Saturday, 2 April 2011

Flashing Oriya

imageFlash cards are really useful language learning aid and for ages I wrote them out by hand on pieces of card the size of business cards, actually I used old business cards from previous jobs until I have none left :)  then I discovered Anki. Online, free, software for developing and sharing sets of flashcards (in Anki speak decks). It works really well. ( I am not getting paid for this plug!) It is easy to use and it does what it says it does! In my book that makes it an ace piece of software.
Download the software from the Anki site. If you are lucky enough to be studying a language which is popular (e.g. French, Spanish)  then you may  find there are already decks you can download, edit and use. Anki also support Japanese and other characters sets. I have no experience of using these. There are some Youtube videos on how to use Anki
The basic principle is simple, you make one side of the flash card in your native language (in my case English) and the other side in the language you are learning. As you go through your deck, some words/phrases will stick, they will seem easy to remember, other will prove more difficult. Anki provides a choice of times to see the card again – after only a short interval for a word you either didn’t know or found hard to recall, on a scale through to a more distant time for one you found easy. As you continue through encountering words for the subsequent times the intervals get longer.
There are controls for setting the intervals, the number of cards reviewed each day – best do a small amount regularly is the recognised advice – and settings for many more things. To be honest I haven't explored that many as it is so intuitive to use “out of the box”, but clearly others have – you can even add audio to your flash card.
So much for the software. Inevitably there were no Oriya decks! Surprise, surprise! So I have started going through Niels Erik Wegge’s Oriya in Small Bites book and making up some decks. I reviewed his book on Good Reads. At the time of writing this post there are 2 decks loaded on AnkiWeb, and a third waiting in the wings with vocabulary I have picked up whilst here in Orissa. My plan is to continue through Wegge’s book, and adding in further words and phrases as I hear them. The decks are based on the exercises in the book but have some of my own examples added in. Inevitably there will be mistakes – typos, pronunciation errors, syntax and grammar errors, and probably the odd misunderstanding of meaning for which I accept full responsibility.
Please let me know if you use the decks, if they are useful and if you find any errors. I shall be happy to correct. Also if you are learning Oriya and make your own deck please let me know and share via Anki. Finally Anki remove decks if not used in 3 months, so if you find they have disappeared and would like them just drop me a message and I will re-upload.

4 comments:

  1. Wow thanks for the heads up on this. I have always liked making flashcards because i figured that it helped memorize by making them too...but this program is really cool. Thanks!

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  2. thanks a ton. am a beginner in oriya.

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  3. Namaskar bs. I hope you find them useful, and please make corrections to the Anki decks for future oriya leaners :)

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  4. Sheila, it's the doing that counts even though you may not be the best at whatever it is that you do. The doing put's you ahead of the best - who only know but don't do!

    I suspect that the original Oriya deck that I downloaded out of curiosity as a native speaker was the one made by someone who doesn't even speak the language - you! Shame on us natives...

    I've tried to help by starting to update it with audio and edits. The advantage you had in putting this deck together compared to me was that it was driven by need. You've managed to capture a very small yet powerful subset of the lexicon. I would have struggled to make a start given my large vocabulary that would have made this exercise akin to translating a dictionary.

    My great grandfather BTW, is credited with the first Oriya to English dictionary! Maybe that has something to do with my propensity for words.

    Keep up the good work. Folks reading this - consider trying out Anki(free) and contributing to this repository(free). Feel free to create and share your own decks too. I'll be honored to help, if I can, should you need it.

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