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Transitioning to Virtual Flashcards - need help!

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Transitioning to Virtual Flashcards - need help!

Postby katzenjammer » Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:41 pm

I'm fairly old school and I'm going to try virtual flashcards as the number of cards is just too unmanageable with real-world cards. I'm considering using Anki.

My problem is, I cannot seem to be able to import vocab lists from Perseus. Is anyone able to help with this?

Here's some advice below from a board member - I don't really understand it. When I'm on Perseus' vocab tool, it appears I have two choices for output: XML, or Table. I assume we ought to choose the latter? As a simple test case for Hesiod, I get this: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/voc ... lang=greek

Now what? LOL? I'm really lost. Please help! Sorry, I feel like an idiot.

edonnelly wrote:2. To get the output into excel, choose the 'comma delimited' option. Then, when you see the output on the screen, copy and paste the list from your browser into a blank text file in notepad. Then save the file with a .csv extension. Excel will immediately recognize this as file with data separated by commas and will convert it into a regular spreadsheet.
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Re: Transitioning to Virtual Flashcards - need help!

Postby pster » Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:31 pm

Ah yes. This is the heart of the matter! I got a list from Perseus for 3000 words. I copyed and pasted the list into a text file. Then I used the find and replace function to get rid of everything but the word and the definition. So two items per row. But here's the thing. I think you will want the whole LSJ entry anyway. I use flashcardmachine which lets you put in HTLM. Not sure about Anki. Many words have multiple meanings and often the meaning you will want will be somewhere down the list. So you really need the whole long entry. And besides the definitions in the list 50% of the time are incomplete or even cropped (e.g., most denominative words). So you will need to go to LSJ directly anyway. Which means cutting and pasting the Greek word into the search field for LSJ to get the definition. Then copying and pasting the long entry into your flash card. I've gotten rather quick at it. And if you get good at it, it's not as bad as it seems. You do 20-30 words a day. And while you are cutting and pasting you are mulling over the word. And maybe you put a cognate on the same card. And research a bit of etymology. Endings. Etc. And editing out the words you already know. I think one has to go that route. I couldn't imagine using the crummy little incomplete/cropped definitions that the list gives you. The full definitions are so much more interesting. Now if a real computer guy/gal could figure out a way of automating it so that we get all the words from a given text with the LSJ definitions on cards...well...that is something I would pay for! Good luck and lemme know what you come up with.
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Re: Transitioning to Virtual Flashcards - need help!

Postby katzenjammer » Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:48 am

Thanks, yeah I see what you mean. I've got the full LSJ and even the Middle Liddle sometimes seems inadequate.

On the other hand, that's a problem with regular flashcards too; you can only fit so much on them; I suppose you can fit more on a virtual card, but I can only handle looking at a computer for so much time anyway.

I see the abbreviated flashcard definitions as reminders - providing what Coleridge called the "hooks and eyes" of memory; so that when I look it up a word in a text when its used in a different way I have a basic definition upon which to hook the ways in which the word is actually used. I picture it in my mind as a hook - around which (proliferating :) ) definitions/refinements etc. constellate.
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Re: Transitioning to Virtual Flashcards - need help!

Postby pster » Wed Aug 08, 2012 7:18 am

I put the entire LSJ entry on the card.

Contrary to what one might assume, I don't look at longer definitions for any longer than shorter ones. What happens is that the better you know a word, the more your eye wanders down the entry. So you start taking in those other meanings gradually and naturally. Maybe your mind works differently than mine, but I'm not buying a hook theory for the longer definitions. Compound words in particular have a variety of different meanings, e.g., legal meanings. Besides you seem to be granting that you will look in LSJ in the beginning to get your constellation. If that is the case, then might as well cut and paste.

I use HTLM, so I can l also click to other words I don't know or to the passages. This I like very much. And I recommend it.

As for time, yeah, computers are bad for your eyes. But my Greek flashcards are only 1-2 hours a day.

Have you really looked at those abbreviated definitions? A lot of them are truncated unusable computer generated syntactic/semantic rubbish, e.g., "being a", or "ibo)" or the slightly less offensive "[not available]". Also, depending on the text, there can be a lot of numbers.
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Re: Transitioning to Virtual Flashcards - need help!

Postby katzenjammer » Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:07 pm

You make some very good points; the more I look into this the wiser your approach seems. I've never had the advantage of the whole LSJ entry at my fingertips like that, so it didn't occur to me to use it as you say. I've already seen a great number of questionable definitions just in my initial fooling around with getting some of those Perseus outputs into flashcard software.

So you use Flashcaremachine - I'll look into that; I see why the HTML could come in handy.

As I zero into a solution, I'll let you know what I've settled upon.

Thanks!
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Re: Transitioning to Virtual Flashcards - need help!

Postby pster » Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:04 pm

I'll check out Anki. I'm doing Thucydides for the forseeable future. Not sure what texts you are interested in. But if you produce high quality cards like I do :mrgreen: , then we could talk about copying each others cards and sharing the burden.
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Re: Transitioning to Virtual Flashcards - need help!

Postby Scribo » Thu Aug 09, 2012 5:00 pm

There needs to be deck sharing on this site, forthwith.
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Re: Transitioning to Virtual Flashcards - need help!

Postby pster » Thu Aug 09, 2012 7:09 pm

Scribo wrote:There needs to be deck sharing on this site, forthwith.


How many you got? I have about 1200 finished cards and about 1700 rough ones. That's about 100 hrs of labour, give or take. I'd love to share. But we can't have free riders! 1 for 1. And, it has to be flashcardmachine. I looked at Anki and it doesn't do HTLM well. Evidently there are bugs.

Actually Scribo, the thing to do is to outsource it to India and at 5 euros per hour we could get 30-40 words per hour. So, assuming there are about 60,000 words in LSJ (not sure where I heard that), we could get the whole thing for 2000EUR. If we get 10 people to put up 200EUR, we could have all of LSJ. Then we could have you sell access at Oxbridge to recoup our investment plus any profit. :lol:
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