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Does anyone know of an audio "spelling"/vocab quiz?

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Does anyone know of an audio "spelling"/vocab quiz?

Postby Snowflake » Sat 02.14.2009 2:30 pm

I'm remembering back to when I was a child and the teacher would have weekly spelling quizzes. I'm not talking about oral quizzes. Instead, I'm talking about the quizzes where the teacher would say the word and we'd write it on paper. This exercise not only helped reinforce our spelling but our handwriting/penmanship as well.

Does anyone know of any similar online audio quizzes for Japanese? What I'm envisioning is a quiz where I hear the word and have no visual cue whatsoever. I don't even want to see the English translation because that might give me a hint. Then I can write my answer, reveal the answer and compare. Right now, I'm still reviewing kana, so I'd like to see mostly syllables and a few very basic words. Definitely no sentences yet. As I progress, the quizzes would include kanji and then work up to full (short) sentences.

The closest I've been able to come so far is:

1. iKnow
-- Problem here is I can't do exclusive audio quizzes. Audio questions pop up randomly with all the other questions. I wish I could occasionally do just audio reinforcement.

2. Japanese Phrases -- TJP's ITunes app
-- Problems here are a) I wish I could configure it so I could have the English side of the card display first, b) I wish I could spoiler-block
Spoiler:
like this...
the English until I've heard the word or need a hint and c) some of the phrases are too long for me, the beginner.

3. My Japanese Coach
-- Again, I wish I could isolate just audio.

I'm beginning to get fairly good (key word, fairly) at recognizing kana when I see them and at sounding out kana words (even though I rarely know what they mean :lol: ). That's a step in the right direction. I'd like to gain more confidence in the other direction.

Ideally, I'd like to write my answers on paper, just as I did in elementary school. I believe taking the time and concentration to write on paper would strengthen my absorption of the material. In addition, I think it would help me learn to "hear" properly and begin to directly associate a sound with its character (instead of mentally translating it to romaji, then to kana/kanji).

So, any suggestions?
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Re: Does anyone know of an audio "spelling"/vocab quiz?

Postby astaroth » Sat 02.14.2009 2:45 pm

Probably not what you're looking for, but you could use Anki. It supports audio files, so I believe that it's possible to create cards where the question is audio. Problem is you have to get somewhere the audio first ... maybe iKnow? or from the cd coming with most books? even though in this case one should cut out the word from the track.
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Re: Does anyone know of an audio "spelling"/vocab quiz?

Postby richvh » Sat 02.14.2009 3:40 pm

Have you tried the dictation portion of iknow? You get two passes through 10 sentences. On the first pass, you're given a sentence with one word missing, which you have to type in after listening to the sentence; on the second pass, you have to fill in the entire sentence.
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Re: Does anyone know of an audio "spelling"/vocab quiz?

Postby wccrawford » Sat 02.14.2009 4:22 pm

I don't know of one, but it might be fairly simple to create. Basically, you want it to take a list of words with audio, kanji and kana and it will have several levels of difficulty:

1: Play the sound. Wait for user to enter kana. Check if kana matches.

2: Play the sound. Wait for user to enter kanji. Check if kanji matches.

3: Play the sound. Wait for user to type entire sentence. Check if entire sentence matches. (Ignore anything other than kanji and kana, since they don't matter.)

I would think another version would be to have it accept romaji instead of kana.

Does this sound accurate to what you want?
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Re: Does anyone know of an audio "spelling"/vocab quiz?

Postby Snowflake » Sat 02.14.2009 4:46 pm

Thank you for the suggestion of Anki. My concern with Anki is the audio portion. I'm fairly (key word, fairly) tech-savvy, but not sure I'm savvy enough to create my own audio cards. Thanks for suggesting it, though!

After making my previous post (probably while you were making your post, RichVH), I started doing more exploration regarding IKnow's "Dictation". Having just signed up with IKnow a few days ago, I didn't understand exactly what IKnow meant by "Dictation". I thought it was me recording my own voice. Obviously, I was wrong!

Dictation, as IKnow has it set up, is HARD!!! :shock: Since I haven't yet completed any course, not even the kana courses, it's REALLY hard :lol: . I tried the Genki 1, Chapter 1 but had to quit. I'll tackle it again once I've gotten through more of Chapter 1.

I had better success with Dictation for the IKnow Core Japanese 1 course, although "success" may be a rather ambitious word. The "fill-in-one-word" portions were quite a challenge. And the full sentences? Eek! But I surprised myself. I'm not as bad as I would have guessed. I got a few things right and that makes me very happy. Dictation also highlighted for me things I was not hearing, such as extended sounds I need to account for.

