There is no need to visit a dedicated website to learn a new language now as Toucan develops chrome extension and introduces an amazingly convenient way to browse and learn simultaneously. Like any other chrome extension, it just needs to be installed on a user machine. While browsing any English website, the extension will automatically scan and translate selected words for a user, helping them learn a new language.
Toucan founders wanted to provide a service that would be useful, productive and will not require any of the users to switch tabs or go to a separate dedicated website for learning a new language. They achieved this vision with an acquired seed funding of $3 million led by GSV Ventures. Other contributors included Amplifyher Ventures, Wonder Ventures, Golden Ventures, Halogen Ventures, Vitalize Ventures, and strategic angel investors.
We created Toucan to help people make more use of their time, without missing out on the fun and satisfaction of learning a new language. – Taylor Nieman (Co-Founder & CEO), Shaun Merritt (Co-Founder & CTO), and Brandon Dietz (Co-Founder & CPO), Toucan.
Taylor Nieman very aptly used her previous business development work experience to understand and create something that could influence ‘habit formation.’ Having understood the challenge involved when capturing and maintaining exclusive attention and time, the three founders worked with the idea of users continuing their regular web activity and still using their service feature to its fullest. Hence, Toucan develops chrome extension to solidify and expand their vocabulary at the same time.
At Toucan, we know that creating a new habit is one of the most difficult things to do. Our Founding team has a deep understanding and appreciation for human habits, behavior, and the science of learning. Our free Chrome extension helps you learn without having to put aside time to create a new habit. – Taylor Nieman, Shaun Merritt and Brandon Dietz, Co-founders, Toucan
This feature works best for people who are in the process of learning a language. By translating words in between sentences, not only does it add to vocabulary, but it also helps to view, understand, and possibly use the newly learned word in an appropriate context. To aid the accuracy of the translations, the Toucan team has called upon and is working with translators, college professors and students, and natural language processing.
As of now, Toucan supports Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Portuguese as languages. They are already working on adding a few more languages like Russian, Korean, and Japanese within the next month. Additionally, having released an extension only supported on Google Chrome, the team is also working on launching extensions to support other web browsers like Firefox and Safari.
In addition to having launched such a creatively friendly service, Toucan has ramped up its promotions game. One of the most magnetic promotional gimmicks they have come up with is giving their users a chance to ‘own a word,’ wherein the user’s name appears every time Toucan translates a word for a week. Even though the ‘own a word’ feature may become a paid feature at a later stage, the team plan to keep a majority of the service free to promote ‘accessible education’ for all. Along with this, they are even considering including more than just languages as part of the extension. Topics like history or science or math or general knowledge are being considered.
At any point of time, innovation is a key, and especially so in times of crisis. Toucan develops chrome extension after carefully analyzing people’s desire to learn a new language. So, they put together something that caters to learning and eliminates the need for any extra effort. In just a short while of its launch, users have expressed their satisfaction and the ease of use.