The boom in smart phones, led by Apple’s iPhone, has inspired language-learning tools that would have been inconceivable just months ago, AFP reports. Tens of thousands of applications have been developed for the iPhone since it was launched in early 2007. The ability to combine audio, video, text, and data files with an internet connection to a central web site has helped create a much-improved language learning device, says entrepreneur Chris Lonsdale. "The technology allows you to have all the elements in one place and gives you new insights [into how you can learn languages]," said Lonsdale, whose app is a six-month course for Chinese people to learn English. A search of Apple’s online store comes up with around 1,000 options for "language learning," ranging from dictionaries and flash cards to a language suite teaching Klingon, a language used in the sci-fi TV series Star Trek. Ken Carroll of Praxis Language, whose ChinesePod brand of online and audio learning tools has more than 250,000 followers, said the new technology offers huge possibilities, but he added that new products have to be carefully tailored. "You can’t just take stuff from a book and cram it into the mobile space," said Carroll, whose products teach mandarin Chinese to English speakers…

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