A Hundred Proverbs, a Thousand Words

A hundred proverbs, a thousand words is the web prototype of a forthcoming app that uses proverbs for contextualising words in European languages. Proverbs are used because they are
1 Short
2 Grammatically simple
3 Engaging
Language learners are presented with three options.
In Search they can look for proverbs containing a word in their source language L1) as it is translated in their target language (L2). For example, they enter the word swallow and they see an Italian proverb containing rondine. If they then click Una rondine non fa primavera they see the colloquial and the word-for-word translations of it. They can click on a highlighted word within it and its uninflected form is stored in their wordlist. For example, they click fa and facere=make (v) is stored.
In Wordlist they can revise or they can browse. They revise by using flashcards presented in the same manner as those on the developer’s existing website, www.pro-verbs.eu. They browse by viewing the thousand words in the glossary, sorted by difficulty level, part of speech, or lexical or grammatical type; from this they can add words to their personal wordlist.
In Multiple Choice they are presented by a quiz in which there are ten questions. A question comprises
a query, e.g. make (v), and four words with a radio button beside each: the words are all of the same type. Clicking a button elicits two possible responses. Correct brings up a confirmation (L1=L2), the proverb from which the word is taken and the current score. Sorry, L2=L1: try again.
Each of these options makes occasional use of microphone icons linked to sound files recording either the word by itself or the word in the context of the proverb, the latter available spoken fast or slowly.
Version v0.8 contains just Multiple Choice using English, Italian and Hungarian and will be online by the end of April. Version v0.9 will be available by the end of June and will contain the other two options. Version v1.0 will contain the facility to store users’ flashcard results and so to use the developer’s enhancement of the Leitner system of structured recall to accelerate the transfer of newly encountered words from short-tem to long-term memory.
Languages other than the initial three will be added as competent facilitators come forward. The database contains proverbs taken from Gluski’s “Comparative Book of (6 languages) Proverbs” (1,090) and Paczolay’s “European Proverbs in 55 Languages” (106).
A hundred proverbs, a thousand words is designed to be an invaluable tool to support Speak to the Future, the UK’s governmental campaign to encourage every young Briton to learn a thousand words in another language.

Click here to promote your project or event Click here to tell your followers about us