Make friends + learn Swahili
HelloTalk is a free app that makes it super easy and fast to meet, speak and text with real native Swahili speakers.
The app is available on Android and iOS and has become very popular all around the world with millions of users.
This is good news because it means you can probably quickly find someone that meets your Swahili language learning needs.
Easy Swahili language exchange
Download the app and launch it to instantly start meeting Swahili people who want to learn your native language. It's super quick and free!
Swahili text + voice chat
HelloTalk allows you to interact with others using a variety of means including text and voice chat.
Also included is the ability to share images while talking or texting.
Speaking, texting and sharing images are all free.
Swahili grammar correction
Another cool feature of HelloTalk is the ability to have your language partners simply tap on incorrectly written Swahili and correct it on-the-fly.
On the flipside, you can also correct their grammar as you interact.
It's that easy to share your knowledge and learn from a native speaker for free.
Feature-rich Swahili language app that's easy to use
One of the greatest things about HelloTalk is that it is just so darn simple to use despite its many Swahili learning tools.
The HelloTalk team keeps the app's interface streamlined, making all the features easy to access.
You can view screenshots of many of HelloTalk's features in an older blog post of mine.
Locate Swahili speakers near you
It's possible to filter your search for native Swahili speakers by distance from your location, making it super useful for finding people you can actually meet with in person after establishing contact via the app.
Translate Swahili with text-to-voice
The built-in translation feature allows you to quickly translate text from your native language into Swahili. Great for people just getting started!
This feature also also makes it possible for people that just want to make friends who speak other languages and be able to communicate with them despite having no common language.
Built-in transliteration tools make it easy to work between writing systems of all kinds, including Swahili.
If your native language uses a non-Roman script or you are learning a language that doesn't use Roman script, this is amazingly helpful!
Tools for effective Swahili language exchange
Language exchanges are great, but what happens when you feel like you are giving more than you are receiving? Or that your partner is just not as good at teaching as you would like?
HelloTalk is introducing features that will allow for much better exchanges to take place.
Swahili language channels
Also in the works for HelloTalk is the ability to have a channel which people can join. This makes it possible for one person to teach Swahili to many people at once, or simply for groups of people with similar interests to share with each other more easily, all focused around language learning.
Beyond Swahili learning: 125+ languages!
The possibilities with HelloTalk go beyond Swahili language exchange: over 125 languages are available via the app!
Another creative use for the app is something done by a musician who is using HelloTalk to make a friend in every country.
Interview with HelloTalk CEO Zackery Ngai
In November of 2015, I interviewed Zackery Ngai about HelloTalk for the Free Language Podcast.
In the interview, Zackery takes us behind the scenes of HelloTalk, its origins, how it has evolved through feedback from users, the method behind the app as well as some cool things that are in store for the future.
Zackery also shares his own experience and advice learning languages.