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HelloTalk language exchange app

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AdamD

It's a good idea. Years ago I went to a language exchange event with ice breakers on the tables. However, if you can successfully use HelloTalk to narrow people down to those who share interests with you, you might not need to do that at all.

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Flickserve

So far, on this app, I haven't met anyone offering to marry me. I don't know whether to feel slightly disappointed...

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AdamD

One of the incredibly lovely aspects of being an English speaker who learns Chinese is having a vast pool of potential language partners to choose from. Unfortunately this is one of the completely shattering aspects as well, especially when 99% of those potentials are either the wrong level or don't know how to get past 'hi' and 'why are you learning Chinese?'

 

A feature I'd love to see in HelloTalk is the ability to create a special closed group of trusted language partners, so when I've got an hour free and want to do a voice chat, I can broadcast 有人現在有空嗎? just to my trusted group of 10–20 friends without 8,000 strangers hitting me up all at once. This would make my life so much easier.

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HelloTalk Zac

HelloTalk has group chat function and group voice call since a while ago. AdamD you can easily do that now. 

We also just released a group class function which allow language teachers to upload teaching materials and do real time teaching (flipping PPT course materials) to other users in a group (beta function needs to apply). 

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AdamD
16 minutes ago, HelloTalk Zac said:

HelloTalk has group chat function and group voice call since a while ago. AdamD you can easily do that now.

 

Yes, but if I were to broadcast 'who's free now?' to a chat room, a lot of the people in there would have been invited in by someone else, and roughly half of them would be English speakers like me.

 

What I mean is a function that's like writing to 動態, or maybe even just a status update, but which only a specific list of my friends can see. So I could say only to the people I already trust: 'I'm free for a voice chat for the next hour. Who's available?'

 

24 minutes ago, HelloTalk Zac said:

We also just released a group class function which allow language teachers to upload teaching materials and do real time teaching

 

Which is a great feature, but it's quite different from what I suggested.

 

Mine is not a formal request, I just think it'd be a fantastic and very useful addition.

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HelloTalk Zac

You can manage your group by requiring approval to join. See attached photo. 

961E89E7-B9E3-4B88-8FCB-82D4798B20A6.png

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AdamD

That's good to know, but functionally I'd just be throwing all my favourite language partners into the same chat room. I don't know what they'd get out of that. Many would leave. I know if one person threw me into a chat group with 15 other English speakers, a) I'd feel pretty diminished and b) I'd have to mute the group because most of the chat wouldn't have anything to do with me, which means I'd miss the call from that one person who threw us all together in the first place.

 

I appreciate your suggestion but I don't believe group chat enables the feature I'd like to see (edit: unless groups can exist without a chat room, in which case I've completely misunderstood how HelloTalk groups work).

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HelloTalk Zac

In that case wait till we launch Groups function (not group chat) and Real time voice chat rooms in second half of 2018. 

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studychinese

I have serious issues with this app. Its constantly trying to connect, and generally does not connect. Worse, I am a premium member.

 

If you are able to speak, read and write Chinese you may actually find yourself at a disadvantage against those people that do not, in terms of competing for the attention of Chinese people. From the perspective of the Chinese people using this app it is better to talk to people that do not speak Chinese people at all. Simple game theory, I suppose.

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Flickserve

I experienced some problems recently but it seems to be more consistent today. 

 

No issues so far with connecting with other Chinese. I write a mixture of of pidgeon Chinese and English. I avoid college students and English majors. 

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AdamD
9 hours ago, studychinese said:

I have serious issues with this app. Its constantly trying to connect, and generally does not connect.

 

On Wednesday night there was a major issue. I couldn't connect at all for probably a couple of hours, and people on Twitter were asking about it too.

 

9 hours ago, studychinese said:

If you are able to speak, read and write Chinese you may actually find yourself at a disadvantage against those people that do not, in terms of competing for the attention of Chinese people.

 

We're looking for diamonds in the rough. I focus on people over 25, and as per @Flickserve 's post, I usually don't respond to English majors or people who have an IELTS coming up, because many of them speak all or mostly English. Overall I just mute and ignore anyone who only speaks English — it's a phenomenally selfish attitude and I don't have time to waste on it.

 

Also, those who say 'maybe you can speak to my daughter/son who's learning English' inevitably end up making you a free tutor for their child and/or asking you to read out reams of English text.

