For many people, language learning is hard. Why?

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adrianc
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Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:41 pm
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Languages: Speak: English and Romanian
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For many people, language learning is hard. Why?

Postby adrianc » Tue Oct 29, 2019 4:36 pm

Disclaimer: I emailed the administrators, and got Bluepaint's blessing to post this here. It is a new resource, that can be very helpful for many struggling with language learning.

There are so many great language learning tools out there, but even if you dedicate yourself daily (for a reasonable amount of time), it's still not easy and most people fail or they peak and then start to forget/lose what they've learned. Then get discouraged and end up stopping. This happens because learning a new language is not always an urgent need. One might want to learn their spouses native language, or be more valuable at work, or just want to better themselves. Progress is not seen fast enough, and since it's not an absolute necessity for them to learn the new language, they tend to do it less and less often (like going to the gym).

The problem is that you are not being immersed in the language you are learning.
If I was learning Italian, and I moved to Italy, then with many tools I can learn Italian fluently. But if I try to learn Italian from America, sure I can memorize many words, but that doesn't mean that I will retain much since I'm not surrounded by the language. I don't see it and hear it daily even when I'm not actively studying.
My idea was truly created for myself at first, to solve this exact issue. Except my issue was to not forget my native language of Romanian since I moved to America at a very young age, and in my adult life I speak Romanian to very few people and very rarely. So naturally, I started slipping. Every couple of years I would go back to visit Romania for about a month, and in that month of being immersed in the language, it came back so much more than if I were to just practice at home on my own. That is what gave me the idea. What if I could stay immersed in the Romanian language even in America, every day. That would be cool. Well, what do I already do every day.....I have conversations through text messages every day! These conversations are in English, but what if I could see them happening in Romanian too (at the same time). So I developed a simple text messaging app, that my wife and I, and a couple of family/friends used. It does what I described above, it shows me my convos in another language as well in real time. I ended up placing it on the App Store, Apple even featured it in the "New Apps We Love" section.

This app is not meant to compete or replace any other language learning tool out there, it is meant to compliment them by offering you a way to stay immersed even when you are not actively studying.

Also, the app does not just use the regular Google Translator for the translations. I use Neural Machine Translations which is a software also being developed by Google, but it utilizes AI/Machine Learning to translate entire sentences, rather than word by word. This works much better for conversational/full sentence translations, and it's AI and Machine Learning driven so it constantly improves itself. Here's some more info on it --> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neural_machine_translation

Here's a link to the app (which is currently only available on iOS) --> https://apps.apple.com/us/app/chatall/id1043435029

I can answer any questions you might have, and am open to any criticism (positive or negative).

Thanks for reading,
Adrian

P.S. Here's an example of how this would work. I'm currently using <insert your favorite language learning software here> to learn Spanish. I practice almost daily for 30 min, and I'm currently working on phrases that have to do with restaurants. Then later in the day or the week, my wife and I have a conversation through text about where to go eat. The conversation is unrelated to language learning, just a normal conversation, but the magic is that I am also seeing that conversation happening in Spanish and I'm seeing what I've been learning play-out in real life. I think there's great value in that!
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See your daily correspondence happen in a different language, in real time.
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Speak to others that do not speak your language. Have their message translated into your language before it even arrives to you.
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