WexLang - how I created a dream project for learning English


In this article, I would like to talk about the project I'm working on. This is a service for effective reading of texts in foreign languages, as well as for joint reading, exchange of experience and help each other in learning languages.


I began to seriously study English a few years ago, when I really needed the language for work and development. I was lucky and I found a person who had an unusual approach to learning. There was no cramming, no boring rules, he explained how the language is structured, by what algorithms and patterns it works.

I became really interested and easy to learn the language. After several years of watching films in English only, I realized that the text and dialogs in the films are not enough and it's time to move on to reading books.

Having spent some time searching for services for reading foreign texts, I realized that not one of them suits me and decided to create my own.

I use English mainly for reading and correspondence, therefore my project is intended for the development of these skills.

about the project

The project is called WexLang and it is designed for effective reading of texts in foreign languages, as well as for communication and exchange of experience.

At the moment, the service consists of three interconnected services.

Service 1 - Reader / Text Reader

  1. You are loading the text or book you want to read.
  2. The text is analyzed taking into account your friends, studied and unfamiliar words - you get full statistics on how many times which word is used in the text. You can open text statistics or statistics for the current text page and immediately mark familiar words and words that you need to learn.
  3. You are reading the text. Unfamiliar and learned words are highlighted in the text.

It looks like this:

New / unfamiliar words are highlighted in blue. The words you learn are highlighted in beige. Familiar words do not stand out.

You can translate any word simply by clicking on it. You can select several sentences or even the entire text and translate it into Google Translate.

Also, statistics on words are available on each page.

How word learning works:

The last time I crammed something was at school, so there is no and will not be an interval repetition system in my project for learning words or something like that.

I absolutely do not understand those who cram words. Whoever says anything, but grammar is very important, and studying grammar can be very interesting. It is important to understand by what rules proposals are made. You can learn words or translate all the words in a sentence and still not understand what is at stake. Of course, you need to know and remember the most used words, but cramming the rest, in my opinion, is a waste of time.

So, when you translate a new word, it gets into your dictionary with the status “Learn”.
Learning words are highlighted in beige in the text.

When you see a word being studied in a text, the context in which you see this word helps you remember its meaning and translation. Or you just translate it until you remember it.

The important thing is that each time you will meet the studied word in some context. See and understand where and when the word is used.

Yes, there are certain drawbacks to this approach, for example, if you are not a complete beginner, you will have to mention 1-2 thousand familiar words. But this is not necessary, you can simply turn off the selection of learned and unfamiliar words and translate only the words you need. But then you will not have a complete list of words that you know.

Service 2 - Read Together

At this stage of the project development, this is a reader of texts + questions.

There are public texts. Any user can create a public text.

Starting to read the public text, the user saves this text at home and, as it were, joins the group for joint reading.

When you read a public text you can ask a question on the text. The question is attached to the page of text that you are currently reading.

Users who read the text with you will see your question and perhaps help you figure out the part of the text that you cannot understand.

Service 3 - Questions and Answers

Just a service with questions and answers. In theory, this service should become something like Stack Overflow, only for people who study foreign languages.

What is the feature of the WexLang project

  1. Using the project is completely free.
  2. No restrictions, no paid materials. Download any text or book and read it freely.
  3. By marking the words, you create your own dictionary. You will have an accurate list of words that you know.
  4. Statistics for the text and for each page of text. In statistics, you can immediately note familiar and unfamiliar words.
  5. 17 languages ​​and any translation directions in beta version.
  6. More than 100 languages ​​and any translation directions will be available after beta testing.
  7. Community. The ability to read books in foreign languages ​​together, to help each other with understand and learning a foreign language. Q & A service.

How the project was created

There is nothing particularly interesting. Took laravel, read the documentation and wrote this project. In general, this is MVP.

To translate words, google translate api is used, so the translation is far from ideal. For the main languages, it is planned to add dictionaries manually. When translating a word, the user will immediately receive several translation values, translations for different parts of speech, etc.

At the moment, the project is in beta testing. There are many plans for improving and developing the project.

Project Address - http://wexlang.com

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/462441/

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