How To Create Your Own Word List



If you buy the full version of FlashCards, you will be able to create and import your own word lists. The most important caveat to this is that you need to be able to put your list on the internet somewhere and then type that location into FlashCards. I've successfully retrieved a list of words from my hotmail skydrive, but the URL was so long I'd suggest using bit.ly if you try to go that route. FlashCards downloads the list and stores it locally, so you only need to download it once if the list isn't changing. If you do regularly update your list, don't fret. FlashCards remembers the link, so you only need to type it once.

The second most important caveat is that WP7 currently doesn't support Right to Left languages (like Arabic), so neither does FlashCards. The good news is that the built in font appears to support all or at least most Left to Right languages. At least, it does Kanji, and that's so big, I'd be surprised if they didn't cover the others as well.

The FlashCards word list file format is very simple. A good example is the built in Spanish To English file, which you can find here. Start with a text file called whatever you'd like. The file can be unicode or utf8 if you're doing characters that aren't in the ascii set. The first line of the file must be the two languages you're studying separated by a vertical bar (|). For instance, if you want to do Spanish and English, your first line would be

Spanish|English

If you want to get fancy and write "Spanish" in Spanish, that's perfectly okay. Flashcards uses these words throughout the program, but it doesn't care what they actually say. You can write whatever is useful to you.

After that first line, there are five different kinds of lines in the file:

Blank lines are completely ignored. You're welcome to put them in if they make reading your file easier.

Lines that start with a single semicolon (;) are word group names. In the app, when you go to the "Words" list, it uses these names (without the ;). All words below a group name (until the next name) are in that group. For instance you can do:

; Days of the Week

And then have 7 words below it. Then you might do "; Months" and put the months below that. Everything between "Days of the Week" and "Months" will be in the Days of the Week group.

Lines that start with multiple semicolons (;;) are groups of groups. For instance, you might have a "; Basic Verbs" group and an "; Advanced Verbs" group. Then you might have an ";; All Verbs" Group above them that combines them both. If the user selects All Verbs, it will automatically select both Basic and Advanced. Look at the example file to see how this works.

Words are done the same way you did the first line--Foreign Word and Native Word separated by a |. For instance, if your first line was "Spanish|English" then you can have a word line like:

uno|one

Words can be phrases as well (spaces are allowed).

Finally, you can add an override for the languages. For instance, if your list is mostly Spanish|English, but you also have a group of German to Spanish words, you can override the languages for that section. To do this, add a line that has the two languages, but starts with a colon (:)

:German|Spanish

All the words from then on will be considered German to Spanish. When you want to go back to using the default languages (the first line in your file) do a line that starts with a : but doesn't have a |

:end override

That's pretty much it. If any of this doesn't make sense, take a look at the spanish.txt example, and it should become clear. One last tip, if the last word in your file isn't showing up, you probably need to go to add a carriage return to it (go to the end of the last line and hit "enter").



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