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Lingomatch Blog Andrew Playford is the CEO & co-founder of LingoMatch. LingoMatch is working on a mobile app for language learners to create, translate and share awesome flash cards by using their mobile phones. Follow us on Twitter and get an invitation to our private beta.

19 June 2013 ~ Comments Off

LingoMatch Relaunches!

Today we completely re-launched LingoMatch.com.

It had been dormant for a few years while we screwed around trying Facebook apps, iPhone apps and iPhone games.  After all that we decided our first version was the best. We wanted to keep it simple. No more online “friends” to make, no more social networks to join, no more profiles to fill out.

What is LingoMatch? LingoMatch is a language exchange where you can create a quick free Ad to find a language exchange in your area.

How does it work? It works like a gumtree, craigslist or olx Ad but much prettier and much safer.

  • You login with Facebook. We only offer Facebook login so we know everyone is using their real identity.
  • You choose the language you’re learning and the language you speak
  • You write an Ad in a few sentence and you publish
  • You also have the opportunity to share yourt ad on Facebook or twitter
  • The whole process takes about 30 seconds.
  • Replies come directly to your email. The sender only sees your email address when you reply.

Why is this a big deal? Nobody has solved the language conversation problem. Solutions for grammar and vocabulary come in many shapes and sizes but for conversation – almost nothing. Its totally up to the learner.

We don’t want to take the place of language teachers or classes. We just want to make language conversation something much more tangible, measurable and accessible.

 

10 October 2011 ~ Comments Off

LingoMatch Private Beta Invites

LingoMatch is going mobile and we are giving away free $15 Amazon or $15 iTunes gift certificates for 15 minutes of your time via Skype Chat or Phone.

But first we want to invite you to our private beta version. This means you get early access to test drive the product.

Please take a minute to do this super-short questionnaire. When the App is ready we will use the email you give us on the form to send you the invite.

Here is the tiny questionnaire: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WD2GDTR

07 October 2011 ~ Comments Off

Why We Love Vocabulary

As you will have seen from our previous post, we recently fell out-of-love with trying to get the world to talk online. We credit ourselves with making a noble effort but rue the time, energy and money spent.

Never-the-less we have spent almost 9 months studying the language learning market and we think we know it pretty well by now. Although its a little crowded we think its crowded with lots of really bad products. Most which don’t really help anyone move any closer to their language learning goals.

With one of our co-founders an expert iOS developer and the other an expert Android developer we have been analyzing how we can apply what we have learned about the language learning world to mobile.

When it comes to building a base of words, phrases and expressions we see two types of methods or services.

  • Publisher Push. This is where a publisher pushes words or phrases to the learner, maybe accompanied by a voice clip or image. The learner then consumes.
  • Organic Lists. This is where the learner builds their own lists, perhaps referring to a dictionary or published material.

In both cases, the learner ends up with a list to memorize.

We really love this. We love it because its really boring. We love this because these techniques are decades old. We love this because we can so change the way this is done by making it awesomely social and deliciously mobile!

Stay tuned!

05 October 2011 ~ Comments Off

Language Conversation is for the Birds!

The Rosetta Stone S1 registration document quotes an industry research analysis, that was commissioned from The Nielson Company, which states that in 2007 the worldwide language-learning industry represented more than $83 billion in consumer spending (of which $32 billion was for self study).

In our opinion, most of that $83 billion is spent on only 2 of the 3 building blocks of language mastery i.e. (1) the acquisition of vocabulary and (2) the acquisition of grammar. This is understandable:

  • You can’t start without them.
  • Both can be taught at scale i.e. one-to-many.
  • Both are easily tested e.g. written exams.

However, the 3rd building block, (3) conversation practice, has historically been accepted as an occupational hazard and is left completely up to the student, except for the occasional exchange in the classroom. Again, understandable:

  • Conversation practice is not easily scaled i.e. it needs to be 1:1 and it needs to be supplied at high volume.
  • Conversation practice is hard to monetize – students don’t feel they should pay the same for conversation as they do for grammar instruction.
  • Many students live in parts of the world where there simply are no native speakers of the language they are learning, so conversation opportunities are hard to come by.

However, one would think that with todays technology this problem is ripe to be solved. Surely now people form all over the world should be happily chatting away on a daily basis?

We tried to solve this problem. LiveMocha tried to solve this problem. YongoPal tried to solve this problem. We failed. Now Verbling and Colingo are trying to succeed where we failed. The problem, we deduced, is simply human nature.

People don’t really want to talk online to a stranger in a different language, they feel shy, they feel stupid, they have to put themselves too far outside their comfort zone.

We, at LingoMatch still like the language learning market but we are leaving the conversation stuff to Verbling and Colingo and we wish them luck.

More on this soon…

04 April 2011 ~ Comments Off

English Mania

I only recently discovered this amazing video of Jay Walker talking about English Mania at TED in 2009. Its a pretty amazing video. China will soon be the largest English speaking country in the world!