We talk about our Hardass Asian Parents a lot, and the ways in which they, um,
pushed us to succeed molded us into perfectionists put us into therapy for life raised us, but the truth is, you don’t have to be Asian to be a Hardass Asian Parent. Take, for example, Ben Morrison.
Morrison, a web developer, created an iPhone app called Langu, because he and his wife adopted a daughter from Taiwan, and they wanted her to grow up fluent in both Mandarin and English. Cute, right?
But wait. There’s more. In addition to the app, Morrison told Wired‘s GeekDad that he also uses these tools to help his daughter learn what would’ve been her native tongue:
We do our best to expose her to many different channels of learning the language, like Mandarin immersion preschool, Chinese picture books, even bootleg “Dora the Explorer” translated into Chinese.
Mandarin immersion preschool AND Chinese picture books AND bootleg “Dora the Explorer” videos translated into Chinese AND you write your own iPhone language app for toddlers that features a “Quiz” mode?!
Not content to sit on his laurels (or let his daughter sit on hers, either), Morrison has other educational iPhone apps in the works:
I’ve been kicking around some ideas for other iPhone apps, most of them center around something I want Violet to learn… probably reading or math next. And of course, if Langu’s well received, I’d like to make more versions… I’d want to tackle Arabic or Hindi next—I like typography, and am easily excited by non-Latin characters.
Good lord, this guy makes my own Hardass Asian Dad, who used to make me go to Chinese school occasionally, do math workbooks over summer vacation, and write up reports on what I’d read in Scientific American, look downright soft.
Hardass Parents of All Stripes: The Langu Mandarin iPhone app is available here.
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