Pebble: Language Learning

Recently I’ve been starting to learn German. My Partner’s immediate family all live in Germany and Austria – she grew up there too, so I’m frequently over there and wishing I could follow a bit more of what’s going on when out and about. Obviously I thought I’d leverage tech to assist me 🙂

When using Duolingo, and now Babbel (Both of which I’d recommend: Duolingo for the gamification/ui side of things and Babbel for its superior audio) I’ve often felt that the lacking element is the fact that you tend to sit down for a learning “session” rather than having it as a constant “always on” thing.

The reason I see this as an issue is that I can frequently succeed in Duolingo “lessons” although between sessions I can easily forget certain words etc. I simply succeed at the time because I’m being tested on the same thing repeatedly. Given that, I thought it would be nice to have a constant feed of German even when not in a “session”.

Enter Pebble.

I’ve whipped up an app that has the obligatory time/date information always on display, but also displays a German word and English translation:

  • Up/Down buttons scrolls the translation area if the text overspills the area
  • A short tap on the middle button makes the title area scroll left/right if the word is too long
  • A hold on the middle button makes the word refresh.

standard overspillText

At the moment the translation text you see in the images above is hard-coded. However, this is still coming from the Javascript Pebble app I’ve coded up. There is basic but perfectly functional setup for API calls to the Glosbe API, however the data you get back is a simple single word translation (i.e. no noun/verb or plural etc information) and some really wacky example sentences.

I’d happily accept some suggestions for web APIs that give sensible and useful JSON data back.

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One thought on “Pebble: Language Learning

  1. Pingback: Pebble: Collins Dictionary API / Browserify | Fortune's Farm

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