Software

Most texts and materials on this site have to do with the Latin language, including its perception in popular culture: movies, tattoos, inscriptions, engravings, bits of ancient philosophy, online Latin resources and company names. There is also information about learning Latin and Greek: textbooks, dictionaries, DVDs and software that can be used in a homeschooling environment.


SPQR - Latin app for iPhone & iPad (Review)

 
Wednesday, October 19, 2011, 01:26 - Latin Language, Software
Posted by Administrator
I recently decided to purchase an iPhone app called SPQR. The program is supposed to be a reader for popular Latin texts with English translations, along with Lewis & Short and Whitaker's Words, as well as some other tools. Based on the reviews published on romansgohome.com I fully expected my experience to be equally positive. However, I am saddened to report that most, if not all, expectations for the app have not been met. On the whole, the relatively high price ($5.99) creates a false assumption that the program is both rich in features and these features are well implemented. Perhaps the mere number of features is satisfactory, but as far as implementation goes, there are too many problems. In my opinion, the program is still in beta version. I shall explain.

1. The dictionaries are not integrated with the reader part of the app. I have several decent readers for iOS that allow one to select a word and get its definition, as long as there is a suitable dictionary file. With SPQR one might as well carry a paper dictionary, because there isn't even a way to go back and forth between the reader and any other part of the app.

2. No bookmarks. One must physically scroll down to get to where they were.

3. The translations are not line by line. Instead, if one clicks on the "Translate" button the program displays the very beginning of the section. Lets say, one is reading Aeneid 1.459 and wants to see the translation. Good news, the first line of the translation is just a click away! Worst of all, if you click on the same button again to return to Latin you will discover that you have now lost your place in the book. It's going to be Arma virumque ad nauseam.

4. The texts used for the app appear to be substandard. Virgil failed my usual test for classroom usability. Eclogue 9.39 reads "Huc ades, o Galarea" instead of "huc ades, o Galatea." This text is not what students ever see in their OCT, Teubner, Loeb -- what have you. It is simply one of those texts that float around on the Internet. The need to seriously address the lack of good public domain texts has so far prevented me personally from compiling a library of portable Latin classics.

5. It is impossible to import books in ePub or any other format.

6. In my personal opinion, Latin texts are best displayed in a format that resembles Bible readers. Classicists like to look up lines and verses.

As it stands now, I have payed six dollars for an app that is not even usable. I could simply download a bunch of public domain ePubs on my iPhone and get all the benefits of well designed free book readers (I already have a L&S app). It would be great to find out that a new version of the program will be released soon, and that all necessary features will have been implemented, and then some. So far, it looks like this time around the Romans really did go home. If you intend to help out the developer of SPQR, go ahead, but if you are saving your lunch money for a quality app, I would not recommend this one.

NT Greek vocabulary for iPhone or iPod Touch

 
Wednesday, June 2, 2010, 01:49 - Ancient Greek Language, Software
Posted by Administrator


QuickMem is one of the oldest pieces of software for learning New Testament Greek. It has always been free, and now it is available on iPhone. Don't miss it! I have seen at least one other program that claims to do the same, but it's not free and it looks like it covers a smaller subset of Greek words. Of course, you can download a plain Windows, Mac or Linux version of QuickMem from the same page!

QuickMem

Greek Alphabet Memory game

 
Tuesday, November 17, 2009, 20:36 - Ancient Greek Language, Software
Posted by Administrator
Just made another Flash learning app, a Greek alphabet memory game:

Greek Alphabet Memory Game

I used Gentium as an embedded font, looks a lot more recognizable, or so it seems.
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Free PHI 5.3 (Collection of Latin texts from the Packard Humanities Institute)!

 
Tuesday, November 4, 2008, 20:17 - Books, dictionaries and texts, Software
Posted by Administrator
PHI 5.3 is a Latin language equivalent of Thesaurus Linguae Graecae. This package used to be licensed at a small cost to individuals. Not many people know this , but currently PHI 5.3 (as well as PHI 7) can be obtained freely from the Packard Humanities Institute. Here is a quote from the License Agreement:

These materials are intended for non-commercial scholarly use by universities and scholars. The CD ROMs are being made available by means of a license agreement with an indefinite term. The fact that we offer this license at no charge (including shipping & handling costs) reflects PHI's desire that the texts on the discs be available to all interested scholars and institutions for educational purposes.

A brief description:

PHI currently offers two CD ROMs of classical texts:
PHI CD #5.3 ("Latin", issued 1991) contains virtually all classical Latin literature through A.D. 200, together with a few later texts (e.g. Servius, Porphyry, Zeno, Justinian). As an extra bonus we have also included the following versions of the Bible: Hebrew, Septuagint, Greek and Coptic New Testaments, Latin Vulgate, King James, and RSV.
PHI CD #7 ("Greek Documentary", issued 1997) contains (1) documentary papyri prepared at Duke University with the help of the University of Michigan; (2) Greek inscriptions prepared at Cornell, Ohio State University, et al.; and (3) a Coptic New Testament prepared at Yale and the Nag Hammadi texts as prepared at the University of Claremont.


For everybody's convenience I am making the License agreement and the Order form available here (I have the Packard Humanities Institute's permission, of course):

PHI files


The best thing about PHI is that the texts are often taken from the best editions and their quality is quite impressive. This is not your usual TheLatinLibrary.com stuff which is all too often unusable for any serious reader of Classical texts.
Keep in mind, that you need to also find some software that is capable of displaying the text found on PHI CDs as well as Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLG). I would recommend Musaios or Diogenes.


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