Microsoft recognizes Berlitz’s use of AI to improve language learning


Kyle Carney


Berlitz China

As language learners have continued to look for more flexible ways to learn a new language, Berlitz went on a mission to deliver the same great immersive experience as in our classrooms, but with the flexibility to allow learners to learn on their time and where they wanted.  

To deliver this experience, Berlitz turned to Microsoft, and specifically to Azure AI Speech and its pronunciation assessment capabilities.  With this technology, Berlitz has been able to continue to deliver the fastest, most effective way to learn a new language, but with the added flexibility to allow us to reach more learners.  

In 2022, the use of AI language learning helped us teach over 500,000 students and we hope to exceed that number again in 2023. Microsoft recently recognized Berlitz’s successful use of AI for language learning in a customer story.  

“We conducted research to determine the best speech-to-text solution for our needs. Our primary criterion was to find a solution with the lowest number of false negatives, meaning it would reject the fewest acceptable answers,” said Nicolas Potel, Director of Learning Experience at Berlitz. “We compared several options, and Microsoft Azure was the most capable of accurately identifying what the student was saying. This was crucial for us, as it was the main aspect we needed from the technology.” 

How AI has helped Berlitz reach tens of thousands of new learners 

Berlitz utilizes Azure AI Speech Studio and Azure AI Speech text-to-speech capabilities to enhance the language learning experience. By creating high-quality voices and diverse accents, they offer a more engaging and personalized learning experience. The inclusion of real instructors in videos adds a human touch, fostering a stronger connection with learners. 

Moreover, this technological solution overcomes barriers such as budget constraints, scheduling conflicts, time limitations, and location barriers, allowing Berlitz to reach a wider audience. This includes catering to the needs of large corporate and government clients who require flexible yet rigorous training programs. 

“To the broader benefits to the business, the Azure AI solutions have been instrumental in launching new products that have enabled the company to serve tens of thousands of new customers,” said Tim Jordan, Senior Vice President of Product & Customer Experience at Berlitz. “Without these solutions, this level of expansion and reach would not have been possible.   

In addition, Berlitz has leveraged technology and AI to reduce product development costs and accelerate the introduction of new products and languages. This has allowed them to invest in other areas of innovation and improve customer support.  

Overall, the integration of technology and AI has revolutionized language learning at Berlitz, providing a more immersive and accessible experience for all. 

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