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HelloTalk Review

  • Android, iPad, iPhone
  • Free
  • age 16+

About HelloTalk

HelloTalk is an app that helps you practice languages you want to learn. It connects people who speak a language fluently with those who are trying to learn the same language, and (hopefully) vice versa. 

HelloTalk is free to download on iOS and Android devices. There is also first party advertising within the HelloTalk app. HelloTalk promotes communication skills and engagement. HelloTalk is suitable for students 14+. For more structured free (or freemium, as I'll explain) language learning apps, however, try Editors' Choices Duolingo or Memrise.

HelloTalk is a cool new language learning app that serves one purpose: it connects you directly with native speakers, and provides an interface to text and speak with them, all from your smartphone. HelloTalk acts as the direct interface through which you find a conversation partner and chat, send voice messages or call the people you want to practice with. No need for any third-party software. You can also unlock more HelloTalk content with a VIP membership starting at $6.99.

Teacher Review

HelloTalk is a language exchange app for kids that emphasizes the conversational aspect and it is one of the best ways to learn a new language. The app facilitates speaking by connecting you with native speakers. The app also has a built-in correction tool that allows users to correct one another, making the interactions like tutoring lessons.  

Is HelloTalk any good?

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. After completing a HelloTalk review we found this app makes real the clever idea of using this activity to help those of us who wish to broaden our minds with another language. 

Is HelloTalk free?

As with many free language apps, HelloTalk actually has a freemium model. You can use HelloTalk completely for free, although the free version is ad-supported.

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.

Is HelloTalk easy to use?

Yes, HelloTalk is easy to use. 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.

Is HelloTalk safe?

Inevitably, as with any app that relies on a pool of users, this app depends on those who make use of it and that is what we found when we did a HelloTalk review.  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.

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App Details

Teacher Ratings

Devices

Android, iPad, iPhone

Price

Free

Category

Skills

Communication Skills
Engagement and Usability

Safeguarding

In-App Purchases - Yes

In-App Advertising - Yes - 1st Party

Publisher

HelloTalk Learn Languages App

Download HelloTalk

Screenshots for HelloTalk

  • HelloTalkHelloTalkHelloTalkHelloTalkHelloTalk

Publisher's Description

The 1st Language Exchange Social Networking App in the world. 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 and HelloTalk is the first mobile app to do just that! 

  • 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!
  • 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

What languages does HelloTalk support?

HelloTalk can connect people who speak the following languages: 

English, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Cantonese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, Italian, Russian, Arabic

Afrikaans, Albanian, Arabic, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Basque, Belarusian, Bengali, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Cantonese, Cebuano, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Esperanto, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, French, Galician, Georgian, German, Greek, Gujarati, Haitian Creole, Hausa, Hebrew, Hindi, Hmong, Hungarian, Icelandic, Igbo, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Javanese, Kannada, Khmer, Korean, Lao, Latin, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malay, Maltese, Maori, Marathi, Mongolian, Nepali, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese, Welsh, Yiddish, Yoruba, Zulu

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