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Thread: A free learning aid. Any ideas...?

  1. #1
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    A free learning aid. Any ideas...?

    Hi guys.

    I'm in the process of making a program to help learning Russian vocabulary. Its basically a program that once finished I will be giving a free version to members of this site. The program will allow a user to input words in (English or Russian) and then to be tested randomly on those words.

    I'm also going to add in some cool stuff like the ability to categorise words, add in phrases, verb tables and even add your own audio clips in. Now obviously its hard to imagine it without seeing it, but I wondered if people could suggest any ideas as to how the idea could be improved. If you got a question wrong for example the program will remember it, then at the end of the test will show you your wrong answers.

    Anyway any comments will be appreciated, as as far as I know there are no programs that are similar to this free on the net?

    Andrew
    My new website is http://www.computer-tutorials.org/New_site/

    If anyone could help with translations or audio recording please email me!

  2. #2
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    If you give it away free.... well, I would use it at least one time
    ~ Мастерадминов Мастерадмин Мастерадминович ~

  3. #3
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    You are going to want to check out "Interlex." It has many of the features you just mentioned, and is a free program (and it does many languages, not just Russian. You may then decide that you can do something better, or you may decide that someone has already done much of what you want and that's good enough and easy enough for you.
    Заранее благодарю всех за исправление ошибок в моём русском.

  4. #4
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    sounds sweet. as long as you can have the words in their own catogory/ да зраствует бесплатный софт!
    Не откладывай на завтра того, с кем можешь переспать сегодня
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  5. #5
    DDL
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    Sounds like a good idea; but still labor-intensive on your part.
    "You lost today kid, but that doesn't mean you have to like it." -- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

    "We have found the enemy; and they are us." -- Airwolf.

  6. #6
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    This reminds me of the Verbioso software that is still linked to this site...

    http://www.verbioso.com/downloads.html

    ...the software is excellent, but what happened to these guys?? I signed up for a registered copy last summer, but I

  7. #7
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    A nice additional feature would be to have a picture associated with the word. I find it easier to remember vocabulary if there is a visual reference.

    Example:

    Smile -
    улыбка -

    I also have to agree with Dobry. If you plan to do this, do not quit before you are finished. Oh, and offer support for the program as well. Just because someone can post on an Internet forum does not make them Tech savy.
    "Having no limitation as your limitation" ~ Bruce Lee

  8. #8
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    I hope you guys are joking about the tech support and the fact that he's under some sort of ethical obligation to support the program into perpetuity. And Dobry even said that this was the issue, and not money! HA! Dobry, I like you, man, but I think you got hit on the head with something before you posted that! The guy is free to make whatever he wants. He has no obligation to you or to me or to anybody. If he starts it, quits six months from now, and never does anything with it again, so what? You're not out any money. You were using something he was kind enough to give you in the first place, free of charge. Such things come with no warranty or support. I don't know why you guys are so potentially frustrated by this -- you must have spent too much time dealing with Dell/Microsoft/Big-Name Company's tech support!
    Заранее благодарю всех за исправление ошибок в моём русском.

  9. #9
    DDT
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    Make it compatible with Firefox and Linux ............not just sucky old Windows!!!!
    Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose, free to choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to talk, think and act for myself. - Chief Joseph, Nez Perce

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DDT
    Make it compatible with Firefox and Linux ............not just sucky old Windows!!!!
    Firefox is an OS now? Awesome!
    Заранее благодарю всех за исправление ошибок в моём русском.

  11. #11
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    Cheers guys, afew quite useful comments there. I know what you mean about seeing it through and hopefully I (and my mate) will. As the program is going to be an online app it should work forlinux too hopfully and I'm aiming to make it firefox compatible.

    The picture thing is a good idea, although that would be up to you guys to find your own (as would the audio). I will check out the programs that you mentioned above as I will see what they have done etc.

    One thing I dont want to do is lose a shit load of money and have people asking me for help with the program. Perhaps what I will end up doing is offereing a free version that is slightly restricted (perhaps less words, or no audio) but to still allow people to try it and use it for free. As you could edit the words you could keep deleting and adding new ones. I might open it out completely for a few pounds, not reallyput that much thought into it yet.

    Most important thing for me is that it will help me learn, and people can use it for free in some way or form. I'll be sure topost up when its ready, surely not for at least a month though. I may even ask if some people want to test it for me too. Any morecomments would be appreciated.

    Andy
    My new website is http://www.computer-tutorials.org/New_site/

    If anyone could help with translations or audio recording please email me!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barmaley
    And Dobry even said that this was the issue, and not money! HA! Dobry, I like you, man, but I think you got hit on the head with something before you posted that! The guy is free to make whatever he wants. He has no obligation to you or to me or to anybody. If he starts it, quits six months from now, and never does anything with it again, so what? You're not out any money.
    Hahaha!
    Yep, you

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dobry
    (even though their web-payment system is still functioning).
    Of course it is. I'm sure it's just a minor oversight on their part.

    [quote]
    I
    Заранее благодарю всех за исправление ошибок в моём русском.

  14. #14
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    You should make it have cool reading passages with audio + explanation of grammar points.

  15. #15
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    Hiya Andrew -

    Like Barmaley said, make sure you don't develop something that is almost a copy of Interlex (which your basic ideas seemed to be) - that would be a waste of energy

    It could be nice to have something that builds on where Interlex leaves off - for example, Interlex can't give you multiple choice (well, it could, I've tried, but it means a full list per question!!! ). Something Java-esque?


    The nice Interlex functions that would help make your software popular with users:
    - indeed, let the programme remember your mistakes, and drill you over and over again on exercises you got wrong in the first place;
    - being able to construct your own exercises (which you want to do if I've understood you correctly) - the nice thing about IL is that there is a website that allows people to exchange the vocab lists they've compiled, which means there's a lot of material available, without extra work for the original inventor of the programme. Saves you work.

    What I would like :
    -Being able to import vocab lists directly from a Word, .rtf, or .txt file - it's a bit work-intensive to change the lists in IL....
    - word stress exercises!!!!!! (and in different declensions!) - no use knowing a new word if you haven't got a clue how to say it
    Audio files are a nice extra, but they take up a lot of space, and take more time to use. And it's more work for you to incorporate them . So maybe you could start out with just basic written stress exercises.
    Argh, these Russians with their shifting stress!

    - and yes, the possibility of adding pictures would be nice - but again, make sure it doesn't make the soft too heavy or too slow.

    BTW, that goes for all features - some progs are just so complicated that they take ages to load, are slow on the uptake - and (worst of the worst ) require the latest Flash player, the latest Mediaplayer, 37 codecs, the latest *fill in blank*.....
    Fine for the students with lots of time I'm sure , but if you're an adult with a full life, like me, you'll use it twice and then don't bother after that....



    Best of luck to ya!!
    Ой, голова у меня кружится |-P ...... and my brain hurts too....

  16. #16
    DDL
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    One suggestion I have, is make it so you can learn the alphabet first if you don't know it. I was looking at an offline reference I have for Russian and it's all well and good, but since I'm not too great at the alphabet I don't know how to really read or pronounce the words.
    "You lost today kid, but that doesn't mean you have to like it." -- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

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  17. #17
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    Make sure that the audio comes on automatically. Most people are too lazy to click on a seperate button or something.

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