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abdozokani wrote:
The best dictionary for swedish
https://lexin.nada.kth.se/lexin/
Done!

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Elbourn wrote:
Could you add dict.cc for Norwegian to German (https://deno.dict.cc), please?
Done!

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leosmith wrote:
Joseph.Adams wrote:
The Playlist on the Android App is not working for me.
Sorry about that. Ticket written.
We think this is fixed - can you please confirm?

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bbyj wrote:
leosmith wrote:
Hi b - just to clarify, join/split are not available on the app, so we are looking into adding them. That's what you are requesting here, right?
Yes, correct.

Added - thanks for your patience!

Edited

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Jori wrote:
Hi, I've noticed that in the Android app, the japanese characters (kanji) are treated as chinese (hanzi)

Fixed - thanks for your patience!

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Mery wrote:
Hi, could you add these dictionaries for italian to spanish?
https://context.reverso.net/translation/italian-spanish/
https://www.wordreference.com/ites/
Thanks!

Done!

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bbyj wrote:
When I do this on larger passages, sometimes I am just given the loading symbol and it never loads. Then, if I leave the page and return, my whole passage disappears. However, when I go to edit it, it is all there again. Then, when I save, it doesn't save which words I have linked together. Do you have a workaround for this?
You are talking about desktop now, right? Because join/split has not been implemented for the app yet (still in work). Can you give me a link to a passage where it happens, because I haven't been able to recreate it.

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rinske.Visser wrote:
Is this a bug or a feature?
A bug. Sorry about that - we will start working on this in a couple weeks. It was brought up first here; ticket already created.

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Hu can also mean habitual, as it does here. It depends on context.

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Tesse wrote:
One feature that I think is missing is a "night theme" both for the app and the site.
Hi Tesse. That was discussed here.

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I have no idea, because it's not our passage. Titled vocational school, with header vocational schools; inconsistent perhaps, but not grammatically incorrect

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ya is singular and za is plural

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BrianLearnsGreek.Birch wrote:
Please have it above the goals. Words known and words read are nearly the only stats i care about. The words known isn't going up. Is it broken?
We'll consider putting it above the goals. Regarding "The words known isn't going up", can you provide more detail? For example "when I change a word from green to white in a passage, the known words number below the goals doesn't go up". We have some known issues with stats, so I want to make sure this is something new.

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After spending two months here, tomorrow is my last day in Thailand. This leg of my trip went much better than the last one. I accomplished most of what I was shooting for, spent time with old and new friends, went swimming a lot, enjoyed the local food, and had tons of fun in general.


I ended my eight month German spurt today, after my 103rd lesson. This only translates to roughly 93 hours of conversation, since about 20 of these lessons were half-hour. I was shooting for 100 hours of conversation, so I almost made it. I’m still B1ish imo, although noticeably better than I was before Thailand. I feel I’m lacking too much vocabulary to consider myself B2. And I’m still improving my word-endings; it’s been a struggle, but considering the progress I’ve been making recently, I think if I were to put in another 50 hours or so they would be quite good. The rest of my grammar is in pretty good shape. Anyway, I will put German on hold with the rest of my languages, and see how it goes. I will start out putting it in the rotation twice. In other words, there are 11 languages, but German gets put in twice, so the rotation is 12 days, every language gets reviewed once in the rotation except German, which is reviewed twice in the rotation, or once every 6 days. Final stats on the German spurt: 8 months, 750 hours, roughly B1.5.


Tomorrow night I fly to Tanzania to start my third leg of the trip. I’ll be there for one month. I’ll visit the school at least once, and travel a bit around the country. I’ll stay in Arusha the first two weeks, but have no set plan for the rest of the time. I’ll go to Zanzibar at some point, and maybe make some new friends and visit some areas where I’ve never been.


I plan on only reviewing my languages from now until I go back home at the end of April. That’s a three month rest, and my brain could sure use it. The idea of only spending a couple hours on them every morning sounds really appealing to me. I remember the old days when I used to consider an hour a day an almost insurmountable chore. My how things have changed!

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Animefangirl wrote:
I hadn't thought in detail about how it would behave, just something along the lines of Anki or Memrise that helps you remember words by showing them to you often. The option for exporting vocabulary right now doesn't come with audio, just a text file, which isn't too useful for Cantonese. But if there's a better way to export to Anki, I'd love to know that. I'm not sure what a TTS is or what the TTS addon does, since I usually use Memrise.
TTS is text to speech - that's what the audio is when you select a word or sentence in a passage. If you export the text to anki using the export tool, you can install the Awesome TTS addon in your Anki, and tell this addon to automatically create TTS (audio) files in you anki cards. I don't know how Memrise works. Here is a video on how to export. 


