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Kantango Help Table of Contents

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1. User Registration

1.1 How do I start using Kantango?

1.2 What should I do if I forget my password?

1.3 How do I terminate my account?

2. Navigation

2.1 How do I get around in Kantango?

2.2 How do I look at public wordlists?

2.3 How do I change the look of the wordlist?

3. Wordlists

3.1 How do I create a new wordlist?

3.2 How do I add a word to the wordlist?

3.3 How do I save my wordlist?

3.4 How do I add a bunch of words from a block of text?

3.5 How do I share a wordlist with other users?

3.6 How do I stop sharing a wordlist?

3.7 How do I get more information on a word?

3.8 How do I move/copy a wordlist?

3.9 How do I add a word that is not in the dictionary?

3.10 How do I remove a word from my wordlist?

3.11 How do I delete an entire wordlist?

4. Folders

4.1 Why use folders?

4.2 How do I make a folder public or private?

5. Wordtags and Kanjitags

5.1 What are wordtags and kanjitags?

5.2 How do I mark a word/kanji in a wordlist with a tag?

5.3 How do I create review wordlists from tags?

6. Flashcards & Quiz

6.1 How do I use flashcards?

6.2 How do I make a written quiz?

7. Study Tips

7.1 What is a good way to study?

8. More Help

8.1 What should I do if something is not working right?

8.2 Problem with Flashcards on MacOS with IE5

8.3 How do I ...?


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How do I start using Kantango?

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The first thing you need to do to start using Kantango is register. On the Kantango home page, click on the link "register." This will take you to a page where you will be required to set a user name a password, email address, and some other basic information.

Your user name must be a unique string of alphanumeric characters with no spaces.

Choose a password carefully. It should be a word that you can remember but that other people can't guess. It is not a good idea to use a pet's name, for example. We also do not recommend recycling important passwords. Keep in mind that you can change your password later by going to the "options" menu.

This site will not spam you or give your information out to anybody without your consent. See our terms of use and privacy policy links below for more information.

Once you have submitted your user information, you will be taken to your new personal wordlist folder "My Wordlists". From here you can create a new personal wordlist. Alternatively, you can browse other public wordlists by clicking on the "home" link at the top or the folder "Other User's Public".


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What should I do if I forget my password?

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Currently, this process is not automated. It hopefully will be in the future. Send an email to the "Contact" link at the bottom of the home page. (Keep in mind that the actual address might change from time to time.) The email message must be sent from the email account that you registered Kantango with. Please also state in the email the login name you are using.

You will receive an alternate password that you can use to log in to your account with. Once you do this, you should go to "options" and change your password to something you can remember.

Since this is currently a manual process, it might take some time. I will do the best I can.


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How do I terminate my account?

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If you plan to never use your account again, please send me an to the "Contact" link at the bottom of the Kantango home page. The email message must be sent from the email account that you registered Kantango with. Please also state in the email the login name you are using.

I will send you back a message confirming your account termination request. For security reasons, you must reply to this email to have your account terminated.


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2.1 How do I get around in Kantango?

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After you login, you can move around in Kantango by clicking on one of the navigation links at the top of each page. If you ever get lost, you can use these links to get back on track. The links include:

home * wordlists * search * options * help * logout

homeGeneral information. A list of public wordlists.
wordlistsWordlist management. Create, delete, edit, examine wordlists.
searchSearch the dictionary. Note: you cannot add words to a wordlist from here, only search.
optionsChange personal preferences, password, etc.
helpThis help screen.
logoutGet out of the system. You should also close the browser window after you log out.

Each wordlist is linked. To go into that wordlist, simply click on the link. Folder links usually have the a folder icon closed folder next to them. click on the link to go into that folder and see a list of the wordlists in it.

If a folder link is currently active it is shown with the open folder icon open folder


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2.2 How do I look at public wordlists?

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After you login, you can look at other user's public word lists by clicking on the "home" link at the top of the page. Alternatively, you can click on the folder link "Other User's Folders" in your folder list.

This will bring up a list of users, the name of the public folder and the name of each public wordlist. Click on the folder name to go to that folder of wordlists. Click on the wordlist name to go into that wordlist. If you do not own the wordlist or folder, you will not be able to make changes to it such as adding and removing words or wordlists. You can, however, copy a wordlist to your own folder and then make changes to it freely. Even if you do not own a wordlist, you can use flashcards, and mark words with word tags from it.


