LANGUINI – Learning languages by using AI and voice recognition

Preliminary note:
This blog post is part of the course “Trends in Media”. The students were supposed to research a specific trend and build a use case for a publishing house. The results of their work are a presentation and this blog post.

In times of transnational communication and global travelling, languages will be more and more important. Also in business
life it is not enough to only speak english fluently. No wonder that there are countless Language Learning Applications on the market.
Although speaking a language will be more and more important – traditional publishing houses with their dictionaries and workbooks lag behind the times – until now! We created a product which helps not only the publishing houses but also people who are eager to learn languages.

In the following article we present LANGUINI – the smart Language Learning Application!

New technologies are on the rise

Especially for the younger generation voice recognition is already part of the everyday life. Big companies such as Google use this technology for a long time yet and have participated by development of sustainable systems.
Also home devices like Amazon Echo are on the rise. According to a prediction of VoiceLabs the worldwide sales quantity in the year 2017 has increased from 6.5 m devices to 24.5 m devices compared to the previous year.
Nowadays, many systems are based on Artificial Intelligence, which allows to collect and analyze data on an intelligent way – so the system is able to recognize the user’s individual needs.


Artificial Intelligence allows to realize the best product

Our current technology on the product contains voice recognition and machine learning based on algorithm system. As the user continues its language learning, it’s not only the user that learns new things, but also the bot assistant that gets smarter, in that it figures out and analyze how far the user have improved, and what specific parts are need to be improved for balanced learning.

Each time the user starts a new chapter, or on a regular time basis, the app will try to test the users such as giving a pop quiz. And with the result and the data from app usage, the system analyze the learning tendency of the user, and the user can also see how he or she is learning. The app will show a graph, showing them which part that the user excels at the most, and which parts need to be improved. Machine learning technology will analyze this process using the algorithm, by recognizing if the user is making the same mistakes in same parts (such as confusing similar words or same grammar mistakes), and it will help the users to go over on those parts over and over. The system will try to test the users if he or she can reach up to higher levels.

LANGUINI is an app that works with voice recognition in combination with your smart home device but also can be used on your smartphone without any additional gadgets. You can use it all day – in the morning while making coffee, in the afternoon when you get home from work and in the evening while chilling at the couch.

Convincing functions for the user

In the beginning there is an entry-level test that figures out how fit you are in speaking the language including vocabulary and grammar. The app adapts to your individual level and shows up several lessons with increasing difficulty. A beginner’s level could be talking about Shopping or do Smalltalk. Higher levels could be topics such as politics, finance or specific topics like job interviews.

Once you start learning a lesson, it begins to show up a circle around the icon that you can see on the home screen. So you can see at any time how far you are in the lesson and how much learning progress is missing to complete.

If you click on an icon, you can see three different sections:

Free Talk is the most important part. The app is mainly intended to be used in combination with a voice recognition system such as Alexa or Google Echo. For each topic the user can communicate with the device. LANGUINI asks questions, answers, improves pronunciation, tells jokes and notes how fit you are in the subject and how well you’re doing the vocabulary. The Artificial Intelligence ​​allows LANGUINI to customize itself to the skills and learning progress of the user and makes it the best conversation partner.
The Quiz is a gamification of vocabulary cards that are requested by translating words from the source language to the input language and vice versa.
The section Vocabulary has a list with the important words and idioms matching the topic of the lesson. There is a function to highlight words or phrases as well.
On the home screen there are also two additional functions. On the left side there’s a dictionary where you can search for any word you don’t know. On the right side there’s a statistic that shows your recent learning progress.
If you swipe to the left, there is your profile, where you can do different settings like choosing the language or privacy.

LANGUINI is made for everyone

The app is addressed to anyone who is interested in learning new languages. There is no certain age group or gender. However, since the product is using the newest technology, such as voice recognition, touch screen, and all other functions in smartphones. We therefore assume that the majority of users are the ones who are familiar with newest technology or electronic devices, which would be mostly in 20-30’s.

The app is also made for a variety of learning types.
For People who better learn visually the app offers a quiz and also vocabulary lists that activate the visual perception of the user so that the user combines the learned words with pictures and gets the correct spelling.
The auditory learning type is addressed by speaking and listening to the language. So vocabularies were repeated and phrases were memorized directly. The pronunciation will be improved step by step and the user gets familiar with actually speaking the foreign language.

Available on the current platforms

To distribute the application, the producer of LANGUINI need to cooperate with a supplier of smart home devices like Google Home or Alexa.
In cooperation with these providers, the publishing house needs to sell the application as a bundle product with a technical device on the supplier’s selling platform.
Also you can buy the application itself via the online store of the publishing house or, of course, via the app store. Here you can download a free trial version, too.

LANGUINI offers two revenue models:
There is the possibility to buy a complete package with software and one language. Then you can buy additional languages.
The second alternative is to take out a monthly subscription.

LANGUINI is a problem solver

There are advantages both for target group and publishing houses.
The problem with learning a new language is the fact that you have no possibility to exercise your speech or pronunciation because there is no occasion to talk in real life. Often, you know the basics through years of school lessons in English or French – or you learned a new language like Spanish in a language course – but without practicing or talking it will be spiral downward. To be fluent in a language you must talk frequently – not only once or twice a week in a language course. But how can you talk frequently if you have no partner to practice with? LANGUINI will solve this problem.
Often there is no time to do a language course. Even if you subscribe a course: It will take place at a specific date and it will be only once or twice a week. But to speak the language you must practice all the time – otherwise it will not reach your long-term memory.

There are many Language Learning Apps on the market, but by using them you have no chance to exercise your speaking skills. You have no possibility to have a real conversation – and that’s the main point by learning languages long-term.
With the product you will have a private teacher who helps to pronounce right and learn new vocabulary. It will correct you and adapt the learning speed to your own personal needs. Also, it will record and show your learning statistics. So you can see how fast you learn, how many lessons you are going to have and on which level you are.

Another advantage is the price. A language course costs a lot of money and is only short-lived. The app you must buy only once and you can use it your whole life. If you want to learn another language you do not have to pay for the whole product but only for the new language.

For publishing houses in the language learning sector it is not easy to compete with free digital supplies. They must adapt their traditional program to the digital needs of modern men. Therefore, LANGUINI is their solution – it can satisfy the digital needs of young people and the publishing house will be able to exist in the future.

Great plans for the future

LANGUINI will continue to develop with adapting new technology, so that it is able to help users to raise their learning efficiency. One of the first future goals is to combine our system with hologram technology. Users can interact with the 3D assistant, which will give more motivation, interest, better understanding and learning. The 3D model of the assistant makes users feel like they are talking with native teachers with vivid facial emotions and body gestures, which is also an essential part.

Hologram technology has been actually developed high enough to be put out into market. Cinema camera maker RED announced that they are planning to release smartphone with hologram visuals in 2018.


Alisa Annese, Young-eun Choi, Laura Cüppers, Anzhelika Golenkrin, Lilly Koch