Pai Development Blog: June 2020 – Startup Steps

06/29/2020 16:52  Pai Language Learning 

We’ve made huge progress in the last couple of months since our initial development blog post. Despite the lockdown, we are still on track for the initial release before September. We are currently working on the educational part of the product itself, and getting the company ready for our first product launch.

Our platform will be one of the only language learning platforms that empower’s its users to take control of their learning style, whilst giving them all of the power, flexibility and analysis that data offers in both understanding their own learning style, and approaching each language we offer. If you’re interested in keeping up to date with us, or have questions on how exactly it works, why not get in contact with us on Facebook, Reddit or Linkedin?

This month, we received COVID Crisis Enterprise Support Allowance, which is designed to help pre-launch start-ups such as our own to continue working towards their launch, hopefully minimising the potential damage the pandemic has on the economy. We are incredibly thankful, and this money has essentially put us back on track.

With that said, let’s see what each of our team members has been focusing on!

Josef Roberts – Language Data and Business Development

For the last month or so, since the last development blog, I have been focusing on creating the language data for all of our future courses, as well as working closely with Simon on creating marketing material, and keeping the team on track in terms of our overall strategy.

Our progress with our language courses has mostly been focused on the four launch languages, and the languages scheduled for soon after launch, but there’s a lot of data collected and processed for languages we hope to release at some point in the future. I have quantified our progress in our launch languages (there are many more) into percentages:

LanguageVocabularyGrammar
English55%50%
Welsh55%60%
Mandarin22%0%
Hindi31%20%

Overall, in terms of language content, we are on track for launch.

Aside from language content, I have begun preparing to talk to the media about our company and the product launch, so keep an eye out for us!

Simon Parry-Williams – Marketing, Sales, and Strategy

In terms of marketing and sales, I’ve been working on a few projects as we’re getting closer to launch.

Firstly, creating content to share on our social media pages (links at the bottom), our exclusive groups (also at the bottom), and bi-weekly emails (at the footer), trying to engage with different groups and communities online. This includes creating unique content tailored for language learners, finding great articles to share or asking questions to our community, as well as developing the Metaskills of Language Learning articles. All of this has added up to make our reach nearly double in the last few weeks.

Secondly, I have been adapting our design and branding to make sure that the brand identity is clear and unified on all of our channels.

Thirdly, preparing for launch is an important task; this means we’ve been focusing on creating the launch campaign, which so far as been identifying our key segments and how we will approach them, as well as setting up our affiliate program, which is very exciting. If you would like to be a part of that, our social media channels will be at the bottom.

Griffri Vaughan Melville – Software Engineer

I’ve been working for a while on a reliable system for translating the website into different languages for users to read, which is a key part of what makes us special. It’s a flexible one that allows the website to change depending on the requirements of their scripts. For example, there is support for horizontally scrolling pages for vertically written languages such as Mongolian and Manchu, which would make us quite unique, especially given that the Mongolian government is reintroducing the traditional script.

The typefaces themselves can be changed, too. Not only does it mean that we can keep the website looking great in virtually any language, but it also allows us to implement features to make it more accessible to all. For example, users with dyslexia could be given the option of changing the font used to display Latin characters to OpenDyslexic (https://opendyslexic.org/)

This week, I’m working on what will eventually become the user account pages, such as the control panel. I have also been setting up a reliable 3-2-1 backup system to ensure that our users’ data will be secure and protected from any losses.

Phillip Roberts – Language Data Creation and Corpus Management

(Phillip has been brought on only this week to help us create our course content and manage our corpora)

I have spent most of my first week working on the English and Welsh corpora and vocabulary lists. I’ve already made huge progress on both of those, and have written code to help clean up IPA transcriptions, as well as creating a scraper to help collect example sentences from the internet.

Conclusion

A final note on gathering feedback; our platform, content and technical design are all meant to be tailored to you. Our information before we set up Pai was very useful and is helping us set up the foundations for our release, however, we understand as the world has changed drastically alongside your needs since we’ve started (especially in the past few months), we need to change too, so making sure that providing a service for this new state of the world is a big priority of ours, and will be an ongoing process.

That said if you have any suggestions, feedback, or just an idea you’d like to throw our way, please do, we’d love to hear your thoughts, and our best chance of seeing this is through our social media channels (Facebook, Facebook Group, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, LinkedIn).

From all of us at Pai, we wish you the best and look forward to hearing from you.

The Pai Team.


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