About EuroTalk

History

EuroTalk has been making language learning software for over 20 years. We were founded in 1991 by Dick Howeson and Andrew Ashe, and have been based in Fulham, London ever since.

As our name would suggest, we started with European languages and then added some more. And then some more. We now offer over 130 languages, with more on the way all the time.

What we do

Whether you’re a complete beginner, or a little more advanced, we can help. Our software focuses on giving you the confidence to go out and use your language skills – because after all, why learn a language if you aren’t going to speak it?

If you’re looking for grammar books, we might not be for you (although we can probably point you in the right direction – just ask). But if you’re looking for a fun, no-pressure way to learn, give us a try. We offer a full money-back guarantee, no questions asked, if you change your mind.

Putting you first

We pride ourselves on our customer service. If you call or email us during office hours, you’ll get to talk to a human being. And if we’re not in the office, we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. We welcome all feedback, good or bad, because we want our products to be as good as they can be, so they work for you. So please get in touch, even if it’s just to say hello.

Join the conversation

Check out the EuroTalk blog, where we share our thoughts on everything language-related. Or follow us on Facebook or Twitter. And now find inspiration for your next language with our Pinterest boards. We’ll be adding more over the coming months, so let us know if you have a suggestion.

Meet the Team

At EuroTalk, we understand that when you contact us, you want to know who you’re talking to. Meet the team…

Dick

Dick - Director

Dick’s the boss; he started EuroTalk with Andrew Ashe in 1991.

Random fact: Dick’s a keen windsurfer, and can often be found on the south coast enjoying big wind and big waves.

Al

Al - Product Manager

Al leads our product development team, working on new programs and apps, and making sure all our language learning products are the best they can be.

Random fact: Among his many talents, Al can tie his shoelaces in under 1.5 seconds.

Amy

Amy - Sales and Marketing Assistant

Amy started in August 2014 and will be looking after our business customers and working on marketing projects while on her placement year from Loughborough University.

Random fact: Amy went to school with Commonwealth and European silver medallist Jodie Williams. Guess who always won on Sports Day…

Franco

Franco - Oddjob

Franco is the first person we call when things go wrong. He’s very good at fixing our computers, but more importantly he provides brilliant technical support to our customers.

Random fact: Last year, Franco dislocated his finger walking up the stairs. Nobody quite knows how.

Gloria

Gloria - Credit Control Manager

Gloria has worked at EuroTalk since the company began in 1991, doing a little bit of everything, from technical support to credit control.

Random fact: Gloria’s an avid ballroom dancer and recently had a novel published.

Ioana

Ioana (traditional Romanian name, pronounced ‘Eewana’) - Customer Care & Office Assistant

If you telephone the office, it’s likely that you’ll find yourself talking to Ioana, who joined us in January 2014.

Random fact: Ioana moved to London in 2013, despite never having been to the UK before, and is loving every second.

Liz

Liz - Marketing Manager

Liz started in Accounts in 2006 before moving into Marketing. She’s quite happy there and not planning on switching career again any time soon.

Random fact: She’s a big fan of musicals and can still recite all the colours, in order, of Joseph’s Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.

Luke

Luke - Graphic Designer

Luke’s our brilliant graphic designer. He’s worked on everything from the new uTalk to the infographics on our blog.

Random fact: Luke once beat Kris Akabusi at arm wrestling, in what we’re sure was a very fair fight.

Nat

Nat - Language Producer

Nat works really hard to find and support native speakers, who translate and record our products in every language under the sun (well, nearly).

Random fact: A native of Cornwall, Nat has walked the entire Cornish Coast Path (258 miles), although not all at once.

Pablo

Pablo - iOS Developer

Pablo is our iOS developer working on the uTalk app.

Random fact: He went to Disneyland when he was nine and he can’t wait to go again.

Peter

Peter - Production Manager

Peter’s been running our production department for over 10 years, making and shipping orders to our customers all over the world.

Random fact: A few years ago, Peter played in the bicycle polo World Cup (and got beaten by India 25-0).

Richard

Richard - Production Assistant Manager

Richard works with Peter in production, making sure all our orders are sent out safely and on time.

