Chinese messaging apps such as QQ and WeChat (微信-wēixìn) have long been favored by Mandarin learners as a great way to practice reading and writing. Instant messaging allows learners to recognize and use characters in the context of a real conversation.
Now, WeChat's 500 million+ users are increasingly choosing to use its voice message (语音信息-yǔyīn xìnxī) function, dropping the relatively laborious option of texting. Just push the record button and off you go – no need to fumble around finding the right character on your screen. And since the streets of Chinese cities are usually bustling and loud, there's no awkwardness in recording and listening to voice messages in public.
WeChat and QQ remain excellent ways to practice reading and writing Chinese, but we definitely encourage learners to embrace the walkie-talkie approach.
WeChat voice messaging can help improve your fluency and confidence in spoken Chinese. Chatting real-time, in context and with friends is relaxed and authentic – just as learning Chinese should be.
If you need a few moments or even an hour to prepare your reply that's fine! Take your time; you're not under the same kind of immediate pressure to perform as you can be in a face to face conversation. The more you practice all you've learned through your studies, the faster and more at ease you'll become.
Download WeChat if you haven't already, sync with your phone contacts, and add your Chinese-speaking friends. You'll be sending voice message back and forth in no time.
Don't know many native speakers? You can always try the search function to find users nearby – even outside of China.