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Parley Manual

This Manual is for Parley that comes with the KDE Software Compilation 4.5 and later. Especially the practice has changed since KDE SC 4.4.

Introduction

Parley is a vocabulary trainer. It helps you to memorize your vocabulary, for example when you are trying to learn a foreign language. You can create your own files with the words you need or select from a great variety of Vocabulary Files. There you can find files containing language vocabulary and also anatomy, music, geography, chemistry or exam preparation.

Parley is very flexible and uses the flash card learning approach. It automatically keeps track of your progress and lets you sort your vocabulary as you wish. But unlike real flash cards you can use different learning methods with Parley

Flashcards contain expressions on the front side and their translation on the back. You start with a pile of cards. If you know the translation on a card, you can put it into a second pile of cards. If you fail, you keep it in the first one to try again later.

Parley's main focus is not to teach you grammar or other sophisticated things. However, there are some exercise forms which may help you in this matter.

Tip: Like in all applications try to use the right-click if you explore features and functionality in Parley. The right-click displays a "context menu" that shows what you can do with your present situation. Try right-clicking a bit and have a look!

Start Page

When your first start Parley you are greeted by the start page. It shows you the last vocabulary collection that you worked with.

A vocabulary collection is a file that contains lessons and words to practice.

Parley welcome screen.png

To edit a file, click "Edit" on the right of it. To start practising right away, use the Practice button.

If you'd like to start your own collection of vocabulary, click "Create a New Collection".

You can also open a collection if you have it on your computer already but it's not in the list, or download a collection.

Parley comes with themes, you can switch to a different graphical style in the settings.

Open an existing file

Let's suppose your file is already on your hard disk.

This is how you will see your screen the first time you start Parley:

Parley initial screen 0-9-4.png

Click on the button Open an Existing Collection

In the file selection dialog navigate to the directory that contains the data file, select it by clicking on it. Depending on your system the file opens immediately or you have to click on ok

Parley file select dialog 0-9-4.png

The file is loaded and you will see something similar to this:

Parley example file opened 0-9-4.png

For the example file mentioned here we know that it contains pictures and sound. These are not immediately shown. Therefore the next step is to select the options for the visualization of pictures and sound files.

In the menu bar select view and activate picture and sound.

Parley view picture and sound 0-9-4.png

The next step for you is then how to practice vocabulary.

Vocabulary Practice

To start practising you select a document after starting Parley. When you have it opened in the editor, just click "Practice" in the toolbar.


Configure Practice

There are three areas in the practice configuration:

  • The selection of languages
  • The selection of the practice mode
  • The selection of the lessons that also shows your current progress

You can also select which lessons you want to practice with the checkbox in front of the lesson name. The number of words that each lesson contains is shown next to its name. After that you see your current progress with this lesson.

Configure practice.png


Blocking

If you plan to practice your vocabulary regularly, you should enable the blocking feature. It is in the menu in Practice→Configure Practice. There you select the blocking page and tick the checkbox that says Blocking. Now you can even configure the interval in which words that you answered correctly will be repeated.

Configure blocking.png

Thresholds are another way of limiting what you want to practice. Parley configure thresholds.png

You can find several more configuration options for the practice in the advanced settings page. Parley configure advanced.png



Practice

Parley practice grey flash.png Parley practice grey flash solution.png


Parley practice grey written.png Parley practice grey written right.png Parley practice grey written wrong.png

Parley practice bees.png

Parley practice fluffy.png

Summary After Practice

The summary shows up when you finish a learning session. It shows in a big bar, how well you did. Below it you see in a table all the words that you practiced and the mistakes that you made. You can even sort this table by clicking on the column headers. That is especially helpful if you want to know which words you need to practice most. Click the wrong attempts column for that. Parley practice summary.png

Grammar Practice Modes

==== Articles and Gender of Nouns ====

Comparison Forms of Adjectives

Conjugations

Configure practice conjugation.png

Parley practice bees conjugation.png

Creating new files

In this section we will describe how to create new files and this not only with the usual vocabulary learning part, but also for grammar exercises, mathematics etc.

New Collection: Vocabulary trainer English-German

In this section we describe how you can create a vocabulary training file including pictures and sound.

Since we wish to add soundfiles and pictures, we must make sure that these will all be in one folder which for convenience is being called eng-deu. Our data file we create with Parley will be saved in the same folder.

