April 28th, 2011 by syslock
Chinese Touch 1.5 is now available for download.
Development was focused on aspects of usability, dictionary search and integration of character component data. Usability enhancements include a rubber tool and an additional calligraphy pen style for writing, a clock display in new words drill, word counters on the left and right buttons in word lists, better saving of program settings and several other tiny improvements. It is now possible to do reverse lookups on fields of your custom dictionary entries and to choose from several keyboard layouts, including Japanese Kana. Newly added images from the Wikimedia Commons Stroke Order Project have been integrated and I hope to add a settings menu soon, that allows to customize priority and optional fallbacks between PRC, traditional and Japanese writing styles. Finally character component data from the cjklib project have been integrated into Chinese Touch. It is not complete and might have some errors, but you now can lookup individual components of many characters and their meaning, which can be very helpful when memorizing complex characters. Please also have a look at the revised user manual, which includes examples on how to use some of the most important features.
Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email, with your thoughts about the program, Chinese or language learning in general, including but not limited to bug reports and feature requests.
September 30th, 2010 by syslock
Stroke order display
It’s about three months since the previous stable release of my Chinese learning application for Nintendo’s handheld system. I was busy doing other things for a couple of weeks, but I finally managed to prepare a new release of Chinese Touch. Besides a couple of bug-fixes and slight user interface improvements, today’s version 1.4 has one new interesting feature: You can now easily look-up the stroke order of about 1000 Chinese characters from word list entries within Chinese Touch. This features is based on images created by the Stroke Order Project hosted on Wikimedia Commons , which have been prepared for and integrated into this release.
I really like this feature and I hope you will find it helpful too
Well, there’re a couple of points left on my TODO list. Will see what’s next…
June 29th, 2010 by syslock
recently Chinese Touch version 1.3 was released and can be downloaded from the project page at Google Code. I added release notes describing the differences regarding to the previous release version 1.2 to the wiki. Some of those new features where already supported by the latest dev snapshot by the time of my previous blog post here at Drunken Coders. While lookups from large dictionaries and dynamic word lists where already supported back then, many bugs and instabilities have been fixed since, some ui components have been improved and you get more flexibility when generating different kinds of word lists from the lesson menu now. I also started to write a user manual, though its still somewhat incomplete.
If you’d like to help out coding new features, writing docs, contributing ideas or finding bugs, you are welcome! Just leave a comment or send me an email.
There are many things on my TODO list, some of them being:
- Improve dictionary converter scripts and try to pack as many meanings as possible into a single result list entry, so you do not have to browse that much to get the right meaning
- Provide a character dictionary with images from the CJK stroke order project at commons.wikimedia.org
- Heavily optimize font rendering code
- Support different user interface languages
- Add possibility to add acoustic spelling samples to dictionary entries (maybe using the DS microphone)
- Add possibility to add arbitrary images to dictionary entries (maybe using the DSi cameras some day…)
- Add radical stroke lookup mode (Need a source dataset! Ideas?)
- Add Chinese handwriting recognition some day…
- Fix known bugs and shortcomings
April 12th, 2010 by syslock
In my first post on drunkencoders, I want to write about the DS project I’m currently working on. It’s a language learning tool called “Chinese Touch“. In contrast to the only commercial Chinese learning app and another homebrew one i have seen myself for DS so far, I’m not trying to create a complete course for a specific level of language skill on my own. One reason is, that I am a beginner in Chinese myself. The other reason is that I want to utilize a great advantage DS homebrew has over most commercial DS products – that being easy read/write access to mass storage and the possibility to use data provided by the user – to create a very generic and extensible learning tool, useful for any skill level and not necessarily for Chinese.
Extensibility, especially if it can be done by the user, is a huge benefit for a learning tool, because there are very different requirements and already loads of good language learning materials available, free and non-free.
Enough of theory. Let me give you an introduction to the features already implemented in Chinese Touch. Read the rest of this entry »