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Readlang, my language reading site

 Language Learning Forum : Learning Techniques, Methods & Strategies Post Reply
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SteveRidout
Diglot
Groupie
Spain
readlang.com
Joined 1660 days ago

65 posts - 55 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish

 
 Message 1 of 131
08 March 2013 at 9:46pm | IP Logged 
I'm working on this website for reading and building vocabulary.

http://readlang.com

It tries to provide a nice reading environment with translation and couple it with an
SRS flashcard system for retaining words. I suppose it's a much less flexible
alternative to using LWT (Learning With Texts, which I only discovered last week and
seems pretty cool) and Anki. I'm hoping that it's simplicity will make it easy to
use.

I've been using it for over 2 months now and for me it's working well, I regularly
encounter words in 'the real world' that I've learned via the site. But there's a
*lot* of room for improvement, and I'd love to get some constructive feedback and
ideas.
20 persons have voted this message useful



Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 3975 days ago

9756 posts - 6179 votes 
4 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 
 Message 2 of 131
08 March 2013 at 11:55pm | IP Logged 
Wow, that's really nice:) Reminds me on the add-on that I just can't get to work. I might start using it when reading stuff in English online and then picking up the words that I don't know in other languages. I LOVE the easy flashcard creation especially. Most of my cards are like that anyway. and it's awesome that Danish is supported :)
Some questions:
-what if I'm learning several languages? will the cards be saved as they are if I switch the language? will i be able to see them without changing the language back?
-is there a maximum interval for the cards? like, is it a true SRS or is it like memrise where you need to review everything within three months?
-if I don't use the system for some time, which words will appear first - the new ones or the ones that are long due?
-is the context basically a sentence?
-it would be nice to have a reading only mode when words are not stored. i just love the look of the inserted words in a different language:) for now I should log out if I want to just read, right?

a minor complaint: i don't want to have to use the bookmark bar for one single site. i bookmarked the page for now but a proper firefox add-on would be nice for sure. and/or a line for pasting the link.
1 person has voted this message useful



fleurdeneige
Diglot
Pro Member
France
Joined 2418 days ago

11 posts - 5 votes
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Italian, Russian
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 3 of 131
09 March 2013 at 12:02am | IP Logged 
hi, I couldn't resist and so I just went and registered and then grabbed a random article
from Corriere della Sera, and now I am not sure what I should do next - it does seem to
work as the article was recognized but when I click on the words it translates them into
English and highlights them in yellow, and that is all.

So, what do I do next? This is just a preliminary comment but in my opinion maybe it
needs to be more intuitive. Also, there seems to be some content already there - could
you tell us more about this? What is this "First Italian Reader" already on the site?

thanks!



SteveRidout
Diglot
Groupie
Spain
readlang.com
Joined 1660 days ago

65 posts - 55 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish

 
 Message 4 of 131
09 March 2013 at 12:25am | IP Logged 
Serpent wrote:
Wow, that's really nice:) Reminds me on us/firefox/addon/polyglop/">the add-on that I just can't get to work. I might start
using it when reading stuff in English online and then picking up the words that I don't
know in other languages. I LOVE the easy flashcard creation especially. Most of my cards are
like that anyway. and it's awesome that Danish is supported :)


Thanks, glad you like it!

Quote:

Some questions:
-what if I'm learning several languages? will the cards be saved as they are if I switch the
language? will i be able to see them without changing the language back?


You can switch languages at any time with the dropdown at the top of the page, and your set
of words and books/articles will switch, but nothing is deleted. It's very possible to
switch back and fore to learn multiple languages at once.

Quote:

-is there a maximum interval for the cards? like, is it a true SRS or is it like memrise
where you need to review everything within three months?


Nope, no maximum interval. It uses the supermemo 2 algorithm and keeps multiplying by the
easiness factor.

The only thing to be aware of is that if you use it without signing in, all your cards are
stored in your browser only (using localStorage). It is possible that your browser could
clear this for some reason, so if you intend to continue using the system I highly recommend
signing up so it will be stored on the server.

Quote:

-if I don't use the system for some time, which words will appear first - the new ones or
the ones that are long due?


At the moment, it will get all the cards that are scheduled for that day and shuffle them at
random. I've been using it daily so haven't run into this kind of problem, but I do worry
about what the best solution is for people who use it more sporadically. Not sure if anyone
has any suggestions about the best approach here?

Quote:

-is the context basically a sentence?


Yeah, it's a sentence, which may get cut short if it's really long.

Quote:

-it would be nice to have a reading only mode when words are not stored. i just love the
look of the inserted words in a different language:) for now I should log out if I want to
just read, right?


Hmmm, but if you translated a word it means you didn't know it right? So why wouldn't you
want it in the system to learn? I suppose if you're reading something embarrassing maybe ;-)
It's pretty easy to delete cards later, in the "Learn" or "Words" tabs, do you think this
isn't good enough?

Quote:

a minor complaint: i don't want to have to use the bookmark bar for one single site. i
bookmarked the page for now but a proper firefox add-on would be nice for sure. and/or a
line for pasting the link.