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Animefangirl wrote:
Thanks. Then since I'm already asking for a lot, I might as well ask for more: an inbuilt SRS to help with learning vocabulary. Exporting vocabulary is handy, but it doesn't export audio files. Also I'm lazy so it's nice to have everything in one place :p
Sorry, I forgot to answer this. We've considered this in the past, and felt it would be too expensive. I can bring it up again, but how would you like it to behave exactly?

bbyj wrote:
there is an option to export cards in a format that is easy for uploading to anki
True, and one can add TTS using the Anki Awesome TTS addon.

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It is in work. I don't have an estimated time of completion, but the app designer is back and working all the app tickets.

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Tallman wrote:
How would you go about learning a language that has a different writing script such as japanese?

I won’t go through the whole “How to learn Japanese” spiel because it’s pretty long. But I’ll summarize the way I’d learn the writing system if I was to start all over again today.

 

Kana

Start by learning Kana, which is made up of Hiragana (Japanese native words) and Katakana (loan words). These are phonetic scripts. Here is a summary of the general way I learn scripts:


1.    Find a list of all the letters, that includes audio. Listen to the audio for the first letter a few times then repeat it while writing the letter. Keep doing this until you've written the letter a few times. Do the same thing for the next 3 letters.

2.    Go back to the first letter and read it out loud without listening to the audio. Play the audio. If your pronunciation matches, go on to the next letter. If not, repeat step 1 for that letter, then try to do step 2 for the next letter. Keep doing this until you are able to pronounce all 4 letters correctly before listening to audio.

3.    Repeat steps 1 and 2 until you finish the whole list of letters. You should be able to quickly read all of them with correct pronunciation.

4.    Now that you've got the most basic grunt-work done, you can find and use a beginner's program for reading and pronunciation. A good program should teach you all the basics of spelling and pronunciation. I find beginner alphabet type books, with lots of simple reading and writing exercises, to be helpful at this point. Youtube is also an option.


You might be able to find a good beginner course that does everything on this list, and if so you can just do that instead. I included the detailed description so that you can see what needs to be done; some beginner courses are incomplete, or don’t give enough instructions. You might also be wondering why I didn’t recommend using a Youtube video from the beginning. That’s because I don’t think they stick very well by themselves. It’s good to combine grunt work with Youtube imo.

 

Kanji

The third Japanese script is Kanji, which is composed of Chinese characters. There are thousands of these, but most of the important ones are contained in the Joyo Kanji, 2136 common use kanji. Some are quite complicated. You should wait until you have a decent mastery of kana before starting kanji. And it is a good idea to have a decent base in the language in general before starting. A few months is probably sufficient.

 

Many people do not learn kanji explicitly these days. Due to tech, few people need to actually be able to write, and that has made the language much more accessible. It is quite possible to learn how to read without being able to write. If that is what you want to do, I recommend you learn characters via a combination of a ton of reading and memorizing new vocabulary items. But I’m going to assume you want to explicitly learn how to both read and write characters. 

 

I recommend developing a “just in time” philosophy when learning kanji so as not to be overwhelmed by large quantities and to actually have the associated vocab in use so characters stick better when you learn them. Only learn a kanji after you already know a word containing it pretty well; you should recognize the word when you hear it, and be able to use it. This being said, have all the radicals, the pieces that make up kanji, well memorized beforehand, since it is a such a valuable tool for learning characters, and relatively speaking, does not take a great effort. There are only 214 Japanese radicals, as compared to thousands of kanji.


Anyway, when you are comfortable with a word that has a new character in it, learn the character by making up a simple story or phrase that contains the meanings of the radicals, the meaning of the character and pronunciation. Heisig popularized this method in Remembering the Kanji, and you can find a free PDF for the first few hundred characters by googling, and is worth going through just to get used to the method. Mnemonics are your friends in this case – they are just memory hooks which fade away when you no longer need them.


To be able to write a character, put the meaning on one side of a flashcard/list, and the character + pronunciation on the other side. When you see the meaning, recall the story, and write out the character as you pronounce it.

To be able to read a character and know it’s meaning, put the character on one side, and the meaning + pronunciation on the other side. When you see character, recall the story, pronounce it and recall the meaning.


That’s about it for the specific instruction. From that point on, read and write a lot, and practice all other facets of the language so as to form a strong base and reinforce the script. Good luck!

 

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Posts1637Likes1093Joined18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
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I don't, but that might be because most of my early conversation teachers were female.

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Animefangirl wrote:
Text is 99% English. Maybe it should be moved to the "No Knowledge" section.
done

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Animefangirl wrote:
This text is in English. The wrong captions must have been imported.
thanks - fixed

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Ok - we'll discuss making the list sortable by "studied" in our next meeting.

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What we did is to add a "Studied" button at the bottom of the passage. Selecting it will make it show as studied in the passage list.

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Animefangirl wrote:
Longest run-on sentence ever 😂
These auto-generated subs often lack punctuation. It drives me nuts.

