If you have a smart phone and you need instant language practice, here’s the answer: HelloTalk.
The Fluent blog already has a fantastic review on the app that will cover all the basics and get you up and running. It gets into several details that I don’t cover here, like Language Exchange Mode and menu settings. If you’re looking for examples of how HelloTalk can help you improve your Russian for free, read on!
Four cool ways to practice Russian on your phone with HelloTalk
#1. Describe your daily life.
You get your own feed (think: Facebook) that can be updated with moments of your daily life. For example, I took this picture on the streetcar one day and shared it as a moment. Within minutes, several people had responded and corrected the mistake in my text. (Магазин мужского рода, oops!)
That brings us to the next topic- corrections…
#2. See your mistakes and how to fix them.
It’s really easy to make and receive corrections within the app. I love this feature, because it helps me see exactly where my problems are. Take a look at the corrections in the conversation below.
#3. Don’t get stuck- translate!
If you don’t understand what your conversation partner has written, you can translate the word or the entire sentence into English by tapping and holding on the word/sentence. This works really well with single words- I learned the meanings of венок and увы from this feature- but as you can see below, it can sometimes get a little confusing with longer phrases. Still, this feature keeps the conversation going smoothly without getting snagged on unknown terms.
#4. Meet someone this very minute.
It might not work as well in other language combinations, but English speakers looking for Russian speakers are going to get tons of offers. My inbox is flooded with messages from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. In the end, I went with a programmer from St. Petersburg. He’d been looking for an English language exchange partner for a couple of years, but as another Russian told him, “Изучающих русский меньше чем изучающих англиский… терпение и ещё раз терпение.” In other words, the odds are very much in your favor!
Have you tried HelloTalk before? What do you think of it?