The joy of language

The new Tandem language program is capitalizing on the wealth of foreign languages now spoken on TU Delft’s campus.
A language festival recently co-organized by TU Delft Library and student associations Aegee and Diss marked the start of a new language library, Tandem Delft, whose collection is supported by the library as well as generous donations from students – books from their home countries and cultures that can be used as a stepping stone to learning new and exotic languages.

The festival kicked off with food and drinks at the ‘Hive’, the language cafe on the Library’s ground floor, where library and student organization representatives spoke glowingly of the new Tandem language exchange program.

In addition to the language cafe, several short workshops were held, offering peeks into various languages, including Hindi, Spanish, Chinese, Greek, Persian, Dutch and even Esperanto. With limited numbers for each workshop, many visitors had to wait their turns, mingling with people of various nationalities and cultural backgrounds. Fei Cui, one of the Tandem language program’s organizers, was delighted with the turn out for the event. “Tandem works on a buddy system, and with more than 340 ‘buddies’ to date, from various lingual backgrounds, one can learn many languages by signing up to the Tandem project,” she said, following her very successful Chinese language workshop.

Karthik Kumar, from India, attended the Greek and Chinese workshops, and was heading for the Persian language workshop when stopped and asked for his comments: “It’s a very good initiative. I’m having lots of fun here and hope to be able to continue learning new languages in the coming months.”

The new language library within the TU Delft Library Language Learning Centre contains books in various languages and language-proficiency levels; with a ‘Hi-Tech’ classification system allowing readers to determine which level proficiency level is most effective for them. “This project fits exactly into the goals of the TU Delft Library – to be a place to meet and exchange knowledge, a place for innovation and a place where all students feel at home,” says Marion Vredeling, the Library

Learning Centre’s program manager.” As a program manager, I recognized the potential of the project and have thus been supporting the Tandem project, with Diss and Aegee also having been instrumental in setting up the project.” Having experienced the workshops firsthand, Vredeling witnessed the enormous enthusiasm among the student body for learning new languages. “Language workshops given to students by students are a great idea, which allows people to share the joy of conversation and reading with one another. It’s great to see such energy filling a room in the library, and I hope this will be a stepping stone to initiating other ideas for new initiatives in the near future,” she added.

The new language library is always on the look-out for books, old and new, that can help members and the public experience the joy of new languages. The Aegee Delft office in the CITG building accepts book donations.

For more information and to join the Tandem language program, visit

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