Weekly Update on Coupling

Automatic language translations, transliterations, and breakdowns

Happy December! I had to spend a large part of the last month selling a lot of my stuff and moving out of San Francisco. The rent was too damn high! I’m back home coding away in my Portland garage. Let’s get these updates back on the road so we can get you learning a language soon.

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Automatic Translations

When adding a flashcard to your vocabulary, Coupling generates translations to or from your target language. This either makes adding new vocabulary faster, or can even be a source of learning new vocabulary.

Type whatever you want to learn into either your native language, or your target language, and the translations are automatic:

Automatic Transliterations

Coupling generates transliterations (i.e., pronunciations) for non-Latin languages (e.g., Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai). On top of the generated sound recordings, this gets us a second angle to remember how a word or phrase sounds.

For myself learning Chinese, I no longer need to manually type pinyin (romanization of the Chinese characters like “ni3 hao3” for “你好”) when adding vocabulary.

Automatic Breakdowns and Segmenting

Coupling generates breakdowns to show in a table what each individual component in a word, phrase, or sentence means. Coupling sources from various dictionaries to get high quality definitions and translations. This gets us a third angle to remember vocabulary; rather than rote memorization of sounds, we drill down on the meaning and etymologies of phrases.

Coupling performs segmentation of phrases for languages that have no spaces between discrete words such as Chinese or Japanese. Phrases are analyzed to extract words (e.g., groups of characters) which are then looked up and translated individually. That lets us break down phrases and sentences.

An Adaptable Language Learning Couple Dynamic

The foundation of Coupling is an easy system for you to pick up vocabulary and efficiently commit them to memory via spaced repetition. This itself gives you an app that looks like “Anki specifically for language learning” for self-study.

I’m treating picking up vocabulary like collecting Pokemon cards. You have a deck of vocabulary, which can be cards from starter decks, and you can add cards via booster packs that I continually release. You choose what cards you want to learn and are relevant to you.

Then you have challenge booster packs that contains vocabulary necessary to complete a real-life practice session with your partner. Before you can unlock the challenge, you need to learn all the vocabulary first. Coupling keeps track of your progress on learning each piece of vocabulary.

How much your partner is involved is flexible and adaptable based on how patient they are. There’s a spectrum. They can check in on your progress and statistics just to encourage you and keep your accountable. They can jump in and help with vocabulary you are struggling to remember. They can add vocabulary for you. And they can engage in however many challenges they want to do with you per week.

My goal is to release within the next week for a few people to try, and then open it up an alpha for everyone to try. Please email me at kevin@learncoupling.com if you want to test it super early!