Vrlingo, gaining fluency through VR

Learning languages are hard and there are few opportunities to practice.

Matthew L. Komar
2 min readFeb 8, 2023

We want to empower everyone to practice speaking for free.

Vrlingo is a language learning community to help you practice speaking in a new language with other people in virtual worlds. We created a credit system, called TBucks, to make this ecosystem work: You can help others practice speaking in your native tongue to gain TBucks. And then spend TBucks practicing in a new language you want to learn.

Why VR?

VR allows us to build situations and immersive environments to better aid in roleplaying. For example in one of our scenes, we have a fully interactable restaurant world. We noticed that many Mandarin learners will pretend to order food, talk about their favorite dishes, or try to rob the restaurant all while speaking in Mandarin. This gamified approach to language learning makes speaking fun and also mimics real-life situations.

We also created contextually driven prompts that provide topics to talk about. Whenever a user picks up an object, like some money, they will see a prompt “Buy food with money.” This encourages a conversation between a user holding the object and others in the world.

Conversational Prompts (Left) and Map Selection (Right)


There are several ways we could monetize this app in the future.

Ads: We can place immersive ads in the VR worlds through sponsored worlds or objects, like a branded soda in a restaurant or a franchised coffee shop.

Professional Tutors: In addition to the free default community support, some users may appreciate professional tutor services by having 1:1 lessons. We can offer classes and take a percentage of the tutor’s fee.

Subscriptions: We can offer a monthly subscription where users can gain additional features such as hints when picking up objects, special status icons, and ad removal.

Cryptocurrency: Vrlingo’s currency TBucks can easily be adapted into cryptocurrency and be distributed on a “Play to Earn” model. We believe this will further encourage user participation in the ecosystem by having a monetary benefit when teaching others.