language

Inflated claims about language learning

I recently posted about the trend of “productivity gurus and marketers” making inflated claims about how much people can learn or otherwise accomplish in a short time. This trend is particularly common in the domain of language learning. Language-learning apps routinely make absurd promises of fluency in their marketing materials. When building and marketing WordBrewery, I was conscious of this and tried to avoid it. Instead of making false or unrealistic claims about the tool, we promised a shorter and more efficient way to learn: “The most common 2500 words in any language make up 95% of daily vocabulary.

Developing a language-learning program (high-frequency sentence identifier)

UPDATE: I devoted most of my nights and weekends this year to building the program described below with the help of Kostyantyn Grinchenko, an excellent Ukrainian freelance developer. Then, after realizing that we had stumbled upon a breakthrough idea that could revolutionize language learning and help many people become fluent readers of their target language, I assembled a remote team of freelance and volunteer developers, designers, native-speaker audio recorders, and translators to help me develop it into a webapp (and future mobile app): WordBrewery.