So this is what we have in terms of soundfiles and pictures:

Folder with sound and pictures.png

Let's start from the welcome screen which is shown once you launch Parley:

Parley initial screen 0-9-4.png

Click on the button Create a New Collection

The General Document Properties page shows up which is being filled as follows (just adapt to what your file is about):

Parley trainer eng-deu 0-9-4 001.png

Just click on OK. The following screen asks you for the Properties for English. Here we don't want to change anything and therefore we just click on OK.

As a first step, let's just create the vocabulary part. We will think about the addition of the soundfiles and pictures in a second stage. So this is how the Vocabulary trainer file looks like:

Parley trainer eng-deu 0-9-4 002.png

Before we do anything else, let's save the file to the folder with the pictures and soundfiles. Just click on the Save-icon and select the folder using the navigation. In this example we will call the file Trainer eng-deu - once you entered the name just click on save.

Parley trainer eng-deu 0-9-4 003.png

If you now check your folder where the soundfiles and pictures are, you will also find the file Trainer eng-deu.kvtml

Let's have a short look at the words we want to add: apple, bird, cat, cherry, cow, orange, pear, snake, strawberry. We have animals and fruit and therefore we decide to create two lessons that are called: animals and fruit.

We now change Lesson 1 to Animals and then will add a lesson called Fruit. Right-click on Lesson 1 and choose Rename Lesson from the options shown. Now Lesson 1 is highlighted and you can simply overwrite it by typing in Animals. When done, just hit the return button. Now right-click on Collection: Vocabulary trainer E... which is the root of the lesson tree and choose New Lesson from the options shown. In the new field write Fruit and hit the return button.

Let's insert first the animals. Please click on the lesson Animals and you will get the empty table you can fill in. Just a first click with your mouse in the first field, insert the source terms in the first column and the target terms in the second column. Once you inserted all 4 English animal names with their German translation the screen looks like this:

New Collection: Single names and collective names

This exercise was created for the 3rd class of an Italian primary school. Pupils are supposed to connect single names with collective names, such as tree --> woods

When you start Parley you get the start page, eventually also listing some previously used files (that you cannot see here).

Parley initial screen 0-9-4.png

Click on Create a New Collection and the following screen with empty or partly filled fields will show up:

Parley create new exercise collective names1.jpeg

Fill in the title, here nomi singoli e collettivi, your name, e-mail address, in the Comment section you can write down a more detailed description, select your category and license. Then there we have something special: instead of indicating the first and second language, like it normally would happen, we added nome singolo (single name) and nome collettivo (collective name). Setup Grammar Details and Download Grammar are not needed here. In the screenshot they are still activated - please deactivate them by just clicking on the checkboxes. When you are done, please click on OK.

The Properties page for nome singolo comes up and here you see it already with the necessary changes made:

Parley create new exercise collective names4.jpeg

On the left hand side you can see where the data you are adding belongs to. nome singolo. Choose the language, here Italian and insert nome singolo in the following editable field. Then click on OK.

Now the Properties page for nome collettivo is shown:

Parley create new exercise collective names5.jpeg

Like before: choose Italian as language and insert nome collettivo and click on OK.

And now you can start to edit:

Parley create new exercise collective names7.jpeg

Just insert the nome singolo (single name) in the first column and the corresponding nome collettivo (collective name) in the second column.

Parley create new exercise collective names8.jpeg

If the number of available fields is not enough, just right-click anywhere on the edit section and choose Add New Entry. Don't forget to save your file every now and then. When you have finished adding all entries you will want to see if Practice mode works fine. Well just click on the Practice button right above the edit section and the page with the practice settings comes up:

Parley create new exercise collective names10.jpeg

In this case Multiple Choice is a good option, but also Written will do fine. After choosing the Practice Mode just click on Start Practice and have fun.

Vocabulary Editing

Parley edit main.png

Setup

Before you start using a vocabulary collection or create your own it is helpful to understand the different elements in Parley and configure them accordingly. The next sections will guide you step by step through this process. There are several locations in Parley for settings:

  • File→Properties This is the place for the "General Document Properties", meaning some information about your vocabulary collection and yourself.
  • Edit→Languages Find here settings around the languages you use
  • Practice→Configure Practice Here are settings how you practice your vocabulary. Depending on what you want to do in the moment you change them on the fly.
  • Settings→Configure Parley For more general and display settings

About the Collection

Entering meta data like a title and your contact info if you plan on giving your collection to other people. Use File->Properties to edit the data.

