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This article was published on July 4, 2011


    TripLingo’s Dari app helps American troops with language barrier

    TripLingo’s Dari app helps American troops with language barrier
    Mike Vardy
    Story by

    Mike Vardy

    Mike Vardy is a husband, father, independent writer, speaker, podcaster and "productivityist". He is also the author of the book, The Front Mike Vardy is a husband, father, independent writer, speaker, podcaster and "productivityist". He is also the author of the book, The Front Nine: How To Start The Year You Want Anytime You Want, published by Diversion Books. You can learn more about his other work at his website, MikeVardy.com, visit his blog at Productivityist.com, and you can follow him as @mikevardy on Twitter.

    Being able to follow along with the local language and culture when traveling can really enhance the overall experience, but what about if you’re in the military and you’re stationed in a place where having a grasp on both can be even more helpful? Well, for American troops stationed in Afghanistan, the team at TripLingo has developed a Dari version of its popular language app that allows those with iPhones the ability to break down the language barrier. And to support and honor Americans abroad on the nation’s 235th birthday, it’s being offered for free.

    The Atlanta-based company has developed TripLingo Dari, which is the first interactive iPhone application designed to help American personnel in Afghanistan learn critical elements of the local language and culture.

    “We already had the technology in place, and after talking with family members who have been over there it was obvious that there’s a need for something like this,” said Jesse Maddox, CEO and founder of TripLingo. “When we discussed this as a team, everyone was really excited about it and it was an easy decision.”

    TripLingo is a fairly new startup that creates iPhone applications that help to ease communication by providing users with the right phrases for the right occasion. The company has already developed language-learning solutions for Spanish, German, Italian, French, and Brazilian Portuguese and five additional versions sporting different languages are forthcoming. Each version retails for $9.99, but the Dari version will be free to those in American military and any citizens who also want to learn the language. For troops without iOS, TripLingo has compiled a PDF that contains many essential phrases.

    “Our mission in Afghanistan has evolved from primarily combat-based to nation building, and to do that soldiers have to work together with locals,” Maddox added. “There’s no better way to build trust and rapport in Afghanistan, or anywhere really, than to learn some of the local language. That’s one of the primary goals of TripLingo’s other applications for travelers, and it especially applies in Afghanistan.”

    While the Dari version of the app contains many of the features that previous versions have, there is one critical difference. Maddox explained that the “Slang Slider” functionality is not enabled in the Dari version in order to avoid “any confusion if the phrases are being used in emergency situations”.

    TripLingo Dari is available for free in the App Store. and to our American readers, both at home and abroad, Happy 4th of July!