Inspired primarily by Duolingo, LanguagesAnywhere aims to provide free, accessible, and high-quality language education to those who want to learn new languages, but cannot attend in-person classes due to quarantine restrictions, budget limitations, or being busy with a job.
Traveling to a foreign country that speaks a foreign language can be very intimidating for many, and not everyone has the time or financial capabilities to pursue pricey, time-consuming lessons. LanguagesAnywhere simplifies the usually complex process of learning a new language with its seamlessly combined simplicity, intricate curriculum design, and easy access.
What it does
LanguagesAnywhere streamlines the process of learning the basics of a language by providing the direct translations of common words and phrases for each of our three units in three of the most spoken languages. At the end of each unit example conversations are given for users to see how the words would be used in conversation. Additionally, LanguagesAnywhere provides clear audio for users to hear the pronunciation for each given word, phrase, or sentence. The content provided paired with quizzes for each unit allows users to retain the basics regarding greetings, asking for directions, and the weather for Chinese, Spanish, and Hindi.
How we built it
Challenges we ran into
There were many challenges regarding how the page layout was to be done and creating quizzes. We experimented with many layouts before settling on the current one where a combination of horizontal and vertical menus was used. Under this system, the user would scroll vertically to access different units and scroll horizontally within units to access vocabulary and terms. This allows for the user to easily differentiate between separate units and the content within the units, which makes for a highly intuitive user experience. On the topic of quizzes, we had a lot of difficulties setting up the quizzes at first but eventually solved the problem after talking with a mentor (which, believe it or not, was caused by a single comma) and completed the quizzes. Designed to be a simple check for understanding after learning, users are given an indicator of whether they got the question right or not after each question and a total score after the quiz. This way one could find out what they did wrong and spend extra time studying the vocab or term. Once they are done, the user can then retake the quiz and get a perfect score, which allows them to effectively learn the content of the units.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud of the many difficulties we’ve learned to overcome throughout the design, building, and testing of this website. One of the most important skills we learned was how to integrate horizontal and vertical menus to make for a systematically divided UI that makes it easy for the user to navigate and access.
Another important skill we learned was how to make an intuitive navigation bar. We wanted to create a navigation bar that wasn’t just visually appealing but also serves its purpose well. A useful home button was included on the navigation bar along with buttons for each of the languages allowing users to navigate from page to page across the website depending on what is needed. The placement of the navigation bar at the top with the back to a top button allows for quick and easy movement throughout the website creating a superior user experience.
What we learned
Creating this website was a journey for all of us, both intellectually and emotionally. We learned of the importance of working as a team and solving problems as a team. We also learned to not be intimidated by any challenge, and that if we worked together we would be able to persevere through any trial and defy all limits. This project truly demonstrated the importance and benefit of teamwork to all of us and profoundly impacted how we look at future projects. Now, large, complex projects no longer intimidate us, as we know we will be able to overcome whatever challenges it may give rise to together, as a team.
What's next for LanguagesAnywhere.com
LanguagesAnywhere has plans to expand to more languages and more units per language. We started with three of the most commonly spoken languages to maximize the initial coverage of our lessons. Since so many people speak these languages, they are the perfect choices to have as the three languages to launch our site with. The sheer amount of countries and people that speak these languages allows for the user to learn one language but use it in many countries and many situations with many people.
We hope to expand to other less spoken but still common languages in the future such as French, Arabic, and Portuguese. We also have plans to expand the number of units offered for each language to allow the user to gain a more complete understanding of each language and better prepare them to use these languages in more real-world situations.