My Tandem App Review: Lots of Quick Surface Conversations
I downloaded the tandem app a few weeks ago and it has been really fun so far, but I’m probably pretty close to deleting it because there really isn’t much depth to the conversations here beyond the typical niceties . Because I have been more focused on using this language exchange app to improve my Chinese character typing skills I have focused mainly on connecting with Chinese speakers who want to learn English.
Tandem is basically set up so that you can find a lot of conversation partners and many different languages. The premium version of tandem allows you to make use of different proficiency tests to show others how good you are at a language or to use the translation feature, which if you don’t know the language you’re trying to learn it becomes really useful to have this. Actually tandem limits you to three translations every 24 hours so I was constantly having to copy and paste back and forth in a Google translate, because I wasn’t ready to upgrade.
There have been a few people out of the probably 100 that I’ve chatted with that have suggested we become friends on WeChat. But then when we transition over to WeChat ironically the chatting stops. So I wouldn’t recommend taking the friendships or conversations onto another platform. There are also some dubious motivations from language partners. Maybe some are looking for international husbands or relationships or money, or some are really students who need a language teacher, and aren’t going to be good conversation partners.
At the end of the day I’d say Tandem is a great novelty to have fun with but not something you can go deep with to build authentic relationships or to take your language learning to new heights.
P.S. I did reach out to offer feedback to the Tandem team with the suggestion to make it possible to copy details from the profile so you can actually translate potential partner bios to give you some information to start a conversation with, and to see if they can add a teaching option (because might as well be making money while speaking English right?)