Here are some frequently asked questions about our site.
You can go directly to a category by clicking on any of the subject titles just below...
Small ads: general questions
Commercial advertising on lingobongo
CV/Resumé sender question
- What is lingobongo?
- Lingobongo is a notice-board where expats can meet the local community, where language teachers can find jobs and classes, where language schools can find teachers and where local language learners can find teachers and international friends.
- How does it work?
- Basically it's a free site where more or less anyone can place a free advert in one of four categories: Job Offers, Community, Private Classes and Exchanges. We also have a service where we send your cv/resumé to every school in your chosen city.
- Feedback: how do I give you my comments and suggestions?
- Please do: we love to hear your comments, ideas and suggestions, and we will always answer you (please be nice about it though: we're actual real human people, not a corporation!). Just contact us and let us know your thoughts.
- Where does lingobongo operate?
- We currently have full services in Madrid, Berlin and Berlin, and we are in the process of expanding to new cities in the very near future.
- Who runs lingobongo?
- Lingobongo was started in Madrid by two ex-language teachers who were amazed that there was no website that answered their needs: work, a place to live, learning the language and a social life - lingobongo is the website we wished had existed when we arrived in Berlin.
- Why the bear? (it's a bear by the way, not a bl**dy dog)
- The symbol of Madrid is a bear and there is a statue in the city centre of the bear where many people meet and this seemed like a good image for our site. We were going to call it "The Madrid Bear" until we were informed that the term also had an entirely different meaning, and so to avoid confusing or offending cuddly hirsute gentlemen we went with "lingobongo".
- We also quite liked bears until we researched them a bit: it turns out that they are the total douche bags of the forest - seriously, we're into ecology and all that, but these are a huge ball of sharp teeth and claws that hold a grudge and will actually actively hunt you down and kill you just for shits and giggles. Save the bear: sod that - the Grenadier Guards had the right idea: much better as hats than alive quite frankly.
Small ads: general questions
- How do I place an advert?
- To place an advert you simply press the "place a free advertisement" button, choose a category, write your advert, and once you approve it we send you an activation email to your in-box so that you can activate it.
- How much does it cost?
- Nothing: it's totally free of charge.
- That said, please thank us by doing the "Like" thing on Facebook - if everyone does this, then there's more traffic to our site and therefore you get a better response to your adverts.
- Who can place an advert?
- Anyone really: expats, language schools, teachers, language learners and micro-companies... If you are a bigger company, please contact us to talk about commercial advertising. Tiny companies, local bars with special nights, social clubs, sports groups, dog-walkers, hiking trips, that sort of thing are all welcome.
And please don't try and advertise anything inappropriate or illegal (believe us; you'd be amazed what some people try to advertise!)
- How often can I place an advert?
- Not every day! - seriously, we like a bit of enthusiasm, and we love you to keep coming back to our site, but putting the same ad up every day is spamming and makes our site less useful - try to stick to one or two adverts per week maximum.
- Can I delete my advert?
- Yes: when you place an advert we send you a link to activate your advert along with another link to delete it. Otherwise you can just leave it up and it'll gradually go down the list of its own accord.
- I didn't receive my advert activation email: any ideas?
- It's probably in your junk/spam mail folder of the email that you used.
- If you use an email centralising system such as "Mail" with an Apple or Android device, remember to look in the junk mail section of the original account (e.g. Hotmail) as opposed to the junk mail section on your Apple/Android device.
- Remember to add us to your email safe list! If you still can't find it then please contact us so we can see if there's a glitch in our system.
- What are language exchanges?
- A language exchange is what its name suggests: it's a free way of learning a language and meeting new people. Two (or more) people meet up and talk in each other's languages.
- What are language exchanges not?
- It is not a place for hooking up with men or women: there are already loads of websites for that - seriously, people just want to learn languages for free, and it not as an unofficial dating agency. Please respect this
- Who does them?
- There are lots of expats and local language learners out there who don't want to go to "real" classes for whatever reason. Most people are fairly young, but there's no upper age limit (though you do have to be over 18 as we don't want actual kids doing them)
- What are the advantages and disadvantages?
