The more German I learn the more I can communicate with my German penfriend. At first it was zero, but slowly she is introducing more and more German into our emails. It is still fairly basic, but I do ask her how to say things and luckily her English is amazing too. Otherwise I would be lost. Recently I asked how to say “such is life” So ist das leben. It makes me think and I try and formulate a phrase and then check on a translator. We first communicated on a pen friend site and once we were comfortable exchanged emails. Pays to be cautious!