Reviewing the Kanji - LABS (iVocab Shuffle)

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Reply #1 - 2010 March 21, 5:22 pm
ファブリス
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iVocab Shuffle™ is a simple flashcard style review that requires no registration or SRS status.

The idea is of a minimalistic test mode which you can do at any time of day.

Features:
- discover new words
- discover new Japanese websites by using the "Search on google.co.jp" option
- gradually get a better feeling for the kanji meanings
- simple memory test of the reading and meanings
- you can point at the kanji to see the RTK keyword, if any
- you can click those kanji to go straight to the Study page (hint: middle click to open in a new tab)

This is just a weekend's work, leveraging some old Trinity code. I'm gonna be very busy next weeks to prepare for going abroad, so I will likely not be able to update with any suggestions soon. But the labs page is for brainstorming some ideas, so your suggestions are of course welcome.

A note about the JMDICT meanings: don't rote memorize dictionary definitions! JMDICT or otherwise. That's not the goal, the meanings should be taken as an indication of the possible usages of the word. Visit the google search results instead to find live examples.

How does it choose words?: a random sample of "high priority" words from JMDICT are selected with each new "shuffle". Those are entries marked as "ichi1" in JMDICT/EDICT Rev 1.06, that is 9267 out of 130930 total entries match this criteria. Whew.

From a development perspective I hope to gradually resuscitate some features that were in Trinity and most people never saw, such as the writing test. The production database still contains all the Trinity tables that contains all the JMDICT / EDICT dictionary info, as well as furigana data.

I hope you find it useful!

EDIT: changed link, it's now on the live site, "Labs" tab.

Reply #2 - 2010 March 21, 5:56 pm
ruiner
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Registered: 2009-08-20
Posts: 751

Awesome! smile A good motivator, too, to have it so accessible.

BTW, do you know of the kind of proprietary stuff that would be involved with using the audio from Breen's site? (At risk of coming across as a vocab audio junkie... )

Reply #3 - 2010 March 21, 7:29 pm
ファブリス
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I wasn't aware of the audio material because I didn't use WWWJDIC very much.

Interesting. This is an information page. So the audio clips appear to come from JapanesePod101. Perhaps those are also made available on JapanesePod101's site? Perhaps Jim Breen has express permission from them as his work has been instrumental in so many Japanese applications out there.

If you find LICENSE information for these audio clips please let me know.

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Reply #4 - 2010 March 21, 8:45 pm
ruiner
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Registered: 2009-08-20
Posts: 751

ファブリス wrote:

I wasn't aware of the audio material because I didn't use WWWJDIC very much.

Interesting. This is an information page. So the audio clips appear to come from JapanesePod101. Perhaps those are also made available on JapanesePod101's site? Perhaps Jim Breen has express permission from them as his work has been instrumental in so many Japanese applications out there.

If you find LICENSE information for these audio clips please let me know.

Yeah I couldn't find anything, but I'm assuming with reciprocal links they might be open to licensing or something? On Breen's site, it has a 'link to lesson with this audio' for the jPod site...

By the way, this shuffle thing is already pretty addictive. Those little filler moments, suddenly I want to click over to those flashcards. I can see it growing in options/customizations and becoming like the new Solitaire (you know how people are always playing games like that when they should be working ;p)...

Reply #5 - 2010 March 22, 2:51 pm
ファブリス
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From: Belgium
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Posts: 3958
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The new feature is on the "staging" website but I did a little fix just now so that clicking the kanji will take you to the Study area of the real site, so you can edit your stories and so on.

Reply #6 - 2010 March 22, 5:20 pm
nikitakit
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Registered: 2009-09-27
Posts: 12

This is great!

Just wondering, is there any chance you can make a similar system that only uses compounds made of kanji you're supposed to know? That way, you actually have a chance at guessing the meaning of a word you see for the first time. I find that to be a good motivator, like "look at how many words you can already understand".

