Vocabulary lists: instructions

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Instructions supplied by QUENTIN smile Please, contact this forer if you have any doubts.

We would like to point out that vocabulary lists are a public tool for learners of Spanish. To avoid making mistakes, please read these simple instructions.

1) Make your list consistent throughout. When you develop a pattern use it throughout your list. If you are using the definite or indefinite article with nouns then use them with all nouns. If you use infinitives to represent verbs use them throughout. Don't conjugate some and not others unless you develop a recognizable pattern.

2) Avoid using synonyms that are translated with the same word. Don't create two flashcard that will present the same prompt in the Recall section. e.g. ; not

3)Avoid superfluous punctuation. The computer (with exception of capital letters) matches your reply to the prompt. If not exactly the same you get an error. amigo/a is not the same as amigo(a) or amigo..a
el/la is not the same as el / la después de.. is not the same as después de .. (extra space) or después
de...(extra dot).

  1. Recognize flash card size limits. Don't create prompts that are so long that the entire prompt does not display (idioms)

  2. Be careful to properly place your words under the proper category in your list (English or Spanish). If sometimes you would rather be prompted in the other language use the "flip" terms option in Flashcard Player or you will end up with the speaker in the Learn section speaking your English word as it were a Spanish word.

  3. Recognize the constraints of using a voice synthesizer to read the Flashcards.
    Realize that prompts like amigo(a), amigoa, el/la amigo(a) (hacer) él/ella/Vd. will not be pronounced correctly. amigo(a) is pronounced as one word. The voice software does not interpret your intention.

  4. Keep in mind that your list may be "flipped"". Don't do thing like flag words or add comments thinking that it isn't going to be pronounced or written. When you list is "flipped" your translations become prompts. I saw one list that put an asterisk by the words she wanted to concentrate on. When the list was "flipped" you had to remember which words had the asterisk to do the Recall.

8.Avoid using phrases that cannot be recognized as questions or exclamations without hearing the phrase spoken. ¡Hola! on one card, Buenos Días. on another. Was that Hola. or ¡Buenos Días!'?
Refer back to rule 1.

6453 views
updated JUN 25, 2009
posted by 00494d19

15 Answers

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And yes Duy, the flashcards are good to help you pronounce the words. I use them all the time.

updated JUN 25, 2009
posted by eric_collins
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i totally agree with everyone on the private list option. I have to admit this is the best Spanish website I have ever seen, with lively discussions, the feel of my space and facebook, chat room, etc. What i love about flashcard feature is that it can help you pronounce the words... If you have the list option similar to wiki process like craig mentions, this will be awesome!

I defiently agree with everyone who thinks that way about the private list.

updated JUN 25, 2009
posted by eric_collins
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Please note that all newly created flashcards are private by defect smile

updated JUN 22, 2009
posted by 00494d19
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I have tried to maek my own vocab list, but have been unsuccessful at it. Does anyone no of an easier way on making your own vocab list'

updated FEB 21, 2009
posted by Tiffany
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i totally agree with everyone on the private list option. I have to admit this is the best Spanish website I have ever seen, with lively discussions, the feel of my space and facebook, chat room, etc. What i love about flashcard feature is that it can help you pronounce the words... If you have the list option similar to wiki process like craig mentions, this will be awesome!

updated DIC 7, 2008
posted by duy
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That's great news, Heidita!

I wholeheartedly agree with Natasha, Danny and Wendy. In the future, if we had 'my lists' (private) and 'all lists' (public) as two separate areas, this would be a great improvement. Maybe afterwards, you could introduce some sort of "publish" or "wiki" process for turning a good-quality private list into a public one.

When combined with the Spanish dictionary, the vocabulary list feature would become a much more powerful learning tool, to help me capture what I learn in class - even if it includes the odd mistake. This would certainly encourage me to use the site more often.

updated DIC 7, 2008
posted by Craig-Turberfield
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Wendy, kind words. Thank you. We are looking into this, having a private list option is a good idea.

updated NOV 30, 2008
posted by 00494d19
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I also agree with Natasha. I like having a list or lists of words I would use that others in my area use. But I would like to keep it private since not everyone would use it the way I would. I am glad mine were deleted because I never want to mislead anyone. That is why I asked the experienced ones to look at them. Until then, I have been making lists of my own and having them checked over by my friends who are fluent in speaking spanish and then store them in my own computer for reference and practice.

I'd like to thank the ambassadors and administrators for the work they put into this site everyday.

updated NOV 29, 2008
posted by Wendy
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I agree with Natasha, I'm using a list to help myself with some schoolwork, I wouldn't say it's good for public use though!

updated NOV 28, 2008
posted by dannyboymed
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Any chance of getting a "Private" list option? I probably don't have any lists out there anymore (if lists with mistakes are really being deleted), but it would be really nice to able to keep personal lists. It beats the old paper-and-pencil method hands-down!

updated NOV 28, 2008
posted by Natasha
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The' Vocabulary List Terms' in the bottom Right Hand Corner is also a great tool. Especially those which have the 'Spanish terms' in alphabetical order as opposed to the 'English terms'.......maybe all the lists should be done his way.

updated NOV 28, 2008
posted by Mark-Baker
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I like Quentin's idea of basically having Vocab. lists reviewed before they go public. I have never made a list but I would like to start and would like the security of knowing that a couple of you, whose expertise I trust, had looked at it before it was used.

updated NOV 28, 2008
posted by Redimida
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We will be grateful to hear your opinion about this topic.

updated NOV 28, 2008
posted by 00494d19
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I wrote these "rules" off the top of my head. I'm sure that others that have been using the vocabulary lists can come up with other suggestions. Please post them here so that we can have them all in one place where we can refer people to who would like help authoring a list.

My first suggestion would be to create a page where new lists can be stored until they have been reviewed by, at least, two other members of the community. Then, after effecting corrections, the author could have his list moved to the regular Vocabulary page (if he so desires).

For those of you not familiar with the Vocabulary section of this site let me explain that the current lists of vocabulary words are public and are shared by our entire community. They have not undergone any review beyond user's comments. The List's author is not required to effect corrects nor acknowledge comments. The usual scenario is that the author has mastered his list by the time comments are submitted and the list has been abandoned by him. It is not subject to editing (beyond deletion) by anyone, but a few members of the staff. MANY of these lists were created by fellow beginners to aid in their studies. They are rife with every type of error from misspellings, omitted diacritical marks, wrong grammar, wrong translations to wrong formatting. These are unacceptable for sharing among beginners who will not recognize their errors. We're creating this discussion to effect repairing /deleting the lists containing errors and to post suggestions that will prevent a repetition of how we got to this state. If you encounter lists containing errors, please, let someone know. Posting a comment on the list site (while helpful if the author is monitoring his list) does not guarantee that anyone capable of repairing the list will see it. While carping about a service that is wonderful compared to the alternative of not having vocabulary lists, I'd like to thank Christopher, Paralee, and Heidita for their excellent lists. I think its a unique service that I would surely like to see fulfill its potential. With help and ideas from the community at large I think we can make this the invaluable reference and practice tool that was originally envisioned.

updated NOV 27, 2008
posted by 0074b507
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I would like to mention Quentin's invaluable help composing these instructions, with my lists and with so many corrections so far on uncountable lists on this site.

updated NOV 27, 2008
posted by 00494d19