Pages for penpal hunting

Someone asked me in my Postcrossing post whether there are similar sites to penpalling. That got me thinking and I thought to mention and write about the couple of sites I’ve found postcard pals and penpals from.

Interpals Penpals

Interpals Penpals

The most known site (in my experience) is Interpals. It’s the site from where I got my first foreign penpals and I still write with some of them. The site is really easy to use, just remember to write something in your profile so that fellow penpallers can learn something about you before they contact you 🙂 You wouldn’t like to contact someone with a blank profile either, would you?
And it’s best not to be put off by some relationship and similar messages from men around Africa and Middle East. Those are quite common if you’re online daily unless you choose to block men. There is an option to choose people who get to contact you (age range and genders) and if someone offends you, you can always block them. The men who use the site as a dating site are the biggest minus in my mind. And they are one of the reasons I don’t check the site that often anymore..

Send something site after you log in. REALLY plain.

Send something site after you log in

If there’s a penpalling site that’s almost like Postcrossing, in which you request an address and get one random address from anywhere in the world it’s Sendsomething. I heard about the site from various penpal blogs and after approximately a year I gave it a try. Sent a bunch of postcards and a couple of letters (mostly to USA as most of the users are from there) and received a letter from Netherlands and a postcard from USA. Unfortunately not that many people reply to the letters or postcards they get from strangers – I sent 15 items in total and got 2 replies and while I replied to the letter and postcard I got from strangers thanks to the site, I never heard from them again.

Here’s a sample from one profile I got

Random Address + Profile I got by clicking "Random Address". You don't have to send them anything if you don't want. Instead you can browse the site as long as you want and choose someone who sounds interesting.

Random Address + Profile I got by clicking “Random Address”. You don’t have to send them anything if you don’t want. Instead you can browse the site as long as you want and choose someone who sounds interesting. Not too much info but enough to get some sort of an image of the person.

My current favourite penpal pages for the last year are the following:

Deutsche post's Letterner

Deutsche post’s Letterner

Letternet is a penpalling site for Germans, though there are some people all around the world as well. You can register and get the page in English but before that the site is in German and for people who don’t speak any German (I can say hello, thank you, I love yo and some curse words) it can be a bit challenging to start.

You register, create a really weird profile – you describe what friendship means to you, what stress is for you and what your humour is like by choosing from a couple of pictures they offer you. You get a chance to upload a SMALL profile picture, write things such as your name, gender, birth year and choose your occupation, written languages and interests/hobbies from lists. You have NO space to write anything personal and you can’t even start to look for German pals before your address has been verified by sending you a letter with a confirmation code you have to write to the site before your profile is available for others. In my case the letter came within a week back in 2011 when I first started using the site.

The cons of the site are the facts that there are no possibilities to contact other people. You send them a request – requesting to become penpals and the first contact you have after the request is accepted is by sending each other letters. In some case the letters can be a bit of a let down as you have NO idea whether the person writes fluent English or not. And I’ve also gotten a letter written entirely in Finnish using translators and dictionary.. Let’s just say the letter wasn’t that deep or understandable. And for foreigners – you can ONLY send requests to Germans. So far I haven’t been able to visit ANY other profiles no matter how hard I’ve tried and one of my pals I got thanks to the site told me that she has penpals from all over Europe thanks to the site.

Up and running once again! :)

Up and running once again! 🙂

Penpal of the Week is a post blog dedicated for the art of penpalling. The Canadian blogger Julie posts penpal ads of her readers (the ads are always handwritten and sent to Julie and she scans those for the blog) and interviews of penpallers from all over the world.

The blog was quiet for the summer but during the last couple of weeks Julie has become more active once again and is posting a penpal ad nearly every day!! Penpallers over the age of 20, go and check if you’d find a new penpal from these lovely ladies that have sent ads to Julie!! 😉

I haven’t personally mailed any ads to Julie but I have found 3 really dear penpals of mine thanks to Julie’s blog (both of my American penpals!). Not every ad in there makes me want to contact the person and ask whether she’d like to start penpalling with me but it happens now and then and I usually have to battle in order NOT to send an email or letter to the person. I need to remind myself that I’m a bit behind on my letters and need to write those and keep my “to reply” pile as small as I can for months before I can even think about a new penpal!!

