This app helps you learn a language by simulating flash cards to test you on vocabulary or dialogues. You can test in various ways, and directions.

Getting started

Follow these steps:

  1. You'll need to load a vocabulary file to begin. These are very simple text files that you store on your computer and load into the app via the control below Load vocab. See the next section for details about how to write these files.

    If you are using an iPad, you can access these files by moving them to iCloud.

    The app comes with a very small set of Chinese terms built in, to allow you to experiment, or you can download one of the following files: hindi, arabic, russian.

  2. Use the buttons just below Load vocab to move through the vocab list. They do the following:
    • Next moves you forwards through the list.
    • Back moves you backwards through the list.
    • Re-test allows you to test yourself again on the current item by copying it to the end of the list. This means that it will be presented to you again later.
    • Shuffle randomises the order of items in the list.
    • Restart takes you to the beginning of the list.

    You can also use the cursor keys to move through the list of items.

    The app indicates when you have reached the end of the list. If you continue forwards you will start again from the beginning of the list.

  3. Language direction. By default the app shows you an item in your language, and then, when you click Next, reveals the translation. This control allows you to reverse the order in which these items are displayed.
  4. Advanced settings. As just mentioned, by default the app reveals the foreign term and the translation one-by-one, ie. using a phased approach. The review setting shows both items simultaneously. The quick test shows only the top-most item, allowing you to still hide some information but move through the tests more quickly; it is useful if you feel confident you know the translations but want to do a quick review.
  5. Show transcription does what it says. It can hide or show the transcription data, if there is any, for the items.

Writing a test file

The main content of a test file consists of a single line per vocabulary item containing 2-4 items, separated by "|", in the following order.

  1. The term in the language you are learning.
  2. The translation of the term in your language.
  3. A transcription (optional).
  4. Notes for this item (optional).

For example:


You can add what you want to the transcription entry. For example, you may also want to add information such as reminders about gender.

For example:

человек|human|tɕɪlɐˈvʲek m.

The notes field can contain whatever you want. For scripts like Arabic or Hebrew it is often useful to store the fully-vowelled version of the term here. The notes are only shown in the List tab, but they are also searched in the Find tab.

For example:


Metadata. You can also add the following lines of metadata. Each line begins with a particular symbol followed by a space, then the data itself. These lines can appear anywhere in the file, and in any order (although if you have 2 lines of the same type, only the last will set a font, language, etc.).

Listing all items

The List tab lists all the vocabulary currently loaded in the app. If the file is shuffled, or an item is moved to the end of the list for re-testing, the list reflects the new order.

Notes are shown in the list tab, if there are any.

Searching for items

The Find tab allows you to search for an item in the list. The search string can use regular expressions.

If you create an additional file that contains all the items for a given language, this can serve as a very useful way to look up any vocabulary you have learnt.

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