Language-Learning App Can Open Opportunities for International Business PlaySay allows users to collaborate with native speakers to master a new language.
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Money may be the international language, but chances are you'll need to speak at least a few foreign words if you want to deal effectively with international business partners and vendors. So how can you learn quickly? Well, there's a free app for that. PlaySay, built for iOS, pairs aspiring polyglots for real conversations.
Here's how it works. An English-speaking user chooses a phrase from a preselected list (e.g., "Hello, how are you?" or "Steak. Medium-rare.") and records it for a partner--a Spanish-speaking PlaySay user who has indicated a desire to learn English. The app provides the phrase in Spanish. Once the first user has mastered the pronunciation, the recording is sent to the partner, and the collaborative learning begins, with sentence-by-sentence translations in both languages. The service isn't meant for formal learning--it teaches practical phrases to get you through a conversation.
PlaySay, powered in part by Nuance Communications' speech-recognition technology, is currently available only in Spanish, but plans are to expand to 26 languages, starting with Japanese, Italian and a Korean app for Android.