Ultralingua’s Apps for Aid initiative touching international nonprofits

by Tristan Pollock


Ultralingua Apps for Aid Ultralingua has been developing language-translation software and mobile apps since ’97, but they still consider themselves a startup at heart. Maybe it has something to do with their wanderlust for the future,  close ties to young entrepreneurs in academia, and desire to make a difference in the world.

Founder and Carleton College professor Jeff Ondich launched the company after developing a small electronic French-English dictionary and saw the larger language gap as a challenge he could tackle.  As technology has evolved since  and mobile devices become globally accessible for the first time, this Minneapolis company is doing it’s part to have a positive impact on the less fortunate.

In January, when the 2010 Haiti earthquake killed 220,000 people and injured another 300,000, Ultralingua responded by providing a free Haitian Medical Reference Guide to help the cause. The app included a Haitian Creole-English medical dictionary, audio phrasebook, and anthropological reference guide enabling doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to communicate with Haitian-Creole speaking patients.  Accessed by via iPod touch by relief workers who were on the ground, the app had life-saving value.