In order to assist you and your students we provide some example wordlists. You can open them via the
Open List button on the Settings page. The wordlists will be installed in the wordlists directory.
For students using Windows, please read the section below about handling .sgc and .zip files.
When reading wordlists with included audio, users on OSX (Mac) and Linux should select the standard wordlists with the
.sgc extension for SpeakGoodChinese.
These are just standard ZIP files, but the .sgc extension makes them easier to handle in SpeakGoodChinese. Wordlists with
the .zip extensions will not be loaded when selected.
If you have 7-Zip or Winzip installed on MS Windows, the automatic installation of
.sgc files might work on Windows too.
Windows users who cannot load the standard wordlists should download the ZIP
version and unpack the wordlist ZIP, i.e., extract the map inside. Often this can be done by a double click on the downloaded file and
then dragging the map inside it to the place where you want to store it.
If the map extracted from the ZIP file contains scripts with the name(s) Windows_install.bat, Mac_install.app
and Linux_install.sh, these will do the installation for you. Just double click on the appropriate install script. The wordlists and
if available, the SpeakGoodChinese binary will be installed.
If the install scripts are not present, click on the Open List button on the Settings page and locate the maps that store
the wordlists (and audio). Open one (and only one) of the files in each wordlist map. The wordlist maps can be located inside a separate
wordlists map. Each separate wordlist map will have to be loaded by opening a file inside it.
It does not really matter which file is chosen (e.g., <name>.wav or wordlist.txt or wordlist.Table). If all goes well,
the wordlist will be loaded. This will work on OSX (Mac) and Linux too.
You can delete the files you downloaded after opening the wordlist.
Plain text wordlists (e.g., <name>.txt) or full tables (e.g., <name>.Table or <name>.tsv) can also directly be opened
using the Open List button on the Settings page.
Practicing using audio examples, pinyin, characters, and translations
The text that is displayed for each word or phrase during practicing
can be selected on the Settings page. Under the heading View and Sound,
provided they are available in the wordlist, you can select any combination of:
- Either Tone Numbers or Pinyin representation
- Chinese Characters
When practicing, the "hidden" text can be displayed by clicking on the text area. The whole string
of Pinyin, Character, and Translation (when available) will be written
in red. This will disappear again when the window is redrawn (use the Refresh button or
press the space bar).
The use of audio under the Example button (Main page) is
controlled with the two next buttons under the View and Sound heading.
To use any real audio examples available, press Real example.
To use the synthetic voice if no real example is available or selected,
press Synthesis. When both Synthesis and
Real example are deselected, only a humming sound is used
for the tones.
The word lists are shuffled before each presentation, unless the Shuffle
button is deselected. Shuffling is done before each round, and after selecting lessons
or words using the Select words option. When the Shuffle button is
deselected, words will be presented in the last order used.
How to create word lists
To load, or read, a new word list go to the Settings page and
click on the Open List button. You can then select the file
that contains the word list. It will automatically open and be stored in
your local word list directory.
Very simple word lists
The easiest and simplest way to create a word list is to create a
pure text file (.txt, or DOS file). The file should have the name of
the word list and the extention should be .txt.
Each line should countain a single pinyin word.
Simple word lists with characters and translations
Characters and translations can be added to the simple, text based word list descibed above. Again, create a
pure text (.txt, or DOS file) file with the .txt extention. Each line should start with a pinyin
word. Next, follow the pinyin by a tab or ';' character and the characters that correspond to the pinyin, again a tab or ';'
character and the translation in free text. Translations can be in any language. For instance, 吃 can be
entered as to eat, कालो, 食べる, ჭამა or any other transcription in
ta1;他;he, she, it
Audio files can be added in the same manner. Just add an item with the extention of an
audio file to the line (between tabs or ';' characters). For instance, chi1.mp3
will be interpreted as an audio example.
These simple word lists do not contain information about the order and nature of the
items. There can be errors in distinguishing characters, translations, and audio examples.