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歪果仁

I love the App I think technically it is brilliant. However I would still rather pay for tutors on Italki than use this language exchange app. I downloaded it again recently and had people ask to do their homework for them, just speak English and be really really clingy, saying “don’t abandon me” after 2 minutes of conversation. I am very time poor and I just don’t want the hassle of negotiating every new relationship and wondering whether I am learning anything. 

 

On italki the relationship is clear. I pay you and you teach me in an English free environment, Simple. We are very friendly, share a laugh and a joke, but we are not friends. I find with HelloTalk a lot of people see it as a place to make friends (fine if that is your thing) where I see it as a place to use each other to improve our language skills.

 

However if you get something out of it, that is fantastic I wish you all the best. 

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Flickserve
1 hour ago, AdamD said:

people who have an IELTS coming up,

 

Oh yeah. That's another group I avoid. 

 

1 hour ago, 歪果仁 said:

people ask to do their homework for them, just speak English and be really really clingy, saying “don’t abandon me” after 2 minutes of conversation.

 

I don't know what I am doing but have yet to be asked to do homework. For the English, I test them writing some Chinese or ask a question writing in Chinese. If they never use Chinese , then I ask my impossible question "do you blah blah" which is also asked on my profile. Then obviously they are not in my target group and then a natural end occurs. 

 

I have put up a few serious questions on Chinese up on it. Most recently I asked about 喝西北风 and generally got a good variety of answers.

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AdamD

Agreed on clinginess. It shifts the status. We can’t very well be equal peers with someone who’s desperate for our attention. I let all of those people go because there really is nothing left to gain.

 

@Flickserve: With repeated and persistent English speakers, I also do the Chinese test. If they reply in English, they’re gone.

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Flickserve

Do you write using English in your profile or Chinese? Mine is mainly Chinese. 

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歪果仁

I think a lot of People think that they will find someone they can use their target language to teach their native. Which usually means %99 English spoken with a fun or useful words Chinese Words thrown in. 

 

Yeah I am glad you guys have found a way to make it work for you. Personally I have found to spend more time finding people, vetting people, dealing with their expectations and working in relationships then learning Chinese. I just found is tiring to meet people create agreements and enforce boundaries and so on. If I have a hour to study Chinese I would rather pay $6 to $15 to just have some one get straight into it. 

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Flickserve
20 minutes ago, 歪果仁 said:

. If I have a hour to study Chinese I would rather pay $6 to $15 to just have some one get straight into it. 

  •  

 

I do that as well. Paying is better use of time. I really only joined hellotalk to get a bit more variety. 

 

When I post in moments, it's a ike a real time correction. I write a couple of Chinese sentences and then get the correction and it acts as a diary. 

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studychinese
1 hour ago, Flickserve said:

I do that as well. Paying is better use of time. I really only joined hellotalk to get a bit more variety. 

 

Same here. 

 

Despite the protestations of the app devs, Hello Talk is basically a dating app. Most of the females seem to have a dating agenda. And a hell of a lot of the males are homosexual, and a real nuisance. The remainder are "language rapists". 

 

https://web.archive.org/web/20060222172343/http://www.talktalkchina.com/index.php/2005/05/20/language-rapists/

 

I can see why you two are looking for diamonds in the rough but it seems like a huge effort. 

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AdamD
3 hours ago, Flickserve said:

Do you write using English in your profile or Chinese? Mine is mainly Chinese. 

 

A mix. Recently I made it clear I’ll ignore everyone who vomits English at me, and the number of opportunists hassling me has gone down.

 

3 hours ago, 歪果仁 said:

If I have a hour to study Chinese I would rather pay $6 to $15 to just have some one get straight into it. 

 

You’ve reminded me to use italki for paid tutoring, so thanks! I’ve never done this but now is the perfect time for me.

 

1 hour ago, studychinese said:

Most of the females seem to have a dating agenda. And a hell of a lot of the males are homosexual, and a real nuisance.

 

Maybe it’s because I explicitly ruled out 約炮 in my bio, maybe it’s because I’m not 25 any more, but I don’t get any of this. I’ve met some really nice gay guys on HelloTalk, it’s all been fine.

 

1 hour ago, studychinese said:

The remainder are "language rapists".

 

Ignoring the horrible term, they’re probably as desperate to speak English as we are to speak Chinese. I won’t waste my time with those people but I won’t get aggro with them either.

 

Also, it feels to me like the HelloTalk team has put in a lot of provisions to stop it being a dating app: reporting/blocking, small profile photos, limits on 动态 posts. I really don’t see what more they could do, apart from monitor every conversation.

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