Another one live. Cloudlingo

 I've done a "Cummings" here and back-dated this post :)

My reasoning is less nefarious however.  I just don't want anyone but Google to read it just now.


So back in approximately November 2019 I'd never heard of Corona Virus and life was grand with Bed and doing OK.

I was having weekly meetings with my Andorran mate Toni.  He's a cool guy and works for the local telco.  We'd been getting together for several years once a week for Spanish-English intercambio.

I'd taken to bringing some lyrics from a Spanish song that I'd heard and liked, and we'd translate it.

My plan was to do a site that involved learning Spanish via the music.

I'd originally had the germ of this thought probably more than 10 years prior.  When we first got to Spain and were living in Valls I remember loving some songs that were around then and making a mix CD to play in the car.

Marta Sanchez y Carlos Baute - Colgando en tus manos (hanging in your arms) was a real discovery at that time.   I enjoyed looking at the lyrics, and getting background information; from that song I discovered the lovely music of Juan Luis Guerra for example.

The thing is though, being of a certain age, and needing to structure the learning I always wanted to know what person and tense a certain verb was being conjugated as....  what was the dictionary word for this puralised feminine adjective etc.

It just takes too long to do this manually.  I envisage a system where I can click words and it will show me the possible alternatives for each word.  Maybe it can remember the selections and build a history or what I've learnt.

The Event

So along comes corony.  Now I trapped at home.  Revenues from the Hotel sites plummet.

Now I have do something.

So I begin work on this project in earnest.   NLP from Stanford.  check.   Grammar checking system.  found.  check.   Spend way too long on Google's NLP offering.  Whoa.    Parse the "unparsable" Wiktionary database.  check.   Async programming model. check.  

The Product.

After more than a year I can finally make my first release.  robots.txt edited for all engines. check.

So today (25/02/2021), some £200,000 / £50 = 4000 hrs later I present:

My latest invention - to the world. This is a 'learn Spanish via listening to music' system.

It is not quite yet was I want, but definitely a working prototype that can be used.  The heart of the system is "Lingo Studio" that allows the user to select a line of lyrics and lookup each word in the dictionary,  verb conjugations are decoded the tense, mood and person.

In testing I'm finding that my vocabulary is certainly increasing, although the song selection is important.  A song that I "learnt" a while back - whilst is a very cool song - there is no particular "story" to the song, so the words just hang there - and it is impossible for me to recollect the meaning.

Whereas other songs that do contain some concrete story are easier to remember, and since they have some context and more "visual memory" I can remember the translations of the words used.

I'm looking for feedback and there is no charge to use the system.  Come take a look.


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