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Jim Rose's
ICE•MOCHA 「氷モカ」 Features
With a List of Features and Controls
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A List of Ice Mocha's Features and Suggestions for Use
- As Revised on February 2, 2012


Warning
When you have finished reading these directions, use the "Return" button to go back to the application. This is a web application, and not a collection of web pages. DO NOT USE the back button on your browser. If you try to interact with your files from an old and expired page, the application will either be disabled or you will be logged out - in which case you will have to login again. These draconian measures were necessary to help Ice maintain a good memory of where she is with respect to your lists.

Starting Out
When you first verify your email address and activate your Ice Mocha account, an initial set of arbitrarily chosen new words (Japanese numbers) will be added to your "a" list. Find and press the "show a" button to see them. Your goal is to move new words from the dictionary into the "a" list, and as you master them, move them to the "b" list and eventually the "c" list. The "c" list represents the number of words you have completely mastered using the Ice Mocha application. You can find new words for your "a" list by searching the dictionary, or you can find words which contain the same kanji as another word, or you can ask Ice to suggest new words for you. Your strategic goal is to keep the "a" list small (I would guess 50 or fewer words would be a good rule of thumb), and over time, grow the "c" list as big as you can.

Many of the words will have example sentences, with many of the words in the sentence defined. However the example sentence often have an incomplete list of words and it is also useful to search for those you don't readily understand.

auto
Auto will automatically work through your study lists according to the a:b and b:c ratios. This makes reviewing large numbers of words over and over again mostly effortless. Auto will not alter the emphasis (or list membership) of any word. Please don't leave this on unattended. That would be like leaving the water running in you bathtub, or every light in your house on while you were on vacation.

wait
This is how many seconds Auto mode will wait after the page loads before showing you the next word. It can be adjusted on the fly.

list
Controls the number of words from the dictionary listed at one time. If you are in proxy mode there is some attempt to govern the maximum list size at 20 in the interest of speed, but if you are processing real Japanese text, it will show up to 30 words at a time.

fade
This is a "Yomigana Fader". Did I mention that the kanji have Yomigana? That took a lot of work by the way. The concept behind the fader is that you may want a reminder of how to pronounce the word, but then you want it to go away so you can memorize the word itself instead of being distracted by the Yomigana. This feature turns the yomigana on and off automatically.

on
This controls how many seconds the fader will show the Yomigana before hiding it.

off
This controls how many seconds the fader will hide the Yomigana for before showing it again.

proxy
Do you see jibberish instead of Japanese? If your browser cannot process Japanese text, you can't figure out how to make its native Japanese text processing capability function, you cannot install Japanese fonts, or if the font that you do have sucks, turning on the proxy server will cause images of the text to be sent instead. If you have a Mac using OS X, this isn't a real issue. But for those of you using a PC or older Mac, the proxy server might just save the day. If you don't use the proxy, the Japanese is in EUC (Extended Unix Code) format. You may or may not have to adjust the preference of your browser to display a Japanese font when it receives EUC encoded text.

a:b
This is the ratio of words in your "a" list vs. words in your "b" list. If you set a:b to "0", you will not see any "a" list words, and only "b" and "c" list words. If you set a:b to "++", you will only see "a" list words. I normally set a:b to "7" so that I practice on my new words 7 times for every "b" list word. This is because I want to see words that I already know less often than ones I don't know. Any time you add a new word to "Ice" it begins its career in the "a" list.

b:c
This is the ratio of "b" list words to "c" list words. The "c" list is pretty much for words you already know very well and may want to review only rarely. If you set the b:c ratio to "7", and a:b to "7", you will have an overall word list ratio of ((7:1) * 7):1 You will see 7 "a" words for every "b" word. 7 "b" words for every "c" word, and 56 "a" + "b" words for every "c" list word shown. Setting the b:c ratio to "0" will cause Ice to only show "c" list words. Setting b:c to "++" will cause Ice to not show any "c" list words. If a:b is set to "0" and b:c set to "++" Ice will only show you "b" list words. I realize all of that must be a little confusing. But still I wanted the user to have control of these ratios.

