5 Fun Chatting Apps for Learning German and Building Conversational Confidence.

WhatsApp

What is it?

WhatsApp is a free SMS service that connects you with people all over the world. You can use it on your mobile device or computer. Chatting options include video chat or text message, so you can practice speaking, typing.

Simply download the WhatsApp app and fill out a profile to get started. It works just like an instant messaging platform.

How it can help:

While it wasn’t designed for language learners, WhatsApp is very helpful for finding German chat partners. The best way to start chatting is to find a public WhatsApp group for language learners. Sites such as Join WhatsApp Groups and WeWhatsApp let you easily search for them.

Do you have classmates in your German class that you’d like to practice with? WhatsApp is also a perfect platform for you all to connect. The program allows you to organize groups based on topic and continue conversations that were started on your mobile device on your computer.

Best of all, WhatsApp has a feature that lets you record brief voice messages—a great way to practice your pronunciation skills, or use a word you don’t know how to spell in German.

Hellolingo

What is it?

Hellolingo is a free language learning community with thousands of members.

How it can help:

Hellolingo is a new platform created from the former Livemocha and SharedTalk by Rosetta Stone. Since it’s new, features are still being added. However, if you used Livemocha or SharedTalk, you’ll find that many of the features are the same.

Hellolingo allows you to choose your native language as well as the language you’re learning and uses your profile to help connect you with other speakers. The community is free and allows you to learn and talk about topics that interest you.

The idea is to facilitate friendly language exchanges, so everyone can develop their skills and cultural knowledge.

Speaky

What is it?

Speaky is another free language learning community. It offers audio and video chat features.

How it can help:

Speaky is a “social network” for language learners. Once you create a profile and specify that you’re learning German, you’ll be connected with native German speakers who are learning your native language. Through chat, you can help each other.

Since you’re both learning, it removes much of the pressure to be perfect in your target language.

italki

What is it?

Italki is a popular language learning website where you can find informal language exchange partners. Italki is also known for its certified online language tutors.

How it can help:

While you do have to pay for the teaching and tutoring services, italki also has a free community where you can read articles written by italki teachers, and participate in free language exchanges with other learners. Just go to the language partners page and browse users based on the language they’re learning, where they’re from, their gender and more.

Looking to improve your writing as well? italki also has a feature where you can keep a journal in your target language and native German speakers will correct your writing.

WeSpeke

What is it?

WeSpeke has been called the “polyglot Facebook,” with users from more than 230 countries representing more than 200 native languages.

How it can help:

By strategically matching you with online language partners, WeSpeke helps you to achieve a great language exchange. You can sign up for free. Both video and text chat are available.

Supplement your practice with structured WeSpeke lessons so you can learn more German to practice with your new friends.

There’s no reason to fear speaking a new language. The internet provides you with a variety of sources to practice your German. Once you’re comfortable chatting, you can practice talking to native German speakers in person.

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