Best bits of the language app are done

The most important bits of my cool language learning web app are done. Here’s quick overview of how it works.

Everything is split into modules which are XML script files and accompanying audio files. Currently one type of script is supported, a “conversation”. This contains a short (less than 10 sentences) conversation with sub elements all marked up in XML. Sub elements are phrases, terms and notes. At the moment phrases and terms are handled almost identically. Notes are little explanations or possible stumbling points (for example the test script I have alerts the listener to the difference in the ending between “Ich verstehe” and “Sie verstehe_n_” in German). Any element of a conversation that is to be repeated is named (literally - the XML tag is given a name attribute). The system keeps track of the number of times a name phrase/term is played to the user and when it was last played so the automatic repetition system can work.

A lesson is currently very simple. A module is loaded and the conversation is played straight through. Then the named phrases/terms are played* with translations. Then any phrases/terms scheduled for repetition are played*. The repetitions are actually determined before the conversation is played however so that if too many are required then no new conversation is played.

* Played in this case means a specific format. First the native version is played, then a pause, then the translation is played twice.