Parley document properties.png

Languages and Grammar

Set up some grammar details to let Parley help you. Use Edit->languages to pull up the grammar dialog.

Articles in English are simply the which is the definite article and a as indefinite article. Most other languages have more articles which can be filled in at the articles tab.

For conjugations the personal pronouns should be filled out. Most languages do not have different conjugation forms for he/she/it, in that case, you should not check Male/Female have different conjugations! Simply enter the pronouns for all three forms. Personal Pronouns in English:

Singular Plural
1st Person I we
2nd Person you you
3rd Person he/she/it they


Tenses: Depending on the language, you can enter the right tenses which you later want to learn how to conjugate. Examples are: Simple Present, Simple Past, Future I etc.

Parley new document lang general.png Parley new document lang articles.png Parley new document lang personalpronouns.png Parley new document lang tenses.png

Lessons

On the left you have a list of lessons. If you started a new collection, this list might be empty except for one lesson that was created by default for you.

If you cannot see the list of lessons, you might have to enable it in the View menu - View->Lessons.

The check boxes in front of the lesson name show which lessons are currently included in your practice. The number next to it, is the number of words in the lesson.

New Lesson

Add a new lesson: Select where this lesson belongs to, for example the collection "My Spanish Lessons".

Parley new lesson1.png

In the Lesson menu, select "New Lesson".

Parley new lesson2.png

It is important, which lesson is selected before adding a new lesson!

Moving, Renaming and Deleting Lessons

To change the name of a lesson, double click it, or right click on the lesson and choose "rename". You can also delete it this way (but you'll loose its contents also then).

If you don't like the arrangement of lessons, you can move a lesson with the mouse. You can drag it onto another lesson, then it will become a child of that lesson.

Splitting a lesson

If your lessons grow too big, you can choose to split them up to make learning easier in small units. 20 words for a lesson is probably a good size. Right click a lesson, or use Lesson->Split and the lesson will be separated into child lessons. You can choose to randomize the words that are put into the new lessons before assigning them, or to keep them in order.

What is Shown in the Table

Parley shows always the words of the lesson that you have currently selected. You can enable to see the words in sub-lessons contained in this lesson also. Use Lesson→Show Entries from Child Lessons to enable this. That way, you can browse all words by selecting the document lesson at the very top.


Word Types

Parley lets you associate word types with the words. Word types are for example: Nouns, Verbs, Adjectives and Adverbs.

In order to work with word types, enable the word type tool: View→Word Types

You can categorize the word types just like lessons.

If you want to see all words of a certain type - e.g. all nouns, simply select the noun category, and you will see only nouns in the table.

The easiest way to set the word type, is to drag and drop a word onto its type. You can even do this with multiple words at the same time.

Words or Sentences

Finally the real vocabulary comes here :D

Adding New Vocabulary

Use "Add New Entry" in the toolbar to add new words. You can start typing the word in the first language right away. By default Parley lets you enter another word when you press enter in the last row, so you don't have to keep using the add button. After entering the first word, press enter or tab to go to the next language.

Editing Words

If you want to replace a word, select its entry and start typing. To change the word instead, double click the entry and you can change the contents of the cell without losing the old word.

Press TAB to go to the next word. Enter leaves the editing mode. You can use the arrow keys to move around.

Synonyms

Synonyms are hard to set up and do not always work really well. Here is how you set them up in any case:

  • Use View→Synonyms to see the synonyms tool.
  • Select first word (A) you want to make synonyms, then click on the second word (B)
  • The button in the synonym tool changes it's text to "A and B are synonyms"

The words will now be shown as connected in the synonym tool and can be recognized as synonyms in the practice.

Adding Sound

First show the sound tool - View→Synonyms.

To add sound to a word, you select the word in the table (in the language the sound file is in) and select the sound file in the sound tool.

Using Parley for Exam Preparation

  • what to bear in mind with long questions / answers?
  • how to start with a new Exam
  • example 1 with capitols
  • example 2 with sentence

More Advanced Crazy Stuff

File formats, Uploading files, Scripting

How To's


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