August 17, 2018

Five for Friday: Language services

Communication is the key to learning a new language.
Communication is the key to learning a new language.
Julia Bushueva

These Finnish companies are all speaking the same language when it comes to providing ways to be understood.

Looking for a way to speed up your language learning? Finding it hard to be understood when speaking a foreign language? This quintet has a range of innovative solutions.


Teaching a language by the book is good for reading and writing, but on the streets it’s all about spoken words. This edtech company wants to help language learners listen and speak.

“Sanako has established two forks: we provide technology with specialism in language learning as well as cool tools that benefit our existing customers and content digitisation technologies and services,” senior vice president Mark Barratt told us.


This language learning service activates several senses simultaneously and adapts to the needs of individual learners: for example, after a while the programme starts to change the pace to match that of the user. Additionally, WordDive aims at encouraging speaking and interacting in a foreign language.

“When one gains confidence with the basics, it’s possible to just focus on speaking the language. That’s where our strength lies,” CEO Timo-Pekka Leinonen said.

Rovio Entertainment

This Finnish entertainment giant has teamed up with video language platform to provide English language learners a range of interactive video courses based on the Angry Birds Toons animated series.

“The combination of Rovio’s brand and content and papagei’s video learning technology results in modern language learning courses that match the environment of young digital natives,” said Dr. Michaela Meier, CEO at “The Angry Birds clips are short, entertaining and at just the right language level for young learners.”


Companies communicate with their customers through a wide variety of channels. This Finnish company specialises in making those messages heard across languages. Online translators offer ease and speed, while good human translators provide quality. Transfluent tries to give the best of both worlds.

“We stand in the middle of the so-called online translation services and traditional language service providers, as we produce agency quality but delivered with speed and convenience,” stated co-CEO Lauri Kovanen. “We find the best fit for various customer needs: our online translation widget is further enhanced by integrations to social media, e-commerce and customer support solutions.”


Calling a friend or a doctor’s office can be a challenge when you rely on the availability of sign language interpreters. Mobile app Chabla has set out to change this.

The app connects anyone using sign language directly with an international network of interpreters and enables its users to make and receive interpreted calls whenever they want.

“Without Chabla it is almost impossible for someone who does not know sign language to call a deaf person,” Marko Vuoriheimo, CEO of Signmark Productions, told us. “I have heard this explanation many times from people who say they cannot communicate with me. This app not only empowers the sign language community but enables everyday communication.”