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HelloTalk language exchange app


Walkingtree
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Hey Pokerface,

 

I hadn't tried exporting audio tracks. I just did and I had the same problem as you. Hopefully Hello Zac might have some information about whether or not it can be done. Alternatively, if you have a recorder handy, you could just record whatever you want and edit it with audacity.

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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).

 

Loads of people say "have a nice dream" or whatever. The problem with this one specific person is that she would send me messages like that every night, even on days when we didn't speak.

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  • 2 months later...

Hi All,

 

Benny the polyglot, one of the most famous polyglot and language learning expert, has recently reviewed HelloTalk app in depth. I think his review, with both pros and cons about the app, is worth looking at:

 

http://www.fluentin3months.com/hellotalk-review/

 
Zackery

Disclaimer: I am the founder of HelloTalk app.

post-60215-0-94846100-1429688875_thumb.jpg

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  • 1 year later...

I should have posted in this thread before instead of creating my own thread here: http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/51749-hellotalk/?hl=hellotalk butanyway:

I have been getting very few requests on this app, especially as compared to when I first started using it. Has anyone else been experiencing this?

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Fewer recently but still a lot. I've not been replying to them for a while due to issues outside language study.

 

On a side note, I turned off all notifications because the app kept sending me language tips I didn't want, and now there's an app recommendation thing I can't get rid of either. (Edit: An app update removed these issues.)

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  • 2 months later...

Recently a few things have become clear to me:

  • There are indeed far more Chinese speakers learning English than English speakers learning Chinese. When I post anything at all to Moments, I get dozens of likes and comments, and a load of followers and new messages off the back of that. If you post something when it's evening in China, the influx can be slightly terrifying.
  • It seems some poorer people in China see English speakers as privileged, and claim we're selfish for not giving them free tuition. (That was not a fun day.) This might explain why so many people in China explicitly ask to be taught English: they have no other means of learning.
  • There's a five-message limit for users you haven't replied to. If someone you've never spoken to keeps hassling you, after five posts they're effectively blocked. Some users are onto this and now spread their nags over a week, but on the whole it's a good way to mitigate the pushier types.
  • The premium fees went up recently, and I believe the free tier is less useful. Probably fine given the feature set and the fact that it's not a charity, but something to be aware of. It's still not expensive though.
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  • 1 month later...

Yes I have some experience with this App. There is nothing wrong with the APP it works like a dream and has many great functions. I like scrolling down the Facebook like posts and reading about the issues in China and fun cultural stuff. I like being able to send voice messages and then convert those messages to text.

The problem I have is the people. There is just far too many Chinese people that want to learn English and this creates a lot of problems. People can become desperate and virtually stalk you. Some these people expect to talk for hours everyday (some people are ALWAYS online) and can become extremely clingy. I had one person tell me all her problems and then expect me to be her English Teacher and personal therapist. She would message me five times a day. I have had people try to sell me things and to try to marry me. Most of all to be honest I don't want to make friends on the internet I just us to use each other as a language improvement tool and of course have fun. maybe I am too old but I already have my friends and the internet is not a place to meet new ones but so many people have one conversation with me on HelloTalk and think we are friends for life .

The majority of people were awesome in their own way but I made a vow not to return until I passed HSK 5. That way I can be in a better position to exchange languages.

I know I sound awful and my heart goes out to those desperate English Language learners but I find it difficult to language exchange at this moment

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People can become desperate and virtually stalk you. Some these people expect to talk for hours everyday (some people are ALWAYS online) and can become extremely clingy. I had one person tell me all her problems and then expect me to be her English Teacher and personal therapist. She would message me five times a day. I have had people try to sell me things and to try to marry me.

They can flick the switch quickly, too. You can be talking to someone for a few weeks before they suddenly get clingy and won't leave you alone. There are also people who pounce every time you open the app; I'm guessing they spend every waking moment staring at your online status, waiting to pounce.

