What is Sona Vocabulary Assistant?

Sona is a program for serious language learners. It helps you learn the vocabulary you need with recordings of model pronunciation, examples of usage in context, notes on usage, links to images, movies, and the internet, and nine different activities.
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Which languages does Sona support?

Sona word lists use HTML Unicode entities for compatibility with a wide variety of languages. At this point Sona has been extensively tested with Russian and Irish, with excellent results. It has undergone some testing with Japanese and Hindi, also with no problems reported.

Languages with right-to-left scripts such as Arabic and Hebrew have not been thoroughly tested. The scramble exercise does not yet work with these languages, though most other activities seem to work well.

To use Sona with Russian or other languages that use the Cyrillic alphabet, you may need to enable Cyrillic support in your computer. For Windows we recommend these instructions; if you use Mac OS X, see this page, both courtesy of the German and Slavic Department at George Washington University.
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How is Sona different from other flashcard programs?

There are dozens of flashcard programs roaming the internet, some of them quite good. While many are aimed at a very general audience, Sona is designed specifically for language learners. It provides a feature set tailored to the particular needs of this audience, and is informed by Dr. Curtis Ford’s extensive experience teaching and studying foreign languages.
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Where can I find word lists?

We plan to create word lists keyed to widely used language textbooks. Additionally, as users of Sona create their own lists which they'd like to share, our Word Lists page may provide a space for downloads or links to such lists after their quality has been checked.

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Can I use lists from other programs?

A free utility is available to convert lists in tab-delimited text format to the correct format for Sona Vocabulary Assistant. Please visit the List Converter page for more information and download.

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What are recommended system requirements?

Mac OS X:
  • OS X 10.2.7 or later
  • Memory: 256 MB free
  • Disk space: At least 100MB free
  • Windows XP or Vista
  • Memory: 256 MB free
  • Disk space: At least 100 MB free
  • QuickTime for Windows required for some audio functionality

Sona should work on Windows 98/ME/NT as well, but this has not been tested and Sona will not be supported on those platforms.
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How much does it cost?

Sona Vocabulary Assistant costs $30. An academic price of $25 is available to full-time students and teachers.
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How can I submit comments or bug reports?

Comments, suggestions, and bug reports are welcome and may be sent to Dr. Curtis Ford.
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Hey, wasn’t there a tilde over the o in ‘Sona’ in previous versions?

There was. "Sõna" is Estonian (not Spanish!), and means 'word.' Since some systems still don't deal well with 'exotic' diacritics, and since nobody knew how to pronounce it anyway, Sõna has been renamed "Sona," which by happy coincidence means 'happy' in Irish.
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