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If you are one of the increasing number of people who have decided to make Edinburgh their home but are still looking to capture glimpses of other cultures and languages, then there are few options out there for you. Unfortunately for language lovers, there aren’t too many language exchanges happening in Edinburgh. You can definitely find opportunities to practice your English, but if it’s any other language you are looking for, you might be in trouble.

Unless those languages are French or Spanish.

What?

If you have been learning either French or Spanish and are looking to get some conversation practice or simply participate in a cultural exchange, there are two Meetup groups who organise events just for you.

Edimbourg Francais connects the local francophiles and organises frequent events where you’re free to practice your French skills.

>Edinburgh Spanish/English Language Exchange offers you the option to brush up on your Spanish skills or simply help someone learn your native language.

Both of these groups are fairly active, with several upcoming events always on schedule. Although not as populous as the International English group, they can still help you get conversation practice in either French or Spanish.

Where?

Edimbourg Francais organises a wide variety of events which take place in different locations across town. The only regular event is the French/English Exchange that takes place every Monday. In order to take part in any of the events, or even find out more info about what will be happening in the future, you are required to join the group which you can do on their Meetup page.

The Spanish/English Language Exchange group is less strict about their joining policy and you can freely attend their events. Naturally, the organisers would prefer if you also became a member and RSVP-d to the events you’re planning to take part in. The Spanish – English exchange events take place every week at the Southsider Pub. The exact address is 3 – 7 West Richmond Street.

When?

To practice your French, simply join the Meetup group, take a look at the different events they offer, and pick which ones you like to attend. There are several happening each week. Once you’ve successfully been accepted to the group, you can find their upcoming events calendar on the group’s page.

If Spanish is more in your interest, you can practice that every Wednesday, starting at 8 pm. You can simply show up to take part in the events but it is recommended that you RSVP to let the organisers know that you are coming.

You can find the most up to date info from the group’s calendar.

Why?

Seeing the sad state of available language exchanges in Edinburgh, these are the best options you are going to find for group practice. The French group is sponsored by a language school and the events organised by a professional French teacher, so you might get some high-quality tips on how to improve your French. Despite their restrictive policy, it would still pay to join the free events organised.

As for the Spanish practice, the events are usually attended by around five people which is perfect if you are a bit apprehensive about your language skills and are not looking for a big crowd.

Photo credit: Edinburgh Spanish/English Language Exchange photo album.


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