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How to use the Scholia v1.0 interface

Link to the Scholia prototype text, Robert Musil's "Die Amsel"

Ways of applying this interface

Medium speed reading

Turn the comment panel off (hide the translation), access it only when needed, consult flags when needed or to test your guesses. This should provide pretty good language practice.

Speedier reading

For every panel, turn the translation on (show the entire translation). Read the translation first; follow it in the original; track your progress by turning off the translation one sentence at a time by clicking in the original.

You won't get much language practice this way; but you will read (the translation of) the story with the ability to check back to the original.

Syntax/sentence practice

Keep the translation panels off entirely; use only the flags to help with words you're not sure of.

Sense practice

Don't use the flags, just read the original, testing your understanding by referring to the translations as you go.


The Scholia study text prototype relies on W3C DOM-compliant scripting, which is supported only in late web browsers. As of this writing, it has been tested in Internet Explorer 5+ (Windows and Mac versions) and Netscape 6.2 (Windows and Mac versions).


Although automated electronic text technologies are used in the preparation and delivery of this study text, a demonstration should make it clear that the real work can't be automated ... it is still labor-intensive to create a study text for a foreign language, barely less work than the old-fashioned way, composing a running vocabulary and translation with dictionaries, pencil and paper. As I write this, I'm only half done with a first cut at the translation in the prototype.

Nonetheless, I hope this shows that the old-fashioned work can count for more than it used to. Given a good editing environment and some training with the technologies (XML markup technologies), any reasonably computer-literate language teacher or student could prepare a text like this; and once created, such a text is very easily published and shared.

For information on the underlying technology used to create and deliver this demonstration, contact Wendell Piez.

(c) 2002 by Wendell Piez. All rights reserved.