April 5, 2024

Tell Me More and Rosetta Stone: The first commercial language apps (1987)

by Mateusz Wiącek

Auralog, the company behind the language learning application Tell Me More, was founded in 1987 by Maurice Lévy. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Auralog introduced multimedia language learning programs. Their flagship product, Tell Me More, combines interactive exercises, speech recognition technology, and cultural immersion to enhance language proficiency.

It is a platform that includes up to 2,000 hours of instructional content with over 35 learning activities per language, including assessment, placement and certification testing that is aligned with standards. 

At its core it was a bad-looking Duolingo. It contained exercises like matching words or imagines, arranging words, repeating what you hear etc. The main difference to Duolingo is the lack of gamification, like badges or leaderboards. Rosetta Stone is highly criticized for not being effective.

Screenshot of Tell Me More

Tell Me More provided training for different levels: intermediate, advanced and business language. 

It grew into a global language-learning software package that served more than 3,000 customers worldwide, mostly companies and public organizations. 

Rosetta Stone, another similar company but from the US, acquired Auralog in 2014 and integrated their courses into their platform.

Now Rosetta Stone is the one of the richest language learning software companies, with a revenue of close to 200 million dollars per year. 

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