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"This is a great tool, thanks." Nell, EU.
"its a great idea!!!! its perfect for me because of english - tagalog - one of the very rare sources!" Dirk, Germany.
"I am enjoying your site very much - keep up the good work!" Elen, USA.
"tankyo" (sic) Faras, Saudi.
"cool.it is cool. love your stuff, feel like i’m doing something useful at work now your site’s on my desktop!" Rob, Amsterdam.
"I am American from the US and speak Chinese, Spanish, Italian, and can read Hebrew. Your program is the greatest idea since Rosetta Stone! I am interested in learning other languages…Your site and the idea of 10 words a day is brilliant!" Jay, USA
"This is a GREAT idea! Love it… Keep up the good work!" Rob, USA
"excellent idea, fun, practical and very effective" Rob, UK
"I need this" Claudio, Brazil.

The Blog

Free screensaver offer.

May 26th, 2009

We have developed a nifty little screensaver for members of Learn10 -  it shows your Learn10 content scrolling across the screen when your computer is not in use to help you learn your daily words.

If you are one of the first 50 people to email us at [email protected] you can participate in this trial and get a free copy of our Windows screen saver. This will be on sale as soon as we have finished some product testing.

Tweet Compete! & hashtags.

February 14th, 2009

Tweet compete is a  daily short composition competition using 10 random words from Learn10. We use a hashtag - a short code prefixed with # - to share our entries to the competition, and use Twitter to post the entries online.

Here is how Tweet Compete plays out:

  • Use all 10 words from learn10
  • Do not change the words given
  • Use the right word type (a noun as a noun etc.)
  • Grammatically correct sentences please
  • Hashtag your tweet #L10en to enter
  • Vote for a winner

We will add a voting mechanism & prizes soon. For more information, visit our page on Facebook.

Do you speak Globish? Please don’t!

January 26th, 2009

Globish is the word used by Jean-Paul Nerriere to describe the English language as spoken by the majority of speakers. Across the globe, native speakers of English are now the minority. I wonder if he understands the connotations ‘Globish’ will suggest to native  speakers?

Globish. Glob.  Collocates with spit. Gibberish, gobblish, rubbish, something spat out. It is not a pretty word.

Jean-Paul Nerriere concentrates attention on the down side of the English linguistic empire. The way English is being used is evolving. This is nothing new. Look back to Shakespeare to see how language changes over time, look across the pond to see how two nations can be ’separated by a common language’ (Shaw).

According to a bbc report ‘Globish has only 1,500 words and users must avoid humour, metaphor, abbreviation and anything else that can cause cross-cultural confusion’.  Dull, dull, dull.

Yes, learn the most important 1,500 words first (exactly what we include in Learn10), but these are merely the means for you to investigate the world of a new language, not the ends in themselves.  If you think 1,500 words are enough, you might be interested to read this article by Tim Ferris. (At least he has improved on his previous 1 hour estimate of the time necessary to learn a new language). It sounds like globish to me.

The amazing things that happened to Learn10 in 2008

December 27th, 2008

Between Christmas and New Year is a great time to contemplate; to review what happened during the previous 12 months, and reassess aims & objectives, as well as personal goals for 2009.

Looking back, it’s been an exciting year. We’ve worked hard, but  have learnt a huge amount about the web 2.0 world we inhabit.

  • 14th February 2008 - the site was launched with a working demo within days of us formulating the idea.
  • We became an official project of  UNESCO 2008 International Year of Languages
  • We met Vaclav Havel - the first president of the Czech Republic.
  • We were voted one of the top 10 European startups and presented at Startup2.eu in Barcelona in May.
  • At the fabulous web 2.0 expo in Berlin, Nic sat with Tim O’Reilly in the pitchstop car & got a positive reaction to Learn10.
  • Learn10 was featured on Danish television.
  • We contributed a case study about Web 2.0 marketing to the 5th edition of Marketing Communications by Chris Fill.
  • A radio programme was made about our story for Czech radio Český Rozhlas 2 (the nearest Czech equivalent to BBC Radio 4), which will be broadcast on New Year’s Day.
  • We funded an important acquisition - an iPhone!
  • We got on TechCrunch in all the wrong ways
  • and some of the right ways. (Nic’s guest article about web 2.0 language learning.)
  • We gained nearly 25,000 members and have honed the learn10 widget based on the ongoing interactions with these members.

We are incredibly grateful for all the interaction we’ve had with the  members of Learn10. Your feedback has meant that we can continually improve our work. I can’t wait to share our (much improved) new release with you & hope that it contributes to your journey to acquire a second language.

Wishing you all happy travels in 2009!

The Learn10 Gaming Challenge - games are good for you.

November 18th, 2008

So… you like playing flash games… but what are they good for? periods of incarceration, public transport, idle afternoons in the office?

Learn10 is about to banish any vague feeling of unease you may experience after a lunchtime gaming session. We have a cunning plan to make online gaming a little more wholesome.

Learn10 is looking for flash game developers to sweeten the medicine of vocabulary learning. Developers can reach into our API to pick out pieces of a puzzle for individual gamers. Mostly these are going to be 10 daily word pairs in a language being studied, but it could be just about any call and response combination the Learnit member has input into our system.

We’re talking with Geewa.com and are awaiting a response from the Kongregate.com team (hello jim!). I’m also now going to speak to The Casual Collective and the Pirate guy.

