Welcome to our first ever Recap! The Linguistic Recap is our product changelog (but with a much cooler name) that we post every Friday.

A lot has happened this week, so let’s dig in! 🚀

🌍 A new way to add languages

New language selector

To kick things off, we created a brand new (and hopefully much less confusing) way to specify which language you want to learn.

Previously, during sign-up, you would need to tell us which language you speak natively. Right off the bat, this approach is flawed because – well, we didn’t list every language in existence. We listed the languages we support: Japanese, Chinese, and English.

We found a lot of users would compromise and say that English is their native language – even if it isn’t – just so they could sign up. From there, we would tell you which languages you could learn, at which point, if you didn’t like your choices, you couldn’t go back to switch your native language. The whole thing was a total mess.

Now when you sign up, we hit you with the question that matters most:

“Which language would you like to learn?”

From there, you can select which the language you would like to learn that language in. For most people, this would typically be your native language. However, given the fact we’re still starting out, some people may need to settle for a language we support, such as English, even if it is their second or third language.

This model more closely aligns to other language learning platforms, where you may enroll in a course titled “English for Spanish Speakers” or “French for German Speakers”.

An important note about this change

This change fundamentally changes how languages in Linguistic are managed. Going forward, “native” languages will play an increasingly smaller role in the platform. The only time they will be relevant is when matching with native speakers, a feature we have temporarily disabled. Language partner matching currently only matches you with other learners.

We do plan to re-enable native speaker matching again in the future, once we can build out functionality to allow you to managed your selected native language.

🇬🇧 English For English speakers

English learn modal

On top of our new language selection, we have also introduced a new language offering on Linguistic: English for English speakers.

English is a rich, complicated language that takes years to master. I’ve been speaking it my whole life, and there are still words I don’t know. It is unsurprisingly the most studied language in the world, with over a whopping 1.5 billion learners. Yes, billion with B.

Naturally, that is a lot of different people speaking a bunch of different native languages, the majority of which we can’t drop everything to add support for. Therefore, we found it easier to support English as both a base language and a target language, so intermediate English learners can use the knowledge they already have to keep on learning.

To start learning English with English, click on the flag icon in the top left of the screen, click “Add Language”, then select English on both screens in the modal that appears.

🐛 Various bugs

We also tackled a number of tough bugs this week, including layout issues with our article reader and issues related to article importing. Just as a reminder, if you do run into any bugs on Linguistic, feel free to contact us directly at [email protected].

Well, that’s a wrap on this Recap – see you next week!