Back to language learning

After spending a couple of weeks dealing with foreign text and Unicode at work, my interest in foreign language learning with the aid of a computer has returned.

My main goal is a Pimsleur style system but with the repetition handled by computer - i.e. with just the individual phrases (and words and syllables for earlier lessons) as audio files, the program should generate complete conversations with sensible parts repeated and useful instructor comments in between. That sounds like it requires some sort of script in some sort of markup language. Since it needs to be highly structured I guess that only leaves XML as a sensible possibility. So I marked up a conversation from Pimsleur’s German I.

There was an unexpected result. It’s fairly straight forward to have multiple source languages in one script file. Although there are certain things that would not work best this way, a lot of things in German (for instance) would be taught the same regardless of what language you are learning from. Ultimately source-language-specific scripts would have to be supported though.