Making OAHPA! for other languages
This is the documentation for how to make OAHPA! work for new languages (we assume you are familiar with OAHPA! already). We start with three of the programs, Leksa, Morfa-C and Numra, and the goal is to make a demo of each of them, with at least 50 lemmas plus the number words in different contexts.
Why port Oahpa! to other languages?
We hope the virtue of Oahpa! speaks for itself: «Such a thing would be nice to have for our language as well!». Not only has Oahpa! proved to be a working interactive learning platform, it is also open-source. So, this is an offer to skip the cumbersome step of reinventing the wheel, and instead utilize our platform, either hosted by us, or run on your own system.
For which languages?
In principle, Oahpa! can be used for any language. Compared to many other interactive learning approaches, Oahpa! is particularly well suited for languages possessing a rich morphology, and for tasks where the system accepts free-form input from the student, like in the programs Vasta and Sahka. Note that these programs presuppose a robust syntactic parser for the language in question.
Here are three papers about Oahpa. The last one is about Sahka and Vasta, which require a syntactic analyser:
Who can participate in this work?
- - you will need an internet connection.
- - your language should have a written standard. Dictionaries and a good grammar as well will not hurt.
- - Familiarity with computers and/or a formal linguistic background will come in handy.
- - Teaching experience will be useful, especially if you already have vocabulary lists grouped according to student level, topic, etc.
Note that we work under an open source regime, and whatever gets published via our servers will be available for use, free of charge, and the source code will be available for further development. That means that if you plan making a closed, commercial teaching environment, you are welcome to use our code for that (according to normal GPL practice), but whatever is put on our servers will be open and free.
What Oahpa! programs?
Whenever you want to start developing Oahpa! for your own language, or just want to test it out, we think the two learning programs Leksa and Morfa-C are a good start. They do not need too much grammatical resources, they are relevant for two central learning topics (vocabulary and word inflection), and they give a good impression of some of Oahpa!s basic functionality. In order to utilize it to its full, you will need access to robust morphological and syntactic parsers for your language, but that will not be needed for Leksa and Morfa-C.
Word quizes are fun, and useful in order to train the vocabulary. The Leksa game is meant for pupils who are learning a new language, perhaps also for pupils in need of writing practice. The program should accept synonyms. Leksa works in both language directions.
Here you can see how the North Sámi Leksa works. Choose instruction language in the right margin before you choose Leksa.
The pupil may practice word inflection in a systematic way - either with singleton words (Morfa-S) or words in sentences, in order to learn the context in which to use the wordforms (Morfa-C). The student may choose part-of-speech. We have chosen to help you to make Morfa-C because you then get Morfa-S for free if you add more lemmas (and word forms).
Here you can see how the North Sámi Morfa-S and Morfa-C work. Choose instruction language in the right margin before you choose the program.
The pupil may practice number understanding and generation in a systematic way - either by writing numbers out as words (7 as seven) or vice versa, by writing number words as numerals. The task may involve different number formats (plain numerals, ordinals (first, second, twenty-fifth…), clock formats (16:15 a quarter past four) expressions for dates.
The program is based upon a set of simple transducers which generate the expressions, and a random function that generates tasks and checks the pupil's performance.
Here you can see how the South Sámi Numra works. Choose instruction language in the right margin before you choose the Numra program.
Vasta and Sahka
These programs require a syntactic analyser. About Vasta and Sahka.
If this sounds interesting, feel free to contact us. Send us an e-mail.