For those learning a new language, one of the things that will become important is practicing with another person who can speak that language.
In college, we would have time set for a “Conversational Partner”. For example, if I’m learning Japanese, I would have a Japanese conversational partner who is trying to learn English. In a way, it works out both ways, because you can understand each other’s culture but also learn ways to use the language, be corrected and for the most part, it’s a win-win.
There were websites that catered to learning a language with other students online and back in the day, Stanford used to have a website to test out your written form of communication. Which worked out well, but at the same time, it was before today’s technology.
But in today’s modern technology of instant translation and portability, you can become a conversational partner with someone learning a different language through the app, HelloTalk for your smart phone or tablet for iOS and Android.
It’s fairly easy. Download the app, you sign up and immediately choose the language you want to learn, may it be English, French, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, etc.
The first thing I recommend is making sure your phone or tablet has the language setting installed, so you can type in that language (For example: In Japanese – So, you can type in kana and kanji).
Once you are in, you can go to “Moments” and see a wall of other people who want to learn your language and language you want to learn from them. So, you go ahead and look at your wall, similar to Facebook and then you comment. You can add the person as a conversational partner. And then begin your communication.
You can post to your “Moments” and like a Facebook status post, post a photo to go along with your text. But in this case, you would like to post in the language you are trying to learn and encourage the fluent speakers to correct your posts.
Just remember that they are trying to learn your language, as you are trying to learn theirs.
And this app wants you to help them by correcting their English, while they correct you with the language that you type.
The only thing is to keep the drama out. As there are some people who want to utilize HelloTalk as a dating app and you often see people in a comment, get very upset and tell the person off.
You also have to remember that some people will voice their frustration of not learning the language as fast as they would like. Be patient and give them the support they need. Because learning another language is not easy at first. It takes time.
Hopefully, one thing that would be cool to add is the ability to block people from commenting on your “Moments” and contacting you if they are jerks.
Also, what I like about HelloTalk is that during a conversation, if they post in their original language or someone comments on your “Moments” post in their foreign language and you are unable to read it, you can translate their comment/post.
It’s very convenient!
But I wish there was a way to edit a “Moments” post, like you can do with a Facebook status post without having to resort to a delete.
While I have not utilized the pay aspect of this app as a one month pro membership for one month is $1.99, three months for $4.99 and one year for $11.99, learn an teach one more language if $4.99 and unlimited translation for .99 each month via auto renew (note: You get 20 translations per day).
But really, I enjoy this app. The only thing is that it’s tied to one person, your account. So, be careful if someone else in your family borrows your tablet or phone.
Other than that, if you are learning another language, HelloTalk is recommended!