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Published on : Tuesday, March 22, 2016
These days, everyone needs to know at least one second language: school kids, students and working people. And to speak a language properly, books just aren’t enough. You need to practice it… speak it!
This means being able to talk to someone in their mother tongue, but that’s generally very costly. What’s more, young people in every country would love to travel the world, but don’t have much money.
Food and lodging in exchange for a service
Based on the principle of barter, the French start-up TalkTalkBnb offers an entirely free-to-use community website that puts “Hosts” (people wanting to improve their language skills) in contact with “Travelers” (young students, mostly). Hosts offer Travelers food & lodging in return for just one thing: to speak their native language throughout their stay to help their hosts improve.
A different kind of travel
Hubert Laurent, founder and CEO, explains: “TalkTalkBnb is like Airbnb with a language option. Travelers don’t pay for their stay in cash, but by offering their host the opportunity to speak a foreign language with a native speaker, at home, completely free-of-charge. It’s a win-win situation, a mutual cooperation on a totally altruistic basis.”
Simple, friendly & free
In contrast to other forms of free accommodation in private houses, with TalkTalkBnb you don’t feel like you’re disturbing your host. You give as much as you receive. And when you realize how much a conversational course costs, you know that no one’s losing out. “What’s more,” says the website’s founder, “you’ll often find guests offering to prepare a typical national dish or introducing a local art, while hosts give them valuable tips about their destination. Different cultures have so much to share.”
Between Couchsurfing and Airbnb
TalkTalkBnb slips subtly into the space between free-but-basic accommodation, like Couchsurfing, and pay-for-comfort Airbnb. More than 3,000 pre-registrations in the 2 months preceding the official launch and more than 1,600 Likes on Facebook confirm that there is strong demand for this language-themed travel start-up. It also demonstrates, as if it were necessary, that sooner or later all sectors of our economy will adopt a collaborative model. The revolution is happening now, and TalkTalkBnb is part of it, without a doubt.