It all started a number of years ago when studying in Cairo and travelling through Egypt. In the need of recognizing essential signs along the street in sometimes hastily circumstances we merely memorized the outline of the script on the sign and only later tried to understand the composition of the individual characters. – And it worked! After applying this approach only a few times we were able to recognize essential signs such as ‘bank’ or ‘restaurant’ easily. So we thought, why not connect these terms with images?
This was the founding moment of the card game based on the memory concept, one of our favourite childhood past time activities. Then the initial notions were captured on cardboard with hand-drawn images. Due to the absence of an easy distribution channel in those days it got stuck in a drawer. Occasionally, or rather every time we moved internationally it got our attention. During our last move we ran into a friend and we said: Hey, we have a great game and it should be converted into an app. We can make it available to many people who wish to learn a new alphabet. So, we sat in some Vienna coffee-houses and played the cardboard version to develop the idea further.
LearningSigns is a memory game.
- Players match cards with illustrations and words. In the first few rounds the cards are colour-coordinated for some easier matching, all supported by audio.
- Then there is an introduction of each letter of the alphabet, including special signs such as "umlauts" in German, the "soft sign" in Cyrillic for Russian, and the "hamza" in Arabic.
- In the early rounds of the game players experience the most common letters of an alphabet to help people make big steps forward.
- There are some meaningful rounds of repetition to help people memorize letters and words. Also, the game includes different levels of difficulty, for example, rounds in black and white or rounds without any sound support.
- The game presents as many notions as needed to learn the complete alphabet, depending on the complexity of each alphabet, so Arabic has more rounds than languages that use the Latin alphabet.
- During the test phase some people fed back to add some "teaching" functions. We took the feedback very seriously, however decided to design a gamified learning tool. The game now is self-explanatory and covers every aspect that is necessary to learn an alphabet, irrespective if it is your first language or a second or a third language with a different alphabet.
We would welcome to have your thoughts on our game, currently available for Arabic, English, German, and Russian. We invite you to go the app store and experience the game.
Use this link and start playing now: https://itunes.apple.com/app/