Our new online French course is now available. Also check out our maps in our store. French maps will begin shipping in a couple of weeks. Please check out our demos and help us spread the word about this and the other programs we are creating.]]>
As we work to establish a steady stream of programs launching on our website, I have been analysing the amount of time and workload required to complete production of one of these programs. It's a lot. But by distributing it across dozens of shoulders in a systematic fashion, we are going to be able to launch several programs before the end of the year and hopefully establish a very steady rhythm in publishing courses. All this has me thinking about the long-term goals and aspirations of Linguisticator.
We have a special capability to develop programs for languages â€” any languages â€” that other companies do not have. While we lack the technological resource to make really slick looking iPhone apps, and while we lack the human resource to be running summer programs with thousands of kids sporting orange backpacks and following a man holding an umbrella, we have the linguistic resource and the process knowledge that now allows us to map out and create truly rigorous programs for any language we want. While we may end up adding apps or running live programs in the future, I do not want us to squander the opportunity we have to take advantage of our unique skills.
We are right now working to publish programs for the languages most sought after: French, Spanish, Italian, and German. The staple European languages. We are also doing Arabic. Beyond this, however, we are already working on under-studied languages and languages for which there are few resources. Farsi, Romanian, and Egyptian Arabic are already in the works, along with Libyan Arabic â€” a language for which there are essentially no available resources. There is no major world language that is not on our list; we want to map them all. These include languages like Hausa and Amharic and several other major African languages many English speakers have never heard of. We also would like to apply our expertise to projects of language preservation.
Short term, our goal is to get at least 5 full programs our before Christmas. Beyond that, I would really like to develop Linguisticator into a linguistic repository where anyone could get a complete program for more than 100 languages. One hundred may sound like a lot, but it actually requires us to make many tough decisions about what to include and what to leave out. Perhaps 200 would be a better goal long-term, but that would probably take the next 20 years.
In order to do this, we need people to get excited and spread the word about our programs. We need people to realise these are not just generic, content-driven, point and click language tools. These are highly systematic, comprehensive, and exhaustive programs designed for adult learners. Absolutely every aspect of the programs â€” from structure to audio format to essential vocabulary included â€” has been carefully developed and tested.
These questions about vision have furthermore got me thinking about my own personal ambitions with respect to language learning. It would seem like a huge waste of several years of my life, sleeping under my desk and eating oats and ramen, to have set up this business and then not take advantage of the opportunity to learn the languages for which we produce programs! It may seem impossible to learn 100 languages, but I do not consider it out of the question at all. In fact, it seems completely feasible using the systems we have produced. My breakthroughs this year with creating memory palaces to store each language have given me the framework I was lacking to be able to separate and keep distinct each language as it is acquired. As I improve my skills and speed in storing languages using memory palaces, it is clear I will be able to store the structural systems of 50 or 100 languages without a problem.
The structural system â€” while most important â€” is, of course, not everything required to speak a language. There will be some languages I focus on as the ones I enjoy speaking and working in. Remember, you are never finished learning a language. There's always more you can do, even in your own native language. So, I suppose the long-term professional aspiration is to learn at least 100 languages with complete structural knowledge and essential vocabulary, and focus on two dozen or so to refine and hone to a high level of fluency. What I am seeing, though, is that temporarily sacrificing depth for breadth ultimately yields the depth within each language if there is enough breadth across a linguistic family. That's pretty exciting.
At the moment, I feel like I'm starting from scratch with all languages, which is actually a very freeing feeling. How many languages do I speak? Barely English.