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Animefangirl wrote:
BTW what's the true function of "Add Comment"? Sometimes I comment because I have a problem, but often I don't have a problem and I just found the text really useful. What kind of comments are okay or not okay?
Anything you want to comment on is ok. Originally, I imagined people having discussions about the content, maybe asking each other questions about it. Most of the time people use it to point out errors, which is also fine.

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Sorry - no plans atm.

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Ok, thanks for your response. I double-checked, and there appears to be a couple problems.

1)    There are 198 entries in the vocabulary list, but only 190 make it to the export list

2)    Although word, definition and pinyin seem to be working correctly, sentences isn’t. The first sentence that contains the word is supposed to get exported, but as you mentioned, the sentence that is actually getting exported sometimes does not contain the word, and sometimes there is no sentence. (Just doing a random glance, the sentences for 寫道, 尋求 have sentences that don’t contain them and 姿態, 完了are missing sentences.)

Lukas wrote:
In the exported file there is one particular sentence that is added for a lot of different words (although not containing them). When I look for these words in the vocabulary list, they all seem to be missing the original sentence they were taken from.
Which sentence is this?

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I see you don't have language, course or passage listed. Are you just trying to export your entire vocabulary list for Mandarin?

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Hi Lukas, I couldn't reproduce it - could you please give me a screenshot of the entire export pop-up that gives you this result? We might have some sort of buffer related bug; you could try deleting export fields, checking/unchecking boxes, and running several times as a work around to see if it helps.

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Posts1637Likes1093Joined18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
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Sorry about that and thanks for the input - we have added it to the existing ticket on this, originally requested here.

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Ah ok, I get it now. That is not per design, but I'll update the ticket.

Edited

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ok, thanks for the clarification. I'll pass it on.

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No. I think of "line by line" as an adverb rather than a verb. I understand you want the definitions to continue to show, and that is all. I also don't know when you, or if you ever, want them to disappear again.

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Thanks for the explanation. I understood that part (which we don't have btw). I didn't understand "so we could refer back and line by line the text and translation".

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Although I don't understand exactly what you are describing, I'm sure we don't have this. I'll put it in a ticket to see what the tech team makes of it, but I'll make no promises.

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(Edit – this is 2 days old; I just forgot to post it)

Today is my last day in Korea, and I have to admit, I didn’t achieve the things I’d planned on. I had a lot of bad luck, tbh.


1)    Kakaotalk, the Korean Whatsapp that almost everyone here uses exclusively, didn’t work for me because of new restrictions against foreigners. Some foreigners have been able to get it to work, but after a couple hours of trying stuff suggested to me online, I gave up.

2)    The sim card that I purchased in advance was unable to give/receive phone calls or messages.

3)    Creating new Kakaotalk or Line (Japanese Whatsapp used by some people) accounts was impossible, because phone message confirmation is required, and as mentioned before, I couldn’t receive them.

4)    I couldn’t find any of the big language exchange meetings, which I depend on for meeting new partners to meet one-on-one with. They used to be listed in Meetup.com. In fact, many are still listed there, but I went to 3 different meeting locations at the appropriate time and there were no meetings. So I gave up on them.

5)    The language exchange websites that I’ve used in the past are really bad now. I was using 5 of them, and sent out literally hundreds of requests for exchanges, and only wound up with 2 language partners. I also had my friend from before, so 3 total. They are good partners, but not able to do the volume of exchanges that I was hoping for. I did about 15 exchanges; normal is around 50.

6)    The computer chair in my room is quite uncomfortable, preventing me from doing too much studying.

7)    The room is a bit depressing. It’s ground floor, but it may as well be a basement, judging from how the few windows are so covered up for privacy/noise insulation. It’s a nice little room, just depressing.

8)    I got very sick one of my first nights. I woke up in the middle of the night with terrible nausea, similar to how I felt when I had amoebas in the Philippines one year ago, and spent about an hour on the bathroom floor. I recovered quickly; it clearly wasn’t amoebas, but it really scared me.


So those are my excuses. I wanted to do a hard 100hr+ spurt, but ended up doing less than 50. The good news is that my level hasn’t dropped much, if any, since the last time I was here. So even though I clearly need to do a long hard Korean spurt, I’m not going to change the order that I’ve been planning on. It will still be German, Italian, Japanese, then finally Korean. German, Italian and Japanese all have very clear, achievable goals imo. But when I get to Korean, in addition to freshening up my conversation, I’m going to really attack listening, and try some intensive listening tricks I’ve heard of.


