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The story of Linguarena

I am Samba Kamara, founder of Linguarena.

In 2009, before a trip to Dakar (Senegal), I decided to learn wolof language.

It was not my first trip to Senegal but this time I wanted to be able to talk with locals in wolof.


I was used to learning languages on my IPhone 3GS at the time, so naturally I launched the App Store app to look for a wolof app or translator.

I found one wolof app, it was poorly designed, buggy and abandoned by its creator.

Back from my trip in Dakar, I told myself that someone have to solve this problem, it should possible to learn wolof and any other language with our SmartPhone.


I went to meet some publishing companies in Paris, which had hundreds of books in their catalogues to learn languages including wolof, swahili, lingala, soninke, etc…., Ali Baba’s cave of languages, in short.


I suggested to them that they should have all their language catalogue on App Store and Google Play Store because there was a real need and the future of language learning will be on electronic device (mobile, tablet and computer) and not on paper books.

They were very excited about the project but did not follow up.


That’s when the idea of Linguarena started to sprout in my head, what if I made my own Ali Baba cave of languages?

I decided! I will make my own language collections, I would call it the « language arena » in latin (lingua: language , arena: arena), hence Linguarena.


Ten years later, Linguarena has 5 languages, 300,000 application downloads and more to come, with my team we are working to make as many languages available on Smartphone as possible.


I work with language teachers, native speakers for audio voices, designers, graphic designers and illustrators located in the four corners of the world.


If your preferred language is not yet available at Linguarena, write to us via the contact page, or leave us comments on our social networks, our next language will be the one that has been most requested.