Reply #7 - 2010 March 22, 6:29 pm
ファブリス
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@IceCream:

Priority level: I've used "ichi1" and "spec1" flags:

- news1/2: appears in the "wordfreq" file compiled by Alexandre Girardi from the Mainichi Shimbun. (See the Monash ftp archive for a copy.) Words in the first 12,000 in that file are marked "news1" and words in the second 12,000 are marked "news2".
- ichi1/2: appears in the "Ichimango goi bunruishuu", Senmon Kyouiku Publishing, Tokyo, 1998.  (The entries marked "ichi2" were demoted from ichi1 because they were observed to have low frequencies in the WWW and newspapers.)
- spec1 and spec2: a small number of words use this marker when they are detected as being common, but are not included in other lists.
- gai1/2: common loanwords, based on the wordfreq file.

Perhaps I could add news1, but then the pool is much larger:

count of ichi1,news1:     15751
count of ichi1:            9267

I'm trying to avoid listing uncommon compounds, "ichi1" is pretty safe, and you have already 9200+ words there. What do you think?

I may add more flags in another version but for the mischievously named "iVocab Shuffle" the idea is to have no options smile

- Definitely agree about the review summary, will add this to all the "labs" modes eventually, I just went with the simplest implementation to have a little something new before I pack up everything here and I can't code for 2-3 weeks. You're totally right.. acutally I think even with a small export option it would make it more appealing to Anki & other SRS software users. If I can produce a review summary adding an export should be easy. Added to my India trip 2010 todo list smile

nikitakit wrote:

that only uses compounds made of kanji you're supposed to know?

I will! The first draft actually picked words which used one known kanji from a list of given characters, but implementing the form etc I wouldn't have had time to put it up before prepping for upcoming trip.

I'm planning to add a few variations, and I agree that it is a good motivator, that's the goal.

One issue is selecting words made ONLY of known kanji. That's very tricky, it requires way too many combinations, that I can't do it in MySQL  sad  I'd need to compile an index file of like 1MB and use it in binary mode.. I just dont know how to do this in php.

But what I have in mind is a quizz where it uses your last 20 reviewed kanji, say, as the character list. Then for each character it can pick a random priority word, and show it with the kanji blank, so that you can again review the writing, and try to guess which kanji goes there (from your recent reviews) that would fit the word meaning. It would show the reading and definition. And for those who don't review here, it could use a textbox instead where you can add a selection of kanji, or some random Japanese text as a sample.

Reply #8 - 2010 March 22, 6:34 pm
nest0r
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Registered: 2007-10-19
Posts: 5235
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What about games generated from the sessions? Or maybe export to a .txt option or something... I am always trying to think of new uses for these crossword/wordsearch generators: http://forum.koohii.com/viewtopic.php?pid=95049#p95049

Reply #9 - 2010 March 22, 6:50 pm
Tobberoth
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From: Sweden
Registered: 2008-08-25
Posts: 3364

Maybe there could be some button or something, "I already know this one perfectly" which removes it from the words which show up. That way, you could use this to find new words etc, without having to see stuff you already know over and over.

Reply #10 - 2010 March 22, 8:39 pm
nikitakit
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Registered: 2009-09-27
Posts: 12

ファブリス wrote:

I will! The first draft actually picked words which used one known kanji from a list of given characters, but implementing the form etc I wouldn't have had time to put it up before prepping for upcoming trip.

I'm planning to add a few variations, and I agree that it is a good motivator, that's the goal.

One issue is selecting words made ONLY of known kanji. That's very tricky, it requires way too many combinations, that I can't do it in MySQL  sad  I'd need to compile an index file of like 1MB and use it in binary mode.. I just dont know how to do this in php.

I look forward to seeing this!

Instead of using only known kanji, perhaps you can assume that people learn kanji in order. (Index each compound based on its highest-number kanji and then compare that with how far the person has studied)

Reply #11 - 2010 March 22, 11:49 pm
Nuriko
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From: CA
Registered: 2008-01-07
Posts: 603

I've been looking for a new way to be exposed to new vocab post-Smart FM and this is perfect. Thanks so much for making this a part of the website!

