HelloTalk Review (2024)

March 09, 2024

In an increasingly interconnected world, HelloTalk, a cutting-edge language exchange app, is transforming the way individuals learn languages by facilitating direct communication with native speakers worldwide.

Although HelloTalk supports many languages, this review will delve into its functionalities and benefits specifically tailored to learners looking to improve their Chinese speaking skills.

In this article, we'll start by looking at how HelloTalk works, its features, and how to use it. Then, we'll discuss how HelloTalk can improve your Chinese skills and talk about its good and bad points. We'll also compare HelloTalk to other language apps like Tandem and iTalki.

Eager to know more? Keep reading!

I. What Is HelloTalk?

HelloTalk is an innovative language exchange application designed to connect learners with native speakers worldwide.

It stands out in the crowded app marketplace as a dedicated platform for cultural and language exchange rather than a dating app, despite some users occasionally blurring these lines.

While HelloTalk offers support for a plethora of languages, this review will zoom in on its functionalities and benefits specifically for learners aiming to improve their Chinese speaking skills.

HelloTalk is available on both iOS and Android platforms, as well as accessible via their website on desktop computers.

hellotalk logo

II. How Does HelloTalk Work?

HelloTalk operates on a simple yet effective principle: learn by talking. It employs a user-friendly interface where learners can easily find and connect with native Chinese speakers.

The app offers various communication methods, including text, voice messages, voice calls, and video calls, providing users with a diverse range of language learning opportunities.

One of HelloTalk's key features is its translation tool, which enables users to seamlessly translate messages between their native language and Chinese. Additionally, the app incorporates a correction functionality, allowing language partners to review and correct each other's messages.

This correction feature encompasses various tools, such as text corrections, pronunciation guidance, and grammar suggestions, fostering a collaborative learning environment.

HelloTalk in-chat functions

Moreover, HelloTalk includes a "Moments" section where users can share updates, ask language-related questions, and engage with the community. This interactive platform encourages users to participate actively in language exchange.

HelloTalk moments

These features are tailored to enhance the language learning process, making it engaging, interactive, and productive.

III. How to Use HelloTalk?

To begin using HelloTalk for Chinese learning, follow these simple steps:

    1) Download HelloTalk for iOS or Android and create an account.
    2) Set your native language and the language you wish to learn - in this case, Chinese.
    3) Use the search function to find native Chinese speakers who are looking for a partner to practice your native language.
    4) Start conversations with your Chinese language partners through texts, voice messages, or calls.
    5) Engage with the community by posting moments or responding to others.

IV. How Can HelloTalk Help Improve Your Chinese?

HelloTalk facilitates real-time communication with native Chinese speakers, which is crucial for improving one's Chinese language skills.

Engaging in conversations helps learners practice listening, speaking, and writing in Chinese, thereby expanding vocabulary and comprehension of grammatical structures.

For instance, the app's text messaging function not only enables users to exchange written messages but also aids in character recognition. It's also a great way to practice writing Chinese characters if you use stroke input methods, instead of pinyin.

Also, Chinese learners may refine their spoken Chinese skills through HelloTalk's voice messages, which offer a platform for practicing pronunciation and intonation. Similarly, the app's voice and video calls provide opportunities for live conversations, helping Chinese learners become more comfortable and confident in their ability to communicate in Chinese.

Moreover, HelloTalk's correction feature plays a pivotal role in language acquisition by providing immediate feedback on grammar, pronunciation, and character usage. Language partners can offer insights and corrections, guiding learners towards more accurate language usage.

Lastly, the translation tool within HelloTalk surpasses traditional translation methods like Google Translate. On the one hand, users can seamlessly translate messages without leaving the app, eliminating the need to switch between different applications. On the other hand, HelloTalk's translation tool provides context-specific translations tailored to the ongoing conversation, ensuring more accurate and relevant interpretations.

