Openwords – Free Language Learning app with Open Data
I’m very happy to be able to say that SensibleChinese.com is supporting the Openwords project. I’m helping spread the word and also providing some rewards for Kickstart backers (not visible on the site yet but being added!).
Openwords is a very cool project to build language learning tools for the world’s under-served languages. These are languages that are not usually taught and for which very few resources exist.
Openwords already has content for over 1000 languages (!) based on open-source works like Wiktionary and Wikibooks. Openwords is working on making this content accessible to those who need it most and providing a layer of language learning tools to complement the content – all for free. Cool stuff huh?
Over half of the world’s people do not have a language learning app suited for their language or needs. Most of these languages are overlooked by mobile app developers, but Openwords is addressing this problem. Here’s an introduction video to the project which can tell the story far better and quicker than I can!
By using open source data Openwords will be able to very rapidly start serving these lesser taught languages, which means this project will begin helping people around the world fast. That’s why I’m personally excited about Openwords.
Other projects of this sort seek to build everything from the base upwards – Openwords is being much smarter by hooking into pre-existing opensource content libraries and making them a lot more accessible to the people who actually need them.
And this isn’t just wishful thinking – they already have ~500 languages worth of content in progress at Openwords.org.
If you think this project sounds as exciting as I think it is (and I hope you do) then head to this page to find out more: Openwords
Also, for us Chinese language learners there are extra reasons to be excited. There are already some very cool looking Chinese specific features (character handwriting recognition in particular) going into the app. This means we’ll have a totally free language learning app added to our current options!
At the moment Openwords are raising the money needed to pay their team during the development process. The amount they are looking to raise is $10,000, of which they have $3000 (at the time of publishing). The campaign ends on the 20th May so if you want to help Openwords get this worthy project up and running definitely check out their Kickstarter below.