The Future of Language Learning?


It isn’t often that technology takes a leap forward in a way that actually makes you say ‘Wow!’. In a way that makes you want to tell your friends and interact with the world around you in a whole new way.

For me that happened this weekend when the app I am using to learn Italian prompted me to update to iOS 11. Memrise informed me that by updating I’d unlock a whole new feature.

“You’ll be able to use your camera to scan the world around you and discover how things are named in the language you are learning. Take pictures of different objects and they will be stored along with their translation and pronunciation!”

I quickly updated to iOS 11 and as promised a new icon had appeared on my toolbar in Memrise.

Once you open the Explore feature you can point your camera at anything in the world around you.

You’ll get a label in your target language telling you what it is with a pronunciation.


You can then save the item to your library.

Of course, there are limitations here.  The developers have given the app the ability to recognize a set number of objects in each category.


But what might have seemed like a limitation actually gamifies the experience. Who doesn’t want to ‘catch em all’ right?

Anne Grieve