An app developed in Ronda pairs up language-learners with native speakers

2016-02-01 06:00:00

A group of young entrepreneurs from Ronda have created a mobile phone app to help users practise a foreign language with native speakers. The main purpose of the free app ‘Utandem’ is to facilitate conversation exchange as an alternative to learning in a classroom. Two people who speak different languages arrange to meet, generally in a bar, a café or another public area, and simply learn by having a conversation.
As explained by one of the entrepreneurs, Alberto Rodríguez, ‘Utandem’ uses geographical location to connect people in the same area.
“It is a social network, each person introduces the language or languages they speak and those they wish to practise and improve,” said Rodríguez, who is embarking on the project together with friends Javier Ballesteros, Mercedes Fernández, Emilio Ruiz, Marina Jiménez, Raúl Carrasco and Luis Porras, all of them in their twenties.
The idea for the app, which will be launched in Muelle Uno in Malaga on 30 January but is already available, came to Alberto while he was in Germany. “Contact with native speakers is by far the best way to learn a language; it’s the most efficient way,” he said.
Real-life situations
The app also permits bars, businesses, schools and pubs to promote and publicise their own events. The creators of ‘Utandem’ are convinced that the app will be a success. “Language tourism is in fashion... Every day there are more and more people who wish to perfect their foreign language skills,” said Rodriguez.
“Other apps do exist, but they are not of the same calibre,” he added. To begin with ‘Utandem’ offers users a hundred languages. “If a user speaks Aramaic,they can also join and add the option; the list could grow,” said Rodríguez. ‘Utandem’ is available for iOS, Android.source suringenglish