In March 2020 I had already spent almost 3 months preparing and sorting everything to be able to backpack a few countries around the world for 30 days. Visas Check. Tickets Check. Itineraries Check. Hotel and other Bookings Check. Dreams Check. I planned an extensive trip and was ready to have perhaps the best time of my life, and then the pandemic happened.
To get over the gloominess, I started learning a new language (Spanish) during the quarantine to interact with the locals more naturally the next time I get to travel.
And then the Alexa Skills Challenge: Alexa Conversations was announced!
Ergo, my ideas aligned in the same direction & I decided to participate in it and build Learn Lingo with Alexa Conversations!
What it does
With Learn Lingo Alexa Skill you can:
✅ Take on a daily challenge to practice a new language using a personalized learning plan.
🎯 If you are already having proficiency in a language we offer, then you can take a fun language quiz to evaluate yourself.
⏰ In a rush? Revise new phrases or words quickly using the flash card mode.
⏰ Just exploring? Use our unique voice translator feature to hear how different phrases sound in different languages
Open the skill by saying "Alexa, open Learn Lingo" and you'll be easily guided through the different sections.
We currently support learning Spanish, German, Italian, French, and Hindi with more to come! So which language would you like to learn?
How I built it
The Learn Lingo Alexa Skill has these main features -
The Daily Challenge
✅ Every day you will be given certain words or phrases from your selected language, and from time to time there will also be a quiz to help you retain your learning.
⏰ We limit the daily lesson at five words or phrases. It makes it easier to form a habit and find a few minutes of time to practice daily.
✅ Also once you complete the lesson, you've ample time to practice the words or phrases that you've just learned, and the next lesson of new words or phrases will be available the next day.
The Language Quiz & The Flash Card Mode
✅ While learning at a stretch is appreciated, it's always better to keep a check on our progress and revise what we have learned.
The Voice Translator
✅ Translate English words or phrases into 35 commonly spoken languages around the world. Voice Translator currently supports the following languages:
✅ To try just say, 'Translate, how are you in German', or try, 'Translate, good morning'.
✅ This is an experimental feature and might not be 100% accurate. If you have suggestions or feedback we request you to write back to us at - email@example.com
Challenges I ran into
Alexa Conversations in itself was a big challenge. Forming the mental model to tackle Alexa Conversations after spending almost three years in a world build upon the custom interaction model was a hefty task.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
I was able to embrace the nitty-gritty of Alexa Conversations and ended up building a Hybrid Alexa skill that leverages the best of both worlds to provide the best in class contextual conversational experience to the end-user.
What I learned
No matter how pro you are at something, tackling a new technology puts you into the same shoes as everyone and the challenges are far tougher than they initially seem.
What's next for Learn Lingo
I would love to release the Indian Traveler Alexa Skill globally once Alexa Conversations feature gets launched publically and becomes globally available.