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2.3 How do I change the look of the wordlist?

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When you enter a wordlist, there is a line of checkboxes at the top of the screen that let you control how the wordlist will be displayed. Check or uncheck as you like. The checkboxes include:

romaji kanji grammar compact meaning controls links memo

romaji When this box is checked each word in the wordlist is displayed in romaji rather than hiragana or katakana characters. Hiragana is represented by all lowercase romaji while katakana is represented by all UPPERCASE romaji.
kanji When this box is checked the kanji for each word is shown. Otherwise it remains hidden from view.
grammar When this box is checked, grammatical notes (such as part-of-speech) are shown for each word in red italics. If a word is considered "common" (in the top 20,000), the phrase "common word" appears in green italics in the meaning field. If the grammar checkbox is not checked, these indications are not displayed.
compact meaning When this checkbox is unchecked, each of the alternate meanings of a word appear on a separate line. When this box is checked, each of the alternate meanings are separated by a the / symbol.
controls When controls is checked, a checkbox appears next to each word in the wordlist. Also, a tag column appears for kana and kanji (if kanji is being shown). The controls let you do things like remove words from a wordlist (if you own it) or mark words or kanji with tags for later review.
links When links is checked, new column titled links appears. Next to each word there will be the link [G] that will do a google search for that word and the link [S] that will look up that word in the Sanseido dictionary.
memo There is a light purple box indicating at the top of each wordlist indicating when it was created, modified, the word count and any any user notes or links. Checking or unchecking memo will show and hide this information.

You can also view the words in a wordlist in different orders.

If you click on the # heading, it will sort the words by entry order. If you click on it again, it will sort the words in reverse order.

If you click on the "kana" or "romaji" heading it will sort the words in "a-ka-sa-ta-na-ha-..." order (the Japanese equivalent of ABCs) or reverse order if you click it again.

If you click on the "tag" header it will sort by the marked tag. This is useful looking at groups of words you need to study.


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3.1 How do I create a new wordlist?

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Creating a new wordlist is easy. Here are the steps to do it.

  • Login if you are not already.
  • Click on the "wordlists" link if you are not already there.
  • Click on the button "New List."
  • Enter a title name for the wordlist. And click on the button "Save"
  • Add words to your wordlist... (see below)

Notes:

You must be in a folder that you own in order to create a new wordlist. If you are in someone else's public folder the "New List" button will not appear. First move to your own folder by clicking one of your folders such as "My Folder".

Generally it is a good idea to create a new wordlist in a private folder and then move it to a public folder when it is stable. Otherwise other users will see the wordlist change live as you edit it. This is usually not desirable. See the help section of "folders" for more information.

You can change the name of a wordlist that you own after you have created it the "Edit" button.


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3.2 How do I add a word to the wordlist?

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First get into the wordlist by clicking on its link.

There will be a text entry. Type in a Japanese word in romaji, kana, or kanji and click "Add Word."

(If you are not the owner of the wordlist the Add Word button will not appear. In this case you must make your own copy first and then add.)

In the above example, clicking on add word will bring up two choices from the dictionary. The first is 学校 (school) and the second is 月光 (a surname). Click on the "add" link next to word to add it to your list. Click cancel to return to your list without adding either word.


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3.3 How do I save my wordlist?

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You never need to save. Each time you perform an operation on your wordlist such as add or remove word, the server's database is updated. The Kantango server is constantly saving your work.


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3.4 How do I add a bunch of words from a block of text?

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Using the ChaSen tool, you can add a many words in a single operation. The first step is to click on the button "Add From Text" in the wordlist. (Note: if you are not the owner of the wordlist this button will not appear.)

After you click on this button, a page will appear that will let you enter a block of text. Once you have entered the text, press the "Extract Words" button. You may not use romaji here.

In the example above the following 3 words will be extracted: 彼 (he)、無人島 (deserted island)、生きる (lived)

Select which of these words you want to add using the checkboxes and then click on the "Add Word(s)" button. Click cancel to return to your wordlist without adding any new words.

Note that it was not able to extract the words: 十 (ten) 年間 (years). You will need to add these words manually using the process described above.


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3.5 How do I share a wordlist with other users?

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In order to make a wordlist visible to other users on Kantango you need to create a public folder and move the list into that public folder.

