- Chat with real people quickly and easily
- Improve your pronunciation
- Innovative messaging tools to facilitate learning
- Key features locked behind paywall
- Non-English speakers may find it more difficult to connect with people
A useful app for finding native speakers to practice a target language with but not without alternatives.
HelloTalk introduces native speakers of different languages to practice together via old-school texting, audio and video chats. Private or group chat available.
HelloTalk is an app that allows you to learn and practice your target language through instant messaging/chat.
It’s quite similar to Tandem.
I like the social aspect of the app and the way it facilitates instant private or group chat via texting, video or drawing. These messaging features allow you to practice the language on real people in a very low stress, non-committal way (this has its benefits).
The other person has the ability to correct your texts, so you learn in real time.
Another feature that I found particularly helpful was transliteration for learning the pronunciation of words, as well foreign alphabets and characters.
One potential drawback I could see with HelloTalk is the misuse of the app platform (for non-language learning purposes - i.e. inappropratie messaging).From what I understand, HelloTalk’s creators have tried to set up parameters and safety mechanisms that prevent it from being used as a dating app.
That being said, I’ve have seen widespread reports of this still happening.
I found HelloTalk effectively solved a few problems for me.
Firstly, you can meet native speakers from your target language, without leaving your couch. There’s no embarrassment because it’s assumed that you are at some level of learning the language.
HelloTalk also gives you a reason to actually travel to a new country and culture as you meet “penpals” in different parts of the world (also see My Language Exchange).
There are a lot of functions behind the paywall that are not usable from the free version, one of which is the ability to search for new friends from specific cities. This feature is really helpful if you’re planning a trip to a specific place.
This could also be important for learning particular dialects.
A free version is available or there’s a VIP subscription which costs $12.99 per month, and is available on iOS and Android.
Have you used HelloTalk before?
Share your thoughts below.