A new website has launched that aims to teach people languages – but with a social networking twist. In other words, if you’ve ever wondered what would be the French translation of “WTF LOL”, this is probably the best place to find out.
Busuu hosts different units which you work your way up what they call “learning trees” – in a moderately literal sense, as your learning is actually represented as a trees. Thanks to the magic of web 2.0 and it not being 1996, there’s a big emphasis on sound to teach you how the words should sound – which is useful, as it’s one thing being able to read foreign texts, but quite another to be able to understand toe relentless gibberish noises that seem to spew out of the mouths of foreigners.
The social aspect is important though – the site will match you up with people for 1 on 1 learning, and you can even add them as a friend.
Of course, the first question you should probably ask with anything web 2.0 is “how is it going to make money?”. Rather than follow the Twitter model of “hoping really hard that they’ll find millions of dollars of venture capital discarded in the street”, they’re intending to charge charge for the service once it gets out of beta. Which though the only real plausible option, its still going to disappoint cheapskates like me.
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