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FlashCards for iPhone Released

Declan Software’s Audio FlashCards for iPhone was released for sale on Itunes today. Here are the direct links for each available language version’s iTunes page:




Audio FlashCards for iPhone and iTouch is a foreign language vocabulary learning tool by Declan Software available for Chinese, Japanese, Korean, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Russian. Each version includes atleast 3000 words and phrases each with a native speaker audio recording. Words are organized into approximately 100 WordFiles with each WordFile containing up to 100 words.
The Learning List:  The words are learned based on a Learning List. The Learning List contains a subset of all the words in the WordFile – 10 words by default (although this can be changed by users). The Learning List allows users to concentrate learning a small group of words at any one time. Once a word is learned (by reviewing the Learning List and completing the Exercises) it is removed from the Learning List and is replaced by another, as yet unlearned word from the WordFile. This continues until the whole WordFile is learned.
Exercises:  Words in the learning list should first be Reviewed using the “Review Learning List” option. Then users can move to the Exercises which include the Meaning Exercise, the Word Exercise, the Spelling Exercise and the Listening Exercise. Once all the exercises have been correctly completed, the word is marked as complete, removed from the Learning List and replaced by a new word. However, if the user gets one answer wrong in any of the exercises, then all the exercises must be completed again for that one word. This ensures comprehensive learning and retention.
Managing the Learning List:  After a new WordFile is loaded the Learning List size is automatically set to 10. The number of words in the Learning List can be set by adding or removing words to the Learning List in the “Review Words” feature. In the “Task” menu select “All Words in WordFile” and then return to the main page. The select “Review All WordFile Words”. As you progress through the words in the WordFile words can be added to and dropped from the Learning List using the “Add to Learning List” / “Drop from Learning List” button. If you end up changing the number of words in the Learning List, that number will be maintained as words are learning and dropped from the Learning List, and new words are automatically added the Learning List to replace learned words.
Loading new WordFiles: To switch to another wordfile simply press the “Load Another WordFile” button and then select the WordFile you desire from the “Load WordFile” table.  The Audio FlashCards comes preloaded with 3 WordFiles – all other WordFiles are downloaded by the application as required using an (WiFi or 3G) internet connection. If a WordFile needs to be downloaded before it can be used it will have a grey icon next to it in the “Load WordFile” table. To start downloading the WordFile simply select that WordFile and then press the “Start Download” button.
  • Arabic, Greek, Portuguese and Chinese (Traditional) versions coming soon.

Word of the Day WordPress Widget Plugin

Declan’s Word of the Day Widgets are now available as a WordPress plugin. Languages available include Japanese, Chinese (both simplified and traditional), Korean, Russian, French, Arabic, German, Spanish, Italian and Indonesian.

Installation Instructions (for version 2.7 of WordPress)

(i.) Download the plugin you would like from the WP Plugin repository. Here are the  links to the download pages:

(ii.) Unzip the downloaded file and copy the PHP file (french-word-of-the-day.php for example) into you server’s  /wp-content/plugins/  folder. Or you can use WordPress’s built-in plugin install feature.

(iii.) Then in your blogs administration pages go to the “Plugins” menu (as illustrated below)


and choose the “Installed” menu item (as illustrated below).


There you should see the Word of the Day plugin listed. Click the “Activate” link (as illustrated below) to activate the widget.


(iv.) Now you need to configure the widget so that it shows up in the Sidebar. To do that go to the “Appearance” menu (as illustrated below)


and select the “Widgets” item (as illustrated below)


You will then see that the “Word of the Day” widget then appears in the “Available Widgets” list. Click the “Add” link (as illustrated below)  to add the widget to the sidebar.


And don’t forget to click the “Save Changes” button (as illustrated below)  to finish the installation and configuration process.


You should then see a Word of the Day widget in your sidebar that looks something like the French example illustrated below.


Sunday Photo – 04 January 2009

Rooftops, Siena Italy - Winter 2008

FlashCards for iPhone – Coming Soon

Here are the gallery of icons we have so far:


Japanese Flashcards Reviewed

A nice review of our Japanese language software on FileForum by reviewer xboco:

Outside of the fact that I’m currently a student taking Japanese (it just so happens that, because I transferred, I missed a year of Japanese and have to now take it over the summer), this program is simply fantastic. One of the most effective ways of learning – flash cards – were made better electronically. The program infuses the user with the native style as much as possible, and it incorporates a “clean” style. It has its primary buttons out in the open, and it does not throw random extra buttons into the layout (in other words, effectively minimalistic). As far as the price goes for this particular program, you’d have to have a serious reason to buy the program (or desire to keep a constant connection with Japanese).

Facebook Widgets – Audio Word of the Day

We have rolled out our new Audio Word of the Day Facebook Widgets. These are the Facebook versions of our Google and Vista Sidebar gadgets which we have aggregated here.  Here is an screen shot of the Japanese Word of the Day Facebook app:

Japanese Facebook App

 The Facebook applications URL are:


Japanese Writing – Kanji Radicals

Today we ask:  What are kanji radicals?

All kanji contain a classifying radical that is a component of the kanji. Often the radical imparts meaning to the kanji – for example the radical for hand 扌 appears in both of the kanji that combine to form the word “grasp” (把持)** and the individual kanji for “throw” (投). Recognizing a kanji’s radical often helps in memorising or deciphering the meaning of the kanji.

Most kanji dictionaries classify kanji according to their radicals. Therefore recognising the radial of an unknown kanji helps with looking it up in a dictionary.

Japanese kanji has 214 different radicals (the Bushu index).

Radicals can appear almost anywhere in a kanji – at the top, on the left, on the right, at the bottom and surrounding (enclosing). For instance:

This is the for “harbour” with the radical for water highlighted in red.
Here is the character for “country” with the radical for “mouth, opening, sounding” highlighted in red.
Here is the character for “big” – it is classified as a radical itself.

 See here for the complete list of the 214 bushu radicals.

** – If you can not see the kanji characters in this post and you are a Windows user you may need to install the Japanese IME. Please see this page for detailed instructions.

iPhone FlashCards App – Coming Soon

Here is sneak-peek of the upcoming iPhone version of our Audio FlashCards application. First to be released will the French version and here are a couple of screen shots.
First the Start Window
The Review Words window: 
The Words multiple choice exercise
The Listening multiple choice exercise
The Wordfile load window. So far we have 98 wordfiles totaling over 4400 words and phrases. 
 And finally the application About window that
also features the audio volume control:

Remembrance Day 2008

Remembrance Day 2008 - Paris

Remembrance Day 2008 - Eglise Saint-Louis des Invalides, Paris has a very nice implementation of our free Korean Audio Word of the Day widget/gadget. See the right-hand column of the site. is a new community site targeted at expatriates living in Korea.