2014/06/03 by lingdecklee
[The following post appeared first on TechView Asia.]
Search the web and anyone can easily find several dozens of language learning websites and apps that meet every aspect of their language learning requirements. But what if the language learning requirement is one that is on the go? And is there a more ‘natural’ way of learning a new language instead of taking online classes or chatting with a native speaker? Will it be possible to crowdsource your way to the right language pronunciation and usage? All these and many more can now be answered by one single app, Linqapp.
Started by two foreigners who came to Taiwan to study their MBA nearly 4 years ago, the Taiwan-made Linqapp is an application that pairs people in need of language help with native speakers of any desired language. What the users do is simply snap a picture of something they wish to comprehend via the language they wish to learn, or alternatively record an audio clip of something, and then accompany the picture or audio clip with any question about it or request a translation. Any native speakers on the other end of the system are notified about the new question and can provide a written, verbal and/or visual answer of their own choosing.
Linqapp uses a point system to give users incentive to participate, where giving helpful answers lets them gain reputation on the leaderboard. The system is based on a community approach where users offer assistance in their own native language in return for receiving assistance for any language that they are interested in. The beauty of this process is that it allows for richer answers, not to mention each answer could be as valid as the next one received due to the diverse background and life experience encapsulated in each answer.
What makes Linqapp different is that it is about real people assisting in situations where computer-based systems such as Google Translate meet their limitations. Linqapp makes it possible to translate based on audio recordings or pictures, and most importantly, answer concrete questions from language learners just like what a human would naturally do.
“With Linqapp, we are making the power of native speakers easily accessible to anyone and anywhere,” says Sebastian Ang, one of the Co-Founders who is a German national. “We believe that Linqapp can fundamentally change how people get speedy assistance in situations that require the skills of a native speaker and how language learners around the world will make progress on their language learning adventure. It is just like having a native speaker in your pocket all the time.”
Sebastian defines Linqapp’s mission as building a product that would eventually become the standard app that every language learner worldwide would want to download. The team’s ambitious goal is to make Linqapp as popular within the language learning community as messaging apps are for smartphone users in general. “I am confident that we can achieve this, because Linqapp simply works! Once you ask a question and instantly get answers from people around the world, it’s a great feeling and you directly understand what value Linqapp has to offer.”
Linqapp is currently available for Android devices but the team is working hard on the iOS release that is now scheduled to happen early in the third quarter of 2014. Stay tuned for more development about this interesting app!