Create a new public folder:

  • Click on the "wordlists" link and go to your wordlists.
  • Click on the "New Folder" button to create a new folder. (If your folder list is hidden you may need to click the "Folder >>" button to show your wordlists.
  • Type a name for the folder.
  • Check the checkbox to make folder contents visible to all users.
  • Click the "Save" button.

To move a wordlist to a public folder: It is easy to tell if a folder is public because it will have the word (public) next to its name.

  • Click on the "wordlists" link and go to your wordlists.
  • Select the folder of the wordlist that you want to make public.
  • Check the checkbox of the wordlist you want to make public.
  • Pull down the "Move to..." menu and select the name of the public folder that you are going to move the list to.

Note that you are the only one that can modify your wordlists, even if you make them public. The buttons "Add Word" and "Remove" will not appear. The same goes for public folders.

In order to make a change to a public word list you must first copy it as your own and then modify it.


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3.6 How can I stop sharing a wordlist?

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To stop sharing a list simply move it from a public directory to a private one.

  • Click on the "wordlists" link and go to your wordlists.
  • Select the public folder with your wordlist in it.
  • Using the checkbox, check the wordlist that you wish to no longer share.
  • Pull donw the "Move to..." menu and select a folder name that does not have the word (public) appended to it.

Generally it is not a good practice to move wordlists in and out of the public arena quickly. Doing so will cause users looking at your wordlist to get annoying security violation errors.


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3.7 How can I get more information on a word?

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If you would like more contextual information about a word a good way to find out more about it is to do a Google or Sanseido search on it.

  • Open the wordlist of interest.
  • Check the "links" checkbox at the top of the page.
  • Scroll down to the word of interest and notice the links [G] and [S] on the left.
  • Clicking on either of these links will open another browser window with doing a google or Sanseido dictionary (goo) search.

Google and Sanseido search is also available as buttons on the flashcard page.

If you minimize the links window or put the window behind other windows it will not automatically pop to the front when you do another Google or Sanseido search. You may need to readjust the window yourself to view the search results.


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3.8 How can I move/copy a wordlist?

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Moving a list simply moves it from one folder to another.

To move a wordlist:

  • Go to the folder wordlist you want to move.
  • Check the wordlist you want to move.
  • Pull down the "Move To..." select button and select the folder that you want to move the wordlist to.

Note that to move a wordlist you must be the wordlist owner. You can only copy other user's public wordlists.

Copying a list makes a duplicate of that list.

To copy a wordlist:

  • Go to the folder wordlist you want to copy.
  • Check the wordlist you want to coy.
  • Pull down the "Copy To..." select button and select the folder that you want to copy the wordlist to.
  • Select a new name for the wordlist and click the "Save" button.
You can combine lists together by simply selecting more than one list and using the "Copy to ..." menu.

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3.9 How can I add a word that is not in the dictionary?

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Currently only privledged users can modify the dictionary. Please email us with the exact entries you think need to be added or changed.


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3.10 How do I remove a word from my wordlist?

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  • Open the wordlist.
  • Check the "controls" checkbox.
  • Put a check next to all of the words that you wish to remove.
  • Click the "Remove" button.
  • Confirm the words you wish to remove and click the "REMOVE" button.

Note that if you are not the owner of the list the "Remove" button will not appear. You must make your own copy of the wordlist before you can remove words.


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3.11 How do I delete an entire wordlist?

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  • Click on the "wordlists" link at the top of the page.
  • Go to the folder of the wordlist that you wish to remove.
  • Check the wordlist you wish to remove.
  • Click the "Delete" button.

At this point your wordlist has been moved to the trash but is not deleted. You can recover the wordlist by going to the trash folder and moving it back out or permanently delete the wordlist by emptying the trash.

To Empty the trash.

  • Click on the Trash folder.
  • Click on the button "Empty Trash."
  • Confirm by clicking the "ERASE" button.

To Rescue an item from the trash.

  • Click on the Trash folder.
  • Check the wordlist you wish to rescue.
  • Pull down the "Move to ..." folder and move the wordlist back to a safe folder.

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4.1 Why use folders?

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Folders are a nice way of organizing your wordlists. You might split your wordlists up by textbook, type of words, etc. How you organize is totally up to you.

There are two kinds of folder: public and private. Private folders are only seen by you where public folders can be seen by everyone on the site. Any wordlist inside a public folder is potentially seen by anyone on the site.


