3ears: Developing & Maintaining Platform for Language Learning

The owner of the company 3ears was an exchange student that came to Russia to learn the Russian language and had a dream to start his own project about learning languages. Thus he came up with the idea of creating a learning platform and started realizing it in 2011.
3ears.com

Project Description 

3ears is an entertaining Russian learning resource with interactive subtitles. It was developed based on the beliefs that listening and reading comprehension are key skills necessary for language learners and that learners who are entertained while consuming (listening/reading) content in a foreign language are more likely to continue their studies.

3ears is a unique resource for studying Russian. On the platform, users can find videos, clips from news programs and talk shows, karaoke-style songs with translations, and grammar exercises.

3ears interface

Business Challenge 

Our team had several main challenges on this project. We needed to create a system where users could add interactive subtitles for video/audio - so that every word in the subtitles was highlighted, like in karaoke.

We had to make it possible for the users to go through the video by clicking on any place in the timeline and have the corresponding word in the subtitles highlighted. Moreover, when a user clicks on any word in the text, the video should start playing from that place. It was also essential to make sure that the program showed full information about words: transcription, translation, pronunciation, gender, case, and number. 

Some other necessary features we had to provide were the following: 

  • the user must be able to adjust the video playback speed;
  • while the learner is watching a video, the system must offer video/audio with the same word so that the user can see how to use it in a different context;
  • when unfamiliar words are found, users can add them to a custom vocabulary to memorize them better.

3ears mobile interface

Value Delivered

Our team developed a platform that fully meets the client's business requirements. 

We helped to develop a system where Americans would be able to learn the Russian language, making it fun and accessible.

3ears has already found its target audience. Teachers give their students extra assignments using 3ears. This platform is also interesting for those who:

  • are learning Russian independently or are interested in it;
  • have planned a trip to Russian-speaking countries;
  • use Russian for work;
  • want to expand their horizons or just gain knowledge.

In the future, this platform will be used for the B2B sector and this system will be implemented at educational institutions on a regular basis. Also, the platform will expand to use other languages.

Our team continues to work on improving the platform. 

Technology

Rails 3.2.19, rspec, sidekiq, ffmpeg, pymorphy, sphinx, React.js