Huge Site-Update

Written By: Emanuel Updated: January 23, 2024

Hello everyone,

so originally, I wanted to share this only after our “Practice-January” but I’m kind of too excited to wait any longer, so here we go :).
I have finally tackled and finished an upgrade that I have been wanting to do for a while:

YDG Dictionary Examples 2.0 – More and better

And it’s actually kind of a two part upgrade that tackles:

a)    How the examples that I made are displayed, and
b)    What happens for the entries where I don’t have hand made examples.

And there’s actually a third little thing that you might have noticed already that has to do with what happens where there are no results.

So… let’s take a look!

The New Display

In my dictionary, I have about 6.500 examples that I have written myself. Many come directly from the articles, but a growing number is also written specifically for the prefix verb game that you helped fund.
So far, the examples for a word or phrase were displayed as a list in a separate section of the entry, but there was one flaw – for words that have several meanings (and German has a lot of such words) you couldn’t immediately tell, which example belongs to which meaning.

That is different now, because in the new version, the examples will be displayed RIGHT under the meaning they illustrate. So if a verb for instance has three separate meanings, you’ll have three separate example sections. Here’s how it looks:

 

 

 

And as you can see, they’re expandable, so you can see all the meanings on one screen at first.

Cool. And now let’s check the second part.

Create new examples

So I have “handmade” examples for about one third of the entries. For the other two thirds, I have so far done a fuzzy search over the existing examples to see if there happens to be the search term in there somewhere. That was not idea though, because when you searched for “Schrei” (the scream) for instance, you’d get examples for schreiben as well.

When ChatGPT came out last year, I was initially really excited because it seemed to be just what I needed. An AI to create missing examples. But then I did some testing and I just wasn’t satisfied with the overall quality. 70% of the examples it created were good, but 30% were weird, missed the meaning or were downright wrong.

But the models got a bit better and a few weeks ago, I had a small epiphany how I could potentially have the AI create idiomatic examples for the exact sense that I want. So I tested it out again, and it actually worked :D.
It’s not 100% perfect, but way way better than it used to be. And so now I have actually added it :)! Yeay… you have no idea how happy I am about this.

If an entry doesn’t have examples, you can just press a button and you’ll get some, including translation (and yes, text to speech is up next).
Here’s how it looks, with an example already created:

 

 

And the cool thing is that for words that have several different ideas, you can create examples for each idea separately. That was a big issue a while back, but I think I have solved it :).

Oh and what’s also cool is that depending on the wordtype I am telling it to create different “types”. So for verbs for instance, you’ll get the following:

  • present tense
  • past tense
  • conditional
  • question

For adjective, on the other hand, you should get:

  • one predicative use
  • one attributive use
  • one comparison
  • one superlative

And for nouns, there’s one in singular and one in plural. So you can see all the relevant forms in action.
I haven’t created schemes for all word types yet, but verbs and nouns and  adjectives are there already :).

I’m thinking about adding an option to save them to the database, as well, but I’m really curious for your feedback first.
Anyway, so those are the two big updates.
And now for the third one

Ask ChatGPT for Results

So far, when there was no result for your search, I offered a bunch of similar words, but that was mainly to catch typos and so on, but wasn’t really helpful for words that really aren’t in there.
Now, you have the option to ask ChatGPT about it, and you’ll get a translation, an example and some interesting trivia about the word. Well… if there is any. I for instance looked up “jedem das seine” and learned that it was actually written across the gate of the KZ Buchenwald. I didn’t know that, so that was surprisingly interesting. And just for the lulz, I have made it, so ChatGPT gives some of its own “thoughts” as well, which are sometimes really deep.

So yeah… those are the big updates, and at least for those of you who are using the dictionary regularly, they’ll hopefully improve the experience a lot.
And yes… I will add them to the dictionary Chrome extension, as well :) (you can download the extension here... works on Chrome and Brave browsers)

I’m really really curious about your feedback so if you have some thoughts about the new features please let me know in the comments.
I really hope you like it, have a great day and I’ll see you soon with another excercise. Probably for sentence structure ;)

 

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