Pangyo, Korea. For the eight Hallo employees living in Korea, the last four months have been an incredible and eye-opening experience. As a company focused on language learning, there are many similarities between working in a new country and learning a new language. Here are five lessons the Hallo team learned that will help you succeed with both!
1. Get your feet on the ground. The CEO of Hallo, Joon Beh and six other team members moved to South Korea at the beginning of August for the K-Startup Program. Joon says, “Living in Korea really helped us understand what’s going on in the country and position ourselves better.” Similarly, when you’re learning a language, you need to position yourself. You might not be able to move countries, but you can still mimic an immersive language-learning experience.
2. Hire and work with local experts. Andrew, the lead software developer at Hallo, says, “Working with our Korean intern at the startup program has been incredibly helpful. She’s helped with navigating the Korean market and PR scene, localizing assets to Korean style and language, and explaining Korean culture.”
Local experts (i.e. native speakers) are also essential to learning a language. On the Hallo app, you can find hundreds of native English speakers to help you navigate the ins and outs of English.
3. Research the local culture. When you move a company to a new country, your goal is to understand and navigate the country’s culture. Doing your research doesn’t just mean slogging through thousands of pages of legal jargon, but can also include binging K-dramas, listening to BTS, and eating local cuisine. If you’re learning English, the same principles apply–make American and British foods, binge watch Downton Abbey, or follow English-speaking influencers on Instagram.
4. Deep-dive into local social media avenues. Speaking of social media, find the social media of the country you’re branching into. For most countries, that would be Facebook, but for Korea it’s Naver, so Hallo started translating and posting content on there to specifically target a Korean audience. We also hired Youtube influencer, Chad Tanner (whose YouTube channel “Hi Chad” has thousands of subscribers and is specifically targeted towards a Korean audience) to create content for Hallo.
Likewise, to fully immerse yourself in a new language, switch your social media to that language. To take it a step further, download Hallo (the “social media platform for language learning”) and surround yourself with a community of thousands of language learners.
5. Start excited and stay excited! To succeed in a totally new working and living environment, you have to remain positive! Keep focusing on why you’re there and push through language barriers, public transportation mishaps, legal challenges, and the heartbreaking discovery that in Korea you can only order pizza online if you have a Korean number.
Similarly, you need to remember why you’re learning a new language or it’s easy to get discouraged by everything you don’t know. Hallo is here to help you get excited and stay excited! With new teachers hired and new students joining every day, learning on Hallo is never boring!
To follow Hallo’s adventures in Korea and other countries follow the Hallo blog and Instagram.
Still new to English or looking into branching into an English-speaking country? Download the Hallo app and start practicing now.