Episode 70

Finding friends who love languages (with Chuck Smith)


December 4th, 2017

1 hr 39 secs

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Special Guest

About this Episode

These days, the Polyglot Gathering pulls in hundreds of language learners who share and enjoy community in the heart of Europe. A lot of this is thanks to Chuck's contributions, along with the wonderful Polyglot Gathering team.

This year, Chuck published his first language learning app, Amikumu.

What is Amikumu?

Want to text another person and ask them to meet up and practice a language...without looking creepy?

Amikumu will help you find people near you who love languages. The purpose of the app is to help you find people nearby to chat and meet up, and it supports the world's 7,000+ languages (including 100+ sign languages).

The idea for Amikumu came out of Chuck's love for the planned language Esperanto. It’s not a natural language choice, it’s a minority language. Why would anyone bother to learn?

Language Learning Apps

In recent episodes, we've covered language learning apps on a regular basis. If you have a smartphone and you live in the 21st century, they are an essential component of language learning. More and more developers are working on apps for language learning, and Chuck's experience stands out from the crowd: he is the creator of Duolingo's Esperanto course.

In our interview, Chuck explained how he came to work on Duolingo and why he loves gamified learning, how we can bring more soul into language learning apps...and why you could probably learn a language if you have three apps.

Check out Chuck's app recommendations in our link list below.

Episode Links