I want to be able to watch (listen to) K-dramas effortlessly. Using some tool like Migaku or Language Reactor, I’ll watch the first episode of a drama line by line. If I don’t understand it, I’ll check the Korean subtitles, and if I still don’t understand, I’ll check the English subtitles. I may harvest unknown sentences for anki; I haven’t decided yet. I’ll do this for a fixed amount of time, or fixed amount of anki cards, every day. At the end of each episode, I’ll discuss it with a teacher who has seen it before. I’ll do this until I finish the K-drama, then start another one if necessary.


Tomorrow I go to Thailand, where I start my final German spurt. It will be warm. There will be sunlight. There will be lots of people eager to meet me. Wish me luck!

 

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Sarah.H wrote:
After using this a bit, the only thing missing to me is that the left and right keys jump to the next word that is highlighted (so either unknown or learning words) and skipping every word that is either set to ignore or known. Thanks :) Otherwise this is already very good!
Hi Sarah - we couldn't reproduce this. Can you provide a link to a passage it happens on?

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Chris.C wrote:
Ah!! Hey, at least it’s in the works. Can gladly wait for this feature as long as it makes it at some point. Love the project! Rough eta? 1 year or so?
Sorry, I really have no eta.

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There is a ticket in work for this (originally requested here). We don't have an estimated time of completion, unfortunately. We are running behind.

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We don't have an offline version. It was deemed to be too much work when we looked at this years ago. I'll mention it to the tech team again and see if anything has changed.

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Sarah.H wrote:
After using this a bit, the only thing missing to me is that the left and right keys jump to the next word that is highlighted (so either unknown or learning words) and skipping every word that is either set to ignore or known. Thanks :) Otherwise this is already very good!
Thanks - I forwarded this to the tech team to see if there is anything they can do.

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Animefangirl wrote:
It would also be nice to have a way to flag issues with the original creator so they can fix them.
This is the way - they get a notification. I just try to be pro-active with these because original creators have a history of not following up.

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Not ours, but here are some tips. You can copy a passage and edit the text. You can re-create a passage from the youtube video, in case the creator edited it in a way that you don't like. 

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I've added the list of which Chinese language of youtube subtitles should map to which Chinese language in Language Crush to the ticket. I was surprised to see that there are 5 different categories for Mandarin, 3 for Cantonese and 4 for Other in youtube subtitles.

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Yup - it's a know "general" issue now, but thanks for pointing it out.

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Posts1637Likes1093Joined18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
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I know it's not optimal, but a work around that's not too intensive is:

1) create the youtube passage with the messed up, or missing, subtitles

2) use one of the many "download youtube subtitles free online" sites to obtain the correct subtitles

3) edit the passage with the correct subtitles

I did that with this one of yours.


One thing I forgot to address earlier - Chinese Mandarin can handle traditional characters; it's just not treated like a separate language. Regardless, we are still working on the ticket.

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Posts1637Likes1093Joined18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
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Thanks - ticket written

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rinske.Visser wrote:
every time I try importing from youtube, instead of separating the sentences into words, every sentence is displayed as a separate word
Hi rinske. Sorry about that. Could you post a link to a video that does this?

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Posts1637Likes1093Joined18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
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I'm not sure. Ticket written.

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Posts1637Likes1093Joined18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
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Not mine, but I changed it to advanced. Judged on percentage of unknown words. The creator may disagree, and change it back if he wishes.

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Posts1637Likes1093Joined18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
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This is not one of ours, but I checked it out. The link they gave for the audio is an html file. I'll write a ticket to disallow non-audio files so that passages won't appear to have audio when they don't.

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Posts1637Likes1093Joined18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
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Happily, I finished my 50th hour of German conversation two days ago. After the 49th hour, I finally toggled my level over to B1! It feels really good finally being able to think of myself as intermediate. In two days I travel to Korea. I’ll be there for 1 month, and plan to learn German once every 3 mornings. I’ll be improving my Korean every day in the afternoon and evenings. Next, it’s two months in Thailand, where I’ll switch back to German every day. I hope to be B2 by the end of that.


I really like Seoul, because there is a very active language learning community there. I’ll go to several language exchange meetings, and might be able to practice all of my languages (well, maybe not Swahili). I’ll also try to do as many 1 on 1 exchanges, make friends and hang out. I have one friend in Korea, but we haven’t seen each other for 4 years, so I’m looking forward to our reunion. She got me to speak the informal language, and showed me a lot of different kinds of food. This trip should be great!

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Posts1637Likes1093Joined18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
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not my passage, but I fixed it

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mahum.tofiq.6 wrote:
I am just starting out with this app/site and the only thing i see lacking is the ability to import passages via one click.
I'll discuss this with the tech team.

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bbyj wrote:
Vietnamese - ~B1, on and off for 3 years, with month-long breaks.
Impressive! Do you have a family member who speaks it?

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bbyj wrote:
Any news yet? I am loving this website and excited to be able to use it on Android this way.
My bad - the meeting was actually today (Saturday), and we just talked. They said it's probably a couple of weeks out. There have been a lot of changes made to flutter, so implementing this is more complicated than originally thought.

