Decode Chinese: We are building the future of language education (Kickstarter coming soon)

Twisted Strings on HBO was good

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Really? Absolutely hated that show. 小S is such a braindead narcissist.

A lot of Taiwanese drama is beyond sentimental. If someone can recommend something on Netflix which isn’t a boy meets girl, or family drama with lots of shouting and crying, I’ll be happy to hear it. One of the toughest aspects for me, trying to find something to connect with. I guess if you’re a big Taiwan fanboy it is easier. I am done with tailored learner content. Once you’ve gotten over being stoked to understand some basic spoken language, the tailored content gets boring very quickly.


I don’t see that as being a real departure from traditional methods. Whether it’s a textbook or something else, you’re still talking about memorization. You’re still offering flashcards, spaced repetition and a database full of sentences, yeah? Better than individual words but still (to be brutally honest) seems like pretty much the same thing. In my view, you’d be better off marketing this as a reference tool, not something to use when someone quits after using traditional classroom methods. The content might be different but the mechanism seems the same.

Moderator here. This is LEARNING CHINESE, not TAIWAN POLITICS. The posts regarding how and why things should be called “mainland”, or whatever, can be. found over there. I appreciate the lively debate but it doesn’t belong in this thread or this forum. Thanks for not continuing it here.


Not sure if you have explored our website but there is more to our project than we have explicitly stated. However since you seem to be eager to understand I will quickly mention some things we have not announced yet in detail because we are still working on the infographic materials.

  • Our university research project started as a personalized AI-powered teacher within Chinese language and culture. The goal: completely remove the traditional role of a language teacher and all offline learning materials.
  • However, due to the lack of structured data (the fuel required for data driven models), we needed first to establish a new system that could enable us to collect and label linguistic data on a unprecedented scale.
  • The solution: a decentralized language education platform that allows users to collaboratively build language resources on the world first multi-lingual knowledge graph (simply known as “the framework” in our materials)
  • Our framework allows users to rapidly build localized and labeled learning resources on the smallest level possible (next generation fuel for AI-models).
  • We have designed a contribution system that rewards quality content and give ownership to the authors (the users own their data).
  • We will enable users to build learning services (as in code new computer apps) on our platform by using our decentralized platform
  • Since all services uses the same framework, we can enable super detailed progression profile to update our belief regarding the students knowledge gaps and weaknesses through the whole learning journey (including different languages).
  • We have already started to experiment with two services which is Decode Atlas (lookup tool / contribution system) and Decode Study (A personalized learning tool and not only a flash card system)

Hope this helped to clarify a little bit and if not then please wait until we will get closer to launch our official Kickstarter campaign when we have a our new materials and video ready. In summary, we have just built a completely new data driven linguistic framework that will enable us to build supercharged learning services with unprecedented detail and efficiency. That is what makes Decode unique and also how Decode will disrupt language education.ct


This is the crux of the problem. The pain point of learning language is not lack of resources or using more data or more complex tools. It’s how to maintain motivation in face of the unavoidable repetitive years-long process required to memorize vocabulary and grammar.

Also, honestly the webpage is a turn-off. Many buzzwords, bits of content are thrown at your face with little structure, the whole content looks more like a heavy reference textbook than an actual tool to learn a language. Wishing OP well but I’m not convinced.

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I believe we need to remove the erroneous notion that languages require several years to master. Digital language education is currently in its infancy (only like 15 years ago we started) and there is much room for improvements which we are currently resolving.

Our current website is formatted according to a Kickstarter campaign website page layout (limited page width and sections) and is only a placeholder for now to be able to get our message out there. Please read the post above if you want to learn more about what makes Decode unique. Soon we will update with more information and better graphics which you can be updated with through our newsletter on our website.

Surely it will be AI. No teacher can specifically cater to a single child’s ability and ideal learning style and pace. Once these AI systems are perfected, everyone will have their own dedicated teacher devoted exclusively to them to maximize their results. Then with brain/AI interfaces added to that, our capabilities as a species will expand exponentially. I wish I could live to see it, but I know that’s very unlikely.

