Then the pair, who met while working for the same London tech company, went to a business meeting in France and couldn’t understand a word.
It was an epic fail that propelled them to quit their jobs and set up a language learning company which was all about speaking and listening skills.
The company was one of the first to pioneer games as a route to learning. Uniquely, it also developed a template so its products could be used by English and non-English speakers alike.
And after years of experimenting and learning from past mistakes - like originally calling the company EuroTalk because of its earlier European focus - uTalk is now helping people worldwide learn any of 140+ languages.
Richard still heads up the company today and he and Andrew can now speak French!
More than 1,000 native speakers have visited uTalk’s studio to record 140+ languages in the last 15 years with more being added all the time.
We’ve also recorded in a desert and in far-flung islands - if we have to go the extra mile we will.
Every language tells us something about a people and a culture. Mainstream, minority and especially endangered languages – we love them all!
We hope we’ve got the language you want. If not, please get in touch especially if you can put us in contact with native speakers. We’re always looking for communities to represent their language on our app at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you work for a non-government organization doing peace-keeping or humanitarian work, we’d love to hear from you at email@example.com, some of the topics on the uTalk app are specifically designed for you.