Today’s blog post is not for those who like practising their German with online activities or games but for those who like the old fashioned pen and paper. Yes, we’re talking about pen friends, or Brieffreunde, as they are called in Germany.
The idea came when fellow German tutor Mark Bamforth asked me if I had ever written a blog post about finding German pen friends or did I know any sites where one of his student could find a pen friend?
I hadn’t but I have now ☺
First of all, a pen friend is der Brieffreund (literally letter friend) if it’s a man, die Brieffreundin if it’s a woman and die Brieffreunde, if you have several.
Secondly, to my surprise I actually found German websites for people who want to write letters instead of emails (or do both).
You need to register with Brieffreunde by filling in an online form (no costs involved) with your details and whether you are looking for an email or pen friend and how often you might like to write.
You can then search for pen friends, email friends from all over the world or join groups of people with similar interests.
EDIT 2020: Penpals.de (which I mentioned in my original post) has changed as is now Mailfriends. At the time of writing there aren’t many ads for German penpals, but it looks you might have more luck looking for German writers on the English site rather then the German site. It might change for the beter over time.
International Pen Friends (the above link takes you to their German site) has the most beautiful home page enticing you to write a letter. This screenshot will give you an idea but to really appreciate it, you need to go their site and watch this handwritten letter appear in front of your eyes.
This site is not for those who want to send emails, it is only for those who love putting pen to paper and write a letter, or to exchange stamps, books, souvenirs or other things. You’ll need to fill in a form to register and you would need to give at least 8 countries from which you’d like to receive letters. But you can stipulate that you want to write in German.
Unfortunately, this service is not free. Depending on how old you are, it will currently cost you between 16 and 24 Euro. For that you will receive a list of 10 suitable names and addresses – no email addresses, real addresses!
As an aside, they also offer a service for school classes.
I haven’t tried either of them (I like receiving letters but hate writing them), so can’t tell you how good they are. They all seem to look out for spam and anybody who writes anything inappropriate gets deleted/ banned, which makes them pretty safe to use.
What do you think?
Would you like to practise your German by writing real letters?
If you do and you find a German pen pal, please do come back and let me know!
And if you know of other ways to find a German writing pen pal, please also let us know.