For Everyone

Learning a language is an amazing journey of discovery, that can and should be one of the most enriching, pleasurable and exciting experiences anyone ever has. The Transcrobes project wants to be a part of that and is dedicated to keeping a postive atmosphere and being fully inclusive. The project and all sub-projects adhere strictly to the Contributor Covenant, to make sure that everyone feels welcome and safe at all times.

For learners

Everyone is unique and has something to contribute. Everyone. The developers need to know what issues and features the community cares most about, so head over to the issue tracker and let us know what is most important for you, either by creating new issues for new features or voting on existing ones. Answer questions on the user discussion board, and generally talk about the project if the subject comes up with your friends or family. If there is something you think is lacking or would make to project better, then talk about it on the list. And so much more… get in touch and we’ll find something, for sure!

For developers

See the dedicated page.

For researchers

The Transcrobes project was started because a software engineer with a linguistics degree decided to learn Chinese at age 40. All he really wanted to do was watch Chinese sci-fi and read Chinese tech blogs and he definitely didn’t like the textbooks he was learning from. One day he realised that he could turn both the things he really wanted to do from tiring, frustrating, vaguely useful activities into highly productive language learning experiences. That is one person, with one idea. Many people (you!) out there will have more, and better, ideas to try out.

Transcrobes is meant to be an open platform for experimenting with new ideas for language learning with technology. The project is designed to be modular and plugin-oriented, to enable swapping out functionality for trials and experiments. Because the system is also designed for real learners to actually learn language, it means that researchers can spend their time designing and analysing experiments that actually test for what they want, and forget about the normal software-related stuff, like performance, usability, availability, etc. While it is hoped that most (positive!) experiments will eventually make their way back into the project for the community to use, that doesn’t have to happen if you don’t want it to (though this project is open source, and will stay that way).

The project is also intended to be as interoperable as possible, with a standard learner data format that can be shared with other projects and products. The maintainers strongly believe that the learner’s data are theirs, and they should always be able to take them from one installation to another. That will hopefully always be as easy as clicking on an export button in one interface and an import button in another.

So if you have ideas for new functionality or experiments that you want to run then get in touch with the primary maintainer here and discuss with other interested parties. We get more stuff done by sharing, and repeating someone else’s experiments is much more meaningful if you can use an identical setup to the original one. There may already be a ticket if there is some new functionality you need, so spend some time looking at what is already there before embarking on a new ticket.

Is there a published article I should refer to if I use Transcrobes in my research?

Not yet. It was presented very briefly at eLearning forum Asia 2020 but getting sufficient functionality for learners to be able to really engage has taken longer than expected, and without an actual software platform generating real learner data, seeking publication would be rather premature. Hopefully by late 2021 a proper reference publication will be able.