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4.2 How do I make a folder public or private?

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  • Click on the "wordlists" link at the top of the page.
  • If your folder list is hidden, click on "Folders >>" to reveal it.
  • Click on the "Folders..." button to get a list of your folders.
  • Click on the link "edit" next to the folder you wish to edit.
  • Check or uncheck the "Make visible to all users" checkbox.
  • Click the "Save." button.
  • Click "Done" to return to your wordlists.

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5.1 What are wordtags and kanjitags?

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Wordtags and kanjitags provide a way to keep track of words that you have learned and words that need review.

Tags span across wordlists. For example, if you mark the word 言語 "gengo" in wordlist 1 as "needs review", if the same word in wordlist 12 appears it will also be marked.

Other users cannot see your tags. They are always private even in public wordlists. Here are tag values:

SymbolMeaning
?New (Unclassified)
xNeeds Review
-Just Learned
oMastered
oFully Mastered

By marking a word, or kanji with a certain tag, they can be omitted from a flashcard session or written quiz easily.

Several future enhancements revolve around the use of word tags.


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5.2 How do I mark a word/kanji in a wordlist with a tag?

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  • Go to the wordlist.
  • Check the "controls" checkbox so you can see the tags.
  • Check the words that you would like to mark with tags.
  • Pull down "Mark checked word tag..." menu and select the tag type.

You can sort by tag by clicking on the tag heading in the table.

Another way of marking words with tags is by using the flashcards. For each word there is a "mark word" and "mark kanji" selection control.


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5.3 How can I create review wordlists from tags?

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This is a feature that is not yet complete but that I intend to add.


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6.1 How do I use flashcards?

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  • Go to the wordlist you wish to study.
  • Click on the button "Flash Cards" to bring up a setup menu.
  • Select what items you want to appear on the front of the card and what items you want to appear when you flip the card.
  • Click on start.

Tip: You can quickly flip through the cards in most browsers by simply hitting the enter key.

For each word you can mark it using one of the pull down menus or look up the word on Google or Sanseido (Goo).


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6.2 How do I make a written quiz?

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  • Go to the wordlist you wish to make a written quiz for.
  • Click on the button "Written Quiz" to bring up the setup menu.
  • Change options as needed: the title of the quiz, the number of quiz questions, the type of questions and answers.
  • Click on the button "Show Quiz"
Note: If you don't like the format of the quiz, you can modify it freely by cutting and pasting into your favorite word processor.

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7.1 What is a good way to study?

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There are of course many good ways to study. Here is but one.

  • Go through a new wordlist and mark all of the words you don't know with a "Needs Review" tag.
  • Select only words that "Need Review" with the flashcards and mark them "Just Learned" and "Mastered" as you go through them. As you reshuffle your deck, it will get smaller and smaller until it is empty. (Repeat this process as needed.)
  • Come back a day or so later and look at the words marked "mastered" again and see if it is true. If it is, change them to fully mastered.

If you are practicing kanji, nothing beats trying to write it down. If you can write it you know you *really* have it memorized. Use the flashcards and write out your answer on a piece of scratch paper before flipping the card.


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8.1 What should I do if something is not working right?

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Unfortunately in the software world things sometimes go wrong. If you are having a problem, don't hesitate to send email describing it. There are a lot of different versions of browsers and OSes out there. Please indicate in your mail the OS and version of browser you are using. The more detailed the information the better. The better information you can provide, the more likely it is we will be able to solve the problem.


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8.2 Problem with Flashcards on MacOS with IE5

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Older versions of IE5 have been reported to have trouble rendering Flashcards correctly. Extra nonsense characters appear. This problem has been corrected in the latest version. (IE 5.1.6 for MacOS9.x as of this writing.) Thanks to Yoshiko Uchida from the University of Chicago for finding this problem and discovering the workaround.

MacOS 9.x
http://www.microsoft.com/mac/DOWNLOAD/IE/ie5_classic.asp

MacOS X
http://www.microsoft.com/mac/DOWNLOAD/IE/ie5_osx.asp


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8.3 How do I ...?

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Is there a question that we didn't answer that you have or a tip you would like to share with other users? Please email it to us. We are interested.

If you have an idea for a great new feature, please send that along too. While it might not be possible to implement everyones suggestion we would at least like to know what they are.

I will be assembling a list of possible tasks.