Today, we speak with one of the creators of the app Amikumu, Richard Delamore, aka Evildea, who has been interviewed about Esperanto here.
What is Amikumu?
Amikumu is an app (for iOS and Android) that helps you find people nearby who speak the languages you are learning. For example, if you are learning French, use Amikumu to instantly find, contact and meet up with native French speakers nearby. Some potential ways people can use the app is:
- Traveling in France, use Amikumu to find evening French language partners.
- Shopping in Hong Kong, use Amikumu to meet English speakers who know the local hot spots.
- Studying at school, use Amikumu to find native speakers of smaller languages such as Faroese to practice.
- At the mall, Deaf people can use Amikumu to find and meetup up with other Deaf and hang out.
The potential of this technology for learning, meeting new friends, and exploring local culture is limitless. Amikumu will revolutionize the way we connect and make friends.
Here are somethings others are saying about us:
I never know which city I’m going to wake up in next, and yet I want to practise all my languages. With this app, I’ll be able to practise any language I want at the push of a button. I can’t wait!
– Benny Lewis, Fluent in 3 Months
Evildea and Chuck are two huge contributors to the language learning community. I can’t imagine how many people they’ve inspired! This app is going to add a whole new dimension to language learning!
– Lindsay Dow, Lindsay Does Languages
The app has the potential to enhance communication among speakers of endangered languages and revivalists of dreaming sleeping beauties such as the Barngarla Aboriginal language.
– Professor Ghil’ad Zuckermann, D.Phil. (Oxford) – Chair of Linguistics and Endangered Languages at the University of Adelaide, Australia
We believe that you need to focus on reading, writing and talking to become fluent. With Amikumu and BookBox, you’ll be well on your way to fluency.
– Parthibhan, BookBox
Where the idea came from?
The need for an app that connects local language learners has existed for a long time. However, only recently technology evolved to the point of making this a reality. Chuck Smith (CTO of Amikumu) first noticed at an international meetup of Esperanto speakers, the number of people using Pokémon GO to catch monsters. This made him think, why not use GPS technology to catch language learners? Afterwards, he shared his thoughts with Richard Delamore (CEO of Amikumu) who, it turned out, was working on a similar idea. It was an instant match: Delamore had the business know-how and connections while Smith had the technical knowledge to make it happen and even more connections.
How Amikumu is different from other apps?
In essence, there is no other app that does this. Our app intends to connect people in the real world. There are many apps that connect people with virtual partners but that’s not our goal.
Where did the name Amikumu come from?
Amikumu is an Esperanto word (more precisely an imperative verb) that means “hang out with friends!”.
Amikumu is only for Esperanto speakers?
Nope! We will start testing and refining the app with the Esperanto community, but our goal is to empower learners of all languages everywhere in the world, including sign languages. The app will undergo an initial testing period from March to July during which only Esperanto speakers can use it. However, after July it will open to all language groups.
How can people help the project?
We are currently on Kickstarter and need all the support we can get. I recommend everyone at least check out our page and awesome rewards here.
If you love the idea of the app and you can’t donate then share our campaign with everyone! The more people who know about Amikumu the more likely we are to be funded.
Do you have a release date yet?
Soft launch (Esperanto only): March 2017
All languages: July 2017