Day by day we look at badly written banners around Albania, incorrect usage of words and phrases, and informal speech. In our daily communication it might not seem like a big problem, however, in the long term albanologists are worried we might lose our language. That is when startups come in handy, and this startup is the exact solution for this issue.
We had an interview with Andi Braimllari, the founder of “Penda” and this is what we discovered!
How did the idea of building Penda come about?
In 2019, my partner and I casually brought up to each other, somewhat annoyed and frustrated, many poorly-written articles and texts in Albanian. We thought that through some fusion of engineering and linguistics, perhaps something could be done to tackle that. About 10 months ago we decided to give it a go, and now here we are, thrilled to share and further the work on this project. Penda’s mission is straightforward, to upkeep the use of the Albanian language. We believe that the quality of most writings in this language can be considerably improved, and we’d like to aid in educating in that regard.
What is innovative about your startup?
We provide proofreading in Albanian and open-source much of our code and datasets. The open-sourcing aspect of Penda is crucial, as we believe that the language of a culture is potentially its most fundamental element and should be treated in a transparent manner. The parts we’ve made public can be found at github.com/OpenCovenant while Penda itself can be found at penda.info.
What is difficult about being a startup in Albania, especially in your industry?
Being a startup in Albania can be a daunting task. While it has been difficult to operate and navigate through the challenging times, keeping our sight on the mission that we set out for the project has pulled us through.
How have the users reacted to the Penda?
While we haven’t really had a substantial number of customers, so far the main reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. This is a clear incentive for us to improve the quality of our project.
Who is your core target audience? How are you trying to reach them?
For now, we’re targeting journalists, analysts, writers, and students. We believe that in a considerable number of scenarios they’d find the proofreader of use, especially if we keep in mind that we offer markings for grammatical errors, loanwords, and writing stylistics.
What are your future plans?
We aim to improve the quality of our service and garner more customers that would actually find Penda productive.