I do wish I could slow the speakers down a bit or turn the timers off. I wish I could have tests consisting of only single words, instead of words followed by full sentences. By the same token, listening to them speak full sentences at normal speed with what I assume is normal enunciation (as opposed to theatrical, formal) gives me something to shoot for, rather than wishing they'd dumb it down for me.

Because of the timers, I did all my answers by typing today. I think later I'll try to ignore the timer and write my answers on paper. Oh, do I ever have my work cut out for me!
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Re: Does anyone know of an audio "spelling"/vocab quiz?

Postby clay » Sat 02.14.2009 8:21 pm

2. Japanese Phrases -- TJP's ITunes app
-- Problems here are a) I wish I could configure it so I could have the English side of the card display first, b) I wish I could spoiler-block like this... the English until I've heard the word or need a hint and c) some of the phrases are too long for me, the beginner.


Thanks! I see what you mean now.

Adding a quiz with input (would require people installing the Japanese IME which is free and easy, but an extra step) is an interesting idea. I'll talk it over with the developer. I doubt it would be any time soon, though. I have to recoup at least some of the money invested, before having him do some new in-depth programming. :)
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Re: Does anyone know of an audio "spelling"/vocab quiz?

Postby Snowflake » Sat 02.14.2009 9:28 pm

clay wrote:Adding a quiz with input (would require people installing the Japanese IME which is free and easy, but an extra step) is an interesting idea. I'll talk it over with the developer. I doubt it would be any time soon, though. I have to recoup at least some of the money invested, before having him do some new in-depth programming. :)

Oh, that's far more than I was thinking of :D. I was just thinking of having an option on the flashcards to have the English text blocked until the user touches it, not having the capability to do any additional input. Maybe for version 1,000,000 :).

By the way, thanks again for creating the app. I'm loving it!
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Re: Does anyone know of an audio "spelling"/vocab quiz?

Postby Snowflake » Mon 02.16.2009 11:15 am

After thinking more about this for the last few days, I think I finally figured out a way to have Japanese Phrases give me audio-only quizzes! As simple as it seems, I'm surprised it took so long to come to me.

Here were my challenges in solving this problem:

1) I need access to the top of the iTouch screen so I can advance to the next flashcard.
2) I need access to the bottom of the iTouch screen so I can touch the audio icon.
3) I need to be able to look at the screen so I can see where the top and bottom are.
4) I do NOT want to see the middle of the screen, where the writing (answer) is.

Here is my solution:

Slip a scrunchie over the mid-part of the screen! This will leave the top and bottom visible. With scrunchie in place, I'll be able to see and touch the top and bottom of the card, but the middle part will be covered. Because the scrunchie is flexible, I can merely lift it up to check my answer before moving on to the next card!

**********************************************************************************************************************************************

With this solution, it doesn't even matter which side of the card comes up first. Of course, it would be nice to have an option (in a later version) to decide which side to see first, but for the purposes of the audio quiz, it doesn't matter. If I need the English hint, I can flip the card and peek under the scrunchie.

The scrunchie would also help in the multiple choice quizzes bundled in the app. One of the problems inherent in any multi-choice quiz is the ability to make guesses based on the available options. To get around this, I can again place the scrunchie over the mid-section, decide on an answer before looking at the choices and then look to see if my answer is one of the available ones.

Quick question: Is there any way to shuffle the flashcards? If not, that might be a nice addition for a future version.

In any event, now I have to go find an appropriately sized scrunchie :D. This is going to be fun!
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Re: Does anyone know of an audio "spelling"/vocab quiz?

Postby nukemarine » Mon 02.16.2009 1:26 pm

Anki is versatile enough that if you want to do "spelling" based on audio, it's easy if you have the data. The iKnow site provides the data if you know how to bulk strip it. I use it to do "kanji spelling", well, dictation actually. Here's my steps:

Use Anki's plug-in to get iKnow info: vocabulary (kanji, kana, english hint), sentence using vocabulary (kanji, kana, english translation), plus the photo and audio to the vocabulary and sentence.

Use Anki to make dictation and reading cards. For dictation, I do this: Anki displays in kana the vocabulary word and the sentence using the word. In addition it reads out the sentence. I just have to write the vocabulary word correctly (using kanji). I don't lean on the kana, I just use it to quickly identify what word in the sentence I'm dictating.

Since you're not that advanced, instead have Anki play the vocabulary word and then the sentence using that word. Your job then is to know what the word means and write it out in kana (just the vocabulary word, not the entire sentence).

You want to use a sentence to put the word in context. A big reason is that words sound too much alike in Japanese to know what they mean without the context of a sentence. Another (even better imho) reason is you never want to learn words in isolation.
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