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We have a meeting on Friday - I'll ask him then.

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Posts1637Likes1093Joined18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
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I finished my 27th German conversation today, making a total of 22 hours – the first 10 lessons were 30 min, and the rest have been 60 min. That leaves me with 28 to go to reach my goal of 50 hours before starting my travels on Nov. 1. About 10 lessons ago, I upgraded my level in italki to A2. I did this for two reasons. First, quite a few teachers won’t do conversations with learners below A2. Some have B1 cutoffs, and some even have B2 cutoffs! But those are somewhat rare. The second reason, I truly believe I’m A2. The first few hours of conversation were rough, as expected, and I thought German was going to be the only language where I never got any compliments from teachers. I’ve heard it’s a cultural thing, so I wasn’t worried. But since about the 15th hour I’ve gotten compliments in every lesson (except one, lol). The best compliment I received was that my A2 level was an underestimation and my actual level was B1. Of course I loved hearing that, but it’s not true. It give me hope though that I might actually be B1 before my travels. At this point I’ll say that it feels likely.


About that lesson where I didn’t get a compliment. It was with a teacher who talked really slowly and clearly, and corrected me brutally. It wasn’t fun, and being corrected for every little thing really slowed me down. It kept me from putting myself out there and taking risks. I decided to give it a chance because so many learners love to be corrected all the time. But I just confirmed that this really doesn’t work for me.

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leosmith wrote:
bbyj wrote:
any update

No, but there is a meeting Saturday - I will try to find out the status.

He said "by next month".

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I’m back to conversing daily again in German, and now it feels as expected. The bigger base, 3 months and probably about 250 hours, seems to have done the trick. I have 8 hours of conversation under my belt, and want to have 50 by the time I leave for Korea in November. I’ll be in Korea for 1 month, and I’ll probably drop down to 1 German lesson every 3 days. Then I’ll be in Thailand for 2 months, and back to Daily German conversation in the afternoon. When I hit 100 hours, I think that will be enough to wean it off slowly and put it on maintenance permanently. When I get back to the states in May, I should be in the clear to learn Italian for 6 months straight.   

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Posts1637Likes1093Joined18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
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bbyj wrote:
any update

No, but there is a meeting Saturday - I will try to find out the status.


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Posts1637Likes1093Joined18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
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I agree. This is one area that I hope will be greatly improved by AI in the future, but I'm not holding my breath.

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Animefangirl wrote:
This isn't really advanced, though? More like intermediate, or upper-intermediate in a pinch.
It's not one of ours, but I changed it to Intermediate...hopefully the creator won't mind.

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Posts1637Likes1093Joined18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
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StewartLikesOPLingo wrote:
Left and Right arrow keys – move to the previous/next highlighted word k – mark the word as known x – "ignore" s – play the automatically generated text-to-speech audio On a unknown highlighted word: Up and Down arrow keys – move up or down in the list of hints and dictionaries Enter – select first recommended definition I'd also suggest that when selecting a definition for a new word, the red unknown highlighted word should turn green to signify you've seen it before and it's now a "Learning" word.

Sarah.H wrote:
Hello! Did any of this get implemented or are there any plans on doing so? Especially "k" for known would be extremely helpful to me :)

HolaIsabel wrote:
Totally agree with Stewart :) very needed

Ok, this is what we have now:

enter: use most popular definition

left, right to move left or right

space replay word definition audio

u → unknown

l → learning

k → known

i → ignore


Does it work for you?

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Hi Everyone,

Just a quick note to let you know that Edition 1 of Tagalog Lite is now released and available to use here for free. This edition is vastly improved. It is co-written by linguist MrGerbear (aka Gerard Avelino) of Reddit and other forum fame. We have incorporated all your input, including using the official pronunciation system. We have also designed the book on the colloquial language. Some grammar points that were in our Tagalog Conversations but not in the book got included, and other grammar points got fleshed out to reflect what native speakers actually use. If you would like to learn with the Grammar source that has the clearest explanations and doesn’t teach you a lot of stuff you won’t use, Tagalog Lite is for you.

Sincerely,

Leo

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It means "I want mine". But looking at the context, it seems like the "mine" refers to samaki (fish), so I would have expected wangu. Cases are a weakness of mine; maybe changu is a general/sloppy way of saying "mine".

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Posts1637Likes1093Joined18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
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I changed it to Juma. Whoever made this course linked to html files instead of audio, unfortunately.

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levi.taylor wrote:
Are there effective language-learning methods other than immersion? While immersion is often hailed, could well guided study with a tutor be more practical for certain learners?How do these approaches compare in terms of fluency development?
There are many effective language-learning methods, guided study with a tutor being one of them. It's hard to compare them in terms of fluency development - I don't know of any studies that do this, but would love to read some. Your best bet may be to try various methods and stick with the one that works best for you. To get a list of methods, you can google or ask chatgpt.