V. Can Hellotalk Help You Become Fluent In Chinese?

While HelloTalk is a powerful tool for language practice, becoming fluent in Chinese depends on various factors, including the learner's dedication, frequency of practice, and exposure to the language outside the app.

However, regular interaction with native speakers through HelloTalk can significantly boost one's ability to understand and use Chinese in real-life situations, bringing them closer to fluency.

If you are interested in discovering other apps and tools for learning Chinese, you can explore this blog: 18 Most Recommended Chinese Learning Tools.

VI. Is Hellotalk Safe?

HelloTalk prioritizes user safety with various features and guidelines designed to maintain a respectful and safe learning environment.

Just like on any online platform, users should be careful, not share personal information quickly, and watch who they interact with. With these precautions, HelloTalk remains a safe space for language and cultural exchange.

VII. The Pros: What Makes HelloTalk Great for Learning Chinese?

The advantages of using HelloTalk for learning Chinese are manifold.

• The direct access to native speakers provides an unmatched opportunity for immersive learning.
• The app's correction and translation tools further facilitate understanding and accuracy in language use.
• Additionally, the cultural exchange aspect enriches the learning experience, providing context and depth to the language skills being developed.

VIII. The Cons: What Are the Disadvantages of HelloTalk?

Despite its many benefits, HelloTalk has its downsides.

The most notable con is the occasional misuse of the platform for dating purposes, which can detract from its educational objective.

Additionally, learners may find variability in the quality of language exchange, as not all users may be committed to teaching or have the pedagogical skills for effective language exchange.

IX. Is HelloTalk Completely Free?

HelloTalk offers both free and premium features.

The free version provides ample opportunities for language exchange, but with limitations on the number of native speakers you can contact initially and access to advanced features.

X. How Much Does HelloTalk Cost?

For those looking to unlock the full potential of HelloTalk, the app offers a subscription-based VIP membership.

The cost varies depending on the subscription length, with options ranging from monthly to yearly plans. It costs €9.99 a month, €60 for a year or €179.99 for a lifetime membership.

HelloTalk membership plan

This membership provides benefits such as unlimited language partner searches, ad-free experience, and access to all premium features.

XI. HelloTalk vs Tandem

When compared to Tandem, another popular language exchange app, HelloTalk offers a more extensive set of features designed specifically for language learning, such as language correction tools. (If you want to avoid the most common mistakes made by Chinese language learners, you'll find this blog interesting: Most common mistakes Chinese learners make and how to avoid them).

While Tandem also facilitates connections with native speakers, HelloTalk's community-oriented features like moments add a unique social learning dimension.

XII. HelloTalk vs iTalki

Unlike HelloTalk, iTalki focuses more on structured lessons with professional teachers and tutors for a fee.

While iTalki is excellent for those seeking formal education, HelloTalk offers a more casual, flexible approach to language exchange, making it better suited for daily conversation practice and cultural exchange.

XIII. Is Hellotalk Worth It?

For learners dedicated to improving their Chinese through real-world practice, HelloTalk offers invaluable resources and connections. The blend of practical language use, feedback, and cultural insights makes it a worthwhile tool in any language learner's arsenal.

The app facilitates language exchanges but may not be ideal for beginners, since using it requires a good grasp of the Chinese language. For beginners, I recommend reading this blog on how to practice speaking on your own: Top 5 Ways to Practice Speaking Chinese Alone.

Ultimately, whether HelloTalk is worth it depends on individual preferences and goals in language learning.


HelloTalk stands out as a leading platform for those seeking to enhance their Chinese speaking skills through direct interaction with native speakers. Its comprehensive features, designed to foster both language and cultural exchange, provide learners with a rich, immersive learning experience.

If you are looking to polish your Chinese language skills, HelloTalk offers an engaging path to language mastery.

Ready to embark on your learning journey? Try HelloTalk today and experience the difference!

About the Author

Sara Tao is a Chinese language and culture enthusiast who enjoys sharing her learning journey via Instagram (@saratao_chinese).

SARA TAO author profile