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HelloTalk language exchange app


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1 hour ago, AdamD said:

Ignoring the horrible term,

Yes what a horrible term. I think they just want to practice their language skills and learn about other cultures (like me). If you are busy you can politely say no. 

 

I recommend Italki it is really good for busy people. 

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6 minutes ago, 歪果仁 said:

Yes what a horrible term. I think they just want to practice their language skills and learn about other cultures (like me). If you are busy you can politely say no. 

 

Perhaps that is why some people are now calling it "language banditry".

 

A horror homestay tale here.

 

http://languagebanditry.blogspot.com.au/2009/03/being-victimized-by-language-banditry.html

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The slab of text in that link is enormous. I couldn’t find the homestay anecdote because it goes on and on.

 

If someone forces us into English, I think it’s pretty easy for us to walk away. This ChinesePod lesson (subscriber access only) gives some good tips for dealing with people who do that. A homestay situation is harder to deal with but that would be for another thread.

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I couldn’t find the homestay anecdote because it goes on and on.

Check the 'archive' links in the side bar.  It's the only other article on that site.

 

Honestly, it wouldn't surprise me if it was the author's attitude that lead people to treat him negatively, and he projects his own thoughts on to their motives (he's clearly determined to only speak Japanese so thinks any negative treatment he receives from other people is because they are wanting to speak in English but he won't let them).

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I think these derogatory terms are totally unhelpful and, to be honest,  reflect the personality of the writer.

 

perhaps there are issues, but I can't help thinking using words like rapists and bandits are totally out of order. Language is voluntary and mutual consent.  

52 minutes ago, AdamD said:

Well it’s convinced me to never sign up for a homestay. I can’t imagine being locked into an endless language power struggle.

 

I would still go for it. Haha

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14 hours ago, AdamD said:

 

The slab of text in that link is enormous. I couldn’t find the homestay anecdote because it goes on and on.

 

I did not bother to read it either after a paragraph I decided it was not worth the effort. I just feel that person is too sensitive and negative, not to mention some weird sense of perceived injustice... kids these days.

 

On Italki if someone just wants to use you for English, just give them the flick it is so easy to find another. 

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On 31/01/2018 at 10:24 PM, HelloTalk Zac said:

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

 

I think AdamD's suggestion is a good one. It would really help a user like me who is very inconsistent with time or sometimes has the odd half hour to spare. 

 

Features:

- create a group(s) of target language native speakers

- none of those can see who else within the group is online

- If any are online, I can see them and the app sends a message asking if phone chat is ok

- if somebody is ok, then I can get the app to delete the aforementioned message to all who have received the message

- proceed to call that particular language partner who responded.

 

 

Trouble is, if you have a group of five, all five might reply at the same time. How can an app help with that to save embarrassment? Or should a person just contact each one individually if noted they are online..

Edited by Flickserve
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4 hours ago, Flickserve said:

Features:

- create a group(s) of target language native speakers

- none of those can see who else within the group is online

 

Yes! This is exactly what I was thinking. Just a small group of your own preferred language partners you can call upon when you've suddenly got a bit of spare time.

 

4 hours ago, Flickserve said:

Trouble is, if you have a group of five, all five might reply at the same time. How can an app help with that to save embarrassment?

 

Maybe a limit of five people would be a good way to manage this. I imagine if you added someone to your shortlist, that person would have a chance to accept or decline, and it would ordinarily happen after a short discussion/agreement anyway.

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On 03/02/2018 at 7:07 PM, AdamD said:

Maybe a limit of five people would be a good way to manage this. I imagine if you added someone to your shortlist, that person would have a chance to accept or decline, and it would ordinarily happen after a short discussion/agreement anyway.

 

Yeah, you could contact each one individually if you have a shortlist. 

 

 

 

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  • 6 months later...
On 2/2/2018 at 11:35 AM, studychinese said:

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

 

On 2/2/2018 at 12:47 PM, AdamD said:

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.

