Designing & developing an interactive dictionary application for a leading language learning materials publisher

PONS Translate

Building a flagship dictionary app

PONS has been a leading language learning materials publisher since 1978. The company is actively pursuing innovation paths to help users learn languages more effectively. Nomtek worked with PONS to build a robust dictionary app.

Ruby on Rails
Mobile Development
UX/UI Design
Download on the app storeDownload on Google Play

PONS offers users a rich library of learning resources with dictionaries, audio courses, and grammar workbooks. Altogether, PONS boasts over 500 different learning resources.

PONS had great experience in traditional publishing, steadily catering to a stable audience size. But the company wanted to pursue digital innovation to both improve their learning services and acquire new users.

Transforming the vast library of resources to a mobile app calls for an organized and carefully thought-out strategy. PONS reached out to us to help them start their journey toward digital transformation.

Scope of Work

Digital transformation is always a complex process, especially for companies that come from a print-first environment. They key to success was following a sturdy but agile process of delivery in a cross-functional setup.


The design maximize the user experience — the user interface is sleek and simple to let users find what they need quickly.

Frontend Development

With the amount of data to load, it was paramount to keep the frontend's performance top notch. At the time of development, using native technologies like Swift for iOS and Kotlin for Android helped ensure impeccable UI load times.

Backend Development

The application supports 36 languages. The huge database is supported by Ruby on Rails backend that fetches the information fast.


For most people, applications like dictionaries become a staple. Being able to quickly look up words and phrases is often necessary to conduct everyday operations, especially when working in multinational environments.

What PONS needed was a scalable product that could seamlessly serve big audiences that used different mobile phones and had varying Internet speeds.

With a cross-functional team of designers and developers, we efficiently moved the database into a mobile app. Once the app was live, we helped PONS define and understand different metrics and analytics to follow app progress and achieve KPIs.

The application gives the users the option to listen to words and phrases in different languages — PONS Translate can be used to practice pronunciation and speaking. PONS Translate also has fast and accurate text translation that helps users communicate better and more effectively. Users can search for single words or whole phrases.


PONS Translate is a flagship PONS product used by millions of users daily. With 40 dictionaries in 36 languages, PONS Translate lets users quickly look up words in their target language. The app features dictionaries with varying levels of advancement to suit language learners across all levels of proficiency.


Million app downloads


Years of working relationship with PONS

"Nomtek is a reliable business partner that we can recommend without any doubts. While working together, they have shown full professionalism and flexibility adjusting to our needs."

Krzysztof Petelenz, Head of Technology

Build a native application with an experienced team

Contact us