My profile now explicitly states in both languages that I'm not a free English teacher, that I'm married, that anyone who speaks 100% English is wasting my time etc., but some try it on anyway. Recently I had a guy introduce himself with: "Hi, I read your bio, will you teach me English?"

The way I deal with all this is to be brutal:

  • If a new contact speaks only English for more than a few posts, I mute and ignore them. (I always open with Chinese and English so everyone knows I'll use both.)
  • If someone suddenly gets hyperclingy/pushy, I mute them and stop replying. I've not had to block anyone yet.
  • Whenever someone calls me 'teacher', the deal's off. (In my experience, this always means they expect free English tuition.)
  • When someone gets personal (e.g. asking where I work, wanting to see photos of my family), I stop responding until they back off. If they don't get the message, I mute and ignore.
  • If someone sends me the same sort of personal details (usually selfies/family photos), they often expect me to reciprocate. I back away from those ones pretty quickly too.
My goal is not to be mean to good people, it's to make language exchange focused and manageable. Fortunately even the pushiest people back off eventually (except one guy who's been badgering me since September, but that's another story).
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Those are all pretty good suggestions I would agree to that and anyone that says "let's be friends" is off the table for me (or let me use you for your Language without reciprocating). I only avoid English majors they tend to be pushy and/or can ask you to do their homework.

I think that there is definitely some cross cultural communication issues there. Maybe it is because they are usually young people but I don't make friends like that. I have some good friends that organically came together over a period of time, I did not march up to them and say let's be friends now!

There a lot of 混蛋 English speakers there who are only interested in picking up chicks or picking a fight with Chinese over some political issues. There are also people that do not even know pinyin and want someone to teach them Chinese from scratch. I have met some mature people that have helped me a lot and I have helped them (language exchange requires high levels of emotional maturity IMO)

I feel now that I need to at least get to HSK 5 before trying again. I feel then I will be able to hold intelligent discussions in Chinese that match the level of their English.

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I only avoid English majors they tend to be pushy and/or can ask you to do their homework.

That's a really good point. I've got to admit I also skip over those people, because too often they want to speak only English and will vanish as soon as their assessments are over.

I understand that English tuition is unaffordable for many, but I'm not a free teacher and won't be treated like one.

I have some good friends that organically came together over a period of time, I did not march up to them and say let's be friends now!

All the real friends I've made through language exchange have happened this way. Not one has been a forced pairing.

There a lot of 混蛋 English speakers there who are only interested in picking up chicks or picking a fight with Chinese over some political issues. There are also people that do not even know pinyin and want someone to teach them Chinese from scratch.

That's very true. Chinese learners of English have their own frustrations with lazy, selfish and sometimes creepy language partners. It's basically impossible for them to gain anything from an English speaker who insists on typing toneless pinyin.

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  • 1 year later...

Last week I had a crack-it moment when I decided I was going to just post any old guff in the 动态 feed because HelloTalk wasn't working for me and who cares. Mainly I was sick of the incessant stream of those who just say 'hi' and vanish, and those who open with 'Hi friend! Let's be friends!' before I even know who they are.

 

Then, as a bit of a last-ditch thing, I rewrote my profile to explain who I am, what I like, what I want from language exchange (specifically, a small number of long-term language partners and potentially good friends) and what I don't want. I also decided to reply in the 动态 posts of serious learners who have some character and a sense of humour.

 

That felt right, so I dropped the almost ubiquitous ultra-polite LE mask and started being myself in 动态, which means making stupid comments, raving about whatever TV show I'm watching, and drawing a load of dumb pictures using the in-app drawing tool.

 

This has transformed the way I use HelloTalk. Already I've found some like-minded people I think will become good friends, and I think this will grow because I'm actively cultivating who I talk to and who I follow. Already I'm convinced this is the right way to use HelloTalk, and I feel very stupid for not realising it before.

