Sunday, January 15, 2012

Need to Learn Ecclesiastical Languages? There's an App for that.

A good student of theology knows the sacred languages! By this standard, I am far from a "good" student, but I am trying to work hard at it, because I think it's important.

To that end, I have found an ingenious app (FREE!) for training on basic ecclesiastical vocab in Greek, Hebrew, and Latin! Even better, the app is optimized for the iPad, which I like very much.



The app is called iDoms Vocab, and seems to be a joint project between the Irish Province of Dominicans and the St. Joseph's Province in the USA. They have another app, called the iDoms Reader, which I haven't downloaded but looks like a news app of sorts.

The app works well! It is a very new app, only released a few days ago, but it has good navigability, and is a clever way of improving on the old handwritten flash cards, building in a nice scorekeeping feature to make it a little more fun. The ingenuity in the app lies in the repetition and introduction of new words. Each time you start a session, it gives you 30 words to do, so it only takes a few minutes. As you learn words consistently enough, the program replaces the words you have mastered with new words automatically. Go through the flash cards a few times a day, and you'll expand your vocabulary immensely! Because the app is so new, the word bank is limited, but they have intentions of expanding.

A clever integration of the Apple iCloud technology helps for those who have on-the-go lives. For those of you who don't speak Apple, that means that if you have an iPhone and an iPad with the app installed on both, whatever progress you have made on one of them, you can continue on the other, working seamlessly between the two.

Overall, a very impressive little app! It should be noted that it is only for memorization of vocab, and doesn't help with learning and memorizing declensions and cases-- a feature that, if they were able to figure out a good means of integrating, would be priceless for us students.

Some more pictures:


Your language options-- it comes with a free sample Greek vocab list, but then you can buy other word banks through their in-app store using your appleID. I downloaded their Latin word bank with words from the Prima Pars of the Summa for only $0.99.


A new word, "sicut," as in "sicut cervus ad fontes". You can choose "I know!," which skips immediately to the next word, or "Don't Know" or "View," which displays the translation.


What it displays once you click "View". You can then say that I got this one "Right", or "Wrong," which helps with the programs' ability to track your progress and create future study sessions.



Overall, a really great app, and many kudos to the Dominicans who came up with this app-- I know that it is going to help me out immensely this term.

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