Glossika is not flashy. You don’t get much in the way of games (or “gamification” as they apparently say these days). Culture is not the issue either; it is assumed that you will collect this kind of information elsewhere. Glossika is all about getting the job done. And do it for a few months, get into all the phrases… and one fine day, it’s like going from black and white to the color part of “The Wizard of Oz”.
Suddenly you can understand what the native speakers are saying because now the language is in your ear for real. I will never forget the day I crossed paths with Chinese and heard one of them say in Mandarin: “Wait, take a picture of this statue”, whereas a few months earlier, I would not have heard than a flood of sounds.
So this is the most practical way I know of to get past “This is my neighbor’s pencil” on your own. And by the way, no, I have no ties to the company in any way. I just want to share something really useful.
Glossika includes other activities to help you learn to write in the language and allow you to listen to yourself speak. I find that less important than just running the tongue in my ear on a daily basis, with a sort of repetition that no human would be patient enough – even for a paycheck.
I also want more people to know about Glossika because its creator, Michael Campbell, is an excellent citizen of the languages of the world. Of the approximately 7,000 languages currently spoken, only 500 or 600 could still be used in a hundred years. Globalization and urbanization cause people to speak the large lingua francas, so that languages spoken by small indigenous groups cease to be passed on to children. Additionally, in countless cases in the past, Native Americans and Australian Aborigines have been discouraged from using their languages, with children being physically abused in schools for doing so. There is now a crisis of linguistic diversity similar to that faced by much of the world’s flora and fauna.
In response to this, Glossika helps you learn some struggling languages for free, such as Welsh and Taiwanese. Campbell encourages the late speakers of various Indigenous languages to record Glossika sets in their languages. The chances that many of these languages, such as the Native American languages of the Pacific Northwest and the indigenous languages of Taiwan, will survive as spoken languages are low. However, having them saved in the Glossika format will be an invaluable way to preserve them at least for posterity.
Campbell sees Glossika as a way learn a language from scratch. However, this is really a set to go intermediate. With all due respect to the platform, not many adults are really ready to reconstruct how a language works by simply jumping into idiomatic sentences without knowing the vocabulary or grammar at all, like babies.