HelloTalk Language Exchange
Taking its cue from messenger apps, HelloTalk aims to turn our desire to chat into learning a new language.
On bus and train journeys, relaxing after work on the sofa or passing spare minutes of down time, millions of us take to instant messaging apps to share ideas and information. HelloTalk makes real the clever idea of using this activity to help those of us who wish to broaden our minds with another language.
Everyone who has ever studied another language will know that it rewards practice and punishes lack of effort. Yet practice can be a dull and sterile experience. Reading dry exchanges between characters in a book and making sense of them is hardly the dream of language students. This app’s intention is to make these exchanges more interesting, more stimulating, and, indeed, more human.
In registering for the app users enter their first language and the language that they are learning, including the level of proficiency. This is important, as the fundamental basis of the app is the exchange of language knowledge – just as you will want to learn from a native, or at least accomplished speaker of your chosen language, so will they want to learn from you.
The conversational part of the app works much like you would expect any messaging app to work. Conversations are threaded and it is easy to follow through their development to revise and refresh grammar or word knowledge. Of course the written language is only one part of what students want to learn. Just as in English, not all words in other languages will be pronounced as their spelling suggests, and for this the app has a pronunciation function. A long touch of a sentence brings up a set of options, one of which being to read it out loud. The app does this surprisingly clearly and accurately. There is a daily limit to the translation and transcription functions but it is unlikely that most users engaging with the app as it is intended to be used, will often reach it. Other sentences can be marked as favourites for later study or to remind oneself of points of grammar. This creates the potential for the app to become a personalised revision aid.
Inevitably, as with any app that relies on a pool of users, this app depends on those who make use of it. At this point in time, the number of users is surprisingly good. Within a short time of downloading the app, other uses had made contact. As an app with an intrinsic international flavour there are likely to be times when speakers of certain languages are going to be less available than others and this may not match with your own time zone. The app cannot be faulted for this and as the number of users grow even further this should reduce.
The app is for those 18 years old and above. There are mechanisms in place for reporting inappropriate behaviour but these, by necessity, are retrospective of the behaviour. As with any social media, there is the potential for misuse of the app but, this being said, throughout this review, nothing other than entirely proper behaviour was encountered.
For those who like to be sociable and want to develop their language skills HelloTalk will fit their needs perfectly.
From the Developer
HelloTalk - The 1st Language Exchange Social Networking App in the world.
* Find native speakers of the language you are learning locally or worldwide
* Help each other learn foreign language through text and voice language exchange
* Share photos with your language partner about your life and home country culture
* Practice constantly and you will be amazed that language learning can be fun!
The best way to learn a foreign language is to practice with real people. If you are a native English speaker learning Chinese Mandarin, ideally you would want to meet native Chinese speakers learning English.
HelloTalk is the first mobile app in the world that does just that.
HelloTalk has unique text and talk exchange mode:
- Write 500 characters in one language and then switch to another language
- Talk 5 minutes in one language and switch to another language for 5 mins
- HelloTalk manages language exchange text and time counting automatically
Language learners, what are you waiting for?
Say Hello, Talk to your language partner today!
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