Lentil (still in its Alpha stage) is the first product developed by Learnirvana, a startup in San Francisco. It’s designed to be a new approach to learning by memorizing, and currently includes reading Japanese and Korean and geography (US states, and countries and capitals of the world).
The Lentil Interface
(Most of my experience has been with the Japanese module (I figured I had enough of a basis to evaluate, but not so much that I couldn’t use it as a student), and though I also experimented with the geography modules, most of my remarks relate to the Japanese module:
For those of you that don’t know anything about the Japanese language, furigana are little characters from the syllabic writing systems that inform the reader how to interpret the more complex chinese characters, or kanji
Lentil is another self-directed learning tool, but fills a different niche than something like Duolingo (which I reviewed a few weeks ago). The target audience here is anyone who wants to learn a new language (be it Japanese or Korean), looking beyond just traditional classroom students.
The team behind Lentil has a long way to go, but the seeds are there to grow this product into something truly worthwhile. There’s a lot of room for improvement, but it’s fun to play with (and you’ll learn something too!)