Random fact: Richard loves travelling, and recently took a trip on the longest cable car crossing over the sea (3,320m long), while on holiday in Vietnam.

Safia

Safia - Accounts Manager

Safia took over as our accounts manager (and resident baker) in 2013.

Random fact: She once appeared in a dance flashmob with Diversity from Britain’s Got Talent. There is video evidence…

Seb

Seb - Sales and Marketing assistant

Seb’s a student from Loughborough University on his placement year. He’s been looking after our distributors and helping with sales and marketing, among many other things.

Random fact: Seb worked at the London Olympics in 2012 and held an Olympic gold medal, which was apparently surprisingly heavy.

Steve

Steve - Worldwide Education Manager

Steve’s in charge of sales and can often be found jumping on a plane to visit customers or attend trade shows.

Random fact: When he was twelve, in order to be able to decipher the inscriptions at the British Museum, Steve learnt to read Egyptian hieroglyphics (using the only book available for this purpose, published in 1927).

Symeon

Symeon - Quality Assurance Tester (a.k.a. The Detective)

Symeon’s our product tester, which means he knows all our programs inside out. And back to front.

Random fact: After hanging out with his childhood best friend for twelve years, Symeon discovered that their families were actually related.

The Science Behind EuroTalk Ltd

How you learn

To understand how EuroTalk products work, you first have to understand why some ways of learning are better than others.

Many people believe that learning should involve serious concentration and frequent repetition and follow the “no pain, no gain” school of thought. And, yes, this method does work up to a point.

But advances in scientific knowledge about how the brain works, show it’s not the best way. Neuroscience researchers have known for some time that this style of learning causes unnecessary tension and tends to involve only one half of the brain.

The best way of learning is to be relaxed yet alert to new ideas and for any new information to be presented so that it engages both the left and right hemispheres of the brain.

The left brain (which controls the right side of our bodies) is mainly logical. The right hemisphere (which controls the left side of our bodies) is more creative.

Engaging your whole brain

A picture really is worth a thousand words - your visual memory (right brain) is in fact far more accurate than your verbal memory (left brain). So when you are learning a new language, your learning can be made much more effective if you combine visual and verbal information. This technique, called ‘dual coding’, dramatically improves your information retention and rate of recall.

It’s also the reason why spoken directions always work better if you have a map in front of you as well! And it’s why EuroTalk discs use visual images alongside new words and phrases.

Why being “involved” with what you’re learning is key

Have you ever despaired of learning by repeating apparently meaningless phrases parrot-fashion? So have we!

In order to transfer the information you’re taking in from your short term to your long term memory, the content has to mean something to you. Repetition alone is rarely enough.

It’s like going to a new place for the first time when someone else is driving. You’re far less likely to remember the route if you aren’t behind the wheel because you’re not “involved” in the same way. But, if you’re the driver – and particularly if you’re asked to take the same journey again shortly after the first trip – your memory will be greatly improved.

This is because new experiences, which form part of our short term memory, are transferred to our long term memory by the acts of involvement and repetition.

This is why EuroTalk discs test you on what you’ve learned with quizzes. These help you understand the context and practical meaning of your new language and, by repeatedly asking you to recall what you’ve learnt, strengthen your long term memory. As a result, new information is stored for longer and will be easier to recall.

What makes the best environment for learning?

As well as being relaxed, alert and involved with new information, there is another factor which makes for an ideal learning environment: enjoyment.

When we’re enjoying ourselves the neurotransmitter chemical dopamine is released by our brains. Dopamine enhances concentration and learning ability and it produces a ‘feel-good’ sensation, which keeps us motivated.

By stimulating our brains through interaction and enjoyment, we also boost our powers of memory. Our brains develop new synapses (the connections between our brain nerve cells) that in turn allow for an enhanced flow of information. It’s a virtuous circle of learning!

Optimising our learning through play is also something we do instinctively as children but, as adults, can sometimes forget. EuroTalk discs use the principle of learning through play to help us maximize our language learning potential. The discs use games, a scoring system and bronze, silver and gold awards to encourage and reward correct answers. And, because they’re entertaining, dopamine is released in the brain which encourages synapse development and so makes learning more effective.

