GigaOM Euro 20: Almost Famous

In the third part of GigaOM’s Euro 20 roundup, we’ll look at five of the startups we’ve dubbed Almost Famous. They’ve weathered the storm, come out the other side, and have solid products to offer.

GigaOM Euro 20: The European startups to watch

For years, Europe’s startup community has been painted as the undernourished younger cousin of Silicon Valley. In reality, Europe’s web scene is now thriving. and we’ve compiled a list featuring some of the best and brightest European web startups — what we’re dubbing the GigaOM Euro 20.

Freestyle Vocabulary Learning With Keep Your Word

Keep Your Word, produced by Bamboo Apps is a tool for those learning a new language. It allows you to build your own dictionary as new words are discovered, classifying and grouping the terms exactly how you want to, while helping you learn a large vocabulary through various exercise modes.

Features

As someone who seems to lack the talent for learning new languages, I was interested to see how this app could help me to grasp the basics of a foreign tongue. The first thing to note is that Keep Your Word isn’t a tool to teach you a language from scratch. The application functions more as a learning aid as you learn a language elsewhere, allowing you to gradually categorize and build up a dictionary of vocabulary.

Far from being solely a database of words, you are able to create smart groups, add ‘tags’ to easily categorize sets of words and tell the application when you have successfully memorized a word. The main selling point is the collection of ‘exercise’ tools to assist in learning vocabulary. These consist of flash cards, quizzes and the ability to print word lists.

When first opening the application, I was a little disappointed to find a lack of pre-built dictionaries or word lists. The idea of needing to create an entire dictionary for yourself from scratch seemed daunting to say the least. Fortunately, Bamboo Apps have developed Words Parade in conjunction with Keep Your Word, allowing you to easily share and download pre-built dictionaries. At present, only a couple are available — Basic Mandarin and Cantonese — though I foresee more languages being added in the future.

If a comprehensive collection of different languages are gradually added, this has the potential to really take the application to a new level.
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