Saturday, January 31, 2009

Popling: New Vocabulary Learning Tool

Popling describes itself as "a website + desktop app for people who want to learn, but lack motivation." What it does is popup on your computer (at whatever frequency you choose, e.g., once every 5 minutes) with a vocabulary word. If you click on it, you can get the answer/meaning to the question/word. (Or you can choose to ignore it, and it will go away.) Check out their video:

Popling Screencast from rob rhyne on Vimeo.
It is FREE to install and use Popling with registration, but the free version will have ads, and you can only subscribe to one database at a time. For $20/year you get no ads and multiple databases.

To give it a try, I set up a few databases of Greek and Hebrew. So, register at Popling and then download/install the program (which also includes installing Adobe Air). The installation was less than a minute for the whole process. You then subscribe to one of the many databases available. I created one for the Hebrew vocab in the first chapter of Weingreen's Practical Grammar for Classical Hebrew (look for it under Languages > Hebrew) and two for Greek vocabulary of words occuring more than 500 times in the NT. (Look for it under Languages > Other > Greek. The databases can only have a max of 100 words, so I had to split up the 170 into two groups alphabetically.) It is a web-based tool, so it is able to display Unicode. It works beautifully for the Greek. The Hebrew is not as well-rendered, and you will note that some vowels do not properly situate under the consonants.
BTW, to create these lists, I had to use Logos' Vocabulary Lists. (I couldn't use BibleWorks' FlashCard module, because I needed to get the text plus glosses into MS Word. The FlashCard module can export to PDF, but it uses the BW TrueType--not Unicode--font, and I would have had to do a bunch of work getting the glosses attached to the word.) In Logos, I was able to open the word lists and export them to HTML. Then copied it to Word where it imported as a table, then copied the table, did a bunch of search replace to set up the required syntax for Popling batch question construction, and then copied it all in to Popling's creator.
If you are looking to create a Popling list of your own, remember that Logos has a good selection of such lists already made (check this post) or to create them based on word frequency, check this post.
HT: makeuseof

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