Recently I decided to team up with HelloTalk to promote my best-selling Super Cheap Japan book and to share with the world how awesome the app is! I started using it about 3 years ago when I left Japan for a bit to do a working holiday in Australia. My plan was always to return to Japan, which I did in the end, but I was worried about losing my Japanese language skills. I couldn’t find anywhere to really practice Japanese so I was rather concerned about forgetting it all! Meetups and language exchange groups can be ok, but often they are more for just making friends than actually learning language. One day my friend suggested downloading HelloTalk as she was a user. Once I had downloaded it I noticed that many people I’d met at language meetups were also on it!
What’s really awesome about this app is that it encourages people to help each other out. For example, when living in Japan before I used to posts in Japanese on Facebook. It was a good way to practice Japanese, but there was little feedback on my Japanese skills. I was never sure if I was writing incorrectly. I really needed that feedback to improve my Japanese. With HelloTalk you could do post updates or status updates which the whole community can see, comment on and suggest improvements. The app has a super useful comment tool that allows people to select text in someone’s post, and correct a phrase, piece of grammar or some misspelling. It is also a great way to make more foreign friends as you will meet and interact with people with similar interests, living in the same area as you.
One Japanese friend that I met on HelloTalk in Melbourne really helped me to improve my Japanese. After going our separate ways in Australia we kept in touch over the app. We continued to help eachother out with our language skills and eventually be met up again in Japan. I thought seen it all in Tokyo when I left before, but she took me to some cheap bars and restaurants in her area that I would not have heard about as I had lived on the other side of Tokyo before. I save a load on money and had a great time with my new buddy. It was like having my own guide for the day, one with similar likes and dislikes. Plus I got to learn some new words! Arigatou!
Why not try out HelloTalk and see what you think?