Dia daoibh a chairde! I’d like to let you know about a unique free program that is brilliant in helping you learn efficiently. It’s called ‘Mnemosyne’. It resembles a traditional flash-card system and can be used to learn any subject.
It works by presenting a term or graphic (e.g. the irish term ‘Cara’ for friend) and asks you what it is. You try and remember the term, but rather than type the answer, you select a box on a scale of 0-5 on how well you remember it. ‘0’ meaning you have forgotten the card completely and ‘5’ being you know it very well. Look at the image below which shows the Mnemosyne program window:
So using our example, Cara, a beginner may select box labelled ‘1’ as they are not familiar with that word yet. The program then remembers this and so will present this word more often to the learner when they are using the program. Words that are already familiar or have become familiar will show up less often and so the learner studies only those words that are proving difficult to learn. This makes your learning more efficient by concentrating on the words you don’t know rather than waste time on the words you do. By doing this it helps build the target vocabulary into your long term memory.
You can adjust how you learn with various options within the program and the program is quite small in file size that you can use a pen drive to carry it around. There are various methods to input words/graphics into the program. You can type them or import from text files. The website already has a free catalogue of subjects ranging from various languages, medical terms and so forth many of which submitted by others.
Mnemosyne is a very efficient and effective study approach and I highly recommend it. So much so, that each EasyIrish.com’s podcast will feature an option on the website to download a text file of the vocabulary of that Podcast for input into the Mnemosyne program.You can download the Mnemosyne program for free from the Mnemosyne Project’s website.
The Mnemosyne site has easy to follow instructions on how to install and use the program. Once you have downloaded and installed it, you are then ready to import EasyIrish.com files into Mnemosyne. If you want to do that then please follow the instructions below:
1. On each EasyIrish.com lesson, there will be the mp3 file, the pdf file of lesson notes and a txt file for use with Mnemosyne. Right click on the Mnemosyne icon next to the Lesson name.
2. Select ‘Save Target as’ or ‘Save Link as’ and save the file to your computer.
3. Open Mnemosyne, go to menu and select FILE >IMPORT. See image below.
4. Select ‘Text with tab separated Q/A’.
5. Browse to where the txt file of the lesson is .
6. Give it a title. The title helps to have multiple categories to help organise your learning e.g. Irish verbs, Irish adjectives etc.
7. To start practicing go to menu again and select DECK>ACTIVATE CATEGORIES.
8. Select the category title you just entered and you’re ready to start.
If you have problems there is plenty of help from the Mnemosyne’s website. Plus, feel free to get in touch here and I’m only too happy to help.Ádh mór!