Chuck Smith is a polyglot, app creator, Duolingo course author, co-founder of the Polyglot Gathering.
And today, he's my guest on the Creative Language Learning Podcast. We talked about how to make friends through language, and why Esperanto is awesome.
This year, Chuck published his first language learning app, Amikumu.
What is Amikumu?
Want to text another person and ask them to meet up and practice a language...without looking creepy?
Amikumu will help you find people near you who love languages. The purpose of the app is to help you find people nearby to chat and meet up, and it supports the world's 7,000+ languages (including 100+ sign languages).
The idea for Amikumu came out of Chuck's love for the planned language Esperanto. It’s not a natural language choice, it’s a minority language. Why would anyone bother to learn?
5 Reasons Why Learning Esperanto Could Improve Your Life
Esperanto is a planned language, it’s only a few people's native language, it’s a minority language. In our interview, Chuck spoke about using it as a key to connecting with people anywhere in the world, using Esperanto as a bridge language to speak to people from Japan to Brazil.
- You could do this in English, too - but when you and your new friend have both learnt Esperanto, there's something more that you have in common. It's an instant link.
- Beyond that, Chuck also points out that learning English comes with both irregular verbs and inconsistent spelling..and a lot of cultural and historical baggage. It's a strong argument to make for Esperanto, a language conceived to bring people together.
- If that's not enough to convince you, Esperanto's simple structure is also something to approach as a starter. You'll be able to spend a few weeks learning Esperanto, and reap the benefits in ALL other languages forever.
- The Esperanto network Pasporta Servo opens up hosts for your travels all over the world, all of whom love learning the same language as you.
- And finally - jackpot - everyone is a learner of this language. Imagine never feeling embarrassed in front of a native speaker.
Language Learning Apps
If you have a smartphone and you live in the 21st century, they are an essential component of language learning.
In our interview, Chuck explained how he came to work on Duolingo and why he loves gamified learning, how we can bring more soul into language learning apps...and why you could probably learn a language if you have three apps.
Check out Chuck's app recommendations in our link list below.
- BBC Future Article featuring Chuck: The Invented Language That Found a Second Life Online
- Amikumu's Kickstarter Campaign
- Clans of Caledonia: A Game about Whisky, Trade, and Glory by Juma Al-JouJou — Kickstarter
- Trovu loĝejon | Pasporta Servo
- Memrise - Learning, made joyful
- Learn Esperanto in just 5 minutes a day. For free. - Duolingo
- Just 2 weeks learning Esperanto can get you months ahead in your target language - Fluent in 3 months - Language Hacking and Travel Tips
- Evildea - YouTube - YouTube
- Esperanto Association of Britain - Homepage
- Lingvist: Learn French, German, Spanish and other languages
- Fluent Forever, The App: Learn to *Think* in Any Language by Gabriel Wyner
- Learn language in context - Clozemaster
- Itchy Feet: the Travel Game by Malachi Ray Rempen — Kickstarter
- 12 Ideas For Making the Perfect Language Learning App by Fluent Language
- Middlebury Language Schools | Intensive Summer Programs | Middlebury | Middlebury
- Creative Language Learning Podcast: Top 5 Fictional Languages