Vocabulary trainer
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README for VocabC

Developed by Johannes Bucher http://github.com/johabu This file is part of VocabC.

VocabC is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see http://www.gnu.org/licenses/.


Current version: 2.6

version 2.x works on GNU/Linux systems with Kernel 3.x and gcc 4.4 or higher

Tested architecture: x86-64, armv6l Tested distributions: Ubuntu 12.04, 12.10, 13.04, 13.10, Debian 7.2


First download the file (VocabC.zip or VocabC.tar.gz) and extract the files or clone the repository.

  1. Compiling:

    Type the following commands in a shell:

    cd /PATH/TO/VocabC/
    make install 

    (you must have root rights) For a local install in one directory use make localinstall

  2. Configuration: When running make install the program creates an config file located in HOME/.config/vocabc/ . If not, copy "conf.txt" in this directory and rename it into "config". In the config file you can save your default settings, e.g. random order by default. Look at this file to see which settings you can save.


VocabC is a simple vocabulary trainer written in C. One point is that you can use it for learning words or phrases of many different languages.

The output of VocabC is displayed in the language stored in $LANG. (At the moment 3 languages: English, German and Spanish)

  1. Creating vocabulary file

    To use the program, first create a vocab file. The vocab has to be in this format: word1 = word2a, word2b Example: file name is e.g. "voc_1.txt"

    Personal =personnel,staff	
    german   =deutsch,alemán	
    to fit   =caber#in english	

    -> several meanings possible

    -> comments with # (must be the first character in the line)

    -> many languages possible (ISO 8859-15)

    -> spaces possible

    -> comments on only one side possible

    -> See also the vocabulary file "example.txt"

  2. Start the program:


    VocabC -f <file>	

    If this doesn't work, try ./VocabC -f <file> in the directory in which you installed the program. Check also your PATH variable.

    Optional arguments:

    -h Show help

    -r Random order of words

    -d1 Program asks the first word

    -d2 Program asks the second word

    -dr Program sets direction randomly

    -n <num> ask words

    -s case-sensitivity

    -c don't show comments

    -x ignore default settings stored in config file

    If you stored settings in a configuration file, you don't need to set optional arguments. If you set some, settings from the configuration file are overwritten.

  3. Behaviour of the program:

    First the program prints some information like the number of words which are going to be asked. The program asks you for the word on the right side in the file. (when you set -d2 (-dr) , it asks you (maybe) for the left one) You have to type the word from the right side. Be careful with the spelling! You have two tries, e.g. if you misspelled a word. Before asking for a word the program gives you information about your progress and percentage of the words you knew. In the end it shows you statistics about your knowledge, which are stored in each vocabulary file as well.


Following error codes may occur:

  • 0 You didn't specify a vocabulary file using the -f option. You have to specify a file name using VocabC -f . [Obsolete since version 2.6]
  • 0x1 The file you specified could not be opened. Check if file exists and check permissions.
  • 0x3 Error while reading the vocabulary file. Check if word pairs are in correct syntax and if file still exists.
  • 0x4 The error occured in reading your input. Maybe you pressed a key combination like Crtl-D.
  • 0x5 The program creats a temporary file. Program was unable to delete this file.
  • 0x6 The program couldn't clear the screen of your console.
  • 0x7 Internal error.
  • 0x8 At the given line in your vocabulary file there isn't a readable word pair.
  • 0x9 The program was unable to get the $HOME variable, thus your configuration file couldn't be located.
  • 0xa The given command-line option requieres an argument.
  • 0xc This error occurs if you entered an option character the program can't deal with.