Dave Lingo: The person who is giving a new language to three hundred million people

Dave Lingo: The person who is giving a new language to three hundred million people
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If anyone suspects that the country doesn’t benefit from people coming from other countries, it must tell the story of Louis Van Ahn.

Yes, the story of a 41-year-old man from the Central American country of Guatemala who moved to the United States in 1996, where he graduated with a degree in mathematics from the University of North Carolina’s Duke of State. After graduating with a degree in meth, the boy also studied computer science at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

After this, Louis Van Ahn continued his studies in the field of computer science and became a professor of computer science. The area he specializes in is ‘Human-Based Computation’, which is how humans and computers can solve complex data problems by country.

Louis was awarded the United States’ prestigious MacArthur Fellowship Program for discovering new dimensions in the field of computer science. The fellowship, in general, is called the ‘Genius Grant’ or the financial reward given to ‘extraordinary intelligence’ because it comes in the part of very intelligent people like Louis.


And then in the next few years, when Louis was 32 years old, he became a millionaire by selling his two companies to Google. We are all still using the technology they sold to Google, but we will talk about that later.

We come to today by rotating clock needles, where Louis is working as head of his company, Dave Lingo, based in Pittsburgh. Dave Lingo or ‘Two Languages’ is actually a computer application or app that today benefits over 300 million people worldwide.

Gentle Louis told us with great humility that one of the major reasons for his success was that he was taught English at an early age. His mother tongue is Spanish or Spanish, but he says his mother, who is a doctor herself, began to emphasize to Louis from childhood that she must learn English.

Since Louis was from an authoritative family, his parents did not have much time to enroll their son in a private school in the capital of Guatemala City, where the English language is taught.

Louis says that admission to private school was clearly something that is often not welcomed in Guatemala. According to World Bank data, half of Guatemala’s population is still living in poverty, while 9% of the population is very poor and education opportunities for most children are very limited.


The passion behind the creation of Dave Lingo was to create an app that would help people in Guatemala or anywhere in the world, learn a new language and take advantage of new economic opportunities. ۔ It is not necessary for you to have complete mastery over another language, but to be able to speak a second language to some extent.

According to Louis, ‘I wanted to do something that would allow everyone to have equal access to education, and then I concentrated on the language because when I was growing up in Guatemala I saw Was that everyone wanted to learn English. ‘

‘In a country where no English is spoken, if you can speak English there it means you can make twice as much money as others. I mean, if you know English, you can easily make double money. It was something where I came up with the idea that there should be some way to learn the free language, so the basis of Dave Lingo was. ‘
Louis and another founder of the company, Severn Hacker, began working on the app in 2009. Louis Carnegie was a professor at Mellon University at that time, and Severin one of his students. Louis and Severin later joined linguistics and language experts, and in 2012 they launched the app. At first, there were a few languages ​​that could be learned using this app, including English, French, and Spanish.

When we launched it, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to speak on the ‘Ted Talk’ forum, which has been viewed by over two million people on the Internet, and thus Dave Lingo has a great foundation. Gone. But from then until 2019, our growth depended on what people tell each other about us. Until then we had not exactly advertised or marketed this app.

Company's headquarters are located in the state of Pennsylvania
Company’s headquarters are located in the state of Pennsylvania

Today, however, Du Lingo is conducting more than one hundred online courses in 28 different languages ​​worldwide. Although the most popular languages ​​on this app today are English, French, and Spanish, you can learn every language here, from Arabic to Ukrainian. In addition to this, special attention is given to the promotion of several languages ​​whose speakers are few. In this regard, the Welsh language of the province of Wales, the traditional language spoken in Navajo, Gaelic, and Hawaiian are notable.

Dr. Sylvia Warnick, a linguist at the Open University of Scotland, says she was thrilled when she saw Dave Lingo last year launching a new course with some people who speak Gaelic.

He said that ‘Dave Lingo is facing criticism from some constituents that you cannot master the language from this app, but (in my view) this app is a great way to start learning a language. It can be very helpful to people. ‘

“For many people learning a new language can be a daunting task, and they do not have time to regularly attend a class each week. Apps like Du Lingo can be a great alternative to this. ”

At present, Du Lingo’s annual revenue is $ 9 million, with 10 million ads coming in, while the remaining 70 million is making up 2 percent of its customers who use its Premier version. Come.

Louis says, ‘If you use a lot of Dave Lingo and you’re a relatively rich person, then you should give us money, at least that’s what I think. But if you are from a developing country and you do not have much money then our free version is available to people like you. That’s how I see it. ”

Now there are 200 employees at Louis’s company, and Louis expects that the company’s shares will be available on the stock market by 2021. It is said that at present, Louis has a small but small share of the company, and in addition, some investors outside the company have also invested in it.

Now let’s talk about the two companies or businesses that Louis sold to Google several years ago. One was the ‘ESP’ game and the other was Recepcha (Recaptcha )

ESP (Extra Sensory Perception) was originally an online game in which two people, who could not understand each other’s language, used words to describe an image. If both people chose the same word for a picture, then both would get one point and then they would be asked to choose a word for it by showing a new picture.

Google has been using this technology over the years, and if we search for an image on Google, this technology helps us.

Former President Obama is a big fan of Louis van Ahn and his work
Former President Obama is a big fan of Louis van Ahn and his work

As far as Recaptcha is concerned, this technology is also widely used by Google. When a website on Google asks you to recognize oblique characters and type them in, to see if you are a ‘robot or a boot’, then a technology called Recaptcha is being used.

It is estimated that 20 million people go through the process of typing the correct words on a website daily, a technology invented by Louis. ReCaptcha was solely owned by Louis, and when Google bought it in 2009, the final amount was pledged but it was reported that the amount consisted of eight Hindus, ie 8-figure money.

Another interesting thing that most people do not know is that the words you are asked to type are not random, but there is a sequence behind them. These words are actually taken from the old books that Google is digitizing, which is digitalizing them, and the software is having a hard time adjusting those words. If ten thousand people agree on one of these words, then Google recognizes the word correctly.

Prior to our emergence from the office of Du Lingo, Louis said he was proud that he was helping so many people learn new languages. ‘We are teaching languages ​​to everyone for free.

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