- Advantages: they're free, you get to meet new people, and they're less impersonal than a "real" class
- Disadvantages: you need a similar level (or a lot of patience!), you only get to speak your target language for half the time, sometimes it's surprisingly hard to coordinate a mutually convenient time and place.
- Why do people give/take private language classes?
- Teachers like to supplement their wages with private classes as they are usually better paid than working for schools/academies because there is no middle-man.
- Students like them because they are usually cheaper and more effective than the overly-large classes they find in schools/academies.
- Where do people give/take private language classes?
- It depends on the student: some students are able to use an office in the workplace, some have classes at a mutually convenient place such as a bar or café, and others have classes at their homes (kids for example)
- What sorts of jobs are available in Berlin?
- Mainly language teaching jobs, especially for English teaching work, although we are seeing more varied jobs from employment agencies and hospitality companies. It is perfectly possible to find non-teaching work in Berlin, and many people start off as teachers and later find work in their original field once they are established and have the language skills: many people do this in the fields of IT, legal and finance.
- Who can post job offers in Berlin?
- Most job-posters are language academies, parents looking for teachers for their children, and employment agencies.
- We examine every advert posted: please do not post "non-jobs" such as internships or pocket-money pay - this website is to help people get real paying jobs.
- Any company trying to offer exploitative wages/conditions will be permanently banned from all of our websites.
- When and where are the language classes?
- Typically jobs are offered by language academies and are commonly in-company classes at the students' offices. They are also held in the academy itself in larger groups, often with young learners or job-seekers. Schools and parents will also sometime ask teachers to give classes at the child's house.
In-company classes are usually held either before work (8 to 9:30 am), at lunchtime (2 to 4 pm) or after work (6 to 8 pm) - this can be problematic for teachers seeking "block hours" but is a way of life in Spain.
Academy and children's classes are usually held after school hours, from 4 pm onwards.
- What time of year is a good time to look for work in Berlin?
- The best time of year is mid-September to mid-October when companies and children return from their summer holidays. Another peak period is mid-January as this is when many companies' financial (and therefore training) budgets start from.
- There is work available for most of the year, but prospective teachers should be very aware that June, July and August are very bad times of year for work as many people go on holiday and/or work a shortened summer schedule and do not have time for language classes.
- How do I apply for a job?
- We don't handle job applications: just email the company directly with your cv/resumé. Please report to us any companies which try to offer exploitative wages/conditions so we can ban them from our site.
- How much do jobs in Berlin usually pay?
- As little as employers can get away with!
- Academies and schools usually pay less than private classes. Typically, after-tax wages range from 15 to 19 euros per hour. For freelancers ("autonomos") wages are 18 to 26 euros per hour as freelancers have to pay a monthly 250 euro social security charge.
- Private classes typically pay 20 to 30 euros per hour, depending on the size of group and the distance travelled by the teacher.
- Teachers: never ever accept less than the minimums we quote here - you are hurting everyone, including yourself if you do. It may be tempting as a new arrival to take "a bird in the hand" and accept less, but it's a false economy and good employers would never consider paying less anyway: we made this site to help teachers and good schools find each other and to attempt to stop exploitation.
- What is the community board?
- Basically it's a place to make contact with the expat, international and local community. There isn't really any other website in Berlin that does this, which is why we created it.
- What are the categories?
- Our categories are...
Rooms ...how to find/offer accommodation in Berlin
Sports ...very important for meeting people: football teams, cycling, frisbee etc.
For Sale ...get second hand stuff when you arrive and get rid of your stuff when you leave
Events and Nights ...find events such as language exchange evenings, pub-quizzes etc.
Groups ...clubs, parents, charities, churches etc.
Music ...find out who's playing, advertise your gig
Hang out ...meet similar people in the big city
Services ...advertise your SMALL business: computer repair, dog walking, babysitting etc.
Recycle...way better than just throwing good stuff out: help out the planet and your fellow humans
Wanted ...pretty obvious really!