 

 

Had one person do this to me yesterday.. Completely english even when I wrote chinese. I let it die away. Interestingly, I told one of the other language partners about this and she said she experienced that the other way. A guy just spoke chinese to her all the time and never spoke any english.......so she dropped him...

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On 9/3/2018 at 10:51 AM, Flickserve said:

Had one person do this to me yesterday.. Completely english even when I wrote chinese. I let it die away.

 

If I were to do all this again, I wouldn’t spend much time on HelloTalk. It’s good at what it does, but you can’t make serious traction when you’re forever trying to find someone who’s willing to give you exactly what you need without drenching you in English, all the while having the exact same small-talk conversation 5,000 times (‘why do you want to learn Chinese?’). Same with local language exchange meetups. Looking back, it gave me a fair amount of confidence and exposure to real-world speech, but no structure or solid gains, which hurt me long-term.

 

I would advise anyone to pay for lessons and conversations (so face-to-face tutoring and iTalki), and probably find a paid/dedicated mentor who can monitor you and tell you what you need to focus on from week to week. When your language exchange is free and your partners are unqualified, you get what you pay for.

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@AdamD

 

A good point. I don't mind small talk. But I do agree it needs to be balanced. I went to hellotalk to get some extra listening input and variety so it achieved its aim. I spoke more and became more at ease with what I know. 

 

Most people are not teachers so one should not have very high expectations about actual learning. 

 

Making friends - well, it's difficult to know who you can click with. You might as well talk to somebody at a bar. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I left feedback in the Hello Talk survey. I didn't leave much positive feedback, whether about the technical capabilities of the app (very poor), or the people on the app (generally only want to engage in English).

 

This got me thinking about the broader problems with the language exchange concept. Unless there is a way to filter out non-Chinese people that do not speak Chinese at all, the Chinese learners of English will always choose the "language exchange partner" that speaks no Chinese at all. I am sure this could be modeled with game theory, but basically the person that speaks no Chinese at all has absolute advantage in finding a Chinese native partner.

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12 hours ago, studychinese said:

whether about the technical capabilities of the app (very poor)

 

Can be improved. Definite. 

 

12 hours ago, studychinese said:

people on the app (generally only want to engage in English).

 

That one you have to do your own screening process and set your own requirements. I have actually tried to find some people with very little English as an experiment. They seem to get bored of me in the same way you get bored of those who only speak English to you. Not sure why they get bored of me.

 

I joined a small HT group. In fact, the admin is pretty good in trying to keep things going. To join that group, it's been explained to people that it's a proactive group. Any member who doesn't post and plays only a passive role will eventually be removed. She has told me that she doesn't know know why Chinese learners and Chinese people in the group get upset with her when being removed. They have all been explained the ground rules. I was a bit mystified as well.

 

Being a member of that group has given me a few ideas on what works and what doesn't work. 

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I have been a member of hellotalk for about 3 years. Last I checked I have more than 7,300 followers. Maybe I am somewhat of an experienced user. 

 

I mostly spend time in the moments section and I don't engage him too many private conversations, although I have had many that were very fruitful, and I even learned a little money here and there.

 

I have reached a level where I can easily speak in English or Chinese, and definitely right in both languages even better. I'm not going to tell you my Chinese is super amazing, but I can definitely hold a conversation for a long time.

 

The concept of doing everything equally I think is not easily achieved. Often one person is much better than the other, so there is going to be an imbalance already. And once you get to be pretty good, you can find other applications where you will only be speaking in Chinese for example.

 

But rather than shoot for some kind of 50/50 split in private conversations, I just make more use of the moments section, and there I am sure to post in both English and Chinese. Most of my posts are using both languages. Then if someone replies to me in English, I often enter them in English. But I also have lots of replies in Chinese so I answer them in Chinese.

 

I'm not a proponent of Being Greedy but it is important to know what you want and then try to receive that. As you learn more and more, you will be able to help more people naturally.

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