Learning Chinese is trending, as 40 million people are reportedly studying it as second language around the world. At the same time, English learning is also a major business in China with an annual market size of US$4.8 billion, according to EF Worldwide, an international language training leader. However, acquiring a new language can be an extremely boring and frustrating experience for most of the leaners. So, why not bring some fun to this painful process?
Social Language is a fun and effective language exchange and social networking marketplace aims at helping learners gain a more organic and effective language learning experience by connecting language learners with native speakers.
The Taiwan-based startup introduces several features for Chinese and English language learning, including user filtering and pairing system for voice chats with native speakers, gamified voice courses, and off-line speech recognition system that can rate users’ speaking skills and accents. A gamification point system is also integrated, allowing users to earn points and ranks on leaderboard by engaging and contributing in the platform.
Social Language has achieved 800,000 downloads in China’s third-party app stores since its initial launch in January 2015, according to the company. Driven by the booming market and the milestones recorded, the smartphone app decided to expand globally.
“While most language learning apps provide ways to memorize words, phrases, and grammatical rules, Social Language believes that practicing and socializing with native speakers is the best way to learn a new language,” says founder Simon Chang. “Within Social Language, a user is not only a student, but also a teacher for other users. Social Language enables users to find language exchange partners on the go, practice in step-by-step voice courses, and receive feedbacks from native speakers in a fun and effective way.”
Social Language has secured multi-million dollar funding last fall from H&Q Asia Pacific, which has been an early investor in leading high-tech companies such as Acer and D-Link.
Simon Chang, the founder of Social Language, is a Taiwanese serial entrepreneur. He started his first DOS-game company in 1993 and founded browser-based gaming platform guocui.com in 2004 in China. After selling the website with US$5 million in 2008, Simon founded an incubator center Crenovator Lab in China in 2012. Social Language is one of the key portfolio applications at Crenovator Lab.