Hopefully the post was to any help for people looking for penpals – or people stuck on one penpalling site 🙂

~Kristiina

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11 thoughts on “Pages for penpal hunting

  1. That’s what I don’t like about the online version of Letternet…that anybody who doesn’t live in Germany can only find German penpals.
    It used to be different when the Lettermag still was produced. It had one page (or several) with penpal ads from Germans and then another page (or several) with people from other countries. And anybody reading that mag could just choose an addy they wanted to write too…no matter from where. At least I guess that everybody got the same magazine, since it was printed in German and English, so I assume they sent the same mag to everybody around the world…
    But now, with the online version, the German mail wants to make money from it…it seems, a letter should either be sent from Germany or arrive to Germany…that’s I guess why they made it like that…cause if someone sends a letter from Spain to Finland (for example) , then German mail won’t get any money out of that…cause they are not involved.

    • I never thought of it that way but that’s probably the reason!!
      And I feel weird that there’s the part where you can write how many letters you’ve received from the given person., I don’t use the site for that! Nowadays I just check the site whenever I’ve received a request or my pal has moved and they have changed their address 🙂
      Since you’re German, do you know whether the site has many foreign (to Germans) users? For example are most of the foreign users from Europe or just from other German speaking countries? 🙂

      • I think I read that in the FAQ somewhere…about them wanting German mail to be involved in the letter exchange…
        Yeah..that’s pretty stupid…adding how many letters you’ve written to someone…I’m usually too lazy to do that..but maybe some people want that to keep track of the letters they wrote..dunno… There must be some reason why they added that…

        Hmm…not sure, it says I have 29245 potential/suggested penfriends…
        24287 of those live in Western Europe, it says.
        It seems the majority indeed live in Germany…says 22924 are from Germany (or live there)
        Eastern Europe has 1575 people registered.
        North America has 1328 people there.

      • I hadn’t before even seen the FAQ as there’s so many links to here and there X__x But yeah, now that you said it I went to check it out and it does say:
        “Letternet, created by the German postal service Deutsche Post, is intended for young people all over the world. But since the postal services of other countries have not yet chosen to participate, letters have to be sent to or from Germany.”

        It’s funny the other countries haven’t participated, the stamps would probably sell better if they would get kids and teenagers to write letters or postcards! 🙂

        2900 penpallers who aren’t from Germany? In a way that’s a small number but on the other hand it’s rather big as not that many blogs mention the site and I think I just accidentally found the site while looking for penpalling sites without dating requests!

      • I think I checked out the FAQ after I joined…at some point…not sure exactly when or why, lol…and then I saw that.

        Yeah, I wonder why other countries or postal services from those countries haven’t participated..or what it would mean exactly to “participate”…maybe paying the German mail for doing that? lol..dunno

        Yeah, I dunno how well-known that page is outside of Germany…theoretically it could also be that there would be no foreigners registered at all. And maybe more would register if the page also had a Spanish or French version…since now you gotta speak either English or German to use the site, and there are people who don’t…
        But then postcrossing (the site itself) is only in English…but I guess for people who don’t speak English well it may be harder to use the site…

        Yeah, there is still a nice variety from people to choose from…for example from Africa there are 676 people, Asia about 1200 people,
        From European countries, for example, from Finland there are currently 27 people showing for me, lol (plus the people I’ve sent requests to already..since as soon as you send a request, the site removes the people from your search list…), compared to 57 from Spain or 34 from Sweden or 2 from Iceland (lol)
        As for other German speaking countries, Austria has 333 people, Switzerland 267
        So I think there is a quite nice variety, and quite a lot of countries seem to know about it then…for a page that was created by the German post office…

  2. Pingback: “Hallo mein lieber Brieffreund…” | JØLI

  3. Sama kokemus tuosta sendsomethingista… En ymmärrä kokevatko ne jotkut siellä oman osansa jotenkin hyväntekeväisyytenä – antavat osoitteensa niin että ihmiset jotka palavat halusta lähettää postia pitkin maailmaa saavat toteuttaa himoaan. 😀 Välillä ei tullut edes kiitosta, välillä tuli pelkkä kiitos, tai “En ole koskaan saanut mitään yhtä hienoa postissa!” mutta sitten ei kuitenkaan tullut mitään takaisin. En tietenkään odottanut että ihan tasan menis, mutta masentava jakauma silti!

    • Itse en saanut oikein koskaan kiitosta tai mitään ja nekin jotka laittoivat postia minulle päin eivät ikinä vastanneet kun laitoin postia takaisin.. Enpä ole sitä käyttänyt sen jälkeen kun ei innosta.. 😦 Postcrossingissakin saa sentään yleensä sen pakollisen kiitoksen! 🙂

  4. great put up, very informative. I wonder why the opposite experts of this sector do not understand this.
    You must continue your writing. I’m confident, you’ve a great readers’ base already!

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