Here is my review as an approximately B1 language learner. HelloTalk fits in with my current language goal of forcing myself out of the comfort zone when it comes to conversation.
The purpose of the app is to connect language learners with speakers of their target language. I selected my target language as Italian and also had to include that I am an English language speaker. Once my profile was set up, I instantly had people messaging me. It was very similar to Italki and Lang8 in that regard. All of these sites can be quite overwhelming, as many people message you to get in contact. In fact, when I first downloaded and created my profile, I didn’t use it until a month later.
Finally, I chose someone and begin chatting. I offered that we should talk on Skype, as HelloTalk only offers audio calls and I am a visual person. The app blocked my message as the person and I had not been talking for long. It also blocked me giving out any other personal details until the person and I had talked longer. I think this is a great feature to keep vulnerable users safe. The Italian man I was talking to did tell me that some people use HelloTalk to meet potential dates.
In any case, HelloTalk has linked me with plenty of Italian speakers that I now talk to through the app and on WhatsApp (Italians love WhatsApp!). We send audio messages, pictures and I can practice Italian whenever I want. I find it meaningful to listen to snippets of conversation from people I am interested in. Eventually, I will meet some of these people as they prepare to come to Australia!
– Instant language partners
– Safe to talk through the app
– I can choose who I want to talk to
– It’s a handy app on your phone. You don’t need your laptop.
– Sometimes it’s overwhelming to be messaged so much. Don’t be afraid to decline and ignore. Keep yourself safe.
If you’re ready to push out of your comfort zone and start speaking the language, definitely download HelloTalk today.