I've been living in Switzerland for a few years now, and learning German continues to be a humbling, challenging and incredibly rewarding experience. From my personal experience, I find that I learn a lot of new words and phrases in conversation, but am unable to commit them to memory. I find myself asking the same questions over and over again. I've also spent a lot of time looking for tools that could help me save those learning moments so that I could refer back to them later, but nothing I've found really made the process very easy.
Apps are actually what I do, so I decided to just build something myself. The basic concept is using speech recognition along with voice recording to create digital memories from the learning moments you have in conversation. You pull the app out when you learn something new and record your native friend speaking the phrase. It saves the audio, transcribes the text, translates the phrase, and defines any words you've just learned. In just a few seconds, you create a digital memory that you can refer back to at any point.
The beauty of it is that the phrases you’re recording represent moments of learning in your everyday life. You’re able to attach that physical memory to a digital record that lives in your phone. You can also add additional audio recordings to the learning moment; the idea being that you can record yourself and play the audio back at variable speeds to see how your accent and pronunciation compare to that of a native speaker. Additionally, I've implemented a spaced repetition learning algorithm that you can enable per phrase. When turned on, you’ll receive question-based notifications that will challenge your memory.
The app is currently only available for iOS, but I'd be super open to doing an Android version if there’s enough interest. It’s free and I'd love it if you give it a try and let me know what you think:
We also put together a short animated video to help illustrate the use case:
It's the first version, so you may find a few bugs. Apologies!
Looking for feedback on an app I've hacked together to help me memorize words and phrases I learn in conversation
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