Back in 2005, I was studying Russian using the Pimsleur language course, and it was working. What fun! I could actually communicate (a little) with these strange new sounds.
Unfortunately, every time I got done with a Pimsleur lesson, I ended up saying, “Wow, that was slow!” There had to be a better way to learn a language.
Next, I tried Rosetta Stone, but it didn’t work at all. Then I tried a lot of programs that you have probably never heard of, and they didn’t work either.
It was a good thing that I learned how to solve problems at the University of Illinois because now I had a big problem. I was having so much fun learning Russian that I was pretty sure I wanted to learn several other languages too, and because I was learning Russian so slowly with Pimsleur, I was going to grow old and die before I learned all the languages I wanted to learn.
In 2006 I started to think seriously about how to develop foreign-language learning software. In December of 2007, I hired my first programmer, and we started developing foreign language learning software.
Learning foreign languages and traveling the world has been the best thing that ever happened to me. I went from being a typical American who couldn’t speak any other language to being able to speak conversational Russian and Spanish.
Brent Van Arsdell
Introducing the Language101.com Team
I’m a UIUC Engineering Graduate
I’m a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in aeronautical and astronautical engineering.
I’m a wild enthusiast for learning foreign languages and for using technology in the right way to make language learning easier.
My approach to language learning is an “engineering approach” based on measuring and testing your process.
“If we can test something and prove that it works, we do it!”
I’m Easy to Reach
If you have any questions or would like to contact me, please e-mail me.
Programmer Emeritus — Christopher Morrison
Chris is an honors graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with two degrees, one in computer science and the other in aerospace engineering.
Chris has programmed for Language 101.com for six years and has written concise, elegant, well-commented code on three different continents.
In 2017 Chris was awarded his Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for the design of nuclear fuels that are incapable of melting down.
He occasionally meets up with the Language101.com team, most recently in Paphos Cyprus.
Programmer — James Adler
James is a talented programmer who is very excited about everything that he can make a computer do.
He absolutely loves programming, and he’s good!
James is a 2016 graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a degree in computer science.
Danish Language Lesson Developer — David Shoup
David developed our Danish language lessons. He is a retired US Army language specialist and a Wycliffe Bible Translator.
David’s linguistic duties while in the U.S. Army included being the language officer at the United States Embassy in Paris (yes his French is that good) and translating languages like Pashto.
Web editor — Tim Lale
Tim has been a book and magazine editor for three decades, along with writing for and editing Web sites.
He cares very much that the English words you read on Language101.com make perfect sense. He lives in the region of the US called the Mid-Atlantic.
If you find any typos on our website, please contact us and we will fix them quickly.
Japanese Lesson Developer & Customer Service —David Ockey
David Ockey developed our Japanese lessons. He speaks Japanese well and is our friendly customer service person.
David is the person who will answer your questions by email and return your phone calls.
When he’s not making Japanese lessons for us, he teaches English to Japanese students where he lives in Japan.
And Too Many More to Mention
If I were to count everyone who has contributed substantially it’s a big team.
Native speakers with lovely voices recorded all of our language lessons and there are too many to list here.