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Alec.MacLean wrote:
Another question: In the last sentence, what does the word "sisi" do? It seems like the sentence would make perfect sense without it, and "sisi" just confuses things.
I agree that it's superfluous, but I'm not sure if it's grammatically incorrect. Notice that they say things like "Sisi tunatoka..." too. I'm sure this is grammatically correct, but sisi is not needed and usually dropped in colloquial speech.

Edited

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Rildo.Ribaldo wrote:
This tool is absolute incredible
This dictionary is not a fit for the reading tool. Dictionaries must be of the type where you put a word in and get a definition out.

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It's not one of ours, but I fixed it since it was an easy one.

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Posts1637Likes1093Joined18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
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Well, I’ve been at German now for nearly 2 months. After about 5 weeks, I tried to shift to my patented conversation-based learning method. One week of that was enough to show me that I didn’t have enough of a base to pull that off effectively. German is much harder than Portuguese; Portuguese really spoiled me, haha. I felt that I’d progress more quickly if I stopped conversing and built up my base for another month or two, so that’s what I’m doing. I’m thinking the end of August will be about the right time to try it again.


I’ve been thinking of what I’ll do in the long run, regarding my language learning. I really like this one-language-per-day thing, in the morning. So I’m going to keep doing it, and any new language, or any big spurt that needs to be done in a single language, will take place in the afternoon, and thus be studied less time per day than was allotted in the past. I think it’s worth it, because I want my languages to maintain, and even improve a bit, throughout the rest of my life. Since I am ultimately looking at 12 foreign languages (my current 10 languages plus German and Italian), any new language needs to be learned to the level where it can be nicely maintained while only reviewing it once every 12 days before I end the spurt.


So the question boils down to what I want to do in the afternoons from here on. Here is what I’m thinking:

2023 – German

2024 – Italian

2025 – Japanese Reading spurt

2025 will mark the 20th anniversary of when I started to feel like a polyglot. It was the year I started Japanese, and began to believe I had a chance to learn all the languages I really wanted to learn (I think my total list was 7 at that time). There have been several points along this journey where I thought “If I can just get 20 years of this under my belt, I will truly be an elder of this hobby”. I think I’ll be speaking all my languages quite well by then. What I choose to do in the afternoons at that point will depend on where my greatest weakness lies. I’ll employ a Chinese Checkers philosophy with my languages, nudging all my marbles along, little by little, rather than trying to get any single one all the way home.


At that time, I’m guessing my next move will be a Korean spurt. Compared to my other difficult languages, I have spent much less time on Korean, so it makes sense that it will continue to be my weakest language in 2025. I might be wrong though. Studying it once every 12 days, and, most likely, making 2 more one-month trips to Seoul by then, may be enough to keep it out of the lowest spot.

Until next time...back to German!  

Edited

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Another 4 months have slipped by, so here is an update. Mandarin has now stabilized, and it’s as I suspected – about 15% unknown. I maintain it once every 10 days, like all my other languages. The only thing special I do with it now is to add unknown vocabulary to anki after reading a passage; I don’t do that to any other language I’m maintaining.


Tagalog Lite is fully loaded, and we are creating a new landing page for it now. That should be done in the near future.


I was having a hard time figuring out what to do next, but I knew that I wanted to fix my Japanese reading, the same way that I fixed my Mandarin, so I hired some native speakers to create Japanese Conversations. We only got 1 last time, then stopped. Now we are about half way done. I hope to have it finished by the end of June.


In the meantime, I got motivated about learning German after seeing and discussing this video. They are going to start learning 4 languages for 3 months over the summer. I figure if they can do that, I can at least do German. I’ve been saying that German and Italian are “the last 2 languages that I want to learn” ever since I finished Portuguese, so here goes.


I created a German pronunciation tool, very similar to my Portuguese pronunciation tool, and started using it daily 3 days ago. This is also my 3rd day on Pimsleur. Things are going smoothly so far; it’s nice to be learning a new language again! On the other hand, I have that old familiar beginner’s feeling of being really ignorant and making lots of mistakes.


After Pimsleur I’m going to do Language Transfer & Michel Thomas for grammar, start reading German Conversations, and start conversing. It’s exciting, hehe.

Edited

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Posts1637Likes1093Joined18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
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These are awesome - thanks! It would be nice if they were in a course. I see Fritz has #1 too.

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Sarah.H wrote:
Hello! Did any of this get implemented or are there any plans on doing so? Especially "k" for known would be extremely helpful to me :)
Hi Sarah. This is still sitting in our inbox - we are running behind, unfortunately. I added your note to the ticket.

