JOB: CEO and Founder of Embassy of Education, CEO and Founder of LIVE Language Learning, and Co-Founder of language learning app Speakly.
STUDIED: Romance studies, language studies
“I have always wanted to speak more languages,” says education innovator, educator and language studies revolutionary Ott Ojamets. “As a small boy, I was watching a French film and said to myself I will be able to speak the language one day.” Today, French is one of the languages Ott speaks at home. Thanks to creating and testing his own language learning methods, he has also learned many other languages – he can speak in six and read in even more.
Daily, Ott manages the language studies programme Speakly, being one of the creators of this innovative app. He saw at an early stage that traditional language learning methods do not yield the results they should, yet as a child, he had experienced the possibility of learning a new language by accident. “I was watching cartoons on German TV, and in a few months, understood the language,” he remembers.
In 2012, he published a book and launched an e-learning environment LIVE, which he had created himself. It became so successful he immediately started work on the Speakly app. The development took four and a half years and encompassed more than 2000 test learners. Today, Speakly has more than 30,000 users in Europe. It is no wonder, as the app allows you to reach a level of language that helps you handle nearly every conversational situation in just a hundred lessons.
While Ott was taking translation lectures at Tallinn University, he was already working for many publishing houses, translating books from French, German and Spanish into Estonian. He remembers a story from the time. Once, while the entire course was sitting in a lecture hall, Associate Professor Anne Lange stepped to the front holding three books, and told everyone to read those. She also added that the translator of one of the books is sitting in this very class. “It was cool to see how people became surprised and started looking for the ‘culprit’,” said Ott. “I was of course very proud!” The book he had translated from Spanish was Mario Vargas Llosa’s “Letters to a Young Novelist”.
“If you want to study anything at all, you must give it your all, dive right in. Your time at the university is exactly the moment to delve into something and become really good at it.” – Ott Ojamets.