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How To Use wanna...

Supported languages: currently, wanna supports French, Greek, Hungarian, Latin, Māori, Norwegian and Spanish. All features explained below are common to all supported languages unless an exception is specifically stated. All examples given below are based on French. All french verb models are supported and automatically generated - see section 6.7 below for details. Verb generation is not currently supported for other languages.

What's Different about Wanna?

The key to learning a language is by repetitive testing on verbs and vocabulary. This program lets you set up the set of words you are trying to master and then allows random testing, concentrating on what you are getting wrong.

If you think this would help your learning process, then read on...

1. Register to create your logon and password

wanna will send you an email with an 8-digit code that it will ask you to enter when you next log on with your user-id and password. You only need your user-id and password for all subsequent logons.

2. Create your wordlist

A wordlist is the words or phrases that you are trying to learn. A word can be a noun, adjective, verb, etc.
For French, wanna automatically generates all conjugations (except the subjunctive, at the moment) once you give it the 'model' verb (eg 'donner' or 'parler' for all regular -er verbs.

Ways to create/extend your wordlist:

2.1. adopt an existing wordgroup

- this is a list of associated entries, eg Food-Meat. This puts all entries in that group into your wordlist but you can later drop individual entries (eg 'ris').

2.2. adopt an entry already in wanna

- individual entries can be found by entering the desired word (eg 'bougie') or asking wanna to 'Show All' and selecting from the resultant display.

2.3. by creating a new entry.

The minimum information neeeded is the foreign word. This can then be extended (at entry or subsequently) by adding the type (eg noun, verb), the gender if a noun, the mobel verb verbs, the female and plurals endings for nouns and adjectives. The accent marks for each language are supported via a set of accent buttons.

3. Test yourself on Translation

You ask wanna to randomly select entries from your wordlist using various parameters (eg by type (eg 'noun'), &/or when entered, &/or when last tested, etc). You can also ask to be tested English-to-French or French-to-English.

For nouns: you will be asked for the translation and gender.
For verbs: you will be asked for the translation, present and
past participles and auxiliary verb.
For all other types: you just need to supply the translation.

4. Test yourself on Conjugations

Again, you can ask wanna to randomly select verbs from your wordlist. You can select the tense and mood (eg present indicative) or let wanna select these for you.

wanna will show the infinitive and will randomly select a subject pronoun for each question. For example, if you slect the present indicative and have, say, three verbs in your list, you should get a screen that looks like:

5. The Clever Bit.

wanna remembers what you get right and what you get wrong. Once wanna thinks you have mastered a word or phrase it will exclude that entry from further tests for a certain period that you can specify. The entry will be re-included in the test selection once this period has expired.

The re-include timelag (called 'Retest Delay' in wanna) can be set by the user in the range 1 to 100 days.

The 'Mastered' status is calculated by wanna as 'n correct answers for every incorrect answer' where the user can define both the correct-answer value (n) and can decide whether to use the incorrect-answer count. For example, you could set wanna to consider words mastered once you have 2 correct answers and to ignore any errors (good if you make a lot of typos).

6. Other Features

6.1 Wordgroups

You can create a new wordgroup to reflect your particular interests (eg bird-watching). A new wordgroup can be set up as 'Shared' (meaning anyone can add an entry to this group) or 'Private'. For example, 'MyHealth' could be private so that you can enter the words and phrases specific to your health without the possibility of other users adding words to this group.

When creating a Shared wordgroup, you can elect to have subsequent additions automatically transfered to your wordlist. For example, if someone adds 'blackbird' to 'bird-watching' then 'merle' would appear in your wordlist.

6.1.1 Viewing Wordgroups

Wordgroups can be set up to be hierarchical. For example the 'Clothes' hierarchy is:

If the top level (ie 'Clothes') is selected then all entries for all 5 groups will be shown. Selecting 'Clothes-Womens' will return only that group. All entries are returned in alphbetical order.

