Jaered from Lang-8 sent me an email a few days ago, asking me to check out the Lang-8 site, and perhaps blog about it. So, what is Lang-8? It’s a bit like many other language exchange sites – you sign up, you can search profiles, etc. – but with one major difference. The main pull behind Lang-8 is that you can post directly to the site and receive corrections from native speakers of your target language. When you click on a journal entry, each sentence is linked, so that you can click on it and correct it, using buttons for red and blue text, as well as bold and crossout.
It seems like a pretty good idea to me, being able to post and get corrections from any native speaker who comes along. I love language exchanges, and I’ve made many good friends via them; but being able to just post something and get corrections without going through the ordeal of finding a partner, doing the introductions, figuring out how we’re going to correct, etc… that’s quite nice.
The site seems to be dominated by those who are learning East Asian languages (particularly Japanese), but there are European speakers floating around in the mass. I think the correction interface is a little clunky and could use some work, but it’s still usable; the site as a whole could use some decluttering, as it seems awfully busy. Overall, though, I’m quite fond of the overall idea. Do check it out.