Only songs that are purchased and downloaded into the user’s iTunes music library can be imported into Languages by Lyrics.
Songs that are DRM protected, such as those from Apple Music, cannot be used in the application.
If the foreign language text uses accented letters such as “ñ” or “è”, these letters must be entered with the correct accent in order for the answer to be scored as correct. Sometimes this requires adding a setting in the Mac OS X Preferences -> Keyboard in order to be able to more easily type in the accented characters for other languages.
The Pro Version provides three additional song learning exercises that guide the user into mastering the song lyrics. These three additional exercises are significantly more difficult; however, once completed, the song may then be listened to with greater understand of the meaning of the song.
The Pro Version can be purchased In-App by selecting a song and clicking on the Learn Song button. The sheet that appears allows selection of the desired learning exercise. If the Pro Version has not been purchased, information regarding the Pro Version and a Purchase Pro Version button will be visible. Clicking the button will initiate the process with the Apple App Store.
All three advanced exercise are available with the Pro Version of the application. The Pro Version can be purchased In-App.
The first advanced exercise involves listening to the song and selecting the correct translation. During playback, four translations from the song will be shown as each lyric is being played. One of the translations will be correct. This exercise differs from the basic exercise in that the lyric original language text will not be displayed. The user must click on the correct translation prior to the start of the subsequent lyric. If this is not done, song playback is interrupted until the correct translation is selected. Once done, playback will restart. The translation is scored correct if the first attempt to select an answer is correct. The purpose of this exercise is to connect the spoken foreign language words with the correct translation solely by listening without reference to the foreign language lyric text.
The second advanced exercise involves listening to the song, reading the foreign language lyric, and entering the translation by keyboard into a text field. When the entered text matches the correct translation, song playback continues. There is an option to repeat the lyric playback if desired. The translation is scored as correct if the first attempt is correct. The purpose of this exercise is to master the translation of the song lyrics. It is significantly more difficult than just selecting the entire correct translation phrase.
The third advanced exercise involves listening to the song, reading the translation, and entering the foreign language text by keyboard into a text field. When the entered text matches the correct original lyric then song playback continues. There is an option to repeat the lyric playback if desired. The lyric is scored as correct if the first attempt is correct. The purpose of this exercise is to master the original language text of the song lyrics. It is significantly more difficult than just selecting the entire correct lyric phrase.
The first basic exercise involves listening to the song and selecting the correct original lyric. During playback of the song, four lyrics from the song will be shown as each lyric is played. One of the lyrics will be the correct lyric that is currently playing. The user must click on the correct lyric before the next lyric starts. If this is not done, song playback is interrupted until the correct lyric is selected, then playback will restart. The lyric is scored correct if the first attempt to select an answer is correct. The purpose of this exercise is to connect the written foreign language words with the sounds of the words as they are sung, as well as familiarization with the lyric text.
The second basic exercise involves listening to the song, reading the original language lyric, then selecting the correct translation. During playback of the song, four translations from the song will be shown as each lyric is being played. One of the translations will be correct. Additionally, the lyric original language text will be displayed as the lyric is playing. The user must click on the correct translation prior to the start of the subsequent lyric. If this is not done, song playback is interrupted until the correct translation is selected. Once this is done playback will restart. The translation is scored correct if the first attempt to select an answer is correct. The purpose of this exercise is to connect listening and seeing/reading the foreign language with the correct translation.
Select the lyric to split and click on the lyric text field. Insert a “|” symbol into where the lyric text should be split. Click on the translation text field and do the same.
Select the menu item: Lyrics -> Split Into Two Lyrics.
To combine two adjacent lyrics, select the first of the two lyrics to be combined. Then select the menu choice: Lyrics -> Combine With Next Lyric. The lyric texts and translations will be automatically combined with a comma and space inserted at the transition point.
On the source or old computer, select the menu choice: File -> Backup Lyrics Database. Select an easy to find location for the backup file.
Transfer the backup file to the destination or new computer. Launch the Languages by Lyrics application and select the menu choice: File -> Restore Lyrics Database. This will overwrite any existing database and will import the backup file.
The application intermittently saves any changes to the lyrics database file while the application is used, and always when the application is exited.
The File -> Save menu choice allows the user to initiate a database save operation at any time desired.
The app preference item “warning if lyric duration is less than” is used when validating lyrics. Lyrics are validated by selecting the menu item: Lyrics -> Validate Lyrics. One of the validation steps is to check the duration of each lyric. If a lyric’s duration is too brief, it will make the learning exercises more difficult because the user will not have adequate time to select a correct response while the lyric is playing.
The default minimum lyric duration can be customized in the app preferences.
A start time is set for each lyric by clicking on the lyric when it starts to play. Ideally, the start time should be right at or just immediately before the start of the lyric. It generally takes about half a second for the user to recognize the lyric has started and click on it.
The start time offset is subtracted from the actual time the lyric is clicked. The offset is set to 0.4 seconds by default but can be customized in the application preferences.
Lyric start times can also be adjusted by selecting the lyric and the menu choice: Lyrics -> Adjust Start Time.
The app will check all the lyrics to make sure they are ready to be used for the learning exercises. Validation will verify that at least four lyrics are present, all lyrics have text present in both the original lyric text and the translation text, all lyrics have a start time, start times are sequential, and lyric durations are not less than the minimum time as specified in the app Preferences.
Languages by Lyrics accesses the Mac OS X operating system dictionaries which include many common foreign languages. To check the spelling, click on the menu choice: Lyrics -> Check Spelling. Select the language that the lyrics are written in then click the “Start Spell Check” button. If a misspelled word is found, it will be shown with possible suggested corrections. You can type in the correct spelling or select one of the suggested corrections, then click the “Change” button. You can also click the “Ignore” button if you wish to temporarily disregard future notifications for that word. You can also click the “Learn” button if you know the word is spelled correctly and would like to add it to the dictionary.
It can be helpful to check the spelling of the original lyrics prior to acquiring the translation in order to increase the translation accuracy.
In a song, it is common to have some lyric phrases repeated. If a user edited the translation of a lyric at one point in the song but this differed from a translation of the same lyric at another part of the song, then it could lead to confusion during the learning exercises. Therefore, whenever translation text is edited for a lyric, the app will scan the song for identical lyrics in order to keep translations consistent.
Computerized translations are usually fairly accurate but they presently cannot match human translation. This is due to multiple meanings for a specific word and inability of the computer to accurately understand context. Computerized translations are sometimes challenged even further when translating song lyrics due to the sometimes poetic and symbolic nature of song lyrics.
The process of checking the translation, referencing a translation dictionary, and editing the translated phrases can take additional time. However, with the ultimate goal being to learn a foreign language, this is productive time. The process will ultimately accelerate the time needed for learning the song lyrics by requiring engagement and active thought.
Song lyrics are protected by copyright. There are companies that have received permission or have purchased the right to distribute song lyrics through their websites. Most of these websites generate revenue to offset the cost of providing the song lyrics by displaying website advertisements.
Select a song from the main window, then click on the menu choice: Songs -> Reset Audio File Link. This will display a sheet displaying all of the audio files in the iTunes Music Library. Select the correct song, then click the “Reset Link” button.
Select a song from the main window, then click on the menu choice: Songs -> Edit Song Metadata. This will display a sheet that will allow editing of the song title, artist, or album.
Languages by Lyrics queries the iTunes database to obtain a list of all the songs on the computer in the user’s iTunes Music Library. The iTunes database provides the location of the audio file, as well as song metadata such as song title, artist, album name and artwork.