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L-Lingo: Learn Thai Online for Free

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L-Ceps Personaltrainer language learning software…

I played around with L-Ceps Thai Language Software last year, but I did not spent a lot of time with it (my bad).

There were three reasons:

  1. L-Ceps had too much of a PC feel
  2. I already had Rosetta Stone (also PC)
  3. I did not like Rosetta Stone (guilt by association?)

But this week L-Ceps launched a free online version, L-Lingo, that kept my attention. Not only is it beautifully crafted, but it offers 40 free Thai lessons (and that’s just for starters).

Although free is great, I am not gushing for that reason. It was the design of L-Lingo that jiggled me to take a look at the redesign of L-Ceps.

And loving the new look, I contacted Khun Busakorn (the voice of L-Lingo) to ask a few questions.

Interviewing Khun Busakorn from L-Ceps…

When did you rewrite your original software? The reason I ask is because I tried L-Ceps previously, and the old version had a different feel to it.

The major redesign of L-Ceps was in Version 2.0, published June 2009.

The online application was released just a few days ago. This version was created because we wanted to make our language learning software more accessible to our users.

Also, we plan to adapt the software to mobile phones – iPhone, Android, etc – and this new platform will make it easier.

The new platform is also visually much more attractive (or what do you think? :)

In order to get a lot of feedback from users, we released this version early. This is because we are serious about building an application that people like to use; one that suits their needs.

Besides the price, what are the main differences between L-Ceps and Rosetta Stone?

We started developing L-Ceps after using Rosetta Stone (my husband to learn Thai, and I to learn German). In general, we liked Rosetta Stone but we found some things missing. We also wondered why it was so expensive.

We believe the main differences are:

  1. Our application offers translations. In Rosetta Stone, the meaning of the pictures is not always clear (we often had to use a dictionary).
  2. Our application teaches practical phrases. For instance, the L-Ceps software has a unit dedicated to common phrases. Note: this unit is not available for the web based version, but it will be eventually.
  3. We focus on Asian languages and consider typical Asian language patterns. For example, most Asian languages do not change verb forms for tenses, etc., but add certain words for past or future tenses.
  4. Our images are mostly shot in Asia (especially in Thailand), whereas Rosetta Stone uses predominantly North American scenery and people.
  5. Our PC version has features that Rosetta Stone does not. Giving just one example: a Joker to hide possible answers.

Please do not misunderstand me, we both like Rosetta Stone. But RS leans more towards total immersion based learning (that is why there are no translations in Rosetta Stone).

What do you see in L-Lingo’s future?

The free online version at l-lingo.com will always remain free.

What you see at the moment is the first version. We will continuously update and add more (hopefully exciting) features that people like to use.

At the moment our main focus is getting feedback from users.

At a later stage we might offer premium (paid) features to support our business. However, I do not see this happening soon.

We also aim to create a mobile version for iPhone and the new Android phones.

Can you tell me more about L-Ceps?

The paid version at l-ceps.com is a Java based software, which offers many features that are not (yet) available online.

It might not be as visually appealing as the online version, but it contains more content. It has detailed learning statistics, printable textbook and pdf flashcards, and more.

The L-Ceps version has been developed over many years. It will continue to be maintained, with new features in the pipeline.

Thank you Khun Busakorn.

L-Lingo: Learn Thai Online for Free…

When you check out L-Lingo, please be sure to leave your two cents are they are totally serious about getting responses from users.

We would like to know your feedback and suggestions and therefore let us know if you find anything that doesn’t work. Use our Blog (click here) to communicate with us.

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My passion is promoting the Thai language. Fullstop. Oh, and traveling. I'm passionate about that as well. And photography too.

17 Comments

  1. I have to play with it more but so far I like it much better than I liked Rosetta Stone. Rosetta Stone really does leave out a lot of important clues that leave you scratching your head and in that regard L-Lingo is getting it right.

    I’ll definitely be playing with it more.

  2. While Rosetta Stone might be ‘ok’ for French, IMHO it falls short with learning Thai.

  3. I’ve been playing around with the free version this morning, having lots of fun with my four year old son doing the quizzes together.

    Since I’m not familiar with the Rosetta Stone method, I cannot compare, but L-Lingo has been fun and obvious what the pictures mean. I’ll be bookmarking this one to practice my Thai.

  4. I have loaded L-Lingo onto my browser and after an initial play I must say I am impressed. I cannot make up my mind whether to run with standard or phonetic text. I like phonetic but long term I feel standard Thai text has got to be more beneficial. What are your views on this Catherine.

  5. Amy, I can see where L-Lingo would be perfect for little ones on up. I used to teach computer to a 3 year old and the only problems we had was getting chairs high enough for her to reach.

    Hi Martyn, I’m going to say Thai script over transliteration. You might not be familiar with reading actual Thai, but every little bit helps.

  6. Thanks for introducing this, Cat. I have used RS a lot but often found it frustrating, although I did like the way you often had to learn through intuition or by making mistakes. Not sure if that was an intended part of the programme though. So far this looks very good, though I did like seeing how well I was prpogressing (not that well, actually) on RS. I’ll certainly keep playing with this one. I agree that using Thai script is preferable. My lack of progress in vocabulary expansion is down to not being able to read (or so I am told).

  7. Lawrence, L-Lingo does seem to fix some of what is broken with RS. And maybe making the transliteration a rollover instead of an option, would help that much more.

    I have also heard that vocabulary acquisition is greatly improved with being able to read. Most likely, it is down to having yet another way to get words into your head? I know it does wonders for pronunciation.

  8. Hi, this is Busakorn. First of all a big thank you to Catherine for writing this post. I am also very glad about all the responses so far.

    I like the discussion about the Phonetics and the Thai script.
    I understand that some of you might want to have the option to see both (Thai Script / Phonetics) within the quizzes (maybe when you move the mouse over a “phonetic sign”). So we will look into that. If there is anything else you like to see, please let me know.

  9. Hi Busakorn, thank you for stopping by. I’m glad to see the responses too. And I hope posters here will continue to help you refine your sweet software.

  10. just would like to let you and your readers know that we have a new version of L-Lingo life with the following new features:

    – Now running in a full screen mode
    – Writing Quiz is now available
    – We have added some simple statistics about how many answers you have made correct or wrong
    – Some new icons and visual effects

    Enjoy!

  11. Busakorn, Thanks for the heads-up. The writing quiz will be especially interesting (I’ll go peek).

  12. Hi there. We just put a new update online:
    – First lesson now teaches some basic dialogues
    – There is a Joker button in the Picture and Translation Quiz
    – A lot new visual effects in the quizzes

    I hope you like it. More details are in our Blog:
    http://l-lingo.com/blog/2009/11/joker-button-and-visual-effects-new-version-online/

  13. Excellent Busakom! I’ll go and check it out.

  14. Hi Catherine, I hope you had a good start into 2010. We are just in Chantaburi on Holidays but still managed to update L-Lingo.

    We have now integrated a PDF textbook and printable Flashcards for each lessons and it seems lots of the users like this new feature. So it might be worth a look for your readers.

  15. Busakorn – A pdf textbook with flashcards for download is indeed great news! I’m going to check them out asap. Thanks, it is always great to get updates like this :-)

  16. I just tried it now, and must say I’m extremely impressed
    I was hoping it would be available for the French or German languages as well, pity its only for the Asian ones :(

  17. Hi Amr, they have mentioned taking on other languages but I’m not sure which ones.

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