 

I've also been tinkering with Tandem, which is basically the same thing but with half the features and twice the bugs. These are two Tandem features I'd love to see in HelloTalk:

  • The little switch that indicates you're ready to talk. When it's off, randoms don't tend to see you in the main list. When you're in the mood for some chat, you flip it on and people start pouring in. It's basically a tap.
  • Bigger pictures. HelloTalk keeps its single profile pictures tiny to prevent the app becoming some sort of Tinder Lite, but you can't really see who you're talking to. Since I'm interested in making real friends now, I need to see more than a tiny rendition of their face. Tandem allows a handful of big pictures, so you can see what people are doing, where they've travelled and what they're holding (e.g. cats), and you can also check that the 29 year old you're looking at is being honest, i.e. hasn't airbrushed their 48th birthday selfie to within an inch of its life.

They're not dealbreakers though. HelloTalk is still the best app for language exchange, as long as you take serious control and wrest it into being what you need it to be.

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Picked up on this thread. 

 

I recently joined the app because people told me that I need to speak more.

 

There is some great advice on how to handle people. I have had some exchanges in English and Chinese and to be polite, let them fall away naturally. It helps when I ask them if they are professional sportsmen or if they know them since I wrote I explicitly look for these people (when in reality, there are very few on Hellotalk). 

 

I find it quite interesting to receive the messages. I haven't had any clingy ones, no one regularly hassling me. No one asking me for help to do homework. I think my age is displayed and putting an age past middle aged is an advantage in this respect. My profile also has English and Chinese written in it plus my voice using English.

 

I have had a few people with the 'Hi' just trying to make friends. But I have let those gently down when it becomes plainly obvious there's not much in common. Never tried speed dating but I can imagine this runs almost similarly. 

 

I am more likely to get clingy to a couple of people. LOL. One being a primary school teacher who has been giving me 唐试 and now 三字经 to practice reading and tones on. I correct her accent on reading English. So it is really specific skills exchange and none of the let's be friends stuff. I actually reached out to her first by seeing her profile.

 

Another is happens to be an audio engineer who also has a great Mandarin voice. I could listen to her all day. 

 

There are a few other people who I have put on a secondary list list. 

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Just an additional point. There is a location finder on hellotalk so that you can search for people close to you for language exchange. I have met one person on it. We met up in a coffee shop. It was interesting to hear something different but perhaps I would have to be a but more prepared rather than just talk. 

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On 15/01/2018 at 3:31 AM, Flickserve said:

I have had some exchanges in English and Chinese and to be polite, let them fall away naturally.

 

Yeah, sometimes we have no choice. When we're busy it's the only way to manage the demand. Giving people advice and trying to let them down gently can consume time we'd otherwise be spending on actual language learning.

 

Last week I got talking to someone who only spoke very basic English but also spoke no Chinese to me. I hinted that it wasn't working and suggested she find a teacher to get her skills up, but she didn't get the message. I had to stop replying.

 

I never have an expectation that anyone will keep responding to me, ever. When they stop responding for whatever reason (nothing bad so far!), I let it go. It's fine. I expect others to approach it the same way, since this is basically a social network and we're not providing anyone a paid service.

 

On 15/01/2018 at 11:43 AM, Flickserve said:

There is a location finder on hellotalk so that you can search for people close to you for language exchange. I have met one person on it. We met up in a coffee shop.

 

Have you met any more?

 

In the past I've avoided this, but I'll start using it soon. When we find a good language partner, I'm guessing it's easy to keep meeting for coffee and firm up the friendship. When we find an unsuitable one, as above it's just about having the fortitude to be honest for their sake as much as ours.

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4 hours ago, AdamD said:

Have you met any more?

 

Not at the moment. I had one positive reply from a postgraduate student. I wrote a nice long introduction even asking if she wasn't keen on face to face, then if she could ask her friends. I have been busy with work this week so haven't followed it up. 

 

My first meeting with the face to face got me thinking. You know how unsuccessful language exchanges can be. It might be worth trying to setup some sort of open access guide to topics, questions and answers with pictures as a guide to help along for subject matter to talk about. Within it is a list of vocabulary that the partner needs to learn and try to use relevant for that picture. Doesn't have to be a lot of vocabulary but just something that would help the flow if the conversation dries up. 

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