Startup Profile: Glottogon

- July 15, 2011 2 MIN READ

Did you know, one in four Australians speak a language other than English? Did you also know that bilingual children are found to be more attentive and have an “advantage at school” over their monolingual peers?

Glottogon director Karen Mennie has done much research into the benefits of bilingualism before launching her multicultural online children’s bookstore www.glottogon.com

Glottogon stocks children’s books, DVDs and CDs in Arabic, Chinese, English, Italian, Indigenous and Indian languages with Greek, French and Spanish launching soon.

We want each child to be equal in their difference and have fun whilst reading and learning so our books are not what you would term ‘text books’,”

“We stock fun, fantastic story and picture books, as well as DVDs and CDs, from all around the world.”

More than half of our books are new to Australia.

“We import books from independent publishers who primarily publish in the language of their own country so our books are written by native speakers”

The name ‘Glottogon’ is derived from the word ‘glottogony’ meaning “the origin of language”. The brand character Glottie (pictured above) speaks and reads all languages and explores the world, sending a monthly animated postcard about his adventures which is posted to www.youtube.com/glottogon.

Although Glottogon is a new business for Karen, she has a wealth of retail knowledge from her previous corporate international roles. The Glottogon ‘story’ itself was born out of an eye-opening moment last year between her Greek mother-in-law and Karen’s then nine-month-old daughter.

“I handed my mother-in-law an everyday children’s book to read to my daughter and found out she wasn’t comfortable to read it in English,” Karen says. “So I went looking for a Greek book that they could read together and couldn’t find one.” The rest, they say, is history.

“My daughter is being brought up bilingual; English and Greek and multi-culturally; Scottish, Australian and Greek influences in her life and it can be tough to do it properly. In Australia, we have such a wonderful opportunity to learn from all the other cultures, so we should and hopefully our site can help just a little.”