Monthly Archives: February 2009

UNESCO International Mother Language Day

The tenth UNESCO International Mother Language Day will be celebrated on the 21st of February 2009. It provides us with an opportunity to recall the objective of this celebration which was the recognition of linguistic diversity and the importance of multilingual education.
“Only if multilingualism is fully accepted can all languages find their place in our globalized world”. Mr Koïchiro Matsuura. (Director General of UNESCO)

As busuu.com was one of the projects of the UNESCO 2008 International Year of Languages, we are taking a look back at our contribution to the celebration. Remember the busuu.com initiative to promote endangered languages such as Silbo Gomero? Well, it was a huge success. Over 15,000 of our users checked out our Silbo Gomero learning content and there are in total over 30,000 views of our Youtube videos in English, French, German and Spanish. So a big thank to all of you for your participation in the promotion and protection of this charming but endangered language.

The world’s nearly 7,000 languages will be celebrated on International Mother Language Day. Ensuring that these languages can continue in use alongside the major international languages of communication is a genuine challenge to countries and cultures worldwide.

So on that note, in my native language (which is Irish/Gaeilge), I will sign off today and remind you to celebrate your mother language on the 21st of February…Slán agus ná dermad do teanga dúchasach.

busuu.com in The Guardian

Recently we had the chance to do an interview for the “elevator pitch section” of the guardian.co.uk with Jemima Kiss to tell their readers a little more about busuu.com. Within that section, great new start-ups get the chance to present their company every week.

The term “elevator pitch” is a concise description of a company. The name reflects the fact that a pitch of a start-up should be delivered in the duration of an elevator ride with e.g. a potential investor. So, you only have very limited time to explain what your company is about in order to get e.g. the business card of that person at the end of your ride!

It makes us really proud to see such a prestigious newspaper showing interest in our start-up! Here you can read the complete article.

Check out as well the full press coverage of busuu.com – more and more media seem to be interested in what we are doing! :-)

The busuu-baby has grown up!

We are delighted to announce that we have launched the new version of busuu.com!

We have been working hard for the past 9 months and, thanks to all the great feedback from the community, we have created a new version of busuu.com that will make your learning experience even more fun, interactive and efficient. Here are the major changes that have taken place.

1. New interface

First of all, we have improved our interface to make the access to the learning material MUCH easier! From now on you are only one click away from improving your language skills. Check out the new interface here.

2. Courses

Secondly, to give you more guidance in your language learning, we have created new courses for each level, which are in accordance with the guidelines of the Common European Framework of References for Languages! There are four different courses to choose from ranging from A1-Beginner 1 to B2-Intermediate 2.Within the courses, we recommend to you which unit to do next by following a board-game style table with tests and gifts along the way!With these new guided courses you are sure to improve your langugae skills quicker than ever!

3. Ranking

Thirdly, you can now see your learning performance compared to other users of the community! The ranking shows your absolute position within the busuu.com community.This is calculated continuously and the arrows indicate whether you are moving up or down. Your rank is measured by your learning progress and the number of posts you have corrected from other users.Have a look at your current rank here!

4. Premium Membership

And finally we decided to develop additional, exciting new functions and material, which we offer to you at an amazingly good price! Premium Members of busuu.com have exclusive access to the following features:

  • more audio for all the key phrases and dialogues - audio for more than 3,000 key phrases and 150 dialogues,
  • printable PDFs – containing the vocabulary, key phrases and dialogues for more than 150 units,
  • podcasts for your IPod – containing the vocabulary, key phrases and dialogues for all the units, and finally,
  • more than 35 grammar units – containing examples of the grammar usage of the most important points in grammar in each language.

Take a look at the complete overview of the Premium functions here.

We hope that you enjoy the new grown up busuu.com as much as we have enjoyed preparing it for you and are looking forward to your feedback!