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More than a billion people can now learn to program with Hedy!

Forget Python, Java and Scratch: there is now an accessible programming language for children. This is Hedy, invented by Dr. Felienne Hermans of LIACS. Thanks to a collaboration between Jetlearn, an online programming school based in Amsterdam, and Leiden University, Hedy now has translations in Hindi and Bengali. In addition, the language is now available in Arabic. This means that millions of children can suddenly learn to program!

'There was a huge gap between Scratch, a visual language to introduce children to programming, and real programming languages such as Python'

Worldwide expansion

Thanks to JetLearn's translators, Hedy now has a version in Hindi, the native language of 615 million people, and in Bengali, the native language of 265 million people. In addition, Hedy is already partly available in Arabic, and soon completely. This increases Hedy's reach by another 420 million people. Furthermore Hedy is available in English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, German and Mandarin.

Felienne Hermans

The birth of Hedy

How and why was the programming language Hedy developed? Hermans leads a research group at the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Sciences (LIACS) that focuses on programming education. 'There was a huge gap between Scratch, a visual language to introduce children to programming, and real programming languages such as Python,' she explains. 'To be successful in Python, you need to know all the language rules and apply them correctly. This is a challenge and can cause frustration, especially when you do not understand mistakes made. Instead of entering all the rules at once, Hedy starts simple and slowly adds more rules.'

Why learn to program?

'Programming helps to develop a problem-solving mindset, build creative skills and turn ideas into actual apps, games and websites,' says Abhishek Bahl, founder of JetLearn. 'Our mission is to make programming accessible to children, a mission we share with Dr Hermans. It was therefore a pleasure to work together to make programming more accessible and fun. Learning to code is the superpower that all children can develop and therefore we are very pleased that now even more children have this opportunity.'

Based in Amsterdam, JetLearn is a global online coding and robotics school for children. JetLearn specializes in teaching coding and robotics in a fun way, inspiring children to become explorers and creators. With a mission to provide coding education to a million children worldwide, they already teach coding to children of eighteen different nationalities. For more information about JetLearn, visit their website

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