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Travel Hacks

A Language App You'll Actually Want to Use

by Daniel Schwartz

HelloTalk App

Photo by FOX / Pexels. 

Learning a new language is near the top of many a bucket list, but it takes lots and lots of practice. This Tech Tuesday, we're looking at an app that makes memorizing vocab something you may actually want to spend time doing.

The most effective way to master a new language is to live where that language is spoken, but for those who can't relocate to Spain, for example, and study syntax with a hot-blooded, smooth-talking Spaniard, there's now a promising alternative — HelloTalk, a free messenger app that enables users to practice their language skills on native speakers all around the world.

How does it work? Choose the language you want to learn and HelloTalk will connect you with proficient speakers who are also interested in learning your native tongue. Once you pick a pen pal from the match list, you can communicate over text, voice message, or video call, and use the built-in learning tools to get the most out of each conversation — translate messages, dictate text, transcribe audio, point out grammar mistakes, save notes to a word bank, even transliterate non-Roman alphabets.

THE TAKEAWAY

HelloTalk turns the time-consuming task of learning a new language into something as simple and fun as carrying on a conversation. The chance to test your linguistic skills with real people from around the world is a huge incentive to keep up the practice, especially if you hit it off with with your partners. Who knows, you may end up meeting your new friends on a future trip. How's that for a proficiency exam?

WHERE TO BUY

The app is available for free on iTunes or Google Play.

WATCH IT IN ACTION

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE

Daniel is an editorial assistant at Fathom. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter. He travels for the food, perspective, and sense of belonging. Read more: Articles on Fathom

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