Yeah, a chrome plugin would be nice too, one day... :)

You don't have to show the bookmarks bar actually. In firefox you can right click the
"Readlang Importer" button, select "Bookmark This Link". Then to use it: browse to the page
you want and select your bookmark from the main menu under Firefox->Bookmarks->Readlang
Importer
1 person has voted this message useful



SteveRidout
Diglot
Groupie
Spain
readlang.com
Joined 1660 days ago

65 posts - 55 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish

 
 Message 5 of 131
09 March 2013 at 12:32am | IP Logged 
fleurdeneige wrote:
hi, I couldn't resist and so I just went and registered and then grabbed a random article
from Corriere della Sera, and now I am not sure what I should do next - it does seem to
work as the article was recognized but when I click on the words it translates them into
English and highlights them in yellow, and that is all.

So, what do I do next? This is just a preliminary comment but in my opinion maybe it
needs to be more intuitive. Also, there seems to be some content already there - could
you tell us more about this? What is this "First Italian Reader" already on the site?

thanks!


I made a video which might help you figure out what to do: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qabaf3QumB8

Hope it helps.

The public content already there (visible only to signed in users) is very sparse at the moment. I just put a
couple of books I found on project gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/ Actually these probably aren't the best
material to learn for most people since they are quite dated.

If you import things you can opt to share them by clicking on the item in your bookshelf and then on "Share",
this will make them public and visible to other people.

Thanks very much for the feedback!



Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 3975 days ago

9756 posts - 6179 votes 
4 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 
 Message 6 of 131
09 March 2013 at 12:42am | IP Logged 
Yes, that's how I use it. But it would be nice to have a simple button.
If this wasn't clear enough, I read a lot in English online and I want to make this more productive by learning the words in other languages. For this I would have to list English as the language I'm learning and for example Italian or Polish as my native language. Which means the flashcards would be pretty much useless.

I've already signed up. I experimented a bit before that and the browser asked whether to save the words to my new account. So I can just log out and say no to this question, I hope?

Quote:
At the moment, it will get all the cards that are scheduled for that day and shuffle them at
random. I've been using it daily so haven't run into this kind of problem, but I do worry
about what the best solution is for people who use it more sporadically. Not sure if anyone
has any suggestions about the best approach here?
The best would be to:
-be able to choose whether you want the old or new words
-be able to filter the cards by language
-have an opportunity to actually view the list and choose which cards to review.

Edited by Serpent on 09 March 2013 at 12:42am



jazzboy.bebop
Senior Member
Norway
norwegianthroughnove
Joined 2796 days ago

439 posts - 362 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Norwegian

 
 Message 7 of 131
09 March 2013 at 12:44am | IP Logged 
fleurdeneige wrote:
hi, I couldn't resist and so I just went and registered and then grabbed a random article
from Corriere della Sera, and now I am not sure what I should do next - it does seem to
work as the article was recognized but when I click on the words it translates them into
English and highlights them in yellow, and that is all.

So, what do I do next? This is just a preliminary comment but in my opinion maybe it
needs to be more intuitive. Also, there seems to be some content already there - could
you tell us more about this? What is this "First Italian Reader" already on the site?

thanks!


If you need more content, a decent source would be LingQ:

LingQ

Just sign up for a free account, find a text that you want to download and hit the print button to get the pure text in a new window that doesn't have all that formatting, then import. I've done that in the past with Learning With Texts. :)

Edit: Ah, I did not notice that importing content makes it visible to other users. If anyone is going to use LingQ content then there will have to be a way to have the imported content be visible and available solely to the uploader.

Edited by jazzboy.bebop on 09 March 2013 at 12:53am



SteveRidout
Diglot
Groupie
Spain
readlang.com
Joined 1660 days ago

65 posts - 55 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish

 
 Message 8 of 131
09 March 2013 at 1:33am | IP Logged 
Serpent wrote:
Yes, that's how I use it. But it would be nice to have a simple
button.
If this wasn't clear enough, I read a lot in English online and I want to make this
more productive by learning the words in other languages. For this I would have to
list English as the language I'm learning and for example Italian or Polish as my
native language. Which means the flashcards would be pretty much useless.


Yeah, interesting idea, but I'm not sure how common this use case is, and the problem
is that the context would be in English where you'd really rather the context be in the
language you want to learn.

Quote:

I've already signed up. I experimented a bit before that and the browser asked whether
to save the words to my new account. So I can just log out and say no to this question,
I hope?


Yes when you log in, and it asks you that, if you press "Cancel" it will log you in
without importing the words and articles you had while in logged out / trial mode and
they will be removed. (I really should clarify the wording on that dialog - "Cancel"
doesn't actually cancel the login, rather prevents the import)

Quote:
The best would be to:
-be able to choose whether you want the old or new words


Currently the system will by default only add new cards to top up your schedule to an
average of 25 cards per day, and then after a learning session if you have more cards
waiting you can opt to add more new cards, temporarily increasing your daily schedule.

25 is very much on the low side and I plan to add the ability for each user to alter
this, so they don't have to continually add more new cards at the end of their
sessions.

You also mentioned the case of someone who's left the system for a long time and comes
back, what happens then if they have 200 *old* scheduled cards in their queue and don't
want to go through them all? I'm not sure the best answer for this, but even if they
just spend 10 mins and manage to cut the number down a third that's still an
improvement, so maybe it's not a problem.

Quote:

-be able to filter the cards by language


The 'I'm learning...' dropdown at the top will do this already.

Quote:

-have an opportunity to actually view the list and choose which cards to review.


I think it makes sense to allow the user to review and prioritise the queue of waiting
words, but then once the words are in the Magic Word Machine (hmm, can't decide if that
name is too silly :)) it's then out of the users hands.



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