Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Anyone know anything about

Thanks to an anonymous tipster in the comments to this post, I just got wind of a new website that appears to be in the mold of Livemocha and Busuu.

Here's how the site sells itself:

LEARN a new language anytime, anywhere with online, interactive lessons that will develop all the skills you need.

TEACH other members your language and learn from native speakers.

COMMUNICATE with native speakers and make friends all over the world.

That sounds a lot like Livemocha to me.

Strangely, the simple site is designed primarily as an image (that image above is a screen grab), as if to avoid Google bot detection and stay off the radar for the time being. On the other hand, they do have a perfectly searchable Facebook page.

One thing I'm curious about is the Men's Health article they got some coverage in. Keep in mind that this is an unreleased product:

[R]einforce your lessons by signing onto social-networking sites that let you interact with native speakers. "They use functional language that you'd hear in conversation," says Marty Abbott, director of education for the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. Her favorite is
So how exactly does an unreleased site become someone's favorite tool? I smell something fishy! (Or perhaps a rational explanation that's just escaping detection, but I digress...). [Update: Yup, there was a rational explanation that was escaping detection. See the comment below.]

So... what do you know about Drop a line in the comments below or send an email to tips at this domain name. (And I welcome comments from you,, because I know you're keeping an eye on those Google Alerts!)

Links:, Livemocha, Busuu

Win the Mind Games [Men's Health]


  1. Dear Vincent,

    My name is Sarah Gontijo and I am from Please allow me to give you some explanation about our site although you summarized it very well above.

    Hello-Hello will be a language learning website combined with a social networking where members will be able to do their lessons online, help each other during the learning process and communicate with people around the world to practice the language and make friends.

    Our website is schedule have its soft launch in a few days and I will make sure to keep you posted on that. I will really appreciate your feedback on it once it launches, keeping in mind that it will still be in Beta version

    As far as the quote from Marty Abott, director of education for ACTFL (The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages), in "Men's Health" magazine, it is perfectly legitimate. We are honored to have ACTFL's collaboration with the development of our lessons, which assures their quality. Therefore, they have been following the development of the website closely. By the time the article was released we were supposed to have launched our website; however we had some complex development that unfortunately delayed the launch. We want to make sure that the website meets people's expectations and is running well before we launch it.

    The page has been functioning as a landing page where people can pre-sign up for the website and we have been communicating with them in a regular basis. People that pre-sign up will in fact become VIP members as mentioned on the anonymous post and earn special points. We also have a Facebook group and I welcome you as well as your readers to join us there as well: Free language Learning Website

    I also strongly recommend that people go there and pre-sign up to be on loop about Hello-Hello :-)

    Please let me know if you need any other information and feel free to contact me directly. My e-mail is sarah(at)

    Thank you,

    Sarah Gontijo

  2. Thanks for the clarification (I updated the post above accordingly) and the detailed comment. I've already signed up and look forward to seeing how your site progresses!

  3. Great! Thank you. I look forward to your comments and to see you there.

  4. This is an interesting blog you have here, but is there any way to search it? I'm trying to learn Spanish right now. I completed all of the free lessons on LiveMocha and I recently downloaded the free version of Byki.

    Are there any free Spanish websites or programs that you would recommend? I'm sure this information is already on this site somewhere, but again, I can't figure out how to search it.

  5. @Master Moron

    Seek and ye shall receive. Search capability has been on my to-do list for this blog for quite some time, and your request pushed it to the top of this list. It's now at the top of the right-hand column of this blog.

    You can check out the keyword Spanish on this blog, but I haven't covered a lot of things specifically looking at how they do for Spanish.

    I'd recommend that you use a spaced-repetition system of some sort. Anki is a popular choice. If you're up to writing, try Lang-8, where native speakers will correct your work. LingQ has plenty of content and some of their features are free. And, of course, there are websites like Livemocha and Busuu with their lesson series.

    If you do find anything great out there, I'd love to hear back from you.