CultureAlley, the young and hugely popular web-based way to learn languages, launched its iOS app today (14 December 2013) at Mobile Sparks. Since its inception a year ago, they have taught Spanish and Mandarin to 350,000 learners. The numbers are bound to surge with their app, which presently can link with your Twitter account. In about a month’s time, their Android app would be out as well.
CultureAlley is the brainchild of Pranshu Bhandari and Nishant Patni, two engineer-MBAs, currently based out of Jaipur.
After his MBA at Kellogg School of Management, Nishant had to move to China for work. “I had to learn Mandarin as quickly as possible. I tried out almost all options available but found them boring, cumbersome and next to impossible to manage along with business school schedule.” Nishant recalls. He saw the opportunity in it and decided to grab it.
Nishant and Pranshu, along with a team of six, launched CultureAlley essentially for English speakers who wanted to learn Spanish, Chinese, Hindi etc. They figured that language learning is most effective when it is contextual and interesting.
While working on the web platform for CultureAlley, Nishant and Pranshu realized that there is a bigger inherent problem with the language learning industry. There is a very high dropout rate because majority of students don’t find the static content interesting, simulating, or contextual.
CultureAlley aims to disrupt the way languages are practiced by converting a learner’s web browsing experience into their language classroom.
According to Nishant, the real pain-point is actually practicing the language. For this, one needs to see or hear the new words at least 5 to 15 times. “Unless you incorporate the practice in your daily routine, you would only be looking at static pictures and mugging up words. With this app, you can practice new words while you are browsing whatever you like on Twitter or Facebook or the web. It replaces certain English words to words in your target language. You can click on highlighted words, which will give you its meaning, audio tips on how it should be pronounced, and an option to ask a question on it or save it in your vocabulary. It is 100% contextual, 100% real time and 100% personalized,” explains Pranshu.
CultureAlley is expanding quickly. The English market is their next target as there are millions of people in India, China and all over the globe eager to learn English. “In a month’s time, we will launch many more language pairs. We will launch the app for Facebook as well. Every time you go online, we’d see it as an opportunity to help you practice a language,” promises Pranshu.
Check out their new App here.
Hear more about them here.