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Picture dictionary

Do you have any suggestions to the page's content and such?

Picture dictionary

Postby monkeykoder » Mon 05.19.2008 4:14 pm

I was wondering why this site does not have a picture dictionary. I may be wrong but it seems to me the only real way to learn any language is to associate the words with the objects they represent but nowhere can I find a picture dictionary that would be useful in doing that. I'd be willing to help out on the project by taking pictures for the project if someone else was willing to associate the words with the objects. It would also be nice if you could have a little quiz project to go along with it to strengthen the associations. It would be a lot like Rosetta Stone but quite a bit more simplistic (I only really see this working for nouns). I've never done anything with flash but I'm guessing any good quiz program would be written in it and I'd be willing to learn if we could get the ball rolling on this.
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Re: Picture dictionary

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Mon 05.19.2008 4:26 pm

monkeykoder wrote: it seems to me the only real way to learn any language is to associate the words with the objects they represent


There's much, much more to learning a language than learning words for concrete things that you can take pictures of.

However, I don't think anyone would object if you took pictures and tried to make a dictionary for the site. As usual, everyone's time is limited, so we can't include everything.
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Re: Picture dictionary

Postby monkeykoder » Mon 05.19.2008 4:39 pm

There is much much more to learning the language than just the concrete objects. The goal of the picture dictionary is to build a vocabulary which could be used to build more abstract ideas onto. Grammar would still have to be taught some other way and abstract ideas beyond a certain level would take more work. It is more of a tool to build vocabulary than to teach a language I like the idea because after 2 semesters of college Japanese classes I get the feeling that I could say anything I wanted if I only knew the words.
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Re: Picture dictionary

Postby clay » Mon 05.19.2008 6:23 pm

Sounds like an interesting idea.

In the coming months Phreadom will probably start working on building the kanji/vocabulary section of the site. My 'dream' is to have a setup where each user can choose word lists (or create your own) and have multiple quizzes, games, and flashcards for drilling the words. Of course all progress can be saved and built on. Having a field for a picture or illustration would be a great addition.

If you would like to begin collecting images, that would be great. I will keep this in mind when we begin planning the vocab section. Once we get started, bring this up again or email me at clay @AT@ thejapanesepage.com.
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Re: Picture dictionary

Postby jimbreen » Mon 05.19.2008 10:45 pm

clay wrote:In the coming months Phreadom will probably start working on building the kanji/vocabulary section of the site. My 'dream' is to have a setup where each user can choose word lists (or create your own) and have multiple quizzes, games, and flashcards for drilling the words. Of course all progress can be saved and built on. Having a field for a picture or illustration would be a great addition.


Jim Rose's Kanji Cafe/Ice Mocha site has that sort of feature. It might be worth checking it out.

clay wrote:If you would like to begin collecting images, that would be great. I will keep this in mind when we begin planning the vocab section. Once we get started, bring this up again or email me at clay @AT@ thejapanesepage.com.


Links to images has been suggested a few times for EDICT. I wouldn't want to make them part of the dictionary itself, but it would be easy to have them linked at the server level, e.g. in WWWJDIC. You could have a set of images and an appropriate linking index, e.g.:

...
http://......./neko.jpg
...

TJP could well be a good repository for such images. You'd want to make sure the permissions are right.

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Re: Picture dictionary

Postby Wakannai » Mon 05.19.2008 11:21 pm

Let's Learn Japanese sounds like what you are looking for. It was on sale at the local used bookstore, so I bought it with the same thoughts as the OP. In the end, I concluded that it was a waste of money and time. It's one of those things that sounds cool but doesn't really work in application, at least, not for me. It gave me a few amusing days while I leafed through it, but it wasn't particularly memorable. I can't remember a single entry.
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Re: Picture dictionary

Postby monkeykoder » Tue 05.20.2008 12:05 am

Not exactly what I'm looking for I'm more looking for something that can be used as a flash card associating the word with the object. I'd like to extend this to a few quizzes to help reinforce the ideas. Another idea I had was a picture book except a little bit more adult oriented.
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Re: Picture dictionary

Postby clay » Tue 05.20.2008 4:29 pm

jimbreen wrote:Jim Rose's Kanji Cafe/Ice Mocha site has that sort of feature. It might be worth checking it out.


