Free app Spell Master turns you into a linguistic sorcerer.

Something that makes learning a foreign language tricky, especially in the beginning, is that vocabulary is completely arbitrary at its core level. Sure, breaking down complex words like “semipermeable” into their components makes them easier to remember, but there’s no absolute logic behind why we call, say, an apple an apple.

When it comes to memorizing base vocabulary, you may as well be memorizing a made-up fantasy language. And if that’s the case, wouldn’t it be easier, or at least more entertaining and engaging, to remember words that let you cast awesome magical summoning spells, like in this video here?

That’s Japanese tech company Katakoto showing off their Spell Master language learning system, which lets you call forth visual manifestations of English vocabulary words by writing them within a magic circle, similar to the ones seen in numerous anime and video games (and at least one energy drink can).

▼ A Spell Master mage summoning the Earth itself.

No wand or staff is required to wield this arcane power, but you will need a smartphone and the Spell Master AR app, as demonstrated in the system’s introductory video here.

▼ Opening the app, then scanning the card with your phone’s camera, starts the magic.

While the system appears to only work with official Spell Master cards, the user can customize their vocabulary study list by writing the words they wish to summon directly onto the paper. Katakoto hasn’t said how many words the system currently recognizes, but demonstration videos show the grimoire contains not only basic nouns like apple, pencil, camera, and computer, but also adjectives like happy, which conjures a smiling emoji creature.

Since the summoning sequences sport animated elements, Magic Spell could also conceivably be used to demonstrate actions, helping learners remember verbs as well.

Of course, if you’re reading this article, odds are you’ve already got a pretty solid foundation of English skills. The beauty of Magic Spell, though, is that the system could easily be adapted to work with other languages. A simple expansion of the system’s database to recognize kanji, hiragana, and katakana script could help foreigners wanting to learn Japanese, producing the same results with no need to change the summoning visuals.

Spell Master isn’t quite ready for its public debut just yet, but when it is, Katakoto is promising that it’ll be available as a free download for iOS and Android devices. As for the magic circle cards, their printing template can be downloaded from the company’s website here for free.

Of course, as with any app, there’s always the issue of it draining your battery through extended use, so luckily there’s a magic circle method for dealing with that problem too.

Source: Katakoto via IT Media
Featured image: Twitter/@katakoto_std
Top image: Katakoto
Insert images: Katakoto (1, 2)

Follow Casey on Twitter, where his favorite magic circles are the ones from Star Ocean 3.