Inspiration

Ever had your ideal holiday crushed by the need to gesture and mime awkwardly in 90% of your conversations? Have you ever wanted to pick up short phrases in another language that you would probably use in everyday conversation? How about fiddling around with your phone aimlessly while waiting for someone or something? Inspired by the relevance of picking up a few phrases and the desire to spend time productively, we came up with this app so that you can learn something even in the few minutes it takes for your morning cuppa to be ready.

What it does

Our app uses your location to find points of interest near you. It generate a short phrase or sentence in a foreign language of your choice that you can easily learn and is related to these points of interest. It then allows you practice repeating it in said foreign language.

How we built it

We built it with a Python backend, using the Flask framework and text-to-speech, English-to-xx language translation and the Google Places APIs.

Challenges we ran into

The different intonations in some languages makes detecting speech accurately a challenge. Words within the same language with similar pronunciations make life difficult. Also, limited experience meant we decided not to implement this as a mobile app instead.

What we learned

It was interesting to learn about the current standards in voice processing tools. We were really fascinated to discover that there were open source libraries that offered text-to-speech abilities in almost any language or dialect that you'd care to name. This app also gave the both of us an eye-opener into web development with Flask.

What's next for geoLingual

Stay tuned!

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