The Learn10 API has so far been used to develop a screensaver and simple test functions, but we reckon that the creative might of game developers out there will come up with some fantastic results. Some possible examples:

  • A Tetris (falling words) style game where the learner must input the correct answer
  • A Space Invaders style game where the longer the word, the more points accessed.
  • A memory style game.
  • Integration into existing multi-player online games in the form of clues or articles for collection.
  • Integration of a speech recognition API - input via correct pronunciation.

All games created using the Learn10 API will be listed in a Learn10 games resource directory - with a rating system (of course) and affiliate opportunities for participating hosts.

So the medicine will be integrated, and the reward: gaming time is good for you.

We have ways of making you talk

November 6th, 2008

press release

Background: German firm Babbel.com has just bought out British FriendsAbroad.com - but Brit owned Learn10.com is there to make you learn using the methods of the Advertising  industry.

English speakers don’t exactly have the best reputation for speaking a second language. Those that do are the exception, rather than the rule. But, now is the time to try, because learning a new language just got a lot more convenient. The learn10 widget is a new service which helps you pick up 10 new words every day. It uses the thinking of the advertising industry, and you can find it on all over the Internet.

The old fashioned, Brits Abroad way of communicating with “Johnny Foreigner” was to talk loudly, and, if that didn’t work, shout. With 750 million people around the world learning English, it’s easy to see why native speakers can get away without learning the local lingo, so why try?

Nicola Robinsonova, from learn10.com says that the number one reason given by learn10cusers, is, because it’s fun! Brain fitness and career opportunities are also important, but pleasure was the number 1 motivator for language learners. Learning a language for love was also important, with many learners saying that they were inspired to learn because of their partner, or family.


Why now? We are seeing rapid technological development. There are a host of new products being created for the growing market of online language learners. Many of these are currently free, or available for a small charge. And though 80% of the Internet is in English, there are lots of materials in other languages, such as tv and radio stations and local newspapers. These days you can be immersed without leaving your computer. You can swap languages with native speakers on several language sites such as German based Babbel.com.

One tool,  the Learn10 widget, began with its founders, Mike and Nic, moved to a small village in South Bohemia.

“We’d been learning Czech for 18 months before we moved. Our classes were great - but, lacking time, we skipped class & didn’t do our homework. As Czech isn’t a common language, there weren’t so many resources available for it online. We created Learn10 out of our own need, so that learning a language is part of our day, not something that takes extra time. We now offer 22 languages (the long tail), so not just the most popular ones like French, German & Spanish.

“I get to see 10 daily words in lots of different places: my email & twitter accounts, blogs and language sites. They’re on Facebook, my desktop and we have a screensaver as well. You can even subscribe to an SMS service to get the words sent to your mobile phone every day.”

The inspiration for Learn10 came out of Nicola’s experience as a researcher for the advertising industry. “We are using the techniques of the advertising industry to help people learn what they want to.” says Nicola.

The learn10 widget spins out user generated lists around the Internet through an affiliate scheme - this means that any publisher can put an ‘advert’ on their site which holds the content selected by members of Learn10.com. Sponsored slots are also available to spread the content even further.

The English language is the lingua franca around the world, arguably the UK’s most successful export. If you want to get on in business or a career you need to be able to speak English. In many countries, such as the Czech Republic, you need to be fluent to get a place at a good university.

Nicola says that this affords great opportunities to native English speakers: “if you have an education, and a willingness to travel, you’re pretty much guaranteed work in any country. Native English speakers are like gold dust.”

“With the beginnings of a new language under your belt, you can make changes to your life… blog from Seville, for example, or create a web 2.0 startup from South Bohemia!”

Learning gets clever

October 29th, 2008


Welcome to Learn10!  Do you want to get better at a foreign language? We can help. We’ll give you 10 words a day to learn.  You’ll see them around the Internet. We’re on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll send you a daily email, too. You will see your words on many sites. Any publisher can join our affiliate scheme to help you learn your daily words online.

Learn10 uses the science behind advertising to help you learn. Use our services for free, or you can subscribe to extras such as a virtual teacher like me,  daily SMS,  and our screensaver too. Learning gets clever with learn10. Join us now!

What new features do you want next? (2)

October 28th, 2008

We thought it was time we looked again at this fundamental question.  Over the past 9 months we have developed the widget, guided by the requests of our members, and the limits of our own resources.

We have added:

  • ‘listen’ word recordings (provided both free - user generated, or from a speaking avatar via a subscription service)
  • A test
  • Grammatical info
  • Multiple languages
  • ‘write’ common phase translator
  • ’share’ - directory of useful language resources
  • twitter feeds (providing the words as RSS as well)
  • a facebook application

We are currently developing:

  • a daily email (free)
  • sms service (pre-register via the ‘my account’ page on the widget, $0.20 US per message)
  • a screensaver ($9.95 US per year or included in the premium package)

For us, the most exciting part of the project is the use of the techniques of the advertising industry in learning - to this end we are building partnerships with other sites so that we can maximise the number of times a day you will come into contact with the materials you want to learn. Please get in contact if you have space to join our affiliate scheme - making the learnit daily words available in a variety of standard advert sizes.

Learn10 uses Google Adwords to teach language

August 26th, 2008

What can we achieve with 25/35/35 character lines of text and a minimal budget? We have been experimenting with Google Adwords to find out. Read the rest of this entry »

Use Twitter to learn a new language

August 8th, 2008

Read the rest of this entry »

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