The Origins of Lexody

In middle school we were “forced” to choose a foreign language to learn – Spanish, German, or French. Born and raised in Texas, Spanish was the obvious choice… so I chose French. This is where my affinity for languages started. By senior year in high school, I was taking all 3 languages.

In college I studied abroad in Paris for 6 months. I found myself a trendy Parisian boyfriend who spoke about 5 words in English, which was perfect because I was there to perfect my French. Needless to say, I was almost fluent by the time my study abroad ended. I knew then, immersion is the only way to truly become fluent in a language.

Back at college in Texas, I didn’t want to lose everything I learned, and tried to find someone to speak French with. My only option was to pay a girl $10/hour just to speak with me (yes, I paid for my friends.)

Out of selfishness, I started a student organization that matched ESL students, to American students learning a foreign language. 2 people – learning each others’ native language – got together and just hung out. They spoke 30 minutes exclusively in one language, then 30 minutes in the other language. This allows both people to immerse with a native speaker.

I just wanted to find someone to speak French with for free… I had no idea that hundreds of students would want to be part of the club.

I met so many incredible people during college, running this Language Exchange program. People who were from France, Mexico, Korea and Saudi Arabia, wanting to speak English with other cool college students. People born speaking Dutch, but couldn’t remember it due to living in the US for so long. Husbands and wives wanting to talk to their new foreign in-laws. And the international business students who needed to learn Chinese in order to excel in their career.

After running this program for 3 years, I  knew that no one wanted to learn a language by their self. Why learn a foreign language if you never speak it?

I then moved to New York City, and learned another language – programming. After 2 years learning how to code, I built Lexody – the matchmaking app for language lovers. It is the student organization I ran in college, but ready for the world to use.

I am so excited to finally offer an app that allows you to meet up, in person, with native speakers of any language. I hope you love it as much as I, and the Lexody team, does.

 

Walsh Costigan

Founder and CEO of Lexody

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