Welcome back to the “interesting people I met in Berlin” series. Now it’s been a little while I admit as the first in interview in the series came out in June! 

But hey, better late than never right? Just a quick reminder, these are interviews I did with the cool people I met at the Language Influencer Summit in Berlin in March.

In this video, I chat with Peter from the website Rhinospike where you can create your own personalised listening material in any language with the help of native speakers. And lucky for you Leo Listener, most of that audio is in English. No surprises there! That’s why I thought Peter would be the perfect guest for this blog. 

Strangely enough, Peter and I hardly chatted at the conference (there were a lot of talks and attendees, so it was tricky to speak to everyone!). But we exchanged numbers due to the public transport strike in Berlin on the day we were due to leave. As we were staying near each other and leaving around the same time, our plan was to perhaps take a taxi or Uber to the airport together. 

Instead, we ended up texting in the small hours of the morning, trying to organise this interview! We got together once we were back in our respective countries to chat online. In Peter’s case, that’s the USA, down in Dallas, Texas.

 

A Brief Introduction To Peter And Rhinospike

 

Peter and his friend Thomas created Rhinospike when they were trying to learn Spanish online around 2009-2010. At the time, there wasn’t much audio around on the internet. A Spanish-speaking friend recorded some sentences for them and this sparked the idea for Rhinospike. Peter also speaks German and is currently learning Serbian.

What makes Rhinospike unique is that you can ask a native speaker to record any text you want to hear spoken. So that could be anything from a newspaper article you’re reading to a diary entry in that language. Or even just a few basic words and expressions.

And you can get audio in a whole range of languages, including the usual suspects like English and German to Latin and Esperanto. Oh and did I mention that you can make special requests, like asking people to read the text slowly, or to have two voices in the case of a dialogue?

You can also record texts for people learning your native language. And if you do that, you can get your request prioritised.

You’ll hear us discuss:

  • Peter’s experiences of language learning and the origin of Rhinospike
  • the importance of listening skills in language learning
  • why you should create this kind of personalised material and how it will keep you motivated to learn and listen
  • why I might have remembered the Spanish for “rollerblading” if I had had a recording made of my Spanish diary entries!
  • how Rhinospike works and how you can get started with it

Watch the video:

Links and Resources We Mentioned

We mentioned a few different tools and resources in this video. As promised, here are the links to them:

 

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