If you are looking for a language exchange click here
Si estas buscando un intercambio de idiomas haz click aqui
Case studiesMy thesis titled "Intercambio Espaņa: design, interface and search engine theory behind a database driven website" contains a large section containing advantages and weaknesses of several international websites that offer language exchange service.
My language exchangeMy language exchange is comparable to Intercambio Espaņa. People can register online specifying where they live, what they want to learn and search for a suitable language exchange partner. It offers this service for many different countries and in about 115 different languages. Technically it's very good and the system provides some nice advantages. The thing however is the following: While registration is free, My language Exchange does not provide users with the possibility to actually contact others. At least not for free. If you want to contact others you have to pay for a "Gold Membership" which is 6 !! US Dollars a month. Moreover the amount of Spanish speakers to English speakers in Spain for example is: about a hundred to one. Chances are, not many people actually have a Gold Membership so the amount of people who actually get in contact is probably patheticly low.
In comparison: in the last 30 days: 939 people have used the Intercambio Espaņa system to send a message to someone interested in a language exchange.
To summarize: My Language Exchange seems a really good service but asks a rediculous amount of money for providing an automated service.
In Madrid is a great magazine which is released in Madrid and contains a large classifieds section which is also included on their site.
The problem with the intercambio page is that the page is made once a month. If you arrive on the sixth of September and would like an intercambio, you're going to have to wait till the next list is made on the last day of the month. Moreover because this page is static so you can't remove your ad yourself. It doesn't provide a search engine so you'll have to read and determine for yourself if classifieds are interesting for you, so if there's 20 Chinese - Swedish exchanges you'll end up reading these aswell. The worst thing however is that it actually shows your email adres to not only 60000 readers, but also to the rest of the internet. A lot of spammers use programs that visit classified pages to collect valid email adresses. So if you post an ad for an intercambio every language school in the neighbourhood can send you unsollicited email.
To compare, Intercambio Espaņa does not show your email adres and you can manage your own profile, so if you get 15 invitations a day for an intercambio you can remove yourself from the system before your emailbox explodes.
Spain Exchange has quite a nice search engine (allthough it has SO many possible languages that it took me 2 minutes to actually find Spanish. The problem with this site is that doesn't have very many users (7 Spaniards in Madrid??) and that it also shows email adresses directly, helping Viagra and Mortgage sellers to fill your email box with crap.
This page has quite a few members but the list isn't searchable. Barcelona Connect seems like a very active community so you'r probably likely to find an intercambio very easily. Pity it's just for Barcelona and that.... it show's everyones email adres on the page.
Loquo Madrid is a pretty large site that specializes in various classifieds. It gets a small constant stream of intercambio ads everyday but it's difficult to find out which one's are actually interesting for me. If the page says: INTERCAMBIO ESPAŅOL-INGLES is that a Spaniard looking for an English speakers or vice versa. And like so many others it is a big spam magnet. I posted an add about a year ago(using a special email adres) and still regret it when I open my mailbox. The funny thing is that I actually proposed to cooperate with them and combine the Intercambio Espaņa search facilities whith their marketing budget and Spanish traffic but they did not like the idea. Today Intercambio Espaņa is larger than the Loquo intercambio section.
Lingolex / Expatriates
Lingolex is a simple site which attracts a lot of south american visitors, not many in Spain though and once again, it does not protect email adresses very well. Expatriates has the same concept as Lingolex
Although this may not sound very objective, I think it is. Intercambio Espaņa is much easier to use than other sites. Your email adres is protected, it's easy and has a lot of members.
If you disagree or have any suggestions to make this site better. Please let me know.