6.1.2 Multiple Wordgroup Entries

A word can be present in any number of groups. For example, 'bougie' could in :
Household Goods as 'candle'
Motoring as 'sparkplug'
Slang as 'face, dial'

6.2 Bulk Entry - deleted

If you already have a notebook, full of words you are trying to learn, these can be added via this feature. The only limitation that adjectives, nouns and verbs have to be entered in groups. All other types (eg conjunctions, prepositions, phrases) can be added together.

6.3 Verification

All entries are verified by a qualified expert in the language. This process may lag behind the entry process by some days but provides a degree of comfort to know that the translations and conjugations being learnt are correct.

6.4 Words with Multiple Meanings

A foreign word (eg 'bougie') can have multiple translations ('candle', 'spark plug', 'face'). Note that you can add all translations for a word to your wordlist or just the translation you want. For example, a car mechanic my want just 'spark-plug' for 'bougie'. Each meaning has its own word type. So, for example. 'bien' can have meanings of adverb, adjective and noun.

6.5 Words with Multiple Genders

The french word 'vase' means 'mud' or 'silt' when feminine but 'vase' when masculine. wanna holds one entry for 'vase' but holds the gender at the translated-word level. Words may also be specified as 'm/f' - both masculine and feminine.

6.6 Extending Translations

An existing translation can be extended by using the '+' character. For example, if 'vase' (in French) is translated as 'vase' but can also mean 'jar' then the translation can be extended by amending with '+jar'. This will give a new translation meaning of 'vase, jar'.

6.7 Verb Support

6.7.1 Supported Verb Conjugations

French only (as at Sept 2011) - the following 12 conjugation forms are supported and automatically generated from the model verb supplied with the entry:

Indicative MoodPresent, Imperfect, Future, Past Historic
Conditional MoodPresent, Past
Compound TensesPerfect, Pluperfect, Past Anterior, Future Anterior
Imperative MoodPresent, Past

The Subjunctive Mood is not currently supported but this will be included if requested by enough users.

You can specify the conjugation set that you are trying to master. For example, a first-year student may want only the Present and Imperfect Indicative. See 6.12 for more information on User Preferences.

6.7.2 Verb Model Definition

Unfortunately, there is no agreed verb model for each distinct conjugation form. For example, some resources (eg Robert-Collins) may give 'parler' as the model for regular -er verbs while Collins School Dictionary gives 'donner'.

There are 3 ways to define the verb model for any given verb:

1.by reference to the Bescherelle table number
2.by reference to the Robert-Collins table number
3.by specifying any pre-existing verb held in wanna - this is probably the easiest method.

6.7.3 Compound Tense Formation

The 'auxiliary verb' (eg étre and avoir in French) is required for full verb entry. It is also possible to specify 'Both' (eg in the case of 'tomber') in which case étre will be used in the compound tense generation.

6.7.4 Testing Compound Tenses

wanna generates a full set of gender- and number-specific subject pronouns for verbs conjugated with auxiliary verb étre :

je (f), je (m), tu (f), tu (m), il, elle, on (always m), nous (f), nous (m), vous (f sing), vous (m sing), vous (f pl), vous (m pl), ils, elles.

The compound tense test will check for number- and gender-agreement.

6.7.5 Impersonal Verbs

Verbs such as 'pleuvoir' and 'bruiner' are termed 'impersonal' and only conjugate in the third person. Most conjugate in the singular but a few also conjugate in the plural (eg 'pleuvoir'). The required conjugation can be specifying the appropriate 'Trans Type':

1.Impersonal sing - for 3rd pers singular
2.Impersonal sing/plu - for 3rd pers singular and plural
3.Intrans, Impersonal sing - for 3rd pers singular
4.Intrans, Impersonal sing/plu - for 3rd pers singular and plural

6.8 General Test Selection Criteria

wanna will randomly select 10 entries from your wordlist and default to 'French-to-English' translation if no selection criteria is entered.

