Pen pal

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(Redirected from Penpal)

Pen pals (or penpals or pen friends) are people who regularly write each other, in particular in the case of snail mail. A penpal relationship is often used to practice writing and reading in a foreign language, improving literacy, to learn more about other countries and life-styles, and just to reach out and communicate with a fellow human being. Some people remain penpals for only a short time, while others continue to exchange letters and presents life-long. Some penpals eventually arrange to meet in 'real-life'. Penpals come in all ages, nationalities and cultures. Being part of a penpal network can be a way to gain a valuable understanding of the world, and an appreciation for cultures and lifestyles very different to your own.

Many people writing to a penpal are not using their native language in their letters.

A modern variation on the traditional penpal arrangement is to have a keypal and exchange email addresses as well as or instead of paper letters. This has the advantage of saving money, but also the disadvantage that the communication is very ephemeral. Many people prefer to receive paper letters, gaining the satisfaction of seeing their name carefully printed on a thick envelope in the letterbox. Using snail mail, it is possible to trade postcards, stamps and anything else light and flat enough to fit inside an envelope.

Penpal clubs can be found on the Internet, in magazine columns, newspapers, and sometimes through clubs or special interest groups. Some people are looking for romantic interests, while others just want to find friends. Penpals also make and pass around friendship books. There is also a non-profit humanitarian penpal organisation, Human Writes [1] (http://www.humanwrites.org) through which people all over the world correspond with prisoners on US death row.

The Australian author Geraldine Brooks wrote a memoir Foreign Correspondence (1997) about her childhood which was enriched by her exchanges of letters with other children both in Australia and overseas and her travels as an adult in search of the people they had become.

See also: Esperanto Pen Pal Service international pen friends

External link

  • Pen Pal World (http://www.penpalworld.com) a free, online pen pal site
  • InterPals Penpal Net (http://www.interpals.net) one of the largest and most popular online pen pal sites (free)
  • Just Write (http://www.justwriteletters.com) ... "Where Letter Writers Meet." Subscribe to the print magazine.
  • Esperantomondo (http://www.esperantomondo.net) multilingual site that facilitates correspondence in Esperanto with more than 900 users from 57 different countries
  • Pen Pal International (http://ppi.searchy.net) a large, free, online pen pal site
  • International Pen Friends (http://www.ipfeurope.com) one of the largest offline pen pal organizations (fee-based)
  • BEPenfriends (http://bepenfriends.tripod.com) site which is dedicated to forging pen pal friendships and relationshipsja:文通
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