Reply #12 - 2010 March 23, 6:17 am
ファブリス
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nikitakit wrote:

Index each compound based on its highest-number kanji and then compare that with how far the person has studied

What a smart idea. So I would do like an alphabetical sort of the JMDICT entries, but the sort function would rank items based on the RTK index of each kanji rather than the kanji itself. I guess thats logical seeing as the number of available compounds increase exponentially with the number of known characters. I could write a Perl script to compile the index. Thanks!

@nestOr: you mean based on the user's last reviews? That's one of the ideas I want to explore, though I'm not sure of the word search puzzle value? If you know some games that can be helpful to learn more words, which is not necessarily in the format of a flashcard quiz, I'm interested.

@Tobberoth: true.. well you have 9000+ words for now, not likely to see them too ofte but I can see at advanced level you probably know a lot of these already. I don't know.. the feature could store data for registered members but first I want to explore what's possible without registration and taking a lot of database space (often people use this for a little while and if they leave, this just clogs the db forever). Maybe I could use an idea like nikitakit to "weight" towards more advanced compounds.. no idea yet how that would work though.

Reply #13 - 2010 March 23, 3:15 pm
spleenlol
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From: Michigan
Registered: 2009-07-07
Posts: 154

I don't use this website to learn. I use anki and it links to this website. So I don't know if implementing something like that would work for me. I'm sure I'm not the only one that does this. So maybe you could have options such as: "Type in the frame number of the kanji that you are currently on" then once you type it in it creates vocab words from those that you have already learned so far.

Reply #14 - 2010 April 02, 7:12 pm
ファブリス
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A selfish bumpity bump and a note that the "Labs" page is now on the live site and no longer on the test site, look for the "Labs" tab at the top of the page.

Reply #15 - 2010 April 02, 8:13 pm
nest0r
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Yes for whatever batch of cards is generated, I think it could be useful to be able to export them somehow. Those armoredpenguin wordsearch/crossword generators allow for .txt import: http://forum.koohii.com/viewtopic.php?pid=97133#p97133 - My main ideas for the value of these two in particular is in the case of crossword puzzles, having that cloze deletion sentence as a clue, and using those intersecting words and # of characters to figure out the word as well, so I think there's a lot of use of peripheral information to gain a more intimate understanding of the words as like, concrete entities.

Although ~20 is a good number, for doing such puzzles standalone, I would select multiple kanji and multiple words with each of those kanji, so unless there's a similar way to shuffle words that use the same kanji I guess that won't be as good.

For wordsearch I realized that it's useful to train 'skimming text for a specific purpose', that is to say, even though I think skimming is something that develops on its own, I also it's possible to augment the process a bit and get used to 'pattern recognition' in batches of text, being able to quickly visually recognize characters and strings. A matter of learning to filter out information, hone attentional focus, and get the eye used to processing the orthography. I think that's a mindset that's useful for Japanese especially.

But yes, rather than those two in particular, I just wanted to put the idea of exporting the cards and/or generating games out there. The only other 'game' I play, though, is dual n-back in Brain Workshop which isn't vocabulary/kanji related.

Last edited by nest0r (2010 April 02, 8:16 pm)

Reply #16 - 2010 April 02, 8:16 pm
Nukemarine
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From: 神奈川
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2346

Fabrice,

Is anything such as a user defined flashcard in the works? Something where the user can determine what's shown on the question and answer side of his flashcards?

Reason I ask is that it's then a small matter to include "top 3 onyomi/kunyomi" words from this list that use the kanji in question in kana on the question side with the kanji of the words on the answer side.

In other words, it's not "Japanese Keywords" per se, but most common Japanese words that use that kanji that'll add additional oompf to reviews for those that move onto Japanese.

Reply #17 - 2010 April 02, 8:18 pm
nest0r
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Registered: 2007-10-19
Posts: 5235
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Nukemarine wrote:

Fabrice,

Is anything such as a user defined flashcard in the works? Something where the user can determine what's shown on the question and answer side of his flashcards?

