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SMP » Press Releases, the Guardian and Macmillan Education Join Forces (Marketwire) - 09 February 2011, the Guardian and Macmillan Education Join Forces to Offer an Innovative New Language-Learning Tool to Learners of English Around the World

MADRID, SPAIN and LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire) - British news provider the Guardian, global publisher Macmillan Education and, Europe's largest online language-learning community, have entered into an agreement to offer's users a powerful new learning tool for improving English skills.

From today, more than 1.5 million users across the world will be able to access Guardian news articles (updated on a daily basis) via the online learning platform and query unknown words using an integrated, on-the-spot dictionary reference feature provided by Macmillan,

Users can practise and develop their English skills through reading the articles and then posting their opinions. Their written comments will then be made available for correction by native English speakers within the leading web 2.0 online community.

The material is fully integrated within's existing interactive language courses and will enhance the platform's current offering, where more than 25,000 writing exercises in 7 languages are already reviewed and corrected every day by native speakers worldwide.

"The Guardian is delighted to provide's English learners with the latest news from around the world. We are excited to be part of a process that will stimulate discussions on diverse topics among users globally and contribute to their language skills. As is one of the highest-traffic English-language news websites, it makes sense that our news can be used to help English learners understand current affairs in context," says Gerard Baines, Head of Syndication and Rights at the Guardian.

"Our award-winning online Macmillan English dictionary is a one-stop reference for English speakers around the world. Aligning our double-click dictionary tool with daily news articles within the language-learning environment seems to us the perfect solution for students, and an excellent example of technological innovation within an educational website," says Finn Kirkland, Business Development Manager for Macmillan Education.

"Our aim is to drive innovation in the language-learning process," says Bernhard Niesner, CEO and one of the founders of "What could be better for improving English skills than reading up-to-date, topical news articles, querying unknown words in an instant with an online dictionary and having comments corrected by a native English speaker?" he adds.

In just 3 years, has developed interactive language courses in 7 different languages, available to more than 1.5 million users around the world. Members have access to free and paid-for interactive online courses combined with social interaction within the worldwide community. The start-up aims to revolutionise the way people learn new languages and wants to bring the fun back into language learning.

About is Europe's largest online community for learning languages with more than 1.5 million users from all over the world. They have free access to audio-visual online courses for learning Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and English.

Language skills can also be directly improved together with other native speakers from the community via an integrated video-chat application and peer-to-peer text corrections. Consequently, each user of is not only a 'student' of a foreign language, but also a 'tutor' of their own mother tongue.

The start-up was founded in Madrid in early 2008. It was a UNESCO partner project during the International Year of Languages in 2008 and has received several prestigious awards, including a Silver Lion in the International Marketing Festival in Cannes, the European Language Label of the European Commission and the Innovation Award of CeBIT.

The name of the site comes from the Busuu language of Cameroon, which according to an ethnological study from the 80s is spoken by only 8 people.

More information:

About the Guardian

The Guardian is one of the UK's leading daily titles, founded in 1821. It delivers liberal journalism to a global audience via its website,

The Guardian has a long history of editorial and political independence, and is unique among major British daily newspapers in being owned by a foundation (the Scott Trust, via the Guardian Media Group).

About Macmillan Dictionary

The award-winning Macmillan English Dictionary was first published in 2002. Crafted by teams of lexicographers in Britain and the United States, it has as its source a corpus, a database containing millions of examples of English as used around the world. Extensive analysis of this corpus of real spoken and written text, using state-of-the-art software, has allowed the dictionary writers to reveal fresh information about how and when words are used.

The dictionary has been regularly updated, and the latest edition, presented free online for the first time, includes a thesaurus, fully integrated into the entries.

For more information, please contact

Bernhard Niesner
CEO & Co-founder
+34 915 763 150
The Guardian
Helen Wilson
Content Sales Manager
+44 20 3353 2367
Macmillan Education
Finn Kirkland
Business Development Manager
0044 1865 405854

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