We get asked this all the time:
"Why do you use software from businesses, instead of creating your own custom tools?"
Well, here's three key reasons we think industry partnerships are a smart choice for language revival.
1. Software Stays Updated & Secure
Software stability is a big problem in the field of language revival. Creating language tools only helps if those tools will remain functional over the next 5, 10, even 20 years. With iPhones and computers updating every year, it's a constant battle to keep software up-to-date with the latest systems. We've heard too many horror stories: teams who build a custom language app, only to have it destroyed by the next version of Windows or iOS.
Thanks to our partnerships with large software companies, our tools & courses will keep working for many years. Our corporate partners have to keep their product working — and we benefit from those updates, too. And, since we keep a second backup of our language data, we can be sure that the text and audio is extra secure!
2. We Can Offer More Features
7000 Languages has a small budget and a small staff. We're proud of our tech skills, but we're also realistic. There's no way an in-house project could compare to for-profit software.
Our language-learning software offers more than 40 different activity types. It has resources for teachers and admins, too. And all this is packaged in a well-designed, well-functioning system.
We owe all that to our partnership with Transparent Language. They created this software for their commercial language courses. When they donated it to us, we got those features — without having to spend the time and money to create them.
3. It Extends Our Reach
As language advocates, we want to raise awareness about the world's many languages. One way we do that is by adding more languages to the tools people use every day.
Right now, even the largest tech companies don't offer much language diversity. Google Translate offers only 103 languages. Most language-learning companies offer 20 or 30. The iPhone has only 21. That means less than 2% of the world's languages are represented!
We don't just want to create an alternative option for minority language speakers. We want to include their languages in the tech they already use. That way, when a Cree girl signs up, she'll see her Cree language represented — and so will her friends, who might never have thought about Cree before.
What do you think?
Is our approach a good way to manage the challenges of language revival? Or a step in the wrong direction?
Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter. We want to hear your thoughts!
And if you think our work is worthwhile, please donate to support our programs. Our software is 100% free thanks to language advocates like you.