Aha, so my response to IL is in close alignment with your end goals. Everyone thinks I’m a freak when I mention it, but I’m sure it’s the future of all learning, think Montessori powered by AI and direct brain interfaces.

I believe otherwise.

To begin with, the argument that digital language education is in its infancy is laughable. Not because it’s wrong per se, but because it’s overlooking decades of research on language learning strategy–people didn’t wait for screens to figure out what works and what doesn’t.

Learning a language is 90% rote, because that’s how long-term memory is trained. If you have found a way to learn +2000 characters and +40000 words of vocabulary that doesn’t take years, you’re in the wrong business and should rather advertise a general memory-searing method rather than a Chinese learning method–much more money to be made there.

That’s hoping you’re not going to arbitrarily redefine what you mean by “mastering a language” as people with language-learning hack claims often do. If you’re not talking about reaching the level in speaking, reading, writing and listening of the average local person, you need to call it something else than “mastery.”

I’m passionate about language learning. As far as memory goes, SNS is the way. The two other components needed for an efficient learning process are application of what you memorized (to transition from the clean environment of your SNS to the complexity of the real world), and finding a way to sustain motivation over the years. And for those you don’t need data or digitalization so much as a smart choice of content and a good understanding of psychology.

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Alexander here from Decode. Thank you for your feedback Baxter and I am glad to see that you have found passion in language learning. I think it is perfectly reasonable for you to be skeptical and I can not prove my statements until we disclose our work in detail within the upcoming months.

Our goal at the moment is to gain feedback and create exposure for our upcoming Kickstarter campaign and thus it was my fault for attempting to prove myself.

However, I think that perhaps you should ask yourself if it is reasonable to immediately discredit more than two years of official university research we have conducted within digital language education. Perhaps things you thought as impossible just might become a reality soon.


That’s fair. I’m just playing with the info I got and the history of dozens of “I found a hack to learn a language faster” claims I bumped into in the past. It’s possible your thing is the real deal; I’m not a believer, but would love it to be true.


She is quite smart. 蔡康永 is really smart though. It was a strange dynamic on a show to have the hosts insulting the guests all the time, something that you didn’t see in the West.

Was also a good window into the entertainment world for the whole Chinese speaking world. Remember that the biggest stars in China used to fly to Taipei regularly to be on the show. What a different world we are living in right now.

But I’m not saying it was good, it wasn’t, but was just about watchable

Could you direct us to to your peer reviewed publications in high impact journals?

Completely agree with you there. Most Taiwanese tv shows are crap. At least 康熙來了 was watchable. I’ve been trying to find something worth watching ever since.

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Hi, I don’t know what’s up with your website, but after I sign up I get a blank page. Trying to reenter my email leads me to get sent a link in my email that lets me “update” my info and then “go back” to a blank page. Tried in multiple browsers, none of them work.

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Hello nz and thank you for your interest in our project.

I just tried the form myself and it seems to work fine for me and several others based on today’s subscription list. You can either send me a DM with your email or try again on another device like your phone.

Perhaps you could send me a screenshot for the problem so I can fix any potential global bugs with our subscription provider.

// Alexander from Decode here.

I am 90% certain that this is a bait but I will play along. Just let me ask you one rhetorical question as a reply. If you have a company conducting research with support of a university to improve your competitive advantage, would you then submit all your findings before you have time to realize them commercially? Even if we wanted to write and publish articles for academic peer review, that is not the purpose of a university innovation project.

However, if you are curious then perhaps it would help to know that we are funded and supported by the Swedish Innovation Agency (Swedish government’s innovation branch), Microsoft For Startups Founders Hub, Taiwan Startup Stadium, along with university innovation programs at Linkoping University (Sweden) and ESADE (Spain).

// Alexander, Decode

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Good luck with the gofundme