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Cram as cram can

So I am trying to learn (modern) Greek, for reasons. I have books, and online classes, and the usual apps. But what I was missing was a simple way to rehearse common words. My thoughts went to Wikidata items, and then to lexemes. Lexemes are something I have not worked with a lot, so this seemed like a good opportunity. Pauken (German for to cram) is the result.

I decided to start with nouns. Nouns have probably a corresponding Wikidata item, like “dog”. A small number of (somehow related) items makes for a nice learning exercise. I could just take the label in the language to be learned, and be done. Or, I could make it more complicated! So, given a small set of items to learn, I am using the “item for this sense” property on lexemes to link them. Then, I use:

  • lexeme label, pronounciation audio, and gammatical gender
  • item image, and (as a fallback) label

to generate entries on a page. These will show the image from the item, or the label in the “known” language (which I determine by the browser settings) as a fallback. There are currently two modes:

  • Reveal shows you the entries, with images and audio (where available), but with the label as “???”. You can try to recall the correct label, then click on the image, and the label (and grammatical gender) will be revealed. Another click hides it again.
  • Pick hides everything except the image, and offers an audio “play” button, with a randomly chosen pronounciation audio. Play the audio, then click the correct image; it will mark a correct answer in green, or a wrong one in red (with the correct one in blue). The color marking will disappear after a moment, and the next random audio will play automatically (so you dont have to click the “play” button all the time).

This is a simple working demo, but already quite useful IMHO. But beyond learning a language, you are also encouraged to add and edit lexemes; a missing lexeme, or rather no lexeme linking to the item, will show in a traditional red link. A lexeme with missing pronounciation audio will show a microphone, linking to, so you can record the missing audio.

Also, the example links on the main page of the tool can be improved by editing Wikidata.