Yes, Jim has done an incredible job with his Ice Mocha (thanks to your hard work too of course!), but I would like something locally that can be fully integrated with the entire site. For example, a Drupal block shown throughout the site that displays an AJAX flashcard of a few vocabulary/kanji which that member is studying. Or... intersite links to individual kanji (or vocabulary) pages with examples, audio, and pictures (eventually).

jimbreen wrote:TJP could well be a good repository for such images. You'd want to make sure the permissions are right.


That would be awesome. We had a terrible time with the last two servers having '500 errors' when the server overloaded (quite often). I would have to make sure we have the server strength to support the extra usage or else buy a new server specifically for serving images for WWWJDIC or other websites.
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Re: Picture dictionary

Postby Txkun » Tue 05.20.2008 5:12 pm

A lot of time ago I tried to start a project similar to this one using flickr (by using notes) (if you want to check it's here but it's practically discontinued).
I think it's pretty useful and cool but at the time I didn't get much feedback.
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Re: Picture dictionary

Postby monkeykoder » Tue 05.20.2008 7:21 pm

Any idea of a good starting list of nouns people would want? Once I figure out how I want to do the pictures I'll get started. Also should I just start a gallery on here for my pictures and you can move them when they are needed?
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Re: Picture dictionary

Postby Wakannai » Tue 05.20.2008 10:58 pm

monkeykoder wrote:Any idea of a good starting list of nouns people would want? Once I figure out how I want to do the pictures I'll get started. Also should I just start a gallery on here for my pictures and you can move them when they are needed?


Travel guides tend to have a very targeted vocabulary, so if you are looking for word lists, those are the place to look.
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Re: Picture dictionary

Postby clay » Tue 05.20.2008 11:25 pm

Sounds good. Of course the pictures would need to be either taken/drawn by the contributor or else own the rights.

I could see how this would be a neat project for budding artists to contribute drawings or photos. We probably should come up with a list of 'rules' for the sizes, file types, and subject matter. Using the TJP gallery would be a good place to store the images until we can figure out what to do with them!
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Re: Picture dictionary

Postby monkeykoder » Tue 05.20.2008 11:54 pm

I plan on using this as a project to improve my photography I wouldn't mind finding a good list of objects to get started with.
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Re: Picture dictionary

Postby phreadom » Wed 05.21.2008 6:04 am

One idea I had yesterday was the possibility of having multiple images available for a given word.

For instance, when using Rosetta Stone, sometimes it's difficult to tell what in the picture you're supposed to be looking at.

Yesterday in "The Lounge" TJP Chat, I said *wave* and one of the Japanese users asked what that meant, so I googled "waving" and pasted the link: http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&q=waving

That page makes it pretty clear what waving refers to, especially when coupled with the definition from the dictionary: "To signal or express by waving the hand or an object held in the hand: We waved goodbye."

Of course this also serves as a good example for another problem with this approach... "wave" has numerous different definitions, and how do you choose which image to display if you're only using a single image? Or do you display all the definitions, each with its own associated image?

You could have a wave in the ocean, a waving hand, etc... if you only described waves in the sense of wavy hair, waves in the ocean etc... a back and forth or rising and falling type motion or shape, you would fail to convey what it means to wave to someone.

Perhaps this is what Wakannai was touching on with the comment about Travel Guides. If you have a very specific sub-set of vocabulary, you would be much more likely to be able to target a specific definition of a word and give the correct picture for that context. However that seems to defeat the purpose of building a larger more general purpose database of images associated with general vocabulary.

Just my morning thoughts on the subject. :)
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Re: Picture dictionary

Postby monkeykoder » Wed 05.21.2008 2:01 pm

In the end I think the best way to use the images will be to have example sentences describing the picture. Like "This guy here is reading a book" and so on giving you a context to draw on. With just a picture of a fairly concrete object you should be able to get your point across. Of course to get pictures of one object in particular I'm going to have to rebuild my light box.
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