Bam! Pow! Learn! App called LingoZing uses comic books to teach foreign languages

Learning a new language can be tough and more than a little scary. A forthcoming mobile app called LingoZing promises to ease users’ fears and help them learn to speak a foreign language by reading comic books and graphic novels.

It’s a neat idea, and based on what we’ve seen so far, we’re pretty blown away by the execution. LingoZing is a digital comic library that’s a bit like Comixology, but differs in that it offers the ability to switch between multiple translations of each comic panel.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg, though: In addition to reading the panels, LingoZing lets you hear them narrated by actors, and you can follow along in two languages, as well as switch back and forth between them. Perhaps most impressive of all is the ability to have a go at reading panels yourself, with a voice recognition feature that then grades your pronunciation.

“Anything that is audio/visual and fun is attractive to people, provided it is well put together,” Kyra Pahlen, LingoZing founder and president, told Digital Trends. “I think that parents will be very happy that their children are drawn to something that can enhance their education and future life. The pop-culture part of it is an asset because it makes it accessible. The idea of learning a language has a bit of an intimidation factor to it. People don’t know if they want to make the commitment and risk failing. But if you just figure that you’re reading a comic and picking some language skills up along the way? That makes it an easy entry point. You can learn without realizing it.”

comic book translation luke

Right now, the service is raising funds on Kickstarter, with rewards securing you titles from the company’s library of comics. At present, these include a range of indie titles from around the world, although Pahlen (who has previously licensed characters like Superman in her professional career) said she hopes to add titles from other major publishers over time.

“We plan to produce a minimum of 60 titles per year, and 80 to 90 if we can,” she said. “We also plan to roll out more languages as we proceed. We really want to offer the best range possible.”

We’ll reserve our opinion until we’ve been able to comprehensively check out features like voice recognition — but this is potentially exciting stuff. With deals already being made to incorporate the app into schools, language classes are bound to get a whole lot more fun!

Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…

Here are 8 GoPro tips to get the most out of your action cam

There's more to your GoPro camera than just mounting it to your skateboard. Whether it's finding the best accessories or understanding the settings more thoroughly, learn to shoot video like a pro with these simple GoPro tips and tricks.

Keep your laptop battery in tip-top condition with these handy tips

Learn how to care for your laptop's battery, how it works, and what you can do to make sure yours last for years and retains its charge. Check out our handy guide for valuable tips, no matter what type of laptop you have.

Is your PC slow? Here's how to restore Windows 10 to factory settings

Computers rarely work as well after they accumulate files and misconfigure settings. Thankfully, with this guide, you'll be able to restore your PC to its original state by learning how to factory reset Windows.
Smart Home

Military-grade baby monitor called Miku was a hit with parents at CES 2019

Who knew the world needed a smarter baby monitor? Apparently it's the startup Miku, which brought a new high-tech baby monitor to CES 2019 that uses A.I., machine learning, and high quality cameras to keep an eye on kids.
Emerging Tech

Ford’s sweaty robot bottom can simulate 10 years of seat use in mere days

Ford has developed 'Robutt,' a sweaty robot bottom that's designed to simulate the effects of having a pair of human buttocks sitting on its car seats for thousands of hours. Check it out.
Emerging Tech

Want to know which drones are flying near you? There’s an app for that

Want to know what that mysterious drone buzzing over your head is up to? A new system developed by AirMap, Google Wing, and could soon tell you -- via a map on your phone.
Emerging Tech

A Japanese hotel fires half its robot staff for being bad at their jobs

Japan’s oddball Henn na Hotel has fired half of its 243 robot staff. The reason? Because these labor-saving machines turned out to be causing way more problems than they were solving.
Emerging Tech

CERN plans to build a massive particle collider that dwarfs the LHC

CERN already has the world's biggest particle accelerator. Now it wants a bigger one. Meet the 9 billion euro Future Circular Collider that will allow physicists to extend their study of the universe and matter at the smallest level.
Emerging Tech

Forget fireworks. Japan will soon have artificial meteor showers on tap

Tokyo-based startup Astro Live Experiences is preparing to launch its first artificial meteor shower over Japan, serving as a showcase of its prowess in the space entertainment sector.

Robomart’s self-driving grocery store is like Amazon Go on wheels

Robomart's driverless vehicle is like an Amazon Go store on wheels, with sensors tracking what you grab from the shelves. If you don't want to shop online or visit the grocery store yourself, Robomart will bring the store to you.
Emerging Tech

Glowing space billboards could show ads in the night sky

Look up at the night sky in 2020 and you might see an ad for McDonald's floating among the stars. A Russian startup is working on a project that uses a constellation of small satellites in low-Earth orbit to create glowing ads.
Emerging Tech

New brainwave reader tells teachers if students are concentrating

Massachusetts-based startup BrainCo has developed brainwave-reading headbands which can reportedly help reveal if students are concentrating in class. Here's how they're being used.
Emerging Tech

Fears about kids’ screen use may have been overblown, Oxford researchers find

Many people take it as gospel that digital technologies are harmful to young people’s mental health. But is this true? A recent study from the University of Oxford takes a closer look.