Any update on new language courses?

Hello @aran. Any update on SSiBorg and when new courses will be published? Maybe for SSi Growth Club supporters there can be updates a few times a year?

I’ve been using SSi for the better part of a decade and I’m looking forward to what’s to come… cheers

Edit: misspelling


Friendly bump @aran @Kinetic :+1:


Noah! Sorry! And thanks for the bump, I completely missed this first time round…

So, where we’re at…

It’s been a big old piece of work to get AutoMagic up and running as a web-app, and we’ve still got fine tuning to do there.

At the same time, we’re working on a standalone iOS app (initially for our English courses for Tamil, Sinhalese and Mandarin). We’re hoping to have that being used in March, April at latest - we’ve got government and third sector interest in Sri Lanka, and a potential partner ready to run tests in Shanghai.

When the iOS app is out there in its first iteration, we’ll then be focusing on improving our speed to provide new interface languages for English (which we think will be a critical driver for new partnerships). We don’t think that’s going to take very long - so fingers crossed a Q2/Q3 kind of thing.

Once we’ve added a couple of interface languages for English, and are happy with the process and can start to systemise adding more, we’ll turn our attention to the final piece of the jigsaw - new languages.

We’re not starting from scratch there - in the last couple of years, we’ve done initial test builds with Italian, Basque, Scottish Gaelic, Arabic - but we think we can significantly streamline and accelerate the process. If we’re right, we should publish at least one new course before the end of the year, and 2024 should finally be the year things start to move faster.

On the one hand, I know that sounds like ‘same old, same old’…!

What’s different now:

We’ve got a larger contract with the National Centre for Learning Welsh, and it’s intended as an annual repeating deal - they’re going to be hiring an in-house SSiW officer this year to drive usage of SSiW across their work.

We’ve got a trial starting in 12 schools for Year 7 students which Welsh government have said has huge potential, and will be rolled out if it’s successful (early signs are very promising).

This has given us a new level of financial stability, and from June we expect to have four in-house devs - it’s also possible that our work in Sri Lanka will give us extra dev capacity in Sri Lanka.

So we have a high level of confidence that we’re not just swimming round in the same old circles! And by the end of this year, that should be apparent externally as well.

What are you up to these days? Would you still be interested in being involved in the project?


Any further progress in this regard - or hints as to what the first new course might be? I’m sure you’re busy, but it would be nice to see how things are going

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Hi Hector! Sure - general overview is:

Web-app operational and providing Welsh for our learners, National Centre learners and schools pilot.

New iOS and Android apps close to v1.0 launch, which also involves integrating our new course production approach - at launch, they’ll be providing English for Mandarin/Tamil/Sinhala.

After launching the new apps, the main focus will be on getting to v1.2 (v1.1 is payments, 1.2 is our new ‘anyone can teach’ module which is similiar to how we’re currently providing the schools pilot) - we’re probably looking at another two to three months there.

When the new apps are at 1.2, we’ll finally be able to start some serious production of new courses - so early in the new year, at my current best guess - and if all goes well, we’ll be producing courses for about 10 to 20 new languages (for English speakers) at that point, all of which will be available to all current subscribers, so after being frustratingly slow for many years, it should be on the verge of becoming a lot of fun very quickly :slight_smile:


This sounds particularly interesting - I’d love to see how that pans out

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Me too! :wink:

The idea is that in countries with poor internet coverage, people with smartphones can go off grid and teaach classes who wouldn’t otherwise be able to get access - this is mainly for English at the moment, but will be valuable across the board, I think.

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Something in the new year for English speakers to learn Mandarin? Really?

VERY excited! No other course has turned out to be good enough because SSIW showed me how good a course can be.

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Yes, that should be one of them! :crossed_fingers::slightly_smiling_face:

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Hi Aran, I saw something in the news email a few months ago about a french course being available in the spring? Is there any update on this? I’m desperate to give my rusty French the ‘say something in’ treatment!


By a happy coincidence, I’ve just spent the last three days in Cardiff working on our French course! We’re pretty close to running the final build (just got to implement a couple of last little fiddly solutions) so I’m currently quite confident this will be available in the new app in early May :crossed_fingers::grin:


Yay, fantastic news! Ffaelu aros!


Two related questions. Firstly, does this mean there will be other new languages very soon, or just French for now? My mother would appreciate Italian! Secondly, if things are now progressing more speedily, does this mean the long-threatened price increase to £30 per month will happen soon?
I have planned my budget so I’ll be able to afford the £100 yearly subscription within the next few weeks. Technically I have the money now it is just partially earmarked for other things (that can easily wait if they have to). If the price is really, actually changing, I’d hate to miss the end of the truly massive window of opportunity you’ve given us to get it cheaper.
So, is there a timeline for Italian and/or any other languages? And is there a date in mind for raising prices? Should I be skipping the rest of my 10 free days and signing up right this second?

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Well, I was as ever slightly optimistic about early May - but we do (still in May!) have some pretty exciting news, which I’m going to start a new thread for so more people see it…

But to answer you, Verity, yes, it does mean there will be other new languages very soon - we’re expecting to go up to about 30 languages over the next couple of months now, and Italian will certainly be one of them :slight_smile:

On pricing, two issues.

There have been times when we’ve really struggled as a company, and have had to look at a variety of ways to try and make sure we don’t lay anyone off - price has often cropped up in those conversations, although I’ve never much liked the idea myself - but at the moment, we’re more stable than we’ve ever been, and I’m very confident that we’ll not need to look at price changes in the next couple of years (I’m hoping that we’ll never need to, but it’s very hard to predict that).

Second point - we’ll never raise the cost of an existing subscription, because I asbolutely hate it when companies do that - we’ve still got people paying us lower subscriptions from ten years ago!

Also, if you find the cost a struggle, please do get in touch with us to talk about scholarships - we know what it’s like to watch every penny, and we don’t want to exclude anyone from learning with us.



I cannot wait for the Italian - you guys got me speaking Spanish, Welsh and Cornish. I’m hoping you’ll get Irish up and running too, although I do already speak Irish - I know so many people it would help.

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@mary-8 This is the latest news from Aran, which just might be what you’re waiting for:

Big news - exciting times - finally, finally we’re moving on other languages