A year or so ago, I tried out a language learning app called Hello Talk. I loved the concept, but it hadn’t really caught on and the app was buggy so I gave up and focused on using lang-8. Towards the middle of 2014 however, Hello Talk made a spectacular comeback. Everyone was talking about it, everyone was using it and the app had evolved into something that’s a must have for language learners.
So what is Hello Talk?
Hello Talk combines the live chatting language exchange experience with in-app lang-8 like corrections. The app also allows you to either voice chat, or exchange voice recordings too, which is great if you’re looking to either strike up a conversation or just get your pronunciation corrected. If you don’t understand what your partner is saying, you can even use the speech to text feature. You can also exchange pictures, and get in-app translations. The one feature that I’ve yet to try and which I’d love to try, is the doodle feature. This is really handy when you’re trying to explain something but can’t find the right words… pictures are worth a thousand words! :) But Hello Talk isn’t just about conversations, you can also send long texts which can be corrected by native speakers, similar to lang-8. What I love about Hello Talk is that it’s available as an app on both Android and iOS so you can take your learning with you.
Room for improvement… the app allows you to back-up your conversations but if you use both Android and iOS, like me, then your conversations are not available on both platforms.
So does this mean that Hello Talk is better than lang-8? Well… no. They target different language learning goals! lang-8 is still, in my opinion, the best place to go to practice writing while Hello Talk is a great way to hone your real-time communication skills through conversations with native speakers. If you haven’t tried it already, I highly recommend it!
Rating: 5 stars