Flash Cards & MP3 Creator
Flash Cards, MP3 Creator, Student Testing
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Works on Windows (95, 98, 2000, Me, Vista) and Linux if you use Wine and place MSVBVM60.DLL in system32 folder. OSx users of Wine:you may need to switch on "winxp" "vb6run" "vb5run" "unifont" and "l3codecx". Computers with non-european character sets may need to use control panel to switch to the English language pack. Matthias Ansorg has instructions for using on Linux and will be working to get the words ported to a Linux flashcard. He motivated me to give it a Creative Commons license.
All programs and sound files and the spanish text files are by Scott Roberts and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Provide a clearly visible reference and, if possible, link to WordGalore.com when using any of this content.
For those who can look "behind the scenes" at the plain text and sound files that support this program, you should be able to create word and sentence lists, use the existing ones, and record your own word and sentence lists. The program and ALL the files it uses are usually located on your computer at c:\program files\wordsgalore. The program is really just a "skin" following a simple protocol for the text and mp3 sound files. Any other program could be written to create access the files this program creates and uses. But the program as it is makes recording sound files FAST even if you don't have any programming skills, removing silence before and after the speech. A 10,000 word language or an entire book can be added to the program as fast as the speaker can read, once the text files are created and placed in the proper folder.
Important bug: Most of the time if you try to move a "known" word back to the "unknown" list by double-clicking the word, it will forget all the words you marked as known. This is a minor distaster, causing the user to lose a lot of work. There are other ways this will unexpectedly periodically happen. So periodically back up your word lists to different folders. They are located in c:\program files\wordsgalore and look for your username as a folder that is storing your lists.
This patch wg_new.exe has new features.
Sound files: 1,000 most common Spanish words
9,100 Spanish sound files.
spanish1000.exe 3.5 MB. Contains the program and the 1,000 most common Spanish words.
Where is this program deficient?It doesn't have verb conjugations and the word lists are too big and not broken down into categories like numbers and you can't make your own word lists unless you edit the txt files in the language folder and save them as a different txt file (this is for the computer savy). There are not yet sentences and phrases.
After I'm bored with WordsGalore, what's next? (my experience, Spanish focused)First try some phrases I put together and make sure you really know the 1000 most common words and 2,100 most common words .
English uses seperate words to determine on "who" and "when" a verb action is taking place, but Spanish changes the verb ENDING (for most verbs) or the WHOLE verb (for some irregular verbs) to include all of these "who" and "when" possibilites into the verb which is why there are 106 different standard ways to change the ending of 3 different types verbs (depending on if the ending is -ir, -er, or -ir). There are several patterns to these changes as can be seen, so there is a lot less than 3 times 106 pieces of data to learn. Your brain will intuitively learn these patterns with a great deal of exposure (say, 10 books and 500 hours of TV). The changes are similar and intuitively make sense, allowing the speech and hearing to flow better and easier. But many verb changes do not follow the rules ("irregular" verbs). Not following the rules sometimes helps the language flow easier, faster, less odd sounding, and less prone to listening error. You can find lists of the 50 most common irregular verbs which you'll need to study because they are COMMON verbs (like think, have, count, feel, ask, search, arrive, walk, fall, send, want, hear, put, know).
Read non-fiction you know well for fun. After you're completely bored with the program and have learned 2000 to 5000 words, find a Spanish-English bilingual Bible (even if you're an atheist like me) because it is translated perfectly down to the comma and semi-colon ("Reina Valera" versions), and sentences are separated by verse. You can find the Spanish and English bibles online at the "Bible Gateway", but I really enjoyed just sitting down with the book with both texts printed nicely side-by-side. Or re-read a book that you know REALLY well in Spanish...as long as it isn't fiction. If you like science, then you're in luck because more words are in common and there's no slang ("A Brief History of Time" by Stephen Hawking in Spanish was really easy). Read OUT LOUD because training your voice muscles to go through the motions gives your brain an intuitive understanding in knowing what other speakers are going through and thereby helps it predict and understand better and faster.
Let TextAloud read texts to you. TextAloud is best and install the FREE L&H spanish voice Julio which sounds very mechanical compared to the $30 natural sounding voices that you have to buy in addition to the main TextAloud program. After buying the "good" voices, I still only use the free voice because it flows a lot more smoothly. You copy and paste words from text files to these programs. Their new Capela "US Spanish" voice is excellent, for $35 more, which is what most people will probably prefer. Google Translate is now capable of speaking paragraphs or maybe entire pages, and translates the passages. After 1/3 of the Bible using ReadPlease, I was able to listen at normal speed and follow almost everything...but only for the Bible. I was still clueless in even childrens programs, but felt on the verge of understanding news programs. I spent nine monthhs going through the old testament, having TextAloud read it to me, and could read a lot of spanish, but still clueless on listening, so it's probably not the best method. After listening to 4 Harry Potter books in Spanish and following the English, I can still understand only 1/3 of what is said on TV, but if I start watching TV, I think I'll make rapid progress. The first Harry Potter book took me 3 weeks, 4 hours a day trying to figure out all the words and idioms and using google translate too much and not following the english translation enough. The 4th one took 4 days at 4 hours a day, not needing to use Google anymore, and only glancing at the English. So in 2 months I've made rapid progress, communicating with frequent difficulty, but communicating.
Listen to movies in Spanish with English subtitles. After knowing 2/3 the words in WordsGalore and listening to 1/3 of the Bible and Stephen Hawking's "A Brief History of Time", listening to movies in Spanish was still gibberish to me. News programs I could almost understand a little. English subtitles didn't even hardly help. I finally started having success listening to TV shows and Movies when I tried watching movies or programs over and over again. Like the 3rd or 4th time, and pausing a lot, I was starting to get it, and then other programs started coming more easily. Spanish subtitles never match the Spanish voice, and I still just prefer to not to use them. I would use them only if I am studying seriously and using pause as soon as the words pop up, then unpausing to listen. Don't forget to Read OUT LOUD.
Writing / Typing will force you to get things right and proper, and can go hand-in-hand with speech. But you will need some experience in order to follow all the shorthand and slang for chit-chat. (This also applies to listening, so it's best to start with people and programs that minimize slang.)
Portable MP3 players: The program's function to create mp3 files for your portable mp3 player is not useful unless you also download the English and Spanish. Otherwise, you just hear Spanish words without the English translation. In general, I didn't seem to benefit from this, but other users love it.
My other project is plantar fasciitis, heel spur.
All material available here is © Scott Roberts. Permission is granted only for personal use. By using the material you agree to hold Scott Roberts harmless for any harm that may result from its use.
17,300 English & Spanish Words
Rocio - Spanish
Scott - English
Keunae - Korean
Shirley (Ma Xiao Li)