When I still used my Atari, I programmed my own vocabulary trainer (which is available here) and used it to memorise French and English words. On the Mac I used UniLingua which is a fine application with good statistic functions. Unfortunately, UniLingua has some bugs in Tiger so I switched to the freeware ProVoc.
I only recently started to use the ProVoc widget which is a mini version of the application. You can basically do everything except editing. When started up, the widget scans connected hard disks for vocab files and offers their lessons in a menu. You can either select a single lesson, or a whole chapter, which, for my Naganuma Kanji, would be text book chapters one to twenty (the whole blue book).
Modes and Options
The widget offers three modes: Questions (answer is entered manually), multiple choice and slideshow. The latter can be shown in three speeds or by pressing a key.
One thing that the developers should use in the main application too is the labeling of the direction menu. Instead of using terms like “Version” and “Theme”, the Widget displays the direction in a clear manner. In the picture I chose the translation from Kanji to Hiragana.
There are various options to display comments and three different text sizes. Be aware though, that the widget is not resizable and fore me, text only fits into the widget if I select small or medium sized text. Eight different background colors are selectable with each dimmed enough that they won’t distract you from the words.
Obviously, there are a few things that you can’t do with the widget. ProVoc is known to offer a lot options and customised training modus. Some of the things that the widget doesn’t support:
- Multimedia (images, sound)
The widget is an endless training session, without statistics. The missing features are not very important to me and I found that the widget is ideal to learn the reading of Kanji compounds, especially when combined with the dev mode to drag the widget to the main application layer. ProVoc Widget is a separate download available from the developers’ website.