I’ve seen a lot of people give up on HelloTalk because it wasn’t meeting their expectations. I’ve been using it for 2.5 years and it is the the best language learning app I’ve used by a long distance. (Lingodeer is outstanding for the short term but HelloTalk is something you can use for years and years).
Here are three tips to get more out of HelloTalk
1. Have a proper profile
Serious learners won’t talk to people with a blank or one sentence profiles. On the flip side, only talk to people with profiles and ideally have been on HelloTalk for some time. You don’t want to start talking to someone for them to give up on HelloTalk (which happens to most users).
2. Use “Moments” to ask questions
I believe when it comes to language learning, if you’re not asking questions then you’re not really learning. Being curious and asking lots of questions as a general language learning philosophy is very valuable. Just accepting what you’ve read is not going to get you very far. With that in mind, Moments gets you the answers to all of your questions in minutes.
I often find myself thinking during the day “I wonder what that is called in Korean” or “I wonder how you translate this sentence in Korean”. When I do, I post my question as a Moment, and then come back to it later in the day when I have time to review the responses properly. Sometimes if the replies are very good, I’ll take a screen shot of it and add it directly to the backside of an Anki card.
3. Use “Moments” to find friends
When I first joined HelloTalk I would strike up conversations with random people and 90% of the time the conversation died within a few days, or within a few messages. I know this may sound crude to some people, but the truth is that nobody honestly really cares what a random person they have nothing in common with did today. Compound that with having to have that exact same conversation 10 times over.
I found that Moments organically brought me closer to a number of other users. There were no awkward or forced message exchanges. I would just comment on their Moments, and they would on mine. Over a number of weeks I could see what kind of person they were and what they’re interested in. Every now and then they will post something that is interesting to me, and if they do I will post a comment on their Moment, and sometimes it would turn into a short exchange. If there is more to talk about, or if I think of something later on that is relevant to what they posted, I’ll send them a direct message. And from that maybe we’ll have a short conversation and then leave it at that without feeling the need to keep talking.