Creating flashcards for Spanish was a real pain, so I started trying to automate it. What I have now is something can take a list of verbs in the infinitive form and generate flashcards with different conjugations (past-tense, present tense, etc). It scrapes the conjugations from online dictionaries.
Its limited though in that the phrases aren’t long enough to really distinguish which conjugation is needed (to fix this I might try adding time expressions to differentiate past/present tense). It also does not add an object to the phrase, so there are only intransitive usages.
I’d like to make the card generation smarter, but the code needs to know more about the verbs it is using. I particular I’d like to know things like:
- Is the verb reflexive, transitive and/or intransitive?
- Does the verb change meanings when used in the past tense? (like cononcer)
- Is the noun a location? Does it have a plural form?
From a linguistics perspective, I suppose I'm trying to put together a generative grammar. Given the number of people who've tried this, it might sound overly ambitious. I think in my case it might be feasible because:
- I only care about generating phrases, not interpreting (I use google translate to produce the other side of the flashcard)
- I don't care about generating all possible expressions, just enough to exercise new verbs/nouns (practicing irregular conjugations and whatnot)