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Reasons for my proposal:

  1. I read an old closed question today that asked

    Any place to speak with people in online in Spanish?

    This question actually has an answer, in theory, I think:

    La Tertulia (this is the name of the main chat room for Spanish Language Beta)

    But...

  2. I myself have a hard time participating in La Tertulia. When I go there, I feel like I'm walking into a movie halfway through the story -- often, I can't figure out what is being talked about. I try tracing back but that usually doesn't really help, since
    (a) there's so much slang I don't understand (primarily Iberian, I guess), and
    (b) the five or ten minutes I have to spare aren't enough to capture the flow enough to jump in

    A beginning Spanish learner would have even more trouble participating in La Tertulia. I think it would be pretty much impossible.

    Those who enjoy participating in Tertulia clearly find it rewarding and I don't want them to change the way they're approaching it.

  3. This site serves two different audiences -- veteran speakers of Spanish who are interested in hidden details and linguistics, on the one hand; and Spanish learners, on the other. Both are valid.

The proposal:

Let's create a second chat room that would be accessible to intermediate learners. It would be a place where people can dive in and have a conversation in Spanish. Just as in face to face conversations, if a learner makes a mistake, that would be okay, if the idea is clear. Men participating there would be careful to make it a place where women would not feel out of place. Spanish speakers would be careful to write clearly, so that learners can understand. If they use slang, they would put a clearer version in parentheses.

Hopefully some of those currently active in La Tertulia would also have some presence in the second room -- but there would be no obligation to do so.

Here are some sample possible topics of conversation:

  • Weather

  • Books, movies, podcasts

  • Family

I'm not good at coming up with names of things. I don't have a proposal for a name (at least, not yet).

I would suggest that when someone arrives and proposes a topic, that they introduce it clearly. For example:

[Nuevo tema: Podcasts en espaƱol] etc.

If a person wants to jump in later, in the middle of a conversation about rain, they could get back to the podcasts topic with something like this:

[podcasts] comentario

This is based on a technique I learned in a class I took some years ago, called "Coping Mechanisms for the Hearing Impaired." (I have a hearing impairment.) We were taught that people with a hearing impairment have a hard time jumping into group conversations, because they have a hard time figuring out what the topic is. The trick we were taught was to have a conversation buddy in the group, who would clearly indicate what the topic is to the person with the hearing impairment. Topics are fluid. When the topic changes, the conversation buddy lets the hearing impaired person know what the new topic is. It's extremely helpful.

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    El camino se hace caminando y La Tertulia se construye a medida que va existiendo. Crear una sala de chat es algo que puede hacer cualquiera, pero considero que un "chat de laboratorio" sería difícil de levantar. Pero vaya, todo es probarlo, así que adelante con ello si te apetece. Yo en La Tertulia me siento bien acogido y creo que la mayoría también. – fedorqui 'SO stop harming' Jun 30 '19 at 18:57
  • @fedorqui - Yo en La Tertulia me siento bien acogido y creo que la mayoría también. Sí, exacto. La Tertulia no debe cambiar. Funciona perfectamente para algunos. Bueno, te pregunto: aproximadamente cuantas personas frecuentan La Tertulia? Como se compara con el numero de personas que frecuentan el sitio actualmente? – aparente001 Jun 30 '19 at 19:33
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    Como dice @fedorqui y parafraseando a Machado: tertuliano no hay tertulia, se hace tertulia al hablar. El chat es de todos, cualquiera puede participar y aportar lo que le parezca. Ocurre que hay muy poca gente y al final siempre estamos los mismos tres o cuatro y ya nos conocemos un poco y puede que tengamos alguna broma particular o hablemos de forma informal que no se entienda en todas partes o por gente no nativa. La gente nueva siempre es bienvenida y ojalá entraran más, hace poco dejaron de entrar varios habituales y parecía incluso que iba a desaparecer, por suerte ha revivido un poco – user14069 Jul 2 '19 at 18:01
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Proposal:

Let's create a second chat room

Any user over 150 rep can create a chat room.
Just click chat like you would to join La Tertulia, but instead go to "create a new room".
The new room you create:

  • will have any name and description you like;
  • will be visible to all users;
  • will have Spanish.SE as "related site" by default, meaning that it will be listed next to La Tertulia when people browse the site's chat rooms.

I myself created a secondary chat room to discuss stuff. We ended up abandoning the new room and returning to La Tertulia, but the room still shows up if you click "show frozen/deleted rooms".

What I mean is, you don't need to make a proposal nor any mod support to create a new chat room.
Just go ahead and make it happen!

PS: People come to La Tertulia from time to time asking to practice, and they are always welcomed. Example.

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