Platform: Windows 95 and up
Current version: 2.0 Beta release
Released on: 2000
License: Beta released as freeware, no source
Tibword for Windows fleshes out some of my ideas of a nice Tibetan learning environment. The base of the program is a freestanding Tibetan word processor, with the capability of working with files containing Tibetan text, translation and vocabulary.
The program was my first significant prototype in Windows. Although it works well, I was quite reluctant to release it to a wide audience. To lessen the workload involved in making personal beta copies for people requesting it via e-mail I finally decided to make the beta available for direct download on 15 April 2005. Please use it, please share it, but do note that this is unfinished and unsupported software that is no longer under development in this form. As a general policy, I do strive to provide converters to my later programs if needed, so significant data can be migrated.
The word processor is completely self-contained with input based on Wylie transliteration. The program works with an early version of my main typeface, which was developed in tandem with the word processor component.
The reading files follow the basic structure of language textbooks, which usually contain a text in the language to be learned, a translation and a vocabulary list. Tibword goes beyond a printed textbook, in that the reading files can be used for speed reading and vocabulary quizzing. The vocabulary quiz is a simple multiple choice exercise.
The reading files are displayed in the reader window. The translation can either be shown in a separate panel or underneath the Tibetan (as shown below).
Learning to read Tibetan well takes practice. It is well-known that practicing reading at faster than normal speeds is an effective way of increasing overall reading speed. By flashing words in the middle of the screen at a predetermined speed, the Speed Reader allows you to concentrate on the text without having to do a lot of eye moving. To get a more normal reading rhythm there is a slightly longer delay after a shad. [Speed reading screenshot]
The Speed Reader is also a good tool for getting to grips with the native structuring of Tibetan. Although it might be helpful for beginning students to dissect sentences in more familiar patterns (a common method is to identify the verb at the end of the sentence first), it is a lot more efficient to read it as a native speaker: from beginning to end. By forcing you to read straight and preventing you from backtracking, the Speed Reader is a good tool for getting rid of bad reading habits.
The original plan was to have a reading comprehension test after the speed reading phase, but I stopped coding on this project before I got that far.
If you don't believe this is a prototype, this should convince you.
for Windows (509KB)
Unzip and read the README.txt file for further instructions.