Parley - Language learning software

Teicneolas cainnt is cànan, bathar-bog ionnsachaidh / Laguage and speech technology, learning software
alsaf
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Parley - Language learning software

Unread postby alsaf » Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:17 pm

On another topic, I had mentioned a piece of open source software called KWorkQuiz which is part of the KDE Education Project. There is another piece of software in the same project called Parley. It's homepage is here:

http://edu.kde.org/applications/all/parley

It is similar to KWordQuiz but is more advanced. As well as multiple choice, Q/A and flashcard, it also has an anagram style test where the target word(s) are scrambled and disappear when you enter them correctly. There is also other features like grammar for sentence tests. From what I can see there is a lesson type structure that can be used to measure progression.

I've given it a quick try and so far looks good but with KWordQuiz, the biggest hurdle to measure it's effectiveness is the lack of Gàidhlig vocabulary files. although I have started one with the following vocabulary file which contains phrases as well as the other ones I mentioned in the KWordQuiz topic.

http://kde-files.org/content/show.php/S ... ent=134792

There is only interesting feature I have noticed wtih Parley is that you can add images to words for use in the Flashcard quiz. This can be done with KWordQuiz as well. Another interesting one is that you can add sounds to words as well.

This review is just first impressions. I'm going to try more of the feature especially the advanced ones that involves grammar and give a more detailed review. This of course will take a wee while as I am only starting to learn grammar as well!

alsaf
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Re: Parley - Language learning software

Unread postby alsaf » Sat Nov 20, 2010 12:12 am

It's been more than a week since I've been using it and so far it has been favourable. Before I go any further, I think I have to correct my original post. I had said it was a language learning software where a more apt description is a vocabulary memorizing tool. In it's present form, Parley is not a substitution for a proper language course but as a tool to be used in conjunction with one.

Now that I have got that out of the way, back to the program. I think it very good, the best feature I have encountered so far is the anagram mode which mixes up the word(s) you are learning. Using the anagram words you type in the word. As you type the words, the letters blank out showing the letters left. As a complete beginner, I have found it easier to use than the other than the other methods like flashcards and multiple choice because you are thinking about it more rather than going straight back to reference material to get the answer.

As to the other practice modes, I've had to create an English-English vocabulary file to figure them out as the software's manual isn't the best to follow which to be fair to the author is a pretty difficult thing to achieve with a program that performs a pretty complex function and uses data created in many languages. These practice modes are detailed as follows:

Example sentences: When you created entries for your vocabulary, as well as the words in English and Gàidhlig, you create an example sentence where the word would be used in. When the Example sentence practice session is used, the sentence is displayed with the word blanked out and you have to guess the word. For example, if the word is leat, the sentence would be displayed as 'Tapadh ---. Ciamar a thu thu fhèin?

Gender of nouns: The option is self-descriptive, you are given the noun and you have to guess the correct option article plus noun i.e. if the word was duine, options for An duine Am duine, A' duine, An t-duine and you would have to pick the right one. This is not possible at the present time to be used for Gàidhlig and would require development work although I'm not sure if it would be fully possible to work?

Comparison Forms: Used for absolute, comparative and superlative forms of adjectives and adverbs. I'm not sure how this works in Gàidhlig so unsure if possible to use without development

Conjugations: Again, I'm not really know too much about Gàidhlig to know if this can be used without development work.

Going away from practice modes, Parley can be configured where so words are repeated depending on time period and/or amount of times repeated. Parley also uses the Leitner system to decide which words are used in each session.

I've started a lesson file, although I am not sure if it's design is the most efficient way. The link to it is here.

http://kde-files.org/content/show.php/L ... 48426a864f

lastly, to Operating system availability. While Linux is the native OS for Parley, it can be run on Windows. The only problem is that you have to download all the KDE library files before as well as the program. This is quite easy as an installer problem does everything for you. The link for it is here:

http://windows.kde.org/download.php

I've had a quick look at it on Windows and the program seems to work ok although for some reason, a previous version of the software has been downloaded which doesn't have some of the options I have detailed. It has to the remembered that the KDE-Windows project is quite young and will need a lot of development before it is near a status that will make it's component software like Parley comparable it's Linux based equivalent.

if anybody has any questions, I am only too happy to answer.

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Re: Parley - Language learning software

Unread postby GunChleoc » Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:11 am

Gender of nouns: You will need the geintive form for that. an doras -> an dorais, an deise -> na deise.

