|Duolingo: educating the world
||[oct. 10e, 2014|07:21 am]
There is transcription of Luis von Ahn's talk and article from Telegraph.
This transcription was made with help by Duolingo user Lenkvist.
I come from Guatemala, which is a poor country. Few people can afford to learn a language. The people who are wealthy can pay for the best education for themselves. And then, because they are so well educated, they remain being wealthy.
Whereas the people who don't have very much money, barely learn how to read and write. And because they almost don't know how to read and write, they remain poor. It is very important for what we do, that everything we do is free for everybody.
Crowd sourcing is the idea of getting a lot of people on the internet to contribute to work on something. We started Duolingo because we wanted to teach languages. We wanted to teach languages in a totally free way. Whenever we teach them a concept, for example, we may teach them food words, we say: "Hey, if you want to practice what you just learned, here's a document that is related to food words, that is in the language that you are learning. Can you help us translate it into your native language (and it is from the real world)." A few of them work on the same document and then they check each other's work, etcetera, and at the end we come up with our translation.
With half a million active users translating, we could translate all of Wikipedia from English into Spanish in about 80 hours. To me, personal economy really means making a dent in being able to educate the world better.
I don't want to argue about politics, I don't want to argue about philosophy of how to educate, I see it as an engineering problem. There are two billion people who need to be educated, how are we going to get to them.
The reason we get so many users is because most people who use Duolingo, even though Duolingo is not called a game, most people who use Duolingo refer to it as "playing Duolingo".
We are starting with languages, but we are not just going to stop with languages; we really want to do all types of education and really the goal is to get to two billion people.
Luis Von Ahn explains why growing up in Guatemala led him to keep Duolingo's services free to give poorer people the opportunity to improve their lives
Luis Von Ahn, co-founder and CEO of Duolingo, is from Guatemala, where only the wealthy can afford a good education. This means that there is little social mobility for those at the bottom of society. This is why everything that his company does is free. This is achieved by using crowdsourcing.
Duolingo has a million active users who could translate all of Wikipedia from English to Spanish in about 80 hours. it is based around having active users so users translate real world examples as they learn new words in order to put what they are learning into practice.
For Luis, personal economy means making the world better, making a mark. He is not interested in arguing about politics or philosophy; instead he sees education as an engineering project, simply about providing a service to those who need it.
The Duolingo project demonstrates Luis's passion for education and the importance of leaving a legacy - perfect examples of personal economy in action. Your personal economy represents the health of your whole financial life, it incorporates all the things you value most: your legacy, your passion, your work, your family and your home.