Two people reading in a library

Yaya's Story

We're, David Gaynor and Xinqing Lu, a husband/wife couple who are a little too obsessed with studying (but definitely not mastering) foreign languages – Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, French, German, Polish and most recently, Swedish.

One night while getting ready for bed, David had an idea to practice Chinese with Xinqing. He'd build a little program to translate Harry Potter sentence-by-sentence to Chinese so they could read together before going to sleep.

Meanwhile Xinqing, as both a language teacher and student, was frustrated using Google docs for taking notes during her lessons, and wished there was a better tool.

They realized they could solve both of these problems with one app, and Yaya was born!

David worked with another friend, Patrick Coleman to create the first version of Yaya, which was just focused on AI content generation.

Then, after Patrick rolled off for a well deserved, year long world and (and language) tour with his wife, David and Xinqing continued to grow Yaya's note taking features.

Today Yaya's custom content generation features are used by language students around the world who want to practice reading, listening and writing. Yaya's note taking features enable a wide variety of language teachers to create dynamic, engaging, real time lessons.

Most importantly, Xinqing and David use Yaya everyday for their own studies, and love it.

Studying a language? Teaching language learners? Trying a bunch of different tools? Get in touch and tell us your story too!


What is Yaya?

Yaya is a language learning app where you can generate content for practicing reading, listening and writing on your own, then take notes during a live class.

Ok, how does content generation work?

Give us a creative topic or prompt, and we'll use AI to generate a dialog, story, article, or other fun types of content with sentence-by-sentence translations at any reading level. We'll also include daily vocabulary words using spaced repetition. It's way more fun than flashcards! Yaya will automatically include images, exercises, writing practices and more, with all the laerning content it generates!

Why is it good for note taking?

At it's heart, Yaya is essentialy a Google Doc, built for language learners to use with their teachers. Using this doc, Yaya's AI can be your teacher, writing new dialogs, stories and more, customized for your level and interests.

However, you can also use a Yaya doc with a real, human teacher, during a live class! Every line your teacher types will be translated into your native language, in real time and clicking on a word will add it to your vocab list. After class, you can use Yaya AI to ask questions and generate follow-up reviews.

Who's this for?

Yaya is ideal for learners of all levels. For beginners, it helps to know the basics. For intermediate and advanced learners, dive right in.

Yaya is also great for teachers. It's the best realtime notetaking tool we've ever used (we're both teachers ourselves). You can also use Yaya's AI to generate exercises, homework and more, for your students.

Is it free?

Yep. For now (while Yaya is in beta), everything is free.

Where does the name Yaya come from?

Ya comes from 鴨, the Chinese character for duck. Why Yaya? Well, we like linguistic reduplication, plus it's fun to say. Yaya!

Why Yaya Press? We're an AI-generated publisher, aren't we?

We cycled through a few potential names – notably Kongwon (a sloppy romanization of 看官 or “dear reader” in Chinese) and YayaYomu (“duck, duck, read!” 鴨鴨読む in a confusing combination of Chinese and Japanese) – before settling on Yaya Press.

Illustration of a duck with a book

Why bother learning another language?

If you have to ask, we'll answer!

In the slightly paraphrased words of teacher/translator Jay Rubin, “One of the most satisfying experiences a person can have is to train their mind to think in a foreign language.” Couldn't have said it better ourselves.

Oh but of course we also do it for the people, food, travel, movies, games, TV, music and BOOKS!