toMOTko is a small Zaurus application for learning new vocabulary in a foreign language.

The main platform on which toMOTko works is a Zaurus SL-C1000. But since version 0.11.x, the application also works on other systems: Windows, Linux, MacOS, and theoritically, on Windows Mobile 6.x. The latter has been tested successfully in the emulator but as I do not have a device running this system, I don't know for sure if it works well in reality.

Since version 0.6.0, toMOTko supports several languages even though the default settings are for English speakers learning Japanese. Other languages can be selected in the Preferences.

toMOTko was born of need for a tool that could run on my PDA and help me to learn/acquire new vocabulary in Japanese and Spanish. I was tired of using flashcards that are cumbersome and time-consuming to make. Also, I discovered that I had a tendency to remember more the appearance of the flashcard than the words themselves.

At the same time, I was very curious about Qt library and Qtopia environment and had the desire to do some C++ programming, something I hadn't done for quite a long time (about 10 years).

The name of the application is pronounced "to-mo-ko". It's a common first name for a Japanese woman. I chose it thinking it would give a more "human" and nice/cute aspect to my application. So, a user could imagine that Tomoko Sensei is teaching him/her some new vocabulary. I altered the name slightly to make it special and unique. Hence, MOT means "word" in French (my mother tongue) as this is what this application is all about : words.

The application is very simple. It asks words (or whatever you feel to put in the text fields) repetitively in a way similar to Leitner System. The algorithm is not perfect yet but it's already good enough to facilitate new vocabulary acquisition.

Since version 0.12.x, a new algorithm is available. It's called SuperMemo-2 (aka SM-2). SM-2 is "smarter" than the original algorithm. It takes into account the easiness factor of remembrance of a word to schedule the next time it will be asked. The next repetition can be schedules several days (or even weeks) later. The idea is to spend less time on words that well known and more time on words that are hard to remember.

The development is made on a dual-boot machine running Debian GNU/Linux (Lenny), on which I installed Qt SDK to cross-compile and build the application, and Windows XP Professional, on which I installed Qt-4.4.1 SDK (open source edition). I also use Ubuntu and Fedora running inside Virtual Box.

Features to implement :

Your comments, suggestions or bug reports are welcome. Please use the Sourceforge's project page for these or send me an email at
fbergeron [at] users.sourceforge.net.