Estonian Physicist Develops a Free Language Learning App (8)

Mait Müntel (ERR)
10/31/2014 2:04 PM
Category: Sci-Tech

Estonian physicist Mait Müntel has come up with innovative software that adapts with its user's skills and helps to master a new language in only 200 hours.

Müntel, who was working at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland, found himself unable to learn the French language by available e-solutions and language books, decided to approach language learning like a mathematical challenge and build his own solution instead. His principles have now been developed into a free, public software program called Lingvist.

Lingvist uses big data and statistical analysis to establish word frequencies and teach the user useful vocabulary. The user will repeat words he or she has previously forgotten or written incorrectly, but will quickly progress from those mastered at the first go. So the software uses mathematical optimization to adapt to its users' knowledge and skills.

After memorizing single words and sentences the users can read texts at the right level and listen to audio recordings to improve their listening skills and pronunciation.

Müntel told ETV's "Ringvaade" program that the new app should allow its users to master a foreign language in 200 hours. French philologist and educator Lauri Leesi said learning a new language is more likely to take around 300 hours.

Lingvist Beta version currently offers tuition in English and French; six more languages will be available soon.


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