Jan Park Persson, the young CEO of Colango, an Android-based language learning social media platform, opened his presentation with a questionable assertion: learning a language is FUN.
Well, with his new mobile platform, of course.
In an energetic presentation at KSP's new office in the Gangnam district of Seoul, Jan and his co-founders explained how Colango merges the worlds of technology, language learning, and social media. The application leverages all the advantages of today's fast, easy-access technology. But more than that, it allows users to immediately use their new skills or knowledge through a simple, social media platform. Acknowledging that acquiring a new language is inherently fraught with making mistakes and vulnerability no matter what level you're on, Colango provides a safe, virtual space where people can share daily updates and photos without the pressure of showing only their best (or fluent) self on Facebook or Instagram.
In the dynamic Q&A led by KSP managing partners and Israeli investor Tal Gilat, Colingo's co-founder, Evan C Lai, a Chinese-American currently living in Seoul, described how his own efforts to learn Korean motivated his drive to help create Colango. Whether asking for directions in a subway station, sharing newly-discovered music or uploading a photo of an unfamiliar food, Colango provides nearly-instant feedback and gentle input from the native speakers among his friends, family, and acquaintances. It also helps create community among other language learners with a friendly, simple interface, unique content, and convenient web-based channels. Ultimately, it didn't feel like studying at all -- it was simply connecting, sharing, communicating.
So perhaps Jan was wrong: language learning isn't fun. But using a new language definitely is.
And, as the entrepreneurs emphasized, Colango lets you jump from learning to using in the fastest and most painless way possible.