1.Direction - French-to-English or English-to-French, the latter requires accent marks to be entered correctly
2.Word Type - Part of speech (eg 'Noun') or 'Random'. 'Noun' requires the gender, 'Verb' requires the auxiliary verb and participles to be entered correctly. 'Random' requires just the translation.
3.My List or All Words - you will have the opportunity to add any/all of the words selected at random if 'All Words' is selected
4.For Verb Translation - you can select only 'Reflexive' or 'étre' for compound tenses.
5.Not tested since? - self-evident
6.Added between? .. And? - allows a date-range to be entered. If the second date if left out then all entries added since the first date will be included in the random selection.
7.Test Status? - allows testing depending on test status.
8.Show counts? - allows or suppresses correct/incorrect scores on test screen.
9.No.tests required? - default selection is set to 10 entries
10.Retest Delay Factor - this is the number of days that has to elapse before a 'mastered' entry is re-included in the random selection.
11.Mastered Level Factor - this is the number of times that an entry must be answered correctly to achieve 'mastered' status.

6.9 Translation Test Logic

Using the example:    accroc = snag, tear wanna applies the follow rules to decide if your answer is correct:
1.Any '.' characters are replaced with ','.
2.Multiple space characters are replaced with a single space.
3.Any uppercase characters are replaced with lowercase.
4.If the answer contains a ',' then the entire answer is compared.
5.If the question contains a ',' (eg 'snag, tear') but the answer does not then 'snag' and 'tear' are compared with the answer separately. Therefore, answers of both 'snag' and 'tear' will be considered to be correct
6.Anything in parentheses is removed. For example the translation for 'remporter is to take (something) away again'. The '(something)' is removed from both the answer and the question.
7.All translation entries are checked. For example: 'bougie has 3 entries:
    face, dial
any one of these values will be taken as a correct translation.
8.For verbs, the string 'to ' is removed from both the answer and the question.
Thus, if the question is amarrer (to moor, to tie up to, to tie up) the anwers of 'moor', 'to moor', 'tie up' are all considered to be correct.

6.10 User Preferences

You are able to tailor a number of key parameters that drive the way wanna works. Any combination of parameters can be changed at any time and are stored for subsequent sessions. Some parameters, eg 'number of tests' can be overridden for a single action and are not stored.

1. Screen Sizewanna was mainly developed on a 10" screen. More data can be seen using 14" and 17" screens.
2. Retest DelayThis is the number od days that a 'mastered' entries is excluded from the random selection proess.
3. Mastered Level FactorThis is the number of correct answers required to achieve 'mastered' status.
4. Test SettingsThis is the number of questions that will be presented by default when testing.
5. Stats OptionThis defines whether Translation, Conjugation or a comination of both stats are displayed.
6. Conjugation SetThis is the set of verbs that will be offered, or used in a 'Random' test, in Conjugation testing.

6.11 Search Facilities

6.11.1 Search Exact

This function will search, in French or English, for the exact set of characters, including accent marks, as entered and only exact matches will be returned.

6.11.2 Search Like

This function will return all entries that match the entered set of characters as follows:
1.All exact matches
2.All matches having ignored accent marks

6.11.3 Search Like with the 'Wildcard' character %

A variation of the Search Like is to use the 'Wildcard' character % at the front or back (or front and back) of the part-word or phrase.

6.12 Categorise by 'Usage'


Each translation can be categorised (eg as slang, botanical, culinary) on entry or by a subsequent update.

6.12.2 Adding New Categories 'on the fly'

New 'usage' values can be added as an entry is added. For example, 'racine carrée' (square root was entered and assigned a usage of 'Mathematics' at the same time by selecting 'Add new Usage' and adding Mathematics on the second input page.

6.12.3 Adding New Categories without adding an entry

New usage values can be added by leaving all fields blank on the 'Add' page except for selecting 'Add new Usage'.

The End - for Now...