The Mezzofanti Guild Language Learning Made Simple
Podcasts   /   Episode #16

[Ep. #16] Language Innovation Is Dead (Or Is It?)

Have you noticed how most language learning apps/web platforms look the same (or very similar)?

In this episode, I question whether or not language innovation has peaked already.


  • I’m forever getting requests from startups asking me to help promote their (latest and greatest) language idea.
  • At least 90% of their ideas are a complete reinvention of the wheel or a blatant ripoff of something that already exists.
  • These “innovators” seem to more effort into simple UI design than coming up with research-based methods.
  • The UI designs are getting more and more babyish – we’re marketed to as if we were children.
  • Technology in general is making us stupid (fact).
  • It seems as though very few new innovations are being made on the language front.

Related blog posts:

Read up on my article on this here.

For examples of apps that are exactly as I’ve described, see my articles on Duolingo and Babbel.

Resource: One product that is truly innovative in my opinion is Glossika.

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Donovan Nagel
Donovan Nagel
I'm an Applied Linguistics graduate, teacher and translator with a passion for language learning (especially Arabic) and simplifying language learning.
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