Pleco Grammar

Alexis

状元
Hi Mike,

I'd love to have a searchable and well-indexed chinese grammar program.

The value-add would be in the organization and search capabilitie. It may be possible, for example, a person to enter a sentence (perhaps one cut and paste from pleco dictionary or another source, or highlighted in the reader), and get a "search" for grammatical structures, particles, etc, contained in the sentence. Would be great if pinyin were supported so that someone could enter in a structure that they hear. Would need to develop something to seperate the grammar patterns an vocab so that the user can jump to the appropriate grammar point, or definition in the dictionary. Could even integrate this in the reader interface.

As well there could also be a structured interface that allows you to search by an index, grammatical functions, etc.

Some of my favorite grammar books that I would love to see as the basis of such a program would be:
http://www.amazon.com/Modern-Mandarin-C ... 119&sr=8-1
http://findbook.tw/book/9789867438737/basic
http://www.amazon.com/Mandarin-Chinese- ... 119&sr=8-2
http://www.amazon.com/Chinese-Comprehen ... 300&sr=1-3

Exercises could be adapted to format suitable for electronic media.

Could have a mode where you go through a progression of test (ie. show the english, user must input (or recall) the correct translation., If you get it wrong, you can jump to the appropriate grammar point (for syntactical errors) or work definition in pleco (for new vocabulary). Users could share their own example sentences and links to grammar points "tests" that they have made (much like flashcard files. Could also have other testing modes based on 'bookmarked' grammar points that may use multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, choose the correct sentence, etc.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Thanks for the suggestion.

I've been thinking for a while about how we might go about adding better sentence / grammar-handling capabilities to Pleco. Improving support for it in flashcards would be easy enough (option to use smaller characters in headwords for words longer than a certain length, more syllables for audio / free-answer and the like, etc) but adding a way to search for sentences / structures would be rather tricky; people might not hear the whole thing, or might think an extra character or two are part of it that actually aren't, or might not even recognize something as a grammatical structure, and there wouldn't be much point in adding a grammar reference if we couldn't also provide a "how do I say X" type function which would present its own search problems (probably better as a sort of a categorized, phrasebook-like thing).

Having a large sentence database might help with this, particularly if combined with full-text search - we could provide a way to search example sentences across all of our dictionaries and between them that would probably give you a couple of examples of almost any grammar structure. But an intuitive, categorized way of looking up how to express a particular kind of idea / pattern in Chinese would definitely be key.
 
Hey Mike,

I am glad to see that the topic of grammar has popped back up again and that it is moving forward enough in your plans that you have thought about it a little more. :) One of my favorite books in this area is actually a function word dictionary, "A New Chinese-English Dictionary of Function Words" "新编汉英虚词词典“ This one would be easy to index because the data (at least in the paperback) are listed alphabetical by character. So a person just looks up the characters in the function word (or the first characters if they are part of a sentence pattern) to get an explanation of how the function word is used as well as several example sentences.
 

sych

榜眼
Over the past 6 months or so I have been gradually converting all the exercises in Routledge Grammar's "Basic Chinese - A Grammar and Workbook" and "Intermmediate Chinese - A Grammar and Workbook" into SuperMemo for PalmOS databases. If anyone would like copies of my (incomplete) databases, please let me know and I'll make them available somehow. I think I could also find a way to export the data to CVS, if anyone would like to try importing to another program.

(Also, if anyone else has these books and SM for Palm, and would like to share the work of converting the exercises to flashcards with me, please let me know... my progress has been slower than I'd like!)

Mike, these books are quite accessible and have a lot of exercises which are fairly easily converted to flashcard format. If you haven't seen them before, they might be worth a look. I don't know how you'd go licensing the content.
 
I'd like a copy of the database. However, if you would prefer, you could post them on my wiki instead. The wiki is listed in the beta forum, or email me and I will give you the link.

I have a little cleaning up to do before merging all the reader files (already listed on Pleco's download page) and some extra stuff.

Stephan tabletguy at panlogicsoftware dot com
 

delectric

Member
Sych, I would definately like a copy of those cards. I use supermemo for the pocket PC so you could just give them to me in QandA format. I've got a ton of material myself so if you're interested let me know we can do a swap. I tried contacting you but there's something wrong with the forum at the moment. If you're interested email me at keithlamb@hotmail.com
 

sfrrr

状元
I'll join the chorus. I'd love to have copies of those databases. those books are among my favorites. I'm a Win Mobile type, but if there were some way I could contribute some work on this project, I'd consider it the price of admission. How could we work this out?
 

Barry

举人
Dear Mike,

I'd like to ask whether the grammar add-on for Pleco is planned to be created?

It will be really helpful to see grammar analyze in Pleco flashcards (in example sentences, I mean).

I am sure, a lot of users agree.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Not quite sure what you mean - so you want to be able to review articles on particular points of grammar in our flashcard system?
 

Barry

举人
Well, I was thinking about a way for Pleco to help memorize grammar points using examples via flashcards, because remembering all the grammar rules is really problematic.

Is it possible to create such system?
 
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etm001

状元
Well, I was thinking about a way for Pleco to help memorize grammar points using examples via flashcards, because remembering all the grammar rules is really problematic.
I think this would be straight forward to implement due to the nature of Chinese grammar, which relies heavily on word order (i.e., grammar patterns). The key elements necessary for testing would be 1) the grammar pattern (e.g., 「連。。。都/也。。。」), 2) an explanation of it's meaning/usage, 3) example sentences that use the pattern (with translation). Almost all of Pleco's current testing modes could be utilized, excluding perhaps audio only, which I don't feel would be so useful when reviewing grammar. Fill-in-the-blank (i.e. cloze testing) would be really helpful, i.e., in the 「連。。。都/也。。。」example, you could show an example sentence with one of the word(s) in the pattern missing, and the user has to write or select the correct word. (In the first portion of the TOCFL (Taiwanese equivalent to HSK), the first portion of the test is a grammar cloze test).

What would be even cooler: assume Pleco has a database of Chinese grammar patterns (including your scores for each pattern). You point Pleco to a piece of text, it locates the patterns in the text and finds all for which your current score is < 100 and creates a cloze test on those patterns. And yes, I know pattern matching is not easy. :)
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Straightforward in conception but a TON of grunt work to realize, building the database and adding the sizable quantity of code needed to leverage it. It's the sort of thing I'd love to do in the future if Apple / Google settle down to a sensible 5-years-between-major-updates schedule like Microsoft had going for a while :)
 
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