When you learn a new language, the first thing teachers are saying is to write all the new words in a notebook with the translation in your language, so you can review them later. And that is what I did when I started to learn English more than 10 years ago. I wrote all the words in a notebook, but I never reviewed them.

Because paper is old fashion, I want to use my laptop or mobile. Searching for a similar app in the stores (Apple Store, Google Play, Microsoft Store and Amazon Store) I couldn't find an app that allows me to create my own dictionaries or list of words and study or practice on them.

The mobile app

Using Microsoft technologies, the first step is to have an app cross-platform that offers the creation of collections of words (dictionaries) and gives me some games or tools to practice them. Also, check the spelling of the words and listen to the pronunciation. Every time the user completes a game, it receives some points. The app is free to use but the user has to watch, now and then, some rewarded advertisements.

The backend

The second step is to build a backend to serve the app. The backend has multiple purposes:

  • create a database of words in different languages (for start English, Spanish, Italian, French, German and Portuguese)
  • build a database of verbs and their conjugations
  • receives requests for checking the spelling
  • receives requests for the pronunciation of the words
  • manage premium content (like articles or lessons) created by the internal team
  • create and authenticate the users
  • collect points and progressions from the users
  • support social interaction between users (like friendship, chats...)

Also, using the Language In Use SDK other developers can create their own apps or integrate the functionalities in their own websites.

The website

The third step is to build a website that offers people some important functionalities in particular offers premium content (like articles or lessons) in different languages. Based on the languages from the user settings, every content shows relevant links to word definitions, other related contents or grammar references. The website can also:

  • allow users to highlight and review the sentences from the articles
  • create groups of users with similar interests and share dictionaries among them: for example a group of students from the same class or a group of friends that want to share a dictionary of words and learn together.
  • allow users to share their own content
  • improve the social interaction between users
  • create competition between users
  • show user history and other details

Why now?

What pushed me to start this project is the fact that I'm learning new languages and I want to have a tool that helps me to learn them. And most important, I joined for the first time in my life (September 2023) at university and in particular at Birkbeck, University of London, that this year is celebrating its 200th anniversary. Here I found a program called Pioneer that helps and motivates people to be entrepreneurs. I'm not a young student, I'm 45 years old, but I want to try to create something new and helpful.

Speak with me

If you want any suggestion or you want to help me, please contact me.

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