Text Input Box
Supports Japanese and English dictionary searches. Does not support Romaji searches (yet). Does support some regular expressions. For example, you can search for two words that are missing from an example sentence simultaneously by separating them with a bar "|".

Say for example you are currently studying the word 一月. When this word appears the first example sentence might be:

1月10日付の電子メールを受け取りましたか。
Did you receive my e-mail on January 10?

a一月 いちがつ (n-adv) January
受け取る うけとる (v5r) to receive; to get; to accept; to take; to interpret; to understand

Notice that it might be helpful to also have 十日, 電子メール, and 付 displayed (10日 will likely be listed in the dictionary as 十日). Searching for 十日 will yield at least 10 words. Too many. But if you search for 十日*とおか, which is the word 十日 followed by an asterisk followed the reading とおか, you get only the target word:

a1十日 とおか  (n) ten days; the tenth (day of the month)

Similarly searching for the string 十日*とおか|付*ふ$|電子メール*でんしメール produces a list of the three words I would like to study that were missing. The "$" at the end of 付*ふ$ helps further refine the search since 付*ふ will also produce multiple results, but with "$" (the end of string anchor) tells Ice that ふ is the end of the reading:

a1十日 とおか  (n) ten days; the tenth (day of the month)
2電子メール でんしメール  (n) email; e-mail; electronic mail
3付 ふ  (n,vs) giving to; submitting to; refer to; affix; append

The asterisk means any text between the word and reading. What is actually between the word and the reading during the string comparison is a two byte EUD-JP encoded space character (which can be represented as "\S\S"), but the search box does not allow you mix ascii and Japanese text at this time. It's one or the other, so if we are searching for Japanese strings we use the zero or more 'any' character quantifier "*". You can also use "^" as the start of string anchor to mark the first kanji as the beginning of the word, but because of a bug, only after the first bar "|" and never at the start of the first word in the text box. By the way, you can omit "*" and just paste the word followed by the reading of the word and the search will skip the space that exists internally between them.

clear
Will empty and focus on the text input box used for dictionary searches.

search
Will search a huge dictionary originally derived from EDICT for a string typed into the Text Input Box. Will find any word containing the string.

exact
If checked, will confine any search to words that exactly match the string. More specifically, if Japanese text, exactly matches either a word or a word's reading. If English, matches only entries whose definition contains the text as a whole and complete English word. Thus "Read" will match "Reading", "Reads", and "bread" in general searches... but only "Read" in an exact search.

bushu
When you want to perform kanji look-up via the multi-radical method, you use the "bushu" button. A table of kanji bushu/radicals then appears. You then select the bushu you think are present in the mystery kanji, and delimit the stroke count if you so choose. The results will display in groups of 7 kanji at a time, with some controls to scroll through the rest. They will be in stroke-count order. Each resultant kanji will have two action buttons - 'f' and 'k'.

find kanji
After figuring out and clicking on the radicals you are looking for, hit this button and a list of every character in JIS 1 containing them will appear. You can also set the minimum and maximum stroke count at the bottom of the table. This will keep the results set smaller and easier to scroll through.

reset
This button will remove all checkmarks inside the radical table so you can make a fresh search. It also resets the minimum stroke count to 1 and the maximum to 30.

text
If you are NOT in proxy mode and want a faster loading radical table, (but a bit sloppy looking) use the text toggle and a mostly text version of the 250 radicals will appear from thereon while using the tool.

f
If you hit 'f', Ice will paste that character into the dictionary search box. This is useful for searching out more than one unknown kanji. Ice will store the kanji there while you look for others.

k
If you hit ' k ', Ice will show you information on that specific kanji such as readings, words containing the character, SODs if present, etc.

