Inspiration

No one has time to spend 45 minutes a day on Duolingo to learn 3 new words in a day, but most of us spend hours browsing Reddit or Facebook. **LoveLang* allows you to learn new words in ANY of the 100 different languages as you surf the web. Through the given context and a pop-up meaning tool-tip, the process of improving your language skills has never be easier.

What it does

LoveLang identifies important words in the body of a webpage using a combination of factors (including frequency and common occurrence) and converts them to a user-specified language that the user may want to learn. By changing some important words and relying on the context of the remaining untranslated text it allows a seamless learning of a language with real-time examples. The meaning of each translated word can be viewed by hovering the cursor over the word. Moreover, we use a mastering score to gradually scale the difficulty, increasing the vocabulary of the user as he browses more. Who ever said that learning a new language was hard?

How we built it

We used JavaScript, jQuery, Express, mongoDB to create our one-of-a-kind plugin. The extension is built for Google Chrome so we used a lot of Javascript and jQuery. At the backend (to maintain user progression), we used Express (on top of Node.js). Moreover, we used Google Translate API to provide you with the most up to date, reliable translations out there. Our mongo Database stores the 'mastering' level for each word a user may encounter. The mastering level is increased by one every time the user reads it. Without collecting your data, we give you a tailored experience to linguistics.

Challenges we ran into

We faced some issues dealing with mongoDB and the Google API, but there's probably nothing that a good amount of StackOverflow and coding forums cannot solve. Chrome's security policies forced us to create a background script and use some other native protocols. After 5 hours of frantic debugging fuelled by anxiety and push up competitions, we fixed the dependencies at 9am - just in time to finalise our plugin.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We're proud that we could come up with this creative project and implement it as a Minimum Viable Product within 24 hours of coding and learning new technologies. Three of us had never worked with Javascript before, so successfully creating a Google Chrome Extension was quite an accomplishment.

What we learned

We learned a great deal about NoSQL database and the use of APIs. The creation of a web-plugin was a new, yet welcome experience. One thing we will never forget, is to never underestimate Chrome's security requirements, background scripts, and the power of four caffeinated geeks.

What's next for LoveLang

More languages, quizzes to create a more interactive interface, more support, an API integration that speaks the proper pronunciation, and fluency in multiple languages.

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