My Spanish is poor at best, but I've wanted to try chatting. I'm very intimidated however to chat in Spanish. Could some of you who chat give me an idea of how good my Spanish should be before I jump in?
Too Nervous to try chat
Ah, the old "Will I make a fool of myself"-syndrome. Firstly, it should be obvious that without actually hearing you speak, there is no way that anyone can judge your competence in speaking. Secondly, in the effort to become expert in the skill of speaking (Spanish, or whatever), everyone starts off as a beginner (otherwise the terms "skill" and "expert" would have no meaning). Being comfortable speaking a foreign language is primarily a question of familiarity (which, in turn, means practice). If you decide to take up golf, knitting or the piano (or any activity that is new for you), you go through a "learning phase" (so does everyone else, although some may display an aptitude that shortens the learning stage).
Many people here will tell you that Spanish speakers are very tolerant/encouraging of efforts (by what are, obviously, foreigners) to speak their language. At some levels, I too believe this but it is also a simple fact that understanding (communicating with) a foreigner is more difficult (sometimes, one needs to figure out what the person intended to say [despite what was actually said}).
To put it in stark terms, you need to ruthlessly exploit any opportunities that come your way (because they provide you with opportunities to practice). You may console yourself with thinking that their effort contributes to better global understanding or that they will receive their reward in Heaven) but, basically, you are weighing your opportunities for practice against their inconvenience.
Really, it doesn't matter. No one's going to tell you that you are terrible at it. I don't really chat that much, so... anyway, it depends on who you're talking to. Someone who is in your class won't criticize you! So, just try and see what happens. If you mess up, learn from your mistakes.
You could try our text chat first, eveybody is very friendly and you can see how it goes
And Saturdays there is a group chat on TokBox: About TokBox chat
Carlos has made a very generous offer, perhaps you would like to take him up on it: