It’s easy to avoid contact with locals while traveling. You may simply watch the streets below from the vantage point of your hotel. Or perhaps stick behind the camera, photographing what you see but never really experiencing it.
And especially while traveling with kids, it’s easy to stay inside a bubble. Particularly when language barriers exist, you might not even realize you’re doing it.
But the real magic of family travel happens when you foster meaningful connections with locals.
Hello Pal is a new, free app working to make coming out of your shell and connecting with locals much, much easier for family travelers.
How? In this free language learning app review, see how Hello Pal allows travelers to have conversations with locals in their native language. Even if you don’t speak that language.
Make Language Learning Fun for Your Kids
While verb conjugations and sentence structure make up the core of school language curriculum, this isn’t what’s most fun about learning a language.
By speaking with someone in their native language, we can joke, laugh and procure relevant, correct information.
Hello Pal helps you “chat” with friends and connections via the app. Not only are you able to translate words, but the app actually helps you understand the meaning of the words you are saying using a variety of translation tools.
While language acquisition is one of the most important and useful elements of worldschooling, or working education into a family travel experience, it’s not easy. Hello Pal removes barriers and makes language acquisition fun.
How does it work?
First, you find friends, or Pals, by country. Then, you can start a chat with one of your pals.
You can find phrases in your native language, say English, and then listen to audio in a foreign language, say Chinese. You then record yourself saying the phrase, or type it into your phone, and send it to your pal.
And just like that, you are having a conversation in a foreign language!
I especially love the text feature. Simply type a text to a friend, and you can send as is, or hit a little “translate” button to select the language and send through to the Pal.
Easy Way to Work Language Into Your Worldschool Curriculum
As a parent, incorporating language into a worldschool curriculum is an obvious choice, but not always easy to do if you don’t speak the language yourself.
I’ve tried several other language learning and translation apps in the past, and always find myself giving up after a few days.
This is different because your Pals are actually offering feedback (sometimes via emoticon which my kids love!) and continuing the conversation. Hello Pal is unique in that there is a real person at the other end of the technology.
Once you’re up to speed, actually using Hello Pal to chat to other users is as easy as using any other IM or chat app. And it’s particularly good for kids because messages do not have to be in real-time and are easy for parents to monitor.