Lingo Cards Keaton White at his NY NOW booth
Lingo Cards owner Keaton White brought three new catalog entries to this week’s winter 2020 NY NOW home/lifestyle/handmade/gift market trade show at New York’s Javits Center.
Russian and Greek are the latest additions to Lingo’s “Play cards—pick up a language” playing cards line (joining French, Spanish, Japanese, Italian, German, Mandarin and Indonesian), with a new American Slang deck added to British, Aussie, Kiwi and Millennial slang sets.
Each of the 54-card decks (52 standard cards and two Jokers) combine traditional game playing cards with educational flashcards. Geared toward beginners and intermediate language learners/speakers, the premium high-quality cards carry the most commonly used phrases with phonetic pronunciations.
Hailing from western Australia, White conceived the cards during his “sabbatical” from college.
“I was traveling the world with a ratty old notebook,” he recalls, noting how he ended up surfing in southwestern Mexico—and wondering how to get a bus ticket without knowing how to speak Spanish.
“My notebook was full of Spanish words and phrases I was trying to learn,” continues White. “I was in the Acapulco Gold region, and every night I’d smoke and play cards, and got the idea for Lingo while surfing: I wound up underwater, and then it hit me: Spanish playing cards! I caught the next wave in, went to my cabana and started scribbling Spanish phrases from my notebook with a Sharpie onto a deck of playing cards—and that’s how I picked up the language!”
For the past five years, then, White has manifested his “travel freely and play often” philosophy via his ever-expanding Lingo Cards.
“Look where we are now! Here!” he said, proudly greeting new and returning customers at his NY NOW exhibitor’s booth.