Teach Pablo … Thai! – FREE iOS and Android Language Learning App

This article was originally posted on WomenLearnThai.com.

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I just have to share this exciting new app for learning Thai. Any language, actually. Early this month Gabriel Morin contacted me about Pablo, an app he’s been working on.

There are a gazillion apps available now for learning languages but Pablo grabbed me because of its simplicity. I’m now a fan.

Do you feel like you’ve spent more time setting up flashcards and lists than you have studying? I sure have. Well, Pablo does away with that. All I do when I get a new word or list is type them into Pablo and start studying. Then, throughout the day, I grab my iPhone to flip through words, quitting when I reach words I already know. I do as much studying as I want, when I want.

I’ve yet to get into sharing/requesting words, phrases, and audio with my StudyBuddy but there’s plenty of time for that later. I’m happy keeping it simple for now.

UPDATE: You will need to log via Facebook but it’s painless (I promise) and if you lose your phone it’s just a matter of signing in to regain the lists you’ve created. You can now login via an email address.


UPDATE: Each time you practice your vocabulary, try to remember the translation of the word. Check the translation, and take the opportunity to tell Pablo if you had the right answer or not. After seven correct answers the word is noted as validated and increases your overall progress. Remember to reverse the language and repeat the test to really know your vocabulary in both directions. Just shake your phone a little bit and languages are reversed :-).

TIPS: When adding words/phrases, make sure you start off with the correct language or you’ll end up with a wonkey list (Thai and English on one side). To edit, with your finger on the entry slide to the left to see an edit menu on the right – then select ‘edit’ or ‘delete’.

Pablo comes in both iOS and Android … and … it’s FREE.

iOS: Teach Pablo: No more flashcards
Android: Pablo: No more flashcards

For more: The story behind Pablo
Facebook: Teach Pablo
Twitter: @_gabriel_morin

Thanks Gabriel! This app is a keeper.

10 thoughts on “Teach Pablo … Thai! – FREE iOS and Android Language Learning App”

  1. Gabriel I absolutely love your new feature – sharing lists. Exciting stuff 🙂

    What do you mean “follow a list”: Well, if you are a teacher, or a language blogger, you may have wanted at some point to share some lists of vocabulary with your students (or followers :-). That’s exactly what you can do now with Pablo! Create a list for them, start adding some vocabulary, share them the list and let the practice start. They will be able to practice on your list, but not modify the content. From there, you can continue adding words to this list on a regular basis. Your followers will receive notifications of the latest changes.

  2. Hey Matthew,
    Thanks for your feedback, reading your messages brings a lot of cool insights for how I could *seduce* more new users :-). I’ll have a closer look at anki to see if there’s a way to export/import into Pablo. More updates to come :-).

  3. I don’t think you can directly communicate with anyone via Anki. I haven’t tried Pablo yet and am a bit reluctant to do so as I’ve built up a lot of Anki cards over the years. If it had some killer feature and allowed me to import cards from Anki I’d definitely give it a try.

    • I can absolutely understand why those with loads of Anki stacks might not want to switch (but perhaps bouncing between the two would work). You already have your system worked out. It’s now second nature.

      For me, the point is that Pablo doesn’t have killer features – it’s the simplicity that was the draw.

      In saying that … I guess being able to request translation/audio through Facebook could be considered killer but as I want to spend more time studying and less time creating I might not even use that part of the app very much (if at all).

      I’m presently doing an online course, ‘Introduction to Italian’ (put out by a university in Siena). As I work through the course it’s easy to just grab vocab/phrases I want to learn and put them in Pablo. I flip through them a few times, and then add more. The old word/phrases get pushed down on the list as new ones are added on top. I’m also doing Coffee Break Italian and LinkWord Italian. Same process. No new list, I just type in words/phrases on top and away I go. I’m not worried about organising anything, uploading anything, saving anything for later. It’s all for studying now, at this time. And being OCD about organising studying materials (getting things ‘just so’) I’m finding it a release.

  4. Anki is simple too. You said in your post, ‘All I do when I get a new word or list is type them into Pablo and start studying. Then, throughout the day, I grab my iPhone to flip through words, quitting when I reach words I already know. I do as much studying as I want, when I want.’ That’s exactly what I do with Anki. I just wonder why anyone would choose Pablo over Anki when there’s already so much Thai material for the latter and it’s easy to add your own stuff.

    • I’ll try to describe it … with Pablo I don’t feel as if I’m