I’ve been using the HelloTalk app for quite a while but I never got around to writing a blog post about this awesome tool before now. For those of you who don’t know this app, this really is a neat resource for learning Korean or any other language for that matter. The app can be downloaded for free to your smartphone or tablet, and through this app you can connect to language learners from all over the world.
If you live in a place where you can’t speak Korean with people face to face on a regular basis, the HelloTalk app is an excellent way to practice your Korean skills with native speakers.
Here’s how it works: When you have downloaded the app, you simply state your native language and which language(s) you are interested in learning. You may then search for language partners who have your target language as their native language, and you are ready to start practicing.
There are several built in features that makes this app especially suitable for beginners as well:
- The voice-to-text function transcribes the words you say, which allows you to check your pronunciation of your target language.
- The built-in translator allows you to directly translate words you don’t already know – great for building your vocabulary.
- The built-in microphone button allows you to record brief voice messages that you can send to your language partner. This is particularly helpful for beginners who may be too shy talking to someone directly. This voice message feature also provides the added benefit of the learner not being interrupted when they are being corrected. The native speaker can instead record a short message explaining where the learner may have made a mistake.
- Finally, tapping a text message also allows you to get corrections e.g. grammar or vocabulary for instant feedback on your writing skills.
In short, this app is a highly recommended tool for learning and practicing a new language. The only annoying thing about the app in my experience has been random messages from users who clearly had no intention of chatting for language learning purposes. It is not that they were writing anything rude or offending (such messages are automatically filtered by HelloTalk in order to avoid inappropriate use of the app), but since I am registered as a native Danish speaking Korean learner I hardly have anything to offer a Turkish speaking German learner, so frequent partner requests or messages unrelated to my language fields seemed quite annoying. The good news is that this nuisance is easily avoided by changing your settings to only allowing an “exact language match” to find you on the HelloTalk app. There are also plenty of ways to protect your privacy by blocking and blacklisting certain users, which may be necessary in very rare cases.
You can therefore safely register today and start finding native speakers of your target language. Remember, the users are language learners themselves, and my Korean chat partners on HelloTalk have all been very kind and helpful. Feel free to add me on HelloTalk too! My id is @sofienyland. Talk to you (in Korean) on the HelloTalk app!