Learning a new Language – An Idea

Here is an idea I was thinking about. I am planning on to have a creative idea every day of my life. A major one every week and a minor small improv every day. So, the idea goes. It’s for people who are learning a new language like me (learning Arabic). It would be a site which would create a visual flash cards for the words you want to get translated. It’s not what you imagine, let me explain.

  1. The user types in a word he wants it to be translated in some foreign language she is learning. For example, “Book” and I am trying to create a visual flash card for me.
  2. The program would then fetch the translation for that word. Which would be “kitab”. Or in Arabic – كتاب
  3. Then the program would go and fetch a CC licensed images for “book” from Flickr. This is what you would be seeing.
  4. Now the user can associate this Arabic word with the image she would pick.
  5. And it gets saved into the user’s learning queue, which they can look at it anytime they want to.
  6. To add a community touch to it, you can pick out the most selected image for any given word by other people. Something like what Amazon would do suggesting a book.
  7. So, over a period of time, with enough users – the site would have established a very certain amount of images which represent a word in any particular language.
  8. Now to take it to a next level – Say I have collected these 200 words with best images that match them and I want to print them and carry them so that I can read it on my commute to my work. Bingo, the site would generate a “xml” of your learning queue and you can take it to Ink2 (disclaimer – I work at Ink2) and upload your xml and get a print of all your flash cards.
  9. Now let’s take it to another step. You must have heard about Google Gears. So what you can do is to make this app offline and sync it to the main server when it connects online. Meaning a user can create his own visual flash cards queue locally with her own photos and then sync it up with the server.

Now, I need to get back to put this idea into action and convince my boss to see gold in this! 😉

One thought on “Learning a new Language – An Idea

  1. I’m learning french right now and I LOVE this idea – I’m also a very visual person, (also doing some work for Ink2).

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