TorontoBabel Logo. Image Credit: TorontoBabel.

TorontoBabel is a night of international language exchange that brings together native and non-native speakers of different languages from various countries from around the world.

This is a relaxed atmosphere where you can practice speaking a new language or teach others how to speak in your native language. It is free to attend and the group meets every Tuesday on the second floor of the Rivoli (334 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON). The event starts at 7:30pm and runs until around midnight.

The most popular language spoken at the meet-up is English, but participants tend to be diverse with speakers fluent in Spanish, French, English, Portugese, Korean, German, Japanese, Mandarin, Russia, Italian, Armenian, Arabic, Hebrew, Dutch, Cantonese, Hindi and Turkish.

Started by Beth MacLeod, a University of Toronto PhD candidate in linguistics, the meet-up typically attracts over 100 people each week. Introduce yourself to her, as she will be wearing a nametag, and she will introduce you to others who speak the language you are seeking.

The event is rather informal because as everyone can tell you, learning a language in a classroom is nothing like trying to converse with someone in real life. This provides people a chance to socialize, whether they are visitors, newcomers or locals. While there are a core group of “regulars,” there are many who have just moved here to live, travel or just pass the time with like-minded people.

Many newcomers to the city had noted that this group has allowed them to meet a new group of friends, learn about new cultures and meet people from all around the world. There may even be people from places you never heard of, but that is the beauty of living in a place like Toronto.

It never hurts to learn a new language, brush up on your skills or to meet new friends. Why not bring a few of your buddies at Backpackers on Dundas along and meet some other cool folks along the way?

After all, at TorontoBabel, everyone is welcome!

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