Reason I ask is that it's then a small matter to include "top 3 onyomi/kunyomi" words from this list that use the kanji in question in kana on the question side with the kanji of the words on the answer side.

In other words, it's not "Japanese Keywords" per se, but most common Japanese words that use that kanji that'll add additional oompf to reviews for those that move onto Japanese.

And also perhaps a way to filter out words that don't contain kanji in the RTK deck per user? Or that hasn't reached a certain level of maturity. A kind of automatic, RevTK-specific level-checker.

Or did someone already mention that. Edit: Curse you, nikitakit!! ^_^ And Fabrice for already having thought of it.

Last edited by nest0r (2010 April 02, 8:27 pm)

Reply #18 - 2010 April 02, 10:05 pm
ファブリス
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Nukemarine wrote:

Is anything such as a user defined flashcard in the works?

I see. You're thinking about the data that I have there? Sure, I could do all sorts of links between kanji and compounds; Hell I can even display compounds that use the kanji in N position, with R reading. Trinity did that on the kanji study page, grouping compounds by reading.

Good idea.. added to the RtkWiki Roadmap page.

Reply #19 - 2010 April 05, 11:09 pm
hotsw4p
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From: California USA
Registered: 2009-12-11
Posts: 36

something easy, but i think it would be nice to have a link directly to this feedback topic from the iVocab Shuffle itself. So, when you're playing with it and have an idea, the link is sitting there waiting for you to click it so you can type out your idea. 

I was playing with it and had some feedback, but it has all been covered already smile  Should be pretty nice once some of these additional things are in place

Reply #20 - 2010 April 08, 6:05 pm
ファブリス
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From: Belgium
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Thank you hotsw4p, it's done. I renamed the topic accordingly.

Reply #21 - 2010 April 11, 10:20 pm
Maikusan
New member
Registered: 2009-10-03
Posts: 4

I think the ivocab is a superb addition.  One thing I feel would improve it would be some sort of back button that would take you back to the same flashcard in ivocab once you have checked a character in the stories.   Good job though. 

Another thought was, is there any way one might be able to manually override the review list.   I sometimes find that because of time zone differences I have to wait a couple of hours until the new list is generated automatically.

Best

m

Reply #22 - 2010 April 12, 6:39 am
ファブリス
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From: Belgium
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Hi Maikusan, I'm not sure what you mean with "review list". The Vocab Shuffle currently picks words at random at the moment you begin the review. Although I've seen sometimes the same word come in two sequential reviews, which is a bit surprising since it comes of a pool of 9000+ words. You can reload the Vocab Shuffle page at any time to pick a new random word list (currently it always picks 20 words).

aaroncp
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From: United States
Registered: 2010-09-14
Posts: 30

Honestly I would appreciate a section that reverses the flashcards for kanji to keyword review.  As helpful as the Heisig way of doing it is, there are just times when I can remember it the way he suggests but not at all the other way around.  It wouldn't have to have any structure really, just a stack made up of all those kanji added by a certain person that is then randomly shuffled.  It doesn't even need to keep up with which ones are missed and which not.  Perhaps iKanji Shuffle tongue.

Last edited by aaroncp (2010 October 15, 12:37 pm)

jeffmorgano
New member
From: Las Vegas
Registered: 2010-11-30
Posts: 1

It would be cool if you could flip, and have the definition come up first.
Also would be nice to be able to pick the words you want in the shuffle.

Otherwise this is a golden tool for discovering kanji..

Great work!

keys84
Member
Registered: 2010-06-15
Posts: 54

Fabrice
just tried to write some Kana,
realised that I can write the Kanji I've learned fine.
I cant write all the Kana though.
what the chance of adding the Kana, as negative numbers, for people like me,
who always write the Kanji on every review
it would help me a lot, especially with Katakana.
I would be writing them a lot more and they'd be integrated in my reviews

just an idea