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Feedback Needed on New Thai Product: Read What I Want

Read What I Want

New Thai Product: Read What I Want…

Brett Whiteside (Learn Thai From A White Guy) is looking for feedback on a new project called Read What I Want.

Read What I Want is a tool for helping people learn to read faster by allowing them to access reading materials that they would normally consider way above their level.

RWIW makes use of crowdsourced learner-generated priority rankings on words and phrases so the reader knows what words/phrases in a particular passage matter to them right now and which ones are ok to skip over.

It will have all the standard functionality of definitions, audio, user lists and flashcards. The color-coded ranking which lets the user know how valuable that word is to them. For Thai and many languages, things like police rankings, people and place names, and foreign words can be really hard to figure out when you are just getting started. So for example, let’s say somebody goes through my reading course and now they can pretty much read everything, but they don’t really know any words. They can start skimming just about anything and picking out the blue colored words to learn first. They don’t need to try to figure out the whole passage if they don’t want to and they can skip the crossed out and lower ranked words that they can see don’t matter so much for them right now.

Read What I Want will eventually work with all languages. As there’s a need, Thai will be first.

Process for user interaction:

  • User submits link or copied text.
    • Manually.
    • Via bookmarklet.
  • Text gets parsed by system.
    • Words/phrases get colored (or shaded) by pre-existing (eventually) user-generated data determining the priority “weight” of each particular word/phrase.
    • Audio generation (entire passage + individual word/phrase).
      • If word has existing file → access file.
      • If no — generate via text-to-speech.
      • Passages should be recorded (users may be able to vote on recording priority).

Please take a few minutes to check out the demo site and fill out the survey. Thanks!

Demo Site: Read What I Want
SurveyMonkey: Read What I Want Survey

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My passion is promoting the Thai language. Fullstop. Oh, and traveling. I'm passionate about that as well. And photography too.

9 Comments

  1. I’ve tried one word: ผลไม้ It seems to fail. Reading regular words in Thai is very easy. You probably want to get it handling irregular words.

  2. Kris, not much works right now – more will happen in a few days. At the moment Brett is sharing the idea rather than a polished product.

    I like the proposed extras that are not in LWT, FLTR and TTR. User lists and flashcards. Audio recorded for submitted copy.

  3. “Reading regular words in Thai is very easy. You probably want to get it handling irregular words.”

    Good point.

  4. It’s an good idea and when I was learning to read, I would have liked something like this but unless the word segmentation is much better, it’s going to be more a hindrance than a help. I just tried a paragraph from a story in Matichon and in the first line, it produced ผู้ต้องหา (hope that comes out OK as it looks very weird in my browser) as three separate words. Unless you already know what the word means, that’s going to be mighty confusing.

  5. On the text-to-speech thing, and I realise I may be years behind on this but in case not, I just discovered an add-on which does Thai text-to-speech in Anki – it’s available at https://ankiweb.net/shared/info/301952613 If you don’t have easy access to a native speaker who can record for you, it may be worth investigating.

  6. Hi Dan, thanks for checking it out. This is just a mockup, not a 100% working model.

    A decent word segmentation is indeed possible to pull off – we do it at thaitextreader.com.

  7. Thanks for the Anki TTS Dan. I don’t often use Anki but I know a lot of people do.

  8. A complementary approach might be to segment the text as normal, and then ‘spreed’ it (for an example, see http://www.spreeder.com) — which means presenting the words one after another in quick sequence.

    It helps in promoting quick recognition of Thai words, but not in picking Thai words out of a mass of text.

  9. Rick, I’d forgotten all about Spreeder. It’d be great to use after being parsed (back then there weren’t any parsers that I knew of).

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