Language and culture are well intertwined, and so one of the best ways to learn a language quickly is to meet native speakers. In a perfect world one would simply travel to the country that uses that language, but the reality is that many can’t afford to splash out on a plane ticket and leave other responsibilities behind.
Startup 2Meu was founded by Gu Do-young after having the idea to help those who want to study English, but don’t have the funds to go overseas. Gu created 2Dub, a platform that lets English learners practice and improve their speaking skills by overdubbing dramas, movies and other video content.
“10 years ago I taught a class where students read out scenes from American dramas and movies and got a good response,” says Gu. “The students’ skills improved using a fun method of learning, and I had fun while teaching too.”
Gu says that getting used to nuances and intonation is more important for languages than pronunciation or grammar. Even though it’s acting, by practicing real life situations that could happen, learners can become more comfortable with English.
2Dub lets users study by listening, repeating and recording sentences from videos. This includes ‘shadowing’, the act of speaking at the same time as the actor while you listen. Shadowing helps improve both listening and speaking, and users can even connect with other learners to create their own dubbed videos. While the service is currently focused on dubbing and shadowing, the company plans to add more “fun” features in the future.
2Dub isn’t just for English and can be utilized by foreigners studying Korean at universities or other educational institutions. “2Dub can also be used as a support tool at academies and institutions for language learning. It’s already been used at two regional high schools for teaching English speaking.”
In October, 2Meu was selected to be part of Finland’s biggest accelerator, Startup Sauna, and spent three weeks in the country receiving support. Since attending the global program, the startup is now looking to global markets and plans to start with Vietnam, followed by other areas in South East Asia. In addition to this, the service will also be marketed to local businesses and institutes for further expansion within Korea.
“I want everyone who wants to learn a foreign language to be able to study for free. This is because we’ve already spent so much on education,” says Gu. “I hope that people can think of 2Dub as a playground where they can become familiar with both language and culture. Moreover, as a global service I’d like it to be recognized as a crossborder-platform that lets you indirectly experience the culture of other countries.”
2Dub will have the chance to pitch its company at Europe’s largest startup conference ‘Slush’ in Finland at the end of November.