can you get more random?

10 000 sentences, the easy way

June 7th, 2013 Posted in geeky stuff, languages

Apart from spending copious amounts of time learning Spanish German, I’ve also been researching the most effective methods for language learning. Meta-language learning, I guess.

My first discovery was

Anki, or SRS systems in general. I’ve got a german Anki deck that I’ve been building for the past year or so, although it hasn’t been updated in a while.

I was recently reading about 10 000 sentences. For me, it sounded like the quickest way to rapidly acquire new language skills. The only problem was finding a source of sentences. AJATT recommends building your deck from sentences you find while learning the language, and many people on the web warn against using someone else’s deck.

When I found out about Tatoeba, I realised that it would be possible to quickly build a personalised deck using sentences of your choice. TaToTen.com is the result.

The idea is to choose sentences that you think will be useful, rather then downloading a bunch of random sentences. One (rather large) caveat is that there are many errors in the Tatoeba corpus, so you shouldn’t blindly trust the translations.

My todo list for the site contains the following items (at the moment) :

  • Search functionality to list sentences containing specific words
  • Ordering the sentences by quality or popularity so bad sentences will be less visible. If you have any ideas about how to do this, I’d love to hear them

If you have any other suggestions, let me know !

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