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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 1722 days ago

65 posts - 55 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish

 
 Message 121 of 131
25 March 2014 at 8:18pm | IP Logged 
Right now I need to make it sustainable so I can keep working on it, which means it needs to make more money. To do that I probably need to stop
getting seduced by too many new ideas (of which there are many!) and focus on make the site more intuitive for new users, so that they realise what
they are meant to do. Many users sign up and only translate a handful of words, some translate no words at all! I need to figure out why and fix it.

It's really hard to prioritise new features since there are so many possibilities, and it often happens that what you think will be easy to add, turns out
not to be, and vice versa. Here are some IDEAS I currently have (not promises!):

- Attach a supplementary text which would appear in a new sidebar tab. This could be a simplified plot summary, a translated parallel text, or
anything you like. Could include the ability to mark keypoints which link parts of the supplementary text to the main text (useful for parallel text) OR
the ability to initiate a automatic search for a term (useful for a glossary)

- Allow quick switching between multiple dictionaries in the sidebar. e.g. WordReferece, Wikipedia, Google Image Search

- Pre reading flashcard test - test yourself on the trickier words which appear frequently in the you are about to read

- Flashcard test for a specific text - test yourself on all words you translated in a specific text

- Use your own custom word frequency list for prioritising, generated from a corpus of your texts. e.g. a medical student may want to prioritise
medical and biological terminology.

...and I'm open to suggestions, I love it when I hear an idea I've never thought of before, but I'm sure you'll agree the list of possibilities is endless!



SteveRidout
Diglot
Groupie
Spain
readlang.com
Joined 1722 days ago

65 posts - 55 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish

 
 Message 122 of 131
25 March 2014 at 8:35pm | IP Logged 
Oh, two more things:

- Thanks VERY much for the two donations I've received!
- Crush: I actually do have a lifetime membership option at the moment at $99.99, although no-one has opted for
that yet. I'm just starting to get my first 3 month renewals now, so far I've had 1 cancellation and 4 renewals
(although one of those was my mum, so doesn't really count!), too few numbers to say how well it's going yet really.
1 person has voted this message useful



Crush
Diglot
Senior Member
ChinaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3305 days ago

1622 posts - 682 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: Mandarin, Esperanto, Basque

 
 Message 123 of 131
26 March 2014 at 2:14am | IP Logged 
Ah, cool! I didn't know as i haven't actually passed by the payment section yet ;)

I have lots of ideas, but i think it strays a bit from the original idea of Readlang. For example i would like to see translations tailored to a specific text, so if i don't know a word or phrase i can find the translation and save it so that i (and everyone else looking the word up later) can get an accurate translation. But i can see that being a bit complicated or cumbersome.

Morphological information would be really interesting, too, for example "hablas" would show you "2nd pers. sg., present indicative". Wordreference does that pretty well for Spanish, but not every language has a WordReference dictionary.

And i'd still like to be able to select phrasal verbs :)

I'm glad to hear people are renewing their subscriptions, i wonder if there's a way similar to Duolingo's translation idea to get a (non-invasive) income from free users, too?

EDIT: Also, the idea of being able to take things offline would be interesting, too. As they mentioned at Hacker News, quite a few people commute to work and would be very likely to use Readlang on their way to work. This might mean building a free dictionary outside of Google (with morphological info so you can decode verb conjugations, plurals, adjective gender, etc.). Actually, i guess that's an entirely different product, so maybe not... I dunno, just tossing out ideas, really.

You could also try making reading lists for beginners, things like graded readers that cater to beginners and lower intermediate learners (which make up the bulk of learners), and build in a sort of course feel to it, turning it into more of a language course which is probably a bit more marketable.

Edited by Crush on 26 March 2014 at 2:21am



SteveRidout
Diglot
Groupie
Spain
readlang.com
Joined 1722 days ago

65 posts - 55 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish

 
 Message 124 of 131
26 March 2014 at 12:03pm | IP Logged 
Thanks Crush, you're always full of ideas!

The idea of translations tailored to a text is something I've thought about. I could easily add a function that shows
alternative definitions based on edits that other users have made to their flashcards. One of the problems is that
users probably have an expectation that their edits are private, so I would ask people before using them in that way,
but it's very feasible.

Building offline dictionaries with morphological information would indeed be awesome, and it definitely makes sense
for Readlang in the long term, but for now it would be biting off more than I can chew.

Reading lists for beginners is a great idea, I could allow users, who could be teachers, to create these and share them
publicly.



Crush
Diglot
Senior Member
ChinaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3305 days ago

1622 posts - 682 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: Mandarin, Esperanto, Basque

 
 Message 125 of 131
26 March 2014 at 5:55pm | IP Logged 
On the issue of privacy, i would just have an option (a check box somewhere) to ask "Share my definitions to help improve texts/Readlang?" or something along those lines. The trouble i can see with that might be how to handle phrases, since it would be nice to know if something is an idiom/should be treated as a one item rather than individual words. Maybe there could be an uninvasive symbol marking the start and end of a phrase so that if you want you can highlight them all as usual or look up individual words. But anyway, it would save you a couple queries to Google Translate since you could pull the definition directly from your database. I'm not sure if that's a big issue or not, as i didn't realize you had to pay for that until i read the blog post.

The offline dictionaries is a bit of a dream, i know, but i would be glad to help out building dictionaries for the languages i know/am studying if you ever decide to go that route.

EDIT: Going along with the beginners idea, what about having annotated texts? You could incorporate grammar explanations, translations of harder sentences, etc. It might be really useful in a class setting and i could also see it as a good way of making lessons for specific grammar points and vocabulary. For example, you could explain why "por" was used instead of "para", or why we use the preterite here instead of the imperfect, etc. You could perhaps even create some language packs to sell individually (like 50ยข for a pack of lessons on the preterite vs imperfect, or to learn the most common 200 words, etc.) or give subscribing members access to the lessons (or unlimited lessons, whereas free users have a limited number of lessons available). Or let users create their own lessons but give subscribing users access to the official Readlang lessons. I know it's straying a bit from the original concept, but the idea is still learning from reading and for the average user doesn't change very much. Just some ideas that can hopefully bring in a larger userbase and more subscribers.

Edited by Crush on 26 March 2014 at 6:06pm

1 person has voted this message useful



patrickwilken
Senior Member
Germany
radiant-flux.net
Joined 1973 days ago

1546 posts - 1664 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 126 of 131
24 November 2014 at 10:59pm | IP Logged 
Anyone know about the current developmental status of Readlang? I have recently started using it and really like it, but it seems to be one person's work, with little financial return at the moment, which makes me nervous it might end up disappearing at some point.



Crush
Diglot
Senior Member
ChinaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3305 days ago

1622 posts - 682 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: Mandarin, Esperanto, Basque

 
 Message 127 of 131
25 November 2014 at 5:43am | IP Logged 
I'm not exactly sure, but you can check the Facebook and Twitter pages listed on the contact page or send Steve an e-mail.

Btw, i'm not sure if it was ever mentioned here or not but it looks like they've added epub support!



patrickwilken
Senior Member
Germany
radiant-flux.net
Joined 1973 days ago

1546 posts - 1664 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 128 of 131
25 November 2014 at 8:44am | IP Logged 
Crush wrote:

Btw, i'm not sure if it was ever mentioned here or not but it looks like they've added epub support!


Yes. The Epub reader works well. Despite my aversion to reading on a computer monitor, I managed to get through a couple of hundred pages of a novel yesterday.



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