Estonian startup Lingvist can teach you a language in 200 hours

Thanks to Lingvist, a startup from Estonia, you can use a mathematically-optimized approach to language acquisition that will have you learning a new language in around 200 hours. The first language on offer are French, which are now in private beta, and Spanish and English are currently in the works. The company plans on adding additional languages later this year. By using big data analysis, Lingvist aims to help people learn languages up to ten times faster than traditional teaching methods.

Estonian startup Lingvist, which is developing “adaptive” language learning software that it claims significantly reduces the time it takes to learn a new language, has raised a €1 million round of funding. The investment comes from SmartCap (the investment arm of the taxpayer-funded Estonian Development Fund), Nordic VC Inventure, and several angel investors from Estonia and elsewhere. Founded just over a year ago by Mait Müntel, Ott Jalakas and Andres Koern, the company’s inception came about after Müntel, who has a background in physics and had been working at CERN for several years, became interested in learning French. As he began researching what online/digital language learning solutions already existed, none of which he found were up to scratch, he reasoned that by subjecting languages to statistical analysis in order to establish frequencies and correlations and by optimising the “memorisation process” it would be possible to drastically reduce the time needed to learn a new language.

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