Emphasis Controls
If the current word is one from your study lists, its list membership will be in the upper left corner of the white area where the large, main word is displayed (both horizontal and vertical displays). You can change its list membership, and thus the emphasis on the word using the "more" or "less" buttons. If the current word is from the "a" list, you can give it "less" emphasis by moving it to the "b" list. A word from the de-emphasized "c" list can receive more emphasis by moving it to the "b" list. "b" list words can go either way. If the current word is from a list other than your study lists, you will not be able to change the emphasis of the current word, and the word will not display the letter indicating its list membership.

more
This button will take the current word and return it from the "b" or "c" list to the more highly emphasized list. "b" list words move to the "a:" list and "c" list words move to the "b" list. Use this feature when the word you are looking at seems somewhat unfamiliar for a "b" or "c" list word. If you've kept the number of new words on your "a" list small, you should see the word requiring more emphatic repetition more often than before. Manually depressing "more" will disengage the Auto mode if it is on.

less
If you've memorized the word, de-emphasize it by pressing this button so you can focus on the new "a" list words. "less" will move an "a" list word to the "b" list and a "b" list word to the "c" list. Manually depressing "less" will disengage the Auto mode if it is on.

mix order
Studying words in the same order over and over gets boring and predictable. One press of this button is like having a Las Vegas card dealer reshuffle your words around to mix the order up and refresh your brain.

yomigana
This button manually toggles the Yomigana on and off. Despite how simple this is, because of browser differences, this actually took a lot of work. Depressing Yomigana will disengage the Y Fade feature if it is checked.

next
This is the main button of the application and simply takes you to the next word on your study lists without altering the emphasis (or list membership) of the word just reviewed. Manually depressing "next" will disengage the Auto mode if it is on.

show a
Pressing this button will display the words you have stored in your high emphasis, frequently repeated "a" list. You can then move them to either the "b" or "c" list, or remove them from the "a" list altogether.

show b
Pressing this button will display the occasionally displayed words you have stored in your "b" list. You can then move them to either of the other lists, or remove them.

show c
Pressing this button will display the words you have stored in your infrequently reviewed "c" list. You can also return them to either of the other lists, or remove them.

suggest
If you want to learn how to read a Japanese newspaper, this button is for you. "suggest" will analyze your study lists, and then suggest the most commonly used words of a typical Japanese newspaper not currently on your lists. This way you always add words that will have the maximum impact on your newspaper reading ability.

jlpt1

JLPT, or "Japanese Language Proficiency Test", is an annual test given by the Japanese government around the world to foreign students of the Japanese language. This button will analyze your study lists and inform you of typical Level 1 words currently not on them. This is a great way to prepare for the vocabulary aspects of the test. The Level 1 test is the hardest of the JLPT tests, and is for advanced students.

jlpt2
This button will analyze your study lists and inform you of typical Level 2 words currently not on them. This is a great way to prepare for the vocabulary aspects of the test. The Level 2 test is for second highest level of proficiency.

jlpt3
This button will analyze your study lists and inform you of typical Level 3 words currently not on them. This is a great way to prepare for the vocabulary aspects of the test. The Level 3 test is the 2nd easiest.

jlpt4
Most of you will be using this one, ha ha. This button will analyze your study lists and inform you of typical Level 4 words currently not on them. This is a great way to prepare for the vocabulary aspects of the test. The Level 4 test is for beginners.

Notes
Priority words have orange lines when displayed, and orange numbers when listed. Non-Priority words have blue lines and blue numbers.

Add Selected - How to Add Words to your Lists

  1. If a word contains Kanji, all of the kanji will be displayed in a smaller font below the word with their general contribution in terms of meaning. You may click on the radio button next to the kanji and Ice will produce a list of words containing the same character.
  2. Dictionary searches also produce lists of words when the Search button is depressed.
  3. Lists are also produced by the Suggest button.

Any displayed word that is already on your personal study lists, will have a letter showing which list (a, b, or c) it is currently on. Any word not on your list will have a square check box in the same location. You may add words by checking the ones you want to add, and depressing the "Add Selected" Button (which only shows when there is a list being displayed). Each listed word will also have a radio button which if pressed will make it the displayed word.

Notes
Displayed words are shown in both vertical and horizontal orientation.

Special Features for Special Browsers
If you happen to use Ice Mocha with a fully HTML 4 compliant browser, you can run many of the controls with key strokes instead of mouse clicks. The current list of supported HTML 4 compliant browsers are Opera, Netscape 7.x, and Mozilla Firebird/Firefox.

© 2003-2012 James Linden Rose, Kingdom of Hawai'i