Edited

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Alec.MacLean wrote:
I am confused by the sentence "Familia ya baba na mama Hadija." I would expect "Familia ya baba na mama ya Hadija." Can somebody please explain? Asante.

This is something that threw me too when I started living in Tanzania. Mama Hadija, with no possessive, is the correct (colloquial?) way of saying Hadija's mother. In fact, the mother is probably addressed that way most of the time, rather than by her actual name.

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Japanese is now complete - 100 conversations.

Edited

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Posts1637Likes1093Joined18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
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Note: here are all the languages we have in work. These can all be found in the Reading Tool:


Cantonese – 100 conversations (complete)

Cebuano - 28 (stopped work)

English (American) - 50 (stopped work)

English (South African) - 10 conversations (complete)

French - 101 conversations (complete)

German - 50 (stopped work)

Italian - 100 (complete)

Japanese - 100 (complete)

Mandarin - 100 conversations (complete)

Portuguese (Brazilian) - 100 (complete)

Quechua (Chanka) - 104 (complete)

Quechua (Collao) - 7 (complete)

Russian - 100 conversations (complete)

Spanish - 100 conversations (complete)

Swahili – 135 conversation (complete)

Tagalog – 110 conversations (complete)

Thai - 100 (complete)


You may have heard me say from time to time that if your highest priority is conversing in your L2, then conversation should be your most valued source for learning. I’m not saying it should be the only source, but pound per pound I believe it’s the best source.


To be fair, I think it does depend on what stage you’re in. Beginners may not have the skills required to do what I’m suggesting. Also, this stage goes by quickly and seems to be handled nicely by the wealth of beginner learning material out there. Advanced learners may already be very good communicators and everyday conversation might not tax them enough. In addition, they are much more likely to use native material to improve. The remainder is the period I’m talking about – the long intermediate slog. That’s when I suggest learners should really focus on conversation.


Here’s an example of what I’m recommending: taking notes during a conversation, writing down items your partner says that you don’t understand, writing down things you didn’t know how to say, and memorizing/reviewing these items before your next conversation. I’ve found this to be my single most effective exercise to improve my vocabulary and grammar in actual conversations. 


But what about reading and listening? It probably doesn’t surprise you that I recommend reading transcripts of and listening to actual conversations. I think it’s more effective for improving your conversation than reading and listening to non-conversation items (news, books, TV scripts, text messages, etc). Don’t get me wrong – there is a time and place for reading and listening to those things and they are very helpful. I’m not going to get into the other items here; read and listen to everything but let the core of your method be conversations if your main goal is to improve your conversation. 


The problem is – where do you get these conversations? You could have your personal conversations transcribed and recorded so that you could read and listen to them. That’s a good start, but it’s a pretty time-consuming task. Also, vocab/grammar would be limited compared to a conversation between two native speakers, so it may be better suited to the beginner period. And as I said above, the beginner period is handled pretty well with existing beginner materials.


That’s why we’ve created LT Conversations. These are conversations between two native speakers. We use a mixture of female-male, female-female and male-male for variety, but each conversation is between two native speakers and about six minutes long. We make 100 of these for each language selected, which gives you about 10 hours of reading and listening to actual conversations. I hope this will be enough to prepare the learner for real native material. To be clear, I’m not saying I expect the learner to understand native material completely after finishing LT conversations; my goal is that they will have the base needed to start to dig into native material designed by natives for natives. In theory, “learning” material should no longer be required.  


While creating these, I had a hard time trying to figure out whether they were intermediate or advanced. I settled on intermediate mainly because it’s pretty much impossible to get people to talk to each other normally while covering the things I want them to cover, not talk on top of each other, not use loanwords and speak clearly without some reduction in difficulty. The voice actors tend to create some sort of script to satisfy all of my requirements, even though I’ve asked them not to. I could probably work with teams more closely and intensively to get a more advance product, but that would be more expensive and time consuming, so they are what they are. Good intermediate conversations.


Now I should mention that one of the sweetest things about these conversations is that they’re located in our reading tool already to go. Put your cursor over a word and a definition will pop up; click it and it will change state and color and you can add new definitions. This makes reading much more accessible. As I hinted above, this reading/listening is meant to be just a component of your learning method. I recommend that if you’re going to be memorizing and reviewing vocabulary and grammar you should get them from your personal conversations. But that’s not to say you can’t do it with these conversations - you can go into your own vocabulary database in the reading tool, manicure it, export it to anki etc, if that’s what you want to do. But I personally prefer to let the mouseover definitions and shading do the work for me, read as seamlessly as possible without too many interruptions, and put my memorizing and reviewing efforts into my personal conversations. 

Edited

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DG.Gardner wrote:
Can you add https://swahili-dictionary.com/swahili-english to the list of dictionaries available?
Added.

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I corrected this even though it's not ours. I don't think Ali will mind.

