Search for users by languages spoken

I think it would be a useful addition to the user search function on the main site to be able to search for specific languages. Many users in the penpal and direct swap category (including myself) like to exchange postcards in the different languages they’re speaking or studying other than English.
When I was looking for someone on the main sight to exchange with in Spanish, I had to go through all the Spanish speaking countries by hand looking for people interested in direct swaps - and this way you still miss people who live in other countries. As the language field on the profile is an open field (you can write whatever you like, for instance, including you level etc), I suppose an open search function would be useful. Even though you might still have to search for a few options, I think, it would definitely facilitate the process.
For my example of Spanish: in comparison to searching through ~20 countries with the official language Spanish, I might only have to look for “Spanish”, “español” and “espanol”. This way I would also be able to find other learners as well as native speakers living abroad.

I know that there`s the option of posting on the forum, but there are many interesting people who only or mainly seem to use the main site and might enjoy this as well. I also know that there is the Google search function for the page, but you have to look through a lot of different pages as it isn’t filtered only to the language section. (Or I just don’t know how to do so)

What do you think? I’m no expert in programming, but to me the idea seems feasible.


You could google for it too but it only shows people who have a public profile. “finnish” OR “suomi” (and perhaps also “penpal”)


I think that Postcrossing does not program searches, they usually utilize Google search features, so @elanlei 's way might be the way to go.

And again, finding penpals and swapping partner isn’t really the purpose of (official) postcrossing. I like the randomness of it.


While it’s not the main purpose, there is the field to indicate interest in direct swaps, so it’s definitely integrated into the official site as an option


I did try that, but you have to filter through a whole lot of “For Finnish/Spanish/whatever postcrossers” etc on wishlists, so I just thought it might be easier to restrict the search to the language field as they do with the username search function. Though, as I said, I’m not too well versed in programming :sweat_smile: It’s also not a major thing, just something I noticed while looking through the website

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I think the bigger thing to do here with regards to the language field is cleaning it up. Make it a big multiple choice drop down with predetermined options. You’d obviously have to add Other, what? to catch options like cat and baby. That would make it look a lot nicer and it would also be much easier to read and search.


I think it’s a bit more tricky than that I’m afraid: the moment we convert a free text field into a structured one, then we could loose the information about how proficient one is (from “native” down to “just a few words”). To fix that, then each language would have to have a level associated with… and then when you search, do you include those that speak “just a few words” or do you add that as a custom filter? And I won’t go into different dialects and different writing scripts (think Traditional vs Simplified Chinese which can be relevant for pen-palling).

Point being, it can get a bit complicated to do it correctly :sweat_smile:. It is something that I would like to get to one day, but as others mentioned, language matching is not core to what Postcrossing is about so I’m afraid it’s not very high on the priority list. Still a good idea though!


It’s great to hear that it is somewhere on the list for future adaptions! :wink: Thank you for replying! :relaxed: