Learning New Languages with Global Real-time Communications

HelloTalk (hellotalk.com) is an exciting global mobile application, available for both Apple IoS and Android, which provides an interactive and social environment for people in any country to learn new languages. There are over 100 languages to choose from and the application provides dictionaries, transliteration between languages, grammar checking, and pronunciation guides. These rich application capabilities make it easier to learn languages, but most importantly, HelloTalk connects you to other users around the world who are native speakers of the language you want to learn, and who in turn want to learn your language. Using Agora.io HelloTalk also incorporates global real-time communications directly within the app. HelloTalk now has over 2.3 million global users and is growing fast, so it is able to match users together based on their languages and learning levels.

Most HelloTalk users will start by texting back and forth as they start to learn a language and through the app, they learn about other users who can help them as they use the app’s language tools. Then, to truly get better at a new language you also want the opportunity to talk to people and practice your speaking and listening skills. HelloTalk provides voice communications built directly within the application that makes it easy to turn a chat into a voice conversation while remaining in the app to use all the language and translation tools. Using texting with translation and voice together can be very effective in helping new learners struggling with speaking the language – they can always text something and joke about it when they are struggling to speak or understand what was said.

By providing global interconnection between millions of users, HelloTalk is able to bring together the right people-combinations across the 100+ languages it provides. This even includes important fictional languages like Klingon, Dothraki, and Valyrian!

HelloTalk in Action

To see HelloTalk in action take a look at the following extensive video review by a user or look at the many how-to videos on the HelloTalk Language ExchangeYouTube channel. There is also a good written review by language specialist and online blogger Koko the Polyglot.

The key requirement for real-time voice communications within HelloTalk is obviously that you get a good clear connection. You are trying to learn a new language after all where understanding is hard enough without audio problems! And the connections are most likely to be between different countries – from France to China, the US to Timbuktu, Australia to Azerbaijan! And these will all be on mobile devices. So for HelloTalk to be successful – mobile-to-mobile global communications have to work every time with great Quality of Experience regardless of the country or type of network connection.

The Agora.io CPaaS Solution

HelloTalk chose Agora.io for their mobile-to-mobile global real-time communications in order to get a cost-effective solution that would:

  • Enhance customer experience and app “stickiness” with fully integrated communications.
  • Ensure user privacy (no real phone numbers shared).
  • Manage the impact from unstable voice quality and network conditions across the globe.
  • Work well across many countries.
  • Remove the cost of maintaining their own voice network by leveraging a cost-effective cloud-based Communications as a Service (CaaS).

Agora.io met these needs by providing:

  • A reliable global real-time communications network.
  • The best Quality of Experience across the globe by using 65+ global data centers providing a virtual network with real-time optimized routing together with enhanced codecs and algorithms for mobile devices.
  • SLAs that ensure Internet-based real-time communication quality close to ITU telecom standards.
  • Easy to integrate SDKs that support fast implementation.
  • Simple bulk pricing for all services.

And the results are great! Over the past year, HelloTalk has grown their user base to over 2.3 million people across 200+ countries speaking 100+ languages. In this time they increased their global real-time communications sessions by a factor of 10 along with an 80% increase in the duration per call, which are now over 10 minutes long on average. Lots of language learning is now being conducted worldwide through HelloTalk!

Next steps: Download the Agora.io HelloTalk Case Study; see the interesting list of HelloTalk application features, and read more about how Agora.io architecture solves the global-mobile-to-mobile communication challenge for companies like HelloTalk.