Word list tables
Simple word lists based on text files can lead to errors in the values of the
items. Large lists with both characters and translations should be constructed
as tab-separated-values (tsv) tables. These can be exported (Save as)
from a spreadsheet or database program. The file extention of such a file should
be .Table or .tsv.
A SpeakGoodChinese wordlist table is a tab-separated-values table that starts with
a header line which contains the column headers Pinyin, Character, Sound, Translation.
Then the column values are written on a line with tabs separating them.
|ta1||他||-||he, she, it|
Word lists with associated audio files
These word list distributions are simple flat ZIP files with the name <list name>.sgc.
They contain a list of all the words in pinyin with the name wordlist.txt or
wordlist.Table as is discussed above. Except that the name of the word list file should
be either wordlist.txt or wordlist.Table. Other names are not allowed.
The sound files should be named <pinyin word>.ext, where <pinyin word> is
the pinyin transcription, eg, sheng1zi4, and ext the sound extension type
(eg, wav). Note that SpeakGoodChinese uses Praat to
process the sound files. So only those sound files recognized by Praat can be used (see
Praat: Read from file...).
SpeakGoodChinese will use WAV (.wav), Flac (.flac), MP3 (.mp3), and Speex (.spx)
files as examples if they are present .
Don't forget to include a LICENSE.txt file with the copyright and licensing information.
If you use one of the Creative Commons licenses or the GNU GPL,
we might be willing to put your list on our web-site.
It is possible to use SpeakGoodChinese to record example audio files
for wordlists and student evaluation. On the Settings page, press the
Save Audio button and select a folder to store the recordings. A blue dot will be
displayed in the lower
right corner of the Main page as long as recordigns are stored. The recorded files have
file-names constructed of the pinyin spelling of the word and the extention .wav.
Every recording will overwrite existing recordings of the same pinyin word.
The storage of recordings can be terminated by pressing the Save Audio button
again. Select those recordings you consider good enough as examples and copy them to
the target wordlist directory for inclusion in the distribution. When available,
SpeakGoodChinese will display the stored recordings for evaluation until a new
one is recorded.
Word selection and Lessons
Students can select the words to practise on the Settings page.
The wordlist table can contain a collumn with the label Lesson
and a lesson number for each line. The words are sorted and displayed
with lesson numbers in the word selection window. The student can select
the lessons to study when starting.
|ta1||他||-||he, she, it||1|
The entries in the Lesson column do not have to be numbers. Any string is
allowed, Lesson 2, पाठ 2, レッスン2 and 第二课 are all valid lesson labels.
Packaging and distributing SpeakGoodChinese and Wordlists
Having students installing SpeakGoodChinese and lessons
(wordlists) one by one for a course can be impractical. For this, a
one-stop solution was created. It can also be used to just distribute
wordlists with audio examples.
Create a map (directory) with two subdirectories:
- SGC2 (optional)
Copy the following files into the top directory:
Copy the SpeakGoodChinese2 binaries from here
into the SGC2 map.
Copy the maps with the wordlists (see above) into the wordlists map. See
See here for the complete example.
The map can be distributed using USB thumbdrives, or compressed
as a ZIP file downloaded from the internet and the original
map extracted. When the appropriate script file is executed, i.e.,
double clicking the file icon, the correct binary is copied to the
Desktop and the wordlist maps are installed in the SpeakGoodChinese2
preferences directory. Thus, on a Windows computer, double click on
Global installation of word lists
The wordlists a user installs are placed in her local settings directory:
- MS Windows: C:\Documents and Settings\<User name>\SpeakGoodChinese2\wordlists
- Mac OSX: /Users/<User name>/Library/Preferences/SpeakGoodChinese2/wordlists
- Linux: /home/<User name>/.SpeakGoodChinese2/wordlists
To install wordlists for all users, place them in:
- MS Windows: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\SpeakGoodChinese2\wordlists
- Mac OSX: /Library/Preferences/SpeakGoodChinese2/wordlists
- Linux: /etc/SpeakGoodChinese2/wordlists