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How weird is it to want to talk to random foreigners in London? watch

    • Thread Starter

    I am an aspiring polyglot and like to practice my language skills with real people in real life.

    Sometimes I foray down to London on my own in the hope of hearing a couple of Iranians speak Farsi on the Tube (for example), at which point I would randomly speak to them, like ask them for the time, etc. in Farsi.

    That why, I can drum up a conversation, however inappropriate, as I try to perfect my language skills.

    Ideally, I want to have friends of all nationalities who I meet up with regularly, either in school or primarily in social life, and speak only in the mother tongue of the people I am with - never to speak in English.

    Although my intentions are innocent, do you think I am a bit weird and could be seen as a bit of a pest?

    I know people in London don't really like speaking to random people but it is probably fine. Tourists are much more likely to talk to you than commuters. Just don't harass them too much i.e. don't purposfully get off at the same stop as them.

    Also don't try and talk to women after dark or they will probably assume you are a rapist.

    I do it for the same reasons as you and that is why I do it ANYWAY. Don't worry about it always go for it just be sure not to come across as intrusive/ rude.

    I often start the conversation with something along the lines of "I'm learning x at school and it's nice to hear someone other than my teachers speak" Or if they are touristy types and they're discussing their plans/ what they see on the tube/ what they think of Londoners: I may interject with a suggestion of things to do/ see, or something light hearted about us Londoners.

    I think 2 things work in my favour when speaking to strangers. 1) I'm really tall and look older than my age so they do the whole. "Wow... I'm so intrigued" thing and ask me a million questions. 2) I'm Nigerian... Lol. Believe it or not many mediterranean europeans and Chinese find it incredible/ random that I would take an interest in speaking their language so well and learning about their culture.

    Find out what it is about you that they may take fondly to, and if you can, play it up when you approach them.

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