Comparison Forms: there is no distinction between comparative and superlative, it's all worked out from context. The as bige / nas bige distinction depends on the syntactical context, although most grammar books will tell you something different. Tha an duine nas bige / Is esan an duine as bige

Conjugations: The special point you will have to be able to deal with here is the independent/dependent/relative distinction.
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Re: Parley - Language learning software

Unread postby Thrissel » Sat Nov 20, 2010 4:21 pm

GunChleoc wrote:Gender of nouns: You will need the geintive form for that. an doras -> an dorais, an deise -> na deise.

And datives (and plurals?)...

Given the complexity of how various article forms are used for different noun cases (see eg here) I'm not certain this would work unless you used the nouns in clauses to make the case apparent.

Only using the nominative doesn't help much as "an" before d, n, t, l, r, sg, sm, sp, st, s+vowel in the nominative tells you nothing about the noun's gender...

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Re: Parley - Language learning software

Unread postby GunChleoc » Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:37 pm

Which is why I suggested using Genitive Singular to identify the gender, that works for all sounds ;)
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Re: Parley - Language learning software

Unread postby Thrissel » Sun Nov 21, 2010 12:30 am

Oh, I see it now...

Still, testing one's knowledge of the correct gender by adding the article to the genitive singular form... :smaoin:

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Re: Parley - Language learning software

Unread postby faoileag » Sun Nov 21, 2010 1:10 am

The wee white 'Abair' dictionary by Renton and Macdonald gives not only the genitive form but also the correct article (in fact for nominative, genitive and plural).

E.g.

smuain: an smaoin, na smaoine, na smuaintean (fem.) thought

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Books/s?ie=UTF8 ... ton&page=1

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Re: Parley - Language learning software

Unread postby GunChleoc » Sun Nov 21, 2010 12:30 pm

Thrissel wrote:Oh, I see it now...

Still, testing one's knowledge of the correct gender by adding the article to the genitive singular form... :smaoin:

It does sound a bit unusual, but you could do that by using phrases where the genitive occurs naturally, e.g. bidh mi a' cluidh na fidhle, a' fosgladh an dorais, ... the forum of the noun can also be a dead giveaway already in these phrases, so you would have to ask for both the genitive forum and the article at the same time.
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Re: Parley - Language learning software

Unread postby Seonaidh » Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:25 pm

Is this forum genitive, by the way? :)
GenChleoc wrote:... the forum of the noun can also be a dead giveaway already in these phrases, so you would have to ask for both the genitive forum and the article at the same time.

Bhalachaibh! Am bi toil leibh an seann tùiseal tabhartach iolra? GhCh - tha thu air a bhith ag obair cus, smaoin.

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Re: Parley - Language learning software

Unread postby GunChleoc » Sun Nov 21, 2010 8:38 pm

Tha ach coma leat :lol:

Goes off singing An Toll Dubh - le eachaibh luath is iuchair throm.... :P
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Re: Parley - Language learning software

Unread postby alsaf » Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:24 pm

Apologies for going a off-topic and apologies for stating the obvious but from reading comments on this topic and others, I have realised, as an adult learning a new language, that the structure of grammar itself needs to be learned (or re-learned) as well as the actual grammar of the language being learned. I've never needed to know about or had to use verbs, nouns, adjectives etc in my day to day life since school!

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Re: Parley - Language learning software

Unread postby Thrissel » Sun Nov 21, 2010 10:31 pm

Och, take it easy. What's 'grammar itself'? French conjugations? Finnish declensions? Making difference between finished and unfinished action through simple/continuous tenses like English or through perfective/imperfective verbs like Russian? You only need 'the actual grammar of the language being learned'.

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Re: Parley - Language learning software

Unread postby GunChleoc » Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:19 pm

Yep, that's true. It can help though to have learned to understand the basic grammatical concepts of your own language as well. It's hard to talk about what conjugations and declensions are if you haven't learned how to distinguish a verb from a noun in principle. Whatever helps you to learn is fine.
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Re: Parley - Language learning software

Unread postby alsaf » Thu Nov 25, 2010 9:08 pm

I had posted my #11 comment as an observation but in hindsight it is obvious. It's a bit of a culture shock going from learning a few phrases onto grammar and encountering stuff you haven't done since at least primary school!!

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Re: Parley - Language learning software

Unread postby alsaf » Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:55 pm

Just wanted to mention that I have split the Gàidhlig Parley file into two. One for the Elementary Course of Gaelic @ smo.uhi.ac.uk websiste and the other for the taic course which I intend to work on. The links are as follows:

http://kde-files.org/content/show.php/L ... ent=135066
http://kde-files.org/content/show.php/L ... ent=137143

Also wanted to mention that I find the process of memorising words helpful with studying as I am not being caught up flicking around the material trying to remember what a particular word is and this has helped me slowly to get my head round the languages structure.


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