With a personal invite from HelloTalk, I could not resist registering and checking it out.
Mindpasta is like Facebook, only better, creating a learning environment with games for interacting with people. People post as they learn Korean and learn about the culture through real people. They receive corrections on their Korean from native speakers. plus have access to Ryan’s Korean lessons.
HelloTalk is like Kaokotalk, only better, creating opportunities for one on one conversations either by text or voice. It is a limited interaction (5 minutes of speaking or 500 words). Short but intense. The native can offer corrections to the learner. By matching up two learners and spitting the time equally between the two languages, both people benefit.
Here is a video showing the HelloTalk language exchange mode.
An important aspect to me was HelloTalk’s acceptable behavior policy that flags people who try to use it as a dating or pornographic site. Like Mindpasta, they seek to create a safe environment for language exchange.
So here is a quick crash course. I used it for the first time today. The interface was easy to use. I met a Korean who was on HelloTalk to help introduce people to Korean culture. Are all Koreans so generous? I continue to be amazed at their warmth and kindness to me as a language learner.
HelloTalk seems like a good product that I will certainly use. My only downside is that by linking to my Facebook, it has my real name. Review the settings to be sure it is set how you like.
The push notifications that assume if you are not sleeping, you want to be available to chat is a bit too invasive for my taste, but I am old school. I am sure the 20-somethings think nothing of being attached to their phone every waking moment.