It’s a well known fact that if you bring any three people together in a friendly atmosphere, with food (and drink), something cool will happen – language learning gets improved, new contacts are made and new opportunities created.
Smart new service TwoTwoEnglish was launched 2 months ago and already boasts over 1,500 members who are doing just that. It brings together all English speakers, foreigners and English speaking Japanese people in Tokyo (and around Japan) together through its online community site and through regular meet-up called English Table Talks.
The site allows you to sign up, create your profile and choose where and when you want to meet up with others. With the members it already has, there are plenty of options for all the regular meet-up spots in Tokyo and as more and more people join the community, the choices are only going to grow. Once you find a Table Talk that you want to join, you simply join and note the date, time and location. The site encourages people with all types of backgrounds to get together. Each table talk has only four seats (hence the name TwoTwo) but it gives everyone a good amount of talking time.
There is also, of course, the chance to make your own Table Talks and set the theme, topic and location of your choice to see who wants to drop by and join you. For example, if you have a business-focused session, you can set the topics around that, choose a suitable locale, and post it to the public timeline. Information shared with other members will include a few basics about yourself, but nothing too personal and there is no way for people to find out private things about you, so the set-up is also quite safe. Aside from that, people also register with their Facebook accounts and the social nature of the site ensures the focus is on positive meetings.
Your first Table Talk is free; others after that have a small charge that usually works out between 350 to 580 yen. That doesn’t include lunch or drinks, but their points scheme means you are still saving towards your next meet-up, so any real cost is negligible. All English speakers can join Table Talk. They don’t require native speaker to be present at every table talk.
There are many different ways to make friends and expand your network which can really power your time in Japan, but Table Talks is already one of the biggest English-speaking communities out there.
This is an amazingly cool new service for readers at Gaijinpot. Go join in (it’s free) and see where it leads you.
Check out TwoTwoEnglish at http://www.twotwoenglish.com