following posts I will give you some tips how to be a successful language hunter. So stay tuned.

But now share with me and other members what do you think. Use the form below to leave a comment. Thank you.


It seems as though your members are mainly anglers and not hunters. I wrote messages to four before when I joined a week ago and have had no replies. I also use Conversation Exchange and the people there are more responsive.

Submitted by Joda on Sunday, May 11, 2014 - 11:21  |   | 

Hi Joda, firstly, the members are not "mine" :) Secondly, this is my goal, make them hunters. However, the job is not done yet. I'm working on it. Thank you for your comment.

Submitted by greg on Thursday, May 29, 2014 - 12:19  |   | 

Hunter or angler, they will fight as soon as they are in stage. I suggest to run a live chat in this site to see online users and accelerate first contacts. Messaging is slow and quiet uncommunicative... Thank you for BabelVillage :)

Submitted by caligari on Wednesday, July 9, 2014 - 07:03  |   | 

Hi Rafa. Thank you for your feedback. I appreciate the involvement, this is exactly what I expect from you. Good ideas can born in one's mind but better ideas born only in discussion.

I'm not completely against a live chat, but I have to say that I'm not a big fan of it. It works only when there is a noticeable amount of on-line users on a site. Nowadays Babelvillage is not the case yet ;) Secondly, I'm a big supporter of a philosophy, when a language exchange seeker can carefully choose and invite his/her potential partners rather than starts occasional and ad hoc talks with people who are on-line at the moment. I am aware that the current way of sending and accepting invitations is slow and not efficient. That is exactly what Babelvillage wants to change. I'm working on a series of features, which I believe, make the process more efficient.

Submitted by greg on Wednesday, July 9, 2014 - 13:41  |   |