On April 19, 2016, Lingohop’s Kickstarter campaign opened for pre-orders with a goal of $25,000. The mobile app is scheduled to launch in November this year.
With globalization booming like never before, people all over the world are sensing a need to learn and master new languages. People of all ages now travel internationally for different reasons. Naturally, their requirements in terms of learning a foreign language are also different. A businessperson might need to be prepared for formal introductions with clients while a student backing abroad might need to book a hostel for the night.
Currently, however, there are no tools that cater to this growing need. We’ve seen language learning evolve from books to apps, but ever since the mobile boom nearly a decade ago, software and linguistic experts haven’t been able to create a platform that is customizable, user friendly, affordable, and effective all at the same time. Until now.
Lingohop is a personalized language learning mobile application that caters to all the different needs and learning styles of global travelers. The language-learning platform combines machine learning with the latest linguistic science known as ‘language for a specific purpose.’ For users this means that the app teaches you exactly what you need based on your unique needs.
Once you register, the app asks a set of questions to gauge your rationale for learning the language. With a strong algorithm backed by years of research, the app is able to provide a learning plan tailored just for you keeping in mind the time you have to learn the language. It makes sure whatever you learn is relevant and conversational in nature. The lessons are broken down into 4-minute segments–ordering food, getting directions, catching a taxi–and because they are relevant to the user’s needs, research has shown the brain will more efficiently absorb the language, so users can start conversing on day 1.
The founders have created a more intuitive platform that utilizes the latest linguistic research and technology. “Almost all traditional study options are unreasonably regimented and leave the users unable to actually speak the language,” said co-founder and CEO Michael Ashley when asked about the challenges he faced in learning new languages. “By placing user specific needs within an immersive, conversational platform, Lingohop sets itself apart from the competitors whose approach was first introduced 70 years ago. We’ve designed a solution that recognizes the cognitive processes and abilities behind language learning to allow users to be prepared for any situation abroad.” said co-founder and Chief Research Officer Ramón Padilla-Reyes.
Q&A with Co-Founder and CEO Michael Ashley
How did the idea of the app come about?
During our time in high school, DJ and I discovered a passion for languages. We weren’t fans of the traditional approach, however, because we didn’t feel it equipped us with the tools needed to actually converse in the target language. To solve this, we started focusing all of our efforts on conversational language, so we could speak in different languages when we passed each other in the hall. When we realized what we were doing was backed by the latest linguistic research, we all joined forces to create a platform that allowed everybody to have the same experience.
How is Lingohop different from other language apps in the market?
- Other apps rely on outdated translation and repetition methods that have been proven to be inefficient
- Lingohop focuses on authentic, everyday dialogue, so what users learn can be immediately applied to the real world
- Our platform is the only solution that is customizable to allow users to learn exactly what they need to know in the time they need to know it
- Each lesson is named and built around the specific situations that users will encounter based on their needs
- Lessons are broken into easy 4-minute segments so it is quick, easy and fun to do the lessons, even on-the-go
Why did you choose to go for a Kickstarter campaign?
Kickstarter is a proven start-up platform, whose community of early adopters vets, funds, and helps refine new products and services in an efficient, timely manner. The Kickstarter experience has proven time and again to be a powerful force behind entrepreneurs. We highly value the Kickstarter community and its role in supporting innovation and hope that together we can launch Lingohop.
How does the subscription model work?
We believe in personalizing the Lingohop experience in every way possible, including how users pay. By introducing a subscription model, Lingohop users can pay for exactly what they want for as little as $4.99 a month. It’s time to start making language learning not only personalized and efficient, but also affordable.
How did the Lingohop team come together?
Over the course of high school, DJ and I had become passionate about language and taught ourselves how to speak several languages. We tested fluent in multiple languages after using our new methodology. Once we spoke with our friend and classmate Tsavo, who was a skilled developer, we started discussing the idea of combining our passion for language with Tsavo’s development skills. When all of us crossed path with Ramón, who was completing his Ph.D. in linguistics and had coincidentally been studying the science behind our methodology for the past 7 years, we knew we had to team up to make Lingohop a reality.
Who can use the app?
Lingohop is for everybody. It empowers international travelers and language lovers alike to start conversing in their target language after just one 4-minute lesson. And because we personalize the platform to each user’s needs, it is designed to help users reach their goals faster.