BYKI Language Software

22Jun08

BYKI (Before you Know It) is a nifty little program that allows you to create, upload, and download lists for 64 different languages. The free version (which I am using) is excellent. You can’t create lists but you can download lists that others have created. For example, the Japanese and Korean lists, which I am using, include lists for learning kana, kanji, hanja, hangul, words, and phrases.

The program has four stages of progression for your lists. You start off at the first stage where you simply practice the cards and there is no scoring. As you progress, you get the chance to practice typing in the language (for languages that use a different alphabet this forces you to remember where the keys are– instead of glancing at a printed out copy like I do!). By the time you get through the five stages you should know your word list backwards and forwards, including how to type it out on the keyboard without looking.  Also, most lists come with sound so you can practice your pronunciation as you study the cards.

The full version costs $40, and so I’m not ready to make such a huge purchase. For the time being the free version is good enough. The only inconvenience is that there may not be enough lists available or lists at the right level. But I say try it out and see if it works for you. And, Just for fun try out a language you’ve never heard of such as Uzbek.

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