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From the Tech team:

If it is just thai, try editing the passage by adding a space and saving. This will trigger another parsing
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Osdz.Voh wrote:
I'm having the same issue again with a new passage I just created. It doesn't seem to matter whether I create the passage inside or outside of a course, or whether I use Firefox or Chrome. The text just doesn't show up after clicking "Save and Open".
Ticket elevated.

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I haven't posted in this thread for a while. I have great news - I updated the list of languages in the first post, and several languages have been added. Big thanks to member crush for his generous donation and hard work to add Quechua!

The other languages that weren't on the old list are US English, Italian and Portuguese.

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Osdz.Voh wrote:
The first time that the text didn't show up I deleted the passage altogether. The second time that I created the passage the text didn't show up either, but I didn't delete it and eventually it worked after many hours.

Ok, thanks

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Posts1637Likes1093Joined18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
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Thanks for providing that info. We'll try to recreate it. Question - did the one with invisible text all of the sudden become visible again, or did you just recreate that passage?

Edited

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Edit - it looks like you were able to create the passage. How did you do it?

Sorry about that - ticket written. Can you tell me exactly what steps you took in creating this passage? Also, what OS/browser?

Edited

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ricardo.aprende wrote:
My suggestion is to make the notes box expandable, in order to be able to read longer notes more easily.
Hi Ricardo - we have made the note field expandable; can you confirm?

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ricardo.aprende wrote:
My suggestion is to make the notes box expandable, in order to be able to read longer notes more easily.
ticket written.

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ricardo.aprende wrote:
I meant the notes input box.
In that case, looking at your screenshot, I don't understand what would change. Do you mean you want the box to be expandable? Or located higher up?

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ricardo.aprende wrote:
Displaying the notes in a textarea element instead of an input element.
When you say "notes", do you mean "translations"? Because there is another field for notes lower down.


Either way, everyone is different, but I want short translations that pop-up when I mouse over. That way I can read without breaking my stride; I'm not expecting the translation to be exhaustive - just enough for me to get the gist. I select short definitions; if there are none, I create my own.

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Ok, I realize the answer is “it depends”, but I didn’t offer that option because I think “about” takes care of that. I ask this question because many learners seem to believe that language learning, hour per hour, is more taxing than work, and you cannot put in the same number of hours without a drastic decline in performance.


I believe the main reason for this is that people do it as a secondary activity, after work or school, where time is limited, and they are already tired from the primary activity. Putting in an hour or two under those conditions is really hard, so when they are asked “what if you had all day free?”, they still think an hour or two is the “limit”.


Another possibility is that they only consider it a hobby; their lives/careers don’t depend on it, so unlike work, they cannot fathom it being done intensively for long periods of time.


I’m retired, motivated, and I have enough resources to learn a language. Once did a 1 year spurt in Korean, averaging about 7 hrs per day. I’m sure there was some drop off in productivity from time to time, but keep in mind that, just like work, activities often change, breaks get taken, etc. My 7th hour was not necessarily less effective than any other hour of the day.


During my 25 year career, I worked many one or more year spurts of 60 hrs/week. My productivity was not lower on the last day of the week, or the last hour of the day. I was not less productive per hour when I worked 60 hrs/week than when I worked 40 hrs/week. Through trial and error, I found out that I wouldn’t want to do any more than 60 though. Based on this, I think I could put in 60 hours per week studying languages and still be plenty efficient.


Even if you have all the time in the world, how many hours you can study without a drop in performance is an individual thing. But if it’s significantly less than how much you can work, imo you are probably doing something quite differently.

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DG.Gardner wrote:
Song in the beginning?
I have no idea. Daniel liked to use different songs for every passage, and I haven't talked to him for years. No lyrics, so we can't google it.

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Hi Alec,

This is not actually one of ours. It was created by Joseph.Adams, so hopefully he will see your post and fix it.

(edit - he just fixed it!)

Edited

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henry.james wrote:
When encountering a word or phrase that a user does not know, they can mark it as "unknown" to indicate that they are not familiar with it.
Are you talking about re-visiting a passage you have already read? Because new words show up as unknown (peach) when you import/open a new passage, so you wouldn't need to mark those. An alternate way of looking at the states is:

Peach = new

Green = learning

White = known


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Posts1637Likes1093Joined18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
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Sorry that it's not fixed, but I'm glad to hear that it's no longer a problem for you. We will still try to fix it (and the other issues you brought up) just in case it bothers other users.

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c.gan wrote:
Thank you Leo, the bug seems to be gone now.
great!

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Joseph.Adams wrote:
The Playlist on the Android App is not working for me.
Sorry about that. Ticket written.

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c.gan wrote:
sometimes the reading tool will produce a translation of text from another part of the passage
Hi c - I think this is fixed now. Can you confirm?

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Sorry about that - I just wrote a ticket.

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