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Learning Languages with Games and JellyMemo

Whenever someone asks me how I learned English, I always answer: through video games. Countless nights spent with a dictionary and titles like Fallout or Deus Ex eventually gave me good understanding of the language.

Games have many elements that make them a perfect medium for language learning: they are immersive and fun, allow for custom pace, and don’t come with the fear of making mistakes in front of another human. Using games as a primary method of learning comes with some interesting side effects though. For instance, I learned what a “fork” is only years after mastering phrases like “shotgun”, “bullet” or “rocket-propelled grenade”.

Last year, I decided to use the above method to learn the language I am struggling with mastering right now: German. To make the process more efficient, I built a small helper app that imports English and German text from a game and creates a set of flashcards. I’m using it on my phone to learn the vocabulary from the game which I play afterwards on my computer.

Supervolatile.com visualization
JellyMemo, demo page

I created this app with a specific game in mind. However, later on I decided to open source it and make it customizable. The app can now load any two localization files, so it can be used to study any language, using any source material – not only games.

To get the idea of how the app works, you can open the demo in a web browser and start using it right away. The sample content used in the app comes from Jelly Splash, a game I work on in my day job at Wooga. I named the app accordingly as JellyMemo.

For more details about the app head over to Github. And if you decide to fork and use it for learning a new language with another game, please let me know!

Comments

  1. Have you tried using Supermemo or Anki?

    I know that any of them does not create flashcards by itself, but maybe the algorithm behind would be more helpful in picking up repetition intervals, etc.

  2. I have tried Anki, though I got quickly terrified of its interface. And I have heard more than once about Supermemo, but haven’t tried it myself. I use Duolingo daily – it also implements an algorithm to repeat lessons at optimal intervals.

    Implementing such an algorithm is certainly on my todo list for another learning app I am working on (the one published here is its much smaller sibling). However, there are no deadlines set on that project ;).

  3. Teraz zapomniałem , ale dla początkujących jest taka fajna strona na której rozwiązujemy łamigłówki. Taka forma zabawy połączona z nauką języka.

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