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Walkingtree

HelloTalk language exchange app

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Melanie1989

Great review, thank you. 

 

Where can we find the app, i don't see it at the playstore?

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AdamD

I've used this app to death so I'm writing a lengthy post about it. In the meantime...

 

Walkingtree: You can mark friends as favourites, and they'll show up at the top of your friend list. Go into the user's profile, tap the three-dot menu (in iOS; I don't know how this looks on Android) and mark them as a favourite there.

 

Melanie1989: It's definitely in Google Play. You need to search for HelloTalk as one word. Last I heard, some third-party Android app stores weren't offering it for some reason.

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Melanie1989

I looked for it as one word but I guess I have said crappy third party app. That's a shame.

It's just bringing up duolingo and a "speak American" app. I'll try not to take it personally!

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Mr John

I started using this app about a month ago, after first seeing it in one of Pokerface's videos. Pretty hit and miss, but that's probably more due to my own personality and interests. I don't really have the time or the energy to maintain "friendships" with people everyday, but I've found it useful when I have specific questions. I would estimate that I've found about four people out of about one hundred, where it has been mutually beneficial. Fortunately, I'm not a sexy girl, so I haven't been getting bombarded with photo requests.

 

In my opinion, it's worth a shot.

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Walkingtree

You can indeed mark friends as favorites doing precisely as you mentioned. I'll go back and edit the original. Thanks!

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Pokarface

@Walkingtree Great review! You accumulated 10 hours in 2 days?!?! You smashed my record x-D

I didn't even know about the transcribe function, I've seen the button but it didn't seems like an obvious thing (meaning that I used to brake the replay voice message button before, haha)

 

If you are like me, you can speak with a lot of people and never add them to your friends list, haha. I think the limit is that you can send or receive up to 5 text/voice messages (without someone being in your friend list), if the other user does not reply at all after your 5th message, you can no longer receive messages from him/her until the user replies back (likewise, if both parties keep sending messages, it's possible to keep talking indefinitely and never add anyone to your friend's list). How often was your HelloTalk unable to send a voice message? Some of my voice messages have gotten "lost" and I have to record them again o_o (I'm using an Android with Lollipop OS) 

 

@AdamD. How often are your voice messages lost?

@Mr John. And judging by my videos, it seems like I have the right personality for these kind of apps =-D   (If I lived nearby a Chinatown, I'd be talking to strangers all the time, but I'd also like to talk with regulars and get to know them better).

 

Talking about sexy picture requests and marriage proposals.

One of the new features I've noticed is that in the settings you can adjust to be found specifically by the same gender (but not the other way around. Now girls can avoid such proposals), so if you are a guy, you can look exclusively for guys or for both genders, but you can't look exclusively for girls.

 

This is VERY valuable for guys learning Mandarin as it's been noticed in the forums that some people wish they could mimic more "manly" voices in Chinese (probably because of the tones and lack of deep voices in learning material in general, and because guys want badass voices/accents!). I have also read that Donovan from MezzoGuild.com was asked by his Korean tutor if he had spent a lot of time with Korean girls.

At first he didn't understand why he was asked this, but then it was revealed that he was saying a lot of "girly" stuff in Korean, haha!! I have never studied Japanese, but it seems that everything that's said in Japanese is badass and manly enough as it is, unfortunately for Chinese and Korean, that's not the case. 

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roddy

Thanks folks, ton of useful info here!

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Walkingtree

AdamD - the whois associated with the HelloTalk website is registered to a Hong Kong company, so hopefully this means some agreements have already been made/considered regarding mainland usage. Good point about being able to scan through a voice message. That slider sure is small I totally missed it. Hopefully it's something the devs can upgrade.

 

I've also had at least two women ask to meet me so far. Dunno if it's scams, just somebody who has reverse yellow fever, or what, but thanks for bringing it up. Don't share your personal info people!

 

Quick question - how do you hide your online presence? Now that I have roughly 50 friends I can barely keep up with the people I have, much less respond to the dozen 你好 or Hellos I get.

 

 

 

Pokarface - For some reason sending text is just fine, but sending voice messages seems lag. It's especially bad when I'm not connected to wifi. Perhaps it's my phone?

 

Concerning Korean...I taught in a Middle School over there for a few years. Most of my coworkers were middle aged women, so hence most of my languages exchanges were with them. I speak/spoke "girly" Korean I guess. Who knew?

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HelloTalk Zac

By the way, I forgot to mention that it's actually possible to specific the language you are learning as Shanghainese (text to voice & transcription not available), in additional to Cantonese and Traditional Chinese. 

 

I actually encourage everyone to use voice messages more. Listening to voice messages you don't understand is a fantastic way to learn. Ask your partners to speak slowly and clearly for you. Transcription gets you 60-100% accuracy but usually good enough for you to understand and figure out the rest (you can edit transcription & translation result - long press for pen icon).

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imron
Feel free to send me private message so I can tell you my HelloTalk ID for any future feedback and suggestions.

Or feel free instead to discuss things here rather than private message so everyone can participate and benefit from the discussion.  @HelloTalk Zac, you can 'follow' this topic to receive notifications whenever someone posts.

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Pokarface

Hi @HelloTalk Zac! Whoever runs your twitter account likes to retweet my videos =-p

https://twitter.com/BaldemarGuerra

 

I'm not sure if it adds value to retweet this, but I have an old video with subtitles using HelloTalk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItHm5MgJ0d8 (Just renamed the video to, American speaking Chinese with strangers on HelloTalk since that's more accurate)

 

The database function works for me. I have a strong feeling that every time we mention apps in this forum, the developers WILL find our posts and address our concerns, haha.

 

@Walkingtree, Yeah, I've noticed that about text vs. voice. Haha, girly Korean. I guess it's not a concern if you don't plan to live in Korea or to conduct business speeches in Korean.

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AdamD

@Walkingtree:
 

the whois associated with the HelloTalk website is registered to a Hong Kong company, so hopefully this means some agreements have already been made/considered regarding mainland usage.

 

Good news! I get the feeling that the app would really suffer if China couldn't use it.

@HelloTalk Zac:
 

HelloTalk by default turns on Don't Disturb time from 11pm-7am (can be changed) for each user's local time. During this period all message notifications are silent.

 

Thanks for the tip.  My phone goes into do-not-disturb mode at night anyway, so nothing can cause it to wake me up.

Good to see you here, by the way. Welcome.
 

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pross

 

 

 "Good night! Sweet dreams!"

 

Is this common? (I am getting these too!)

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AdamD

Not very common, in my experience. If I get messages from established language partners that late at night, usually it's to keep up the conversation or to ask a question about English. I think I've only ever had this one person send me out-of-the-blue "sweet dreams" messages every night.

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Mr John

Maybe I give off a certain "vibe" because I get "sweet dreams" etc quite often too. I'm guessing most of the them have heard it being used in American t.v shows or movies and decided that it works (even with virtual strangers).

 

Also, in case anyone is interested, it's quite easy to save useful sentences from in-app conversations and export them for review. Personally, I use google drive, but there are probably other ways to do it as well.

 

Lastly, I must say, I'm fairly impressed with the quality of the in-app text-to-voice function.

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Pokarface

@Mr John. How do you import voice messages to your google drive? I was trying to import voice messages to my computer but I kept getting something that looks like a picture of my conversation instead of the audio.

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