Did you take up Spanish – or maybe even Chinese – alongside your studies, only to abandon it or to find out you seem to have forgotten most of it already? If so, then maybe Hello Pal can help you refresh your memory.
This language app allows you to chat with people from all over the globe. What makes it remarkable is its built-in translation feature, which helps you overcome the language barrier.
Practicing language skills
Ramon den Hartog, a fourth-year student studying International Business & Management Studies, is currently doing a work placement in Hong Kong with the company that developed Hello Pal. He has been using the language app for some time, and hopes that more students will discover its benefits.
‘Most students learn one or two, or sometimes three languages in school’, Ramon explains. ‘Unfortunately, the only opportunity they have to practice is during class, and many people find the classroom exercises boring. Our app offers users the chance to get in touch with people of all nationalities, and to chat with them in a way that is similar to Whatsapp.’
This process is enabled by the translation feature, ‘supported by Google Translate, which is why it’s not always fully accurate’, and by dedicated phrase books. Ramon: ‘Phrase books list phrases in ten different languages. All these phrases have been translated and recorded by language professionals. The idea behind these lists is that they allow you to have a conversation that is also a useful learning experience, even if you don’t speak a word of Chinese. You can both read the sentence and listen to it, and you can even practice pronouncing it. It’s the perfect way to learn a foreign language or to maintain your skills.’
Hello Pal is not only educational, it also has a competitive element. It offers users the option to challenge other users to see who the fastest and best translator is. The app is still under development: the phrase books are currently being expanded, and a separate section will become available where users can receive training from experienced tutors.