Recently, Hacker News featured this new language learning tool named Clozemaster. It looks interesting and kind of cool but I’d love to know your opinion because this Sacred Community is the most animated, enthusiastic, passionate and psyched as much as hard-hearted, merciless, ruthless and severe when it comes to language learning tools. I crave your opinion, my respected fellow Crabigator followers.
For your convenience, I’ll copy right here the very own words of the creator right from the post he created to promote his child:
Hi Hacker News! My name’s Mike. I’m the creator of Clozemaster.
Clozemaster is language learning through mass exposure to vocabulary in context. The goal is to fill in the missing word in a given sentence. The missing word is the most difficult word in the sentence according a frequency list for that language, and the sentences are from the awesome dataset at Tatoeba.
I started the site just under a year ago to answer the question “what should I do after finishing Duolingo?”. Since then it’s grown to support over 50 languages, mobile apps, and thousands of users. It’s useful for learners at almost any level, from beginner to advanced, and makes a great complement to Duolingo, textbooks, classrooms, etc. to practice vocab in context.
You can play the Fluency Fast Track which gives you a sentence for each unique missing word in order of increasing difficulty, jump in to sentences grouped by frequency from the 100 most common words to the 10,000 most common, or just play random sentences. There’s also “cloze-listening” - hear the sentence first, then see it and fill in the missing word.
Thought Hacker News might find Clozemaster interesting and hopefully useful! It’s still very much a work in progress - I have a bunch more features planned and I’m working to improve it all the time. I’m also open to any feedback and happy to answer any questions!
Since it’s a new language learning tool bursting or squeezing into this language learning tool wild world, market, habitat, contest, or whatever I strongly feel it’s the same as Here Comes A New Challenger like when playing Ultra Street Fighter II Turbo. What are your impressions? Do you think it’s a strong contestant as a language learning tool? Is it worth to give it a try? Would you consider using it? The Fill In The Gaps thing does really help?
As for me… I’m fascinated about its kind of roguelike nature as I read in the About section:
Where are the sentences from?
All sentences and translations are from tatoeba’s massive and awesome dataset, released under a CC-BY License.
How are the blanks in the sentences selected?
The cloze deletion to test, or the blank in the sentence, is the least common word in the sentence within the 10,000 (or as many as possible) most common words in the language. In other words, for a given sentence all the words in the sentence are checked against the top 10,000 words in a fequency list for that language. The least common word is then used as the cloze test. In this way the vocab learned via clozemaster is the most difficult of the most common. If a quality frequency doesn’t exist for given language, one is either generated from the sentences themselves or random cloze words are selected.
Where are the frequency lists from?
The frequency lists used are from https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Wiktionary:Frequency_lists, except for: The frequency list for Japanese was generated from JLPT vocabulary lists on http://www.tanos.co.uk/jlpt/. All of the vocabulary is sorted by JLPT level, and higher precedence is given to kanji.
Don’t get my wrong: I do love lots the beauty of the manually crafted WaniKani and the priceless imprint of the genius behind but I also have faith in clever algorithms and auto-generated content based on random stuff from god knows which source.
Please, share your opinion!