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Japanese/English/Man­darin Tea Language Exchange


This will be a weekly language exchange night on Thursdays for Japanese, English and Mandarin speakers.

This event is meant to be a serious 1-on-1 language exchange, where members have the option of exchanging their native-level Japanese, English or Mandarin for another one of these three languages.  The first 45 mins will be in one language and the second half will be the other. You will be paired with somebody who is a native speaker of the language you are studying and vice versa.

For the purposes of providing both our Japanese and Mandarin friends with the best opportunity to practice alongside a native or as close-to-native English speaker as possible, this event will only accept English speakers who were either born in Canada (or another English-speaking country) OR those who immigrated to Canada before they were 10 years old.

Likewise, Japanese and Mandarin participants who are here to teach should also be native speakers of that language.

Also, I know some females strongly prefer to do language exchange with female partners only, so if that is the case, please let us know in the questions below and we will pair you up that way, if possible.


Meet inside Taiwanese bubble tea shop, Tea Shop 168 at 6:00 PM. It's at 5193 Yonge Street, a 2 minute walk from North York Centre TTC Station. 

We'll have 5 individual tables for each language exchange pair. Since the tea shop is a business, to be courteous for their venue space, you should each order a drink from the menu. Tea Shop 168 is probably the cheapest Taiwanese tea franchise in Toronto.  It's of decent quality, fair for the price. You'll be doing a lot of talking with your language exchange partner, so you'll need a drink anyway :-)

Please arrive by 6 PM so you have time to sit down, get comfortable and order your drinks before 6:15. We start on the dot at 6:15 PM.  After 45 mins, we convert to the second language from 7:00 to 7:45 PM.  We'll then pay our individual bills and be done by 8 PM. Afterwards, most of us will eat together at an izakaya nearby so that everyone can get to know each other, not just your language exchange partner!


* IMPORTANT: For members who arrive late to Tea Shop 168, after 6:10 PM, you'll be placed at the end of the list for future weeks just for this language exchange event. This is just to be fair to your language exchange partner, as we want everyone to be prompt and have an equal time to learn the opposite language. That being said, if there's a major TTC service disruption, traffic issues or an emergency in the family, we will obviously make exceptions.

If you would like to attend, indicate your interest below by clicking to join the waitlist. You must answer the relevant questions when you RSVP.


10 people maximum. Members only, no guests. Waitlist available. We'll do our best to rotate language exchange partners so you get to talk with a new friend each week. 

Reservations will  generally open on the Sunday before at 4:30 PM and close on the Wednesday night before at 9:00 PM.  Until this time, it will generally just show 2 attendees (Organizer and Co-organizer) and everyone else on the waitlist. After 9:00 PM on Wednesday, RSVPs will close and you are expected to attend.  I will post the final list on Wednesday night by 10 PM with the 5 pairings.  This will be based on the order you RSVP'ed, in addition with the language you are learning and able to teach, in accordance with a corresponding partner that is able to meet your specifics.  We will also accommodate requests from female members who only wish to be partnered with other females. If you're on the RSVP YES list but fail to attend, you will be considered a no show and moved to the back of the list for future language exchange nights.  

As this is meant to be a weekly language exchange event for our  members who are here to seriously learn English and for our English-speaking members who have a sincere interest in speaking Mandarin or Japanese, I recommend you bring a notebook with you to jot down all the new phrases and idioms you'll learn :-)

*Once inside the tea shop, you'll see we'll have 5 individual tables for each pair.  Each of the 5 tables will have this Meetup sign on my bird's cage :)

** Also, because Elaine is co-organizer and speaks much better Japanese than I do (that's not saying much, I guess...haha), she will also be automatically RSVP'ed for each of these events.

*** Additionally, if you have a legitimate situation (i.e. leaving Canada for good and going back to Japan or China in a week or two) or some technical difficulty that prevents you from RSVPing for some reason, send me a message to let me know beforehand and depending on the situation, I can RSVP on your behalf as well.

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  • Bin Y.

    great learning, yummy food and the cup cake competition! see u guys again!

    1 · July 3, 2014

    • Elaine

      Thanks for coming Bin! Hope to see you again!

      1 · July 3, 2014

  • Elaine

    Sorry everyone. I will be a couple of minutes late.

    1 · July 3, 2014

  • Nathaniel Chan (.

    Manami just let me know she is feeling sick this week and won't be able to make it tomorrow. George also cancelled. I believe Maurice prefers to learn Japanese.

    We'll change the groups tomorrow to:

    Mandarin/English: Tina and Mark
    Japanese/English Group 1: Rena, Ming, Matt, Bin Ye
    Japanese/English Group 2: Megumi, Elaine, Maurice, Rachel

    July 2, 2014

    • Maurice

      You aren't going Nathan? I wanted to apologize for the fireworks in person

      July 3, 2014

    • Nathaniel Chan (.

      lol that's alright, Maurice. I've assigned Elaine to be solely responsible for administering your "punishment."

      July 3, 2014

  • Nathaniel Chan (.

    Hey everyone, Elaine will be the event host for tomorrow night! I've made room to fit everybody who wait-listed Please arrive by 6 PM at Tea Shop 168 at 5193 Yonge Street (1 minute walk from North York Centre TTC Station)

    This week, we will pair 1 Chinese/Japanese speaker with 2 English speakers

    Mandarin/English: Tina, Mark and Maurice
    Japanese/English Trio 1: Rena, Ming, Bin Ye
    Japanese/English Trio 2: Megumi, Elaine, Rachel
    Japanese/English Trio 3: Manami, Matt, George

    6:00 PM to 6:15 PM: Find a table to sit down and order a drink :-)
    6:15 PM to 7:00 PM: Speak in English
    7:00 PM to 7:45 PM: Speak in Mandarin or Japanese

    For those having izakaya after (most of you), please walk over to Nome Izakaya at 4848 Yonge Street which is between North York Centre and Sheppard TTC Station. I have booked a table for 8 PM under Nate for 10 people. We can always add an extra chair or two if everyone is coming :-)

    Have fun!

    July 2, 2014

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