This article was developed within the program Venture an Idea funded by the USAID.
Photo: Language Café Belgrade Facebook

Let's just come out in the open - we're all, at some point, in the near or distant past, guilty of bugging someone who'd preferred not to be bugged at that particular moment.

Maybe it was a distant relative at a family reunion; perhaps a cashier abroad who really couldn't care less about the five foreign phrases you so clumsily picked up, or maybe it was just a random stranger in a bookstore who just happened to be there while you're having a mental breakdown.

In short, the bug gets the better of us every once in a while, and there's nothing we can do but vent it. Luckily though, there's a quick, one-stop, two-word solution to all our bugging needs: language cafés.

Not only do these cafés make buggin' other people socially acceptable, but almost mandatory. People actually go there to bug and be bugged under some (that phrase again) socially acceptable pretext. Here's just the top three you can use.

Make New Friends

That's the oldest and most common trick of all. You're going to language cafés not to feed the bug but to parley with people, exchange ideas, and get to know them or their cultures better.

The way it works is to join any table you want and start – talking. Be careful, though; if you bug some of them enough, you won't be the first to actually make a new friend.

Improve Language Proficiency

That's the second most common one. In fact, that's why these cafés came into existence in the first place. The idea was to get people together, have them talk freely in different languages of the world, and help each other out. It worked well for a time, but then the bug took over.

Help Someone Improve Their LP

The reverse is also true. In theory, you could join a table dominated by your native language in order to help (read bug) someone trying to learn it. Noble at first glance, but we all know the gnawing truth behind the pretext.

Language Cafés Recommendations

We hear you, but are you going to recommend any language cafés or bug us some more?

Yes and no.

There's one over at KC Grad every Tuesday, there's the Language Exchange Belgrade Café at KC Dorćol on Wednesdays, and Božidarac has its own thematic LC event once every month.

But it's up to you to visit them and decide for yourself.

Happy bugging!


This article is made possible by the support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents of this program are the responsibility of Nova Iskra and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government

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