Many people have expressed curiosity about the origins of the language learning website, lingoloopy.com. I feel able to give some insight into this, as I’ve met some of those responsible. Contrary to popular belief, Lingoloopy is not the product of some huge multi-national organization. It was initially set up in 2006 by Marcus Cumming, who graduated with honours in Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic from the University of Cambridge in 1997. Despite this somewhat esoteric choice of degree, Cumming continued to pursue his keen interest in modern languages, and eventually became proficient in French, German, Italian and Spanish.
After a short stint in accountancy, he opted to go into IT as a technical author, and along the way learnt to develop software. With such a background it was an easy step to combine software and languages to develop a language-learning website. Lingoloopy was founded at the beginning of 2006, and shortly afterwards Cumming enlisted the help of his friend from university, James Turner, as well as Elena Sabelnikova, now his wife.
Turner was able to contribute greatly not only in the area of Oriental languages, but also through his knowledge of numerous other African and European languages. Turner himself studied Chinese at Cambridge and subsequently spent two years in Japan, perfecting his Japanese. His main contribution to Lingoloopy was his language research, which has been integrated into, and has embellished, Lingoloopy. Sabelnikova met her now-husband in Germany while studying the German language. A native Russian speaker, she also speaks English, French, German and some Italian. Sabelnikova undertook a large amount of linguistic research for the website, but also contributed to the design.
Although Lingoloopy as an organization is now much bigger than at its outset, the three founders continue to lead and shape the way forward for the website and online language learning, in general.