Friday, April 10, 2009

Allen Stoltzfus and John Fairfield

Today we honor two men who have helped to make learning a new language easier, Allen Stoltzfus and John Fairfield, founders of Rosetta Stone.

Stoltzfus first developed the idea for Rosetta Stone while trying to learn Russian in a classroom. Years earlier, he had learned German through emersion and wished that the classroom learning for Russian could also be as enjoyable, quick, and easy. Stoltzfus formed the idea of using a computer program to develop language skills naturally and without translation, similar to an immersion experience.

He enlisted the help of John Fairfield, a computer scientist, to develop the program in the late 1980s. The computer technology was not yet advanced enough, but by 1992 the men had developed a successful program and founded Fairfield Language Technologies. Along with the companies new president the three men developed the name "Rosetta Stone", named after the artifact that had unlocked the secrets of Egyptian hieroglyphics for linguists.

Rosetta Stone now offers language programs in 29 languages and in 2006, their company had had a five year growth of 368 percent.

Stoltzfus and Fairfield have greatly improved language learning in the United States and around the world. Their program is used by small companies trying to enter the global market, fortune 500 companies, the US Military, and households around the world. Through Stoltzfus and Fairfield's success, transaction costs and language barriers for countless numbers of people of been greatly reduced. We are all richer for their success.

Sources:
Rosetta Stone- Our History
Wikipedia- Rosetta Stone Software
Daily News Record - Private Equity Firms Buy Majority Share Of Fairfield Language

1 comment:

Don Gibb said...

The Stoltzfus and Fairfields are great human beings to boot.