Help us re-invent language learning by creating the world’s first video dictionary, beginning with all the European languages.
We’ll travel across Europe in a double decker bus with a team of linguists, film-makers, coders and designers, and collect more than a hundred thousand micro-videos of native speakers using their language in context.
These videos will feed into our award-winning language-learning app, Memrise, so anyone can learn languages through native speakers, for free.
Memrise is a language-learning app and website used by more than 6 million people to learn over 200 different languages. We use cognitive science and plenty of humour to make learning fun, and our team of 14 nationalities works passionately to improve it every day.
Everyone knows the best way to learn a language is by living abroad surrounded by native speakers, immersed in the culture of that language.
Our mobile video learning bottles this experience for you: every word or phrase you learn in a new language, you learn from a native speaker who actually says it. You’re constantly translating and responding to real native speakers. See how it works:
Familiarity with 10k words and phrases is more than enough for fluent speech, and that’s the number of videos we want to create for each language.
Unlike any other language learning app, you’ll experience the personality of native speakers, how they actually speak, their many accents… and also their clothes, their culture, their landscapes, their humour, their quirks… basically all of the stuff that makes language learning fun in the first place.
Our itinerary around Europe
The target goal of £50k will allow us first of all to visit six countries: the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal. These have the most widely studied European languages. It will take us around three months for this part of the journey.
If we beat our goal then we will be able to visit more and more countries and record more and more languages. Our dream is to go round 18 European countries, so you can learn any of their amazing languages directly from native speakers.
We believe we can say without exaggeration that this will be the greatest multilingual road trip ever attempted!
Why a roadtrip?
The Membus tour is the most effective way for us to create our vibrant, beautiful and gigantic video dictionary:
- We can take a large crew of talented film-makers across Europe on the cheap
- We can swiftly visit every variety of city, town, village and landmark for the greatest possible variety of people and locations
- We can carry with us all of the energy and fun that any road-trip entails, which will help ensure the vids are hilarious and awesome
Why a Kickstarter?
This is a passion project, and a huge one at that ! To collect this many videos, to this quality, from this many people… we simply can’t afford to attempt it without the help of this Kickstarter.
One of the things we’re most excited about is building a community around this project, and connecting with local volunteers in all of the European countries we’ll visit who’ll be excited to help build the video dictionary of their own language.
So if you think this is a good idea and want to help people learn in a different way, check the rewards that we have with love prepared for you (every contribution makes a big difference!). And don’t hesitate to get in touch if you think you can help.
About the Membus
The vehicle in which we’ll undertake this grand voyage is a vintage Bristol 1978 double decker bus minimally tweaked on the inside to accommodate a crew of 8 lucky souls (Our CEO went without pay for three months to finance its purchase).
How will the funds be used?
– To cover the basic expenses of the road trip for a crew of eight (fuel, food, paying our Hungarian bus driver Zoltan…)
– To get three sets of high quality cameras and microphones, to make sure those videos are both pleasing to the eyes and clear to the ears.
– Do some refurbishments to the bus (such as water-proofing, fixing the windscreen wipers, a seat for the driver, a cap for the petrol tank, curtains for privacy, a small electric heater).