BY: JESSICA BEUKER
With more than 7,000 different languages spoken worldwide, the human population is extremely fragmented. Communication is essential to not only understanding one another, but also to minimize conflict and maximize empathy and kindness among the global population.
With the Internet at many people’s fingertips, learning a foreign language is as accessible as ever. However, being able to successfully use that language as a communication tool is easier said than done. It takes a lot of practice to become fluent in another language, and the best way to practice a language is with people who actually speak it every single day.
Enter TalkTalkBnb – a non-profit based in France that connects aspiring language learners with travellers around the globe. The free online community launched in March 2016 and offers hosts – who wish to expand their knowledge of different languages – the chance to connect with travellers from all around the world who speak a variety of different languages.
According to the website, the host will offer room and board in exchange for learning the traveller’s mother tongue. The program is therefore incredibly beneficial on both sides, as hosts get to learn and practice a foreign language from the comfort of their own home with someone who understands the language inside and out. In return, travellers get free accommodation, homemade meals, and connection with locals who can offer firsthand advice on the best things to do and see.
Since launching, the site has over 6,000 people across more than 50 countries – a number that keeps growing exponentially. The project’s overall goal is to promote meaningful travel and cultural exchange, which according to the website is necessary to ease tension and misunderstanding between humans.