User Documentation

1. Creating vocabulary files
2. Loading a vocabulary file
3. Learning vocabularies
4. Customizing Vocabulary Trainer

1. Creating vocabulary files

Vocabulary files are text files with a certain structure: The first line of text contains the first vocabulary you will learn, whereas the second and following lines are meant to show the various translations of the vocabulary into another language. As separation indicator for separating the first vocabulary from the second, a blank line is expected. Than the structure gets repeated: the second vocabulary follows the blank line, than in each of the following lines you write a translation of this vocabulary. The following example shows four english vocabularies with some of their most common translations into the german language:


final lap (racing)

ein feines Gehör haben (to be ..)

bureau  (p: "bjurou")

Save this structured text list into a file with ".voc" as filename suffix, and Vocabulary Trainer is able to read the file to support your training. Some of the above vocabularies and translations make use of the programs parenthesis feature: the content inside the parenthesis will be shown in the textarea of Vocabulary Trainer, but they must not be typed into its input field when giving an answer. The parenthesis content serves merely as additional information for the user.

Once used with vocabulary trainer, you can still edit your vocabulary files to add vocabularies and translations, correct errors or delete vocabularies no longer needed, and Vocabulary Trainer will still remember the saved learning progress of the remaining vocabularies and adjust its information accordingly.

2. Loading a vocabulary file

In principle, there are three ways to load a given vocabulary file: automatically, as command line argument given at the start of Vocabulary Trainer, or with the "open"-Button in the trainers user interface.

The first method is the one you will probably use the most if you were using large vocabulary files which will keep you busy for some time learning them. When you have had enough from learning and leave the trainer, it remembers the latest vocabulary file you had opened and will load this file automatically the next time it gets started, thus releasing you from taking care about the file until it is learned and you need a new one.

Using command line parameters seems unlikely since its easier and quicker to start the trainer with a button click on a desktop or panel icon. Yet, the command line argument has its purpose if, for example, you want to invoke Vocabulary Trainer with clicking on an icon representing a vocabulary file. However, it is not discussed here into detail how this can be accomplished with the various desktops and file managers.

Clicking the open button in the user interface opens a file dialog which will allow you to choose a vocabulary file with your mouse. The same dialog will be shown, however, if you start Vocabulary Trainer for the first time and without a command line argument, since it can not know about any vocabulary file you might have used previously.

If you are working in a multi-user environment, you probably have no root permissions and need to keep your own configuration file to avoid interference with other users settings. In this case, start Vocabulary Trainer with a command following the pattern:


In a concrete Linux example, the program start could look like this:

voctrain -cfgfile $HOME/data/lib/vocabularies/voctrain.cfg -vocfile $HOME/data/lib/vocabularies/english_01.voc

Adjust the path syntax for Windows accordingly. Started as such, you can keep different configuration files in different vocabulary folders, customized to the respective learning effort.

If you can not find the pre-installed "voctrain.cfg" file, you can get it from Vocabulary Trainer as well. For this purpose, use the same syntax as shown above, and the default file will be saved to the path indicated with "-cfgfile" if there is no "voctrain.cfg" to be found already.

3. Learning vocabularies

Once started and provided with a vocabulary file, the trainer displays the first unlearned vocabulary in its text area. Now enter one of the possible translations in the input field below the text area and press return. Vocabulary Trainer will let you know if you were wrong or right. Having made a mistake, you can try and correct your answer.

If you don't get it right, either delete your input and press enter, or click the help button, and you will see the expected solutions.

If you see immediately and without trying that you don't know the vocabulary, you may press return in the empty input field to get the solution at once. Calling the solution will reset the learning progress for the shown vocabulary, however.

To omit a vocabulary that you already know or that you otherwise don't want to learn, click the ok-button. The vocabulary will be set to "learned" and it will not be asked again.

Per default, after one of the translations has been known for a specified number of times, Vocabulary Trainer begins to question the translations and you have to enter the current vocabulary instead. Read more details about this feature and how to alter its default behaviour in the following paragraph, dealing with customization.

4. Customizing Vocabulary Trainer

To customize some of Vocabulary Trainers parameters, open and edit the file "voctrain.cfg" with a text editor of your choice. The file should be found in the root of Vocabulary Trainers installation directory. If you are working on a multi-user system, copy voctrain.cfg into your vocabulary folder and start Vocabulary Trainer as shown in section two. All of the following parameters were described briefly in the default voctrain.cfg file, so you can try and edit the file without reading the following details. Please do not modify the case sensitive parameter names, or else the parameters will no longer be recognized by Vocabulary Trainer.

looplimit determines how many vocabularies will be asked without a repetition. If the loaded vocabulary file contains, for example, fifty vocabularies, then you would be asked all the fifty vocabularies before the first repetition occurs, if there would'nt be a narrower looplimit. Luckily, the looplimit already defaults to 20 vocabularies and can be reduced further by the user if this value still is uncomfortable. Not being shown in the first loop, none of the vocabularies above the looplimit will be forgotten, however: as soon as you have learned a vocabulary, the asked vocabularies below the looplimit will be filled up with one of those held in store above the looplimit.

learnedMark tells Vocabulary Trainer how often a vocabulary must be known without failure until it is learned. You have to know the vocabulary the given number of times without a wrong try  in between. To go more into the details: if you have known the translation of a certain vocabulary for the first time, Vocabulary Trainer will print an "ok" in its text area to let you know you were right and then remembers your success internally. The value of learnedMark defaults to 2, so if you fail the next time you were asked the vocabulary, your learning progress will be set back for this vocabulary. If this is too slow for you, then reduce the parameters value to 1. Personally, I felt being asked a vocabulary for 2 times was not disturbing, whereas 3 times was too much.

flipDirection, if set to true, causes Vocabulary Trainer to put the vocabularies translations into question after the vocabulary has been known without failure for as many times as specified with learnedMark. The translations, which can be one or several for each vocabulary, will be asked one by one and must be known only for one time to be learned, regardless of learnedMark. After all translations have been known, the vocabulary is learned and will not be asked again until all vocabularies have been learned. If flipDirection is set to false, the asked vocabulary reaches the status "learned" without bothering you with its translations.

x_size controls the horizontal size of Vocabulary Trainer's application window in pixel.

y_size is setting the vertical size of the application window.

length_Inputfield lets you determine the length of the input textfield in characters. This is the textfield where you enter the asked translations for the shown vocabulary.

fontsize is the general size of the used font. Together with the above dimensional parameters, you should be able to setup Vocabulary Trainer to fit on your personal display.