Contacting us either via email:
support at memorizewords.com
or by using the built-in support form located in the ‘Settings’. Use this method if you’re experiencing problems with the program itself because it transmits a copy of your flashcard history along with your message. Just be sure to include your email so that we can contact you back.
We do take message seriously, so if you’ve felt you haven’t received a response from us please resend your message via email.
Memorize Words for Spanish was designed and developed by Componica, LLC in Iowa City, Iowa, United States. Our goal is to enhance education and other real-life applications through self-adapting systems that learn how you learn.
I.C. firm’s software application teaches Spanish by iPhone
By Dave DeWitte
IOWA CITY — If you’re stranded in the airport with nothing but your Apple iPhone, Steven Mitchell thinks you might as well be learning a language.
Componica, the tiny technology company Mitchell co-founded at the University of Iowa’s Technology Innovation Center in 2005, recently launched its first software application for teaching language on the mobile computing and communication device. It’s a downloadable suite of software applications for Apple’s iPhone called Memorize Words.
The software was really designed with only one aspect of language learning in mind, Mitchell says.
“This is not for learning grammar or sentence translation,” Mitchell said.
“All this is for is to dump as many Spanish words into your head as fast as possible.” The software makes full use of the iPhone’s interactive capabilities. Users see a flashcard-like screen with a word displayed and spoken in Spanish, which they must then identify.
The words that appear are selected based on their frequency of use in conversation, but the software changes the words that appear based on which words the user has learned. As the user becomes proficient in certain words, they appear less frequently and other words that haven’t been mastered appear more frequently.
The ability of the software to adjust the word rotation based on the user’s learning pattern increases the speed with which the person can memorize words, Mitchell said.
Componica opened in 2004 as a consulting firm specializing in software that helps machines recognize sound and visual patterns.
Mitchell said he developed the product because of his own language learning needs.
“One of my parents is Asian [Korean] and my wife is Russian,” he said. “This is my own interpretation of how it should be done.” The most time-consuming part of creating the product wasn’t developing the software, Mitchell said.
Rather, it was developing the spoken and written database of words. Componica hired a fluent Spanish speaker on a part-time basis to speak the 6,300 words covered in the software’s vocabulary.
“The iPhone is easy to develop for,” Mitchell said. “It’s like a miniature computer.” The three-member software development team may turn next to language software for Google’s Android, another computer-phone product that is just hitting the market...
Componica software developer Michael Merickel of North Liberty (from left), linguist Sarah Hinds of Marion, software developer Patrick Kellen of Iowa City and founder Steven Mitchell of Iowa City stand behind an iPod Touch displaying their first application, Memorize Words, on Wednesday in Coralville. Memorize Words is an application for iPhone and iPod Touch containing more than 6,300 frequently used Spanish words, each with a pronunciation professionally recorded by a native Spanish speaker. The program is designed to help users memorize thousands of words as quickly as possible while maintaining a 90 percent retention rate.
Reprinted with permission copyright 2009 The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa