What is Yarrow?
Yarrow App is a free Language learning application that incorporates the best practices of self-study and offers you new opportunities to improve your speaking and listening skills using Yarrow community and AI: community trains AI, AI trains the community.
Yarrow community is the most important part of the app. It can also help you find entertaining content in foreign languages, teachers for online classes and new friends.
Yarrow App can be used for free. Money is needed to support the project and you can Pay or Say. This is a new principle instead of useless watching ads. All you have to do is to say several words and sentences in a native or a foreign language a couple of times a week. How does this help?
Yarrow App collects voices from the community and primarily uses them in the language courses. Every word and sentence in Yarrow App is accompanied by several voices with different quality (clear, phone call, street noises). This will prepare you to real life situations. Of course Yarrow App pays attention to a language dialect that you study and speak.
All collected voices pass through several filters:
Community vote: sometimes Yarrow App asks you not to say but listen a voice and rate it (clear, noises, accent, wrong word etc). A member personal rating matters.
Anomaly detection: all voices for one word or one sentence are processed using a machine learning algorithm that indicates abnormal audio records. These records are checked by moderators.
AI: when it is already a little trained AI starts to recognize speech in audio records and compare it to texts. All errors are also checked by moderators.
All sorted voices with the community votes and moderators remarks are used for training AI to recognize speech including accents and dialects.
AI is used in the language courses and it is provided as a service to other companies: this is finally how the community helps the project with money.
There are a set of features that helps you to study languages. All of them must be implemented in the best way.
1. Repetition system
You need to repeat words every day and the repetition system is crucial. Only one system is efficient: Spaced repetition. Unfortunately a lot of apps offer you to repeat all words that you know randomly and this is a waste of time. Any repetition system will help you learn 1000 words but if you need 8000 or more then Spaced repetition is mandatory.
If you want to become a fluent foreign language speaker then you need to know several thousand words and the same amount of words in your application. Books and movies are not as efficient as cards because rare words are rare, only apps force your education.
The word «green» is not only green but also green and green. Good apps give you all popular meanings. The best apps should give you rare meanings at a higher level.
Examples of using words are very helpful in most cases. «Acquisition» and «Virtue» are incomprehensible words without accompanying phrases. Good apps contain the examples for the most word meanings. The best apps provide words always in examples.
Knowing words is not enough, you need the ability to speak. Trainings with phrases and idioms (translation of cards with them) let you speak without thinking.
You can study grammar with textbooks or with cards in an application. The second way is usually more efficient because you really don't need to know what is «adverb» but you just need to use it correctly.
4. Uniform training
When you have a lesson of grammar, another lesson of new words and a third repetition lesson there is always a chance that you will forget about one of them today. The best apps offer you one button for all these lessons: you get grammar, new words and known words randomly and nothing will be lost.
5. Сustomizable lessons
Tapping test for words and phrases is extremely popular and absolutely useless. If you need to learn how to write a word then just type it using standard keyboard. If you need to translate a phrase then just do it in your mind and check the result with the answer in the card. Unfortunately only a few apps do not contain the tapping test or allow you to disable it. The best application must contain all types of tests (even tapping) but allow you to disable any of them.
If you know a language a little then you don't need to study trivial words and grammar. The application should adjust itself to your level or it will waste your time.
You need languages for a reason: travels, work, online games etc and accordingly you need special vocabulary. If the application is good it will provide you with additional specialized lessons.
6. User words
Sometimes you meet a word that you need to learn right now. Just add this word to your application if it supports this function and study it today.
7. Offline study
What to do in the subway on your way to work every day? Of course study language! But you application should be stable when working offline.
8. Web education
PC keyboard is much better than a mobile phone keyboard. You can study faster if the application provides you with web trainings.