So, our top tips for learning ANYTHING are:

  • Engage your whole brain when you’re learning using pictures, sounds and other non-verbal prompts.
  • Don’t just repeat what you’re learning – think about it too and get “involved”.
  • Above all, relax and have fun! Play is addictive, and it helps you to learn.

How EuroTalk has helped Autistic people

We recently received a touching story from Italy:

“Your Italian ‘Vocabulary Builder’ has been very helpful for my son, Pietro, who is autistic. He is one year late with respect to his school fellows and the first time he has said “Mamma” and “Papà” he was 7.

Vocab Builder

Generally speaking, learning aids for physically/mentally disabled children are hard to find and I looked for similar learning instruments in Italy without success. The Vocabulary Builder was an outstanding tool in improving Pietro’s speaking skills. Thank you very much for contributing to his growth!” Marcello Coggiatti

We were also thrilled to receive the email below from a mum in the USA:

“At the age of five, my son, who is autistic, had an inexhaustible passion for foreign languages.

Your products were perfectly geared toward his particular learning style: visual images in conjunction with audio and the written word. He immediately absorbs everything he reads, and is able to crack reading codes without any formal reading instruction.

Vocab Builder

I particularly appreciated that the words in your products are written in the native language rather than a phonetic translation. They helped him to speak, understand and read in numerous languages. We heard so much more of his beautiful voice. He went from speaking very little to talking all day, in numerous foreign languages.”

For more information about learning foreign languages and autism, Vivienne Wire runs a really useful site: Languages without Limits - Teaching Learners on the Autism Spectrum.

Do you have a child with autism who enjoys languages? Perhaps we can help. The little boy in our story above really enjoyed using Vocabulary Builder to develop his own interest in various languages. Kids love the friendly tiger and colourful pictures, and the games help to really keep them engaged.

How EuroTalk has helped people who need speech therapy

Joan Green is a speech therapist based in Maryland, USA, and the founder of Innovative Speech Therapy. Joan makes use of computer software and technology in her work with clients who struggle with communication due to a stroke, head injury or developmental disability, and has endorsed EuroTalk’s software in her book, Technology for Communication and Cognitive Treatment: The Clinician’s Guide.

Joan highlights EuroTalk’s programs for teaching English as a second language, like Talk Now! and World Talk.

How EuroTalk has helped adopted children

Are you adopting a child from overseas? Chances are that they will speak little or no English - which can often lead to misconceptions about their intelligence, as in the case of this little girl who was adopted from the Ukraine:

Vocab Builder

“When we first adopted our daughter we had her assessed and were told that she had developmental delay. This turned out to be totally untrue and her problems were all language-based rather than developmental. Having already had a traumatic start to life, she had no interest really in learning English and we really struggled to learn Ukrainian. The beauty of the Vocabulary Builder is that it was so much fun for her, more like a game than a lesson and more than that- an activity we could do together to help us bond. Gradually she began to start speaking English and now that we have had her assessed again- it turns out that there are no special needs there at all.

I was dubious about whether it would work but I cannot stress enough the impact this has had on us and our daughter’s development. She has gone from a very frustrated little girl who was unable to communicate or express her needs into a bubbly, chatty little thing who is so different from the child we took home a year ago. She absolutely loves the Vocabulary Builder and she has come on in leaps and bounds.”

Vocab Builder

With just the click of a button, you can change the help language of any EuroTalk product so that your child can learn English from their own native tongue. And if you want to learn some of their language, why not try Vocabulary Builder or Talk Now! - it’ll teach you the basics and you can have fun together as a family while you learn each other’s languages!

EuroTalk’s non-profit work in Uganda and Malawi

What are the problems?

  • Rapid population growth, environmental destruction
  • Poor nutrition, health and education standards
  • Rural schools with few resources and no electricity
  • Solid basic education is the key

What are we doing to help?

  • In Malawi, we donated equipment to 50 schools
  • Each has a computer and 10 handheld devices
  • Both play interactive video lessons in the local language
  • Topics include numeracy, literacy, health and many others
  • Everything is powered by a solar power system

To find out more, see the OneBillion site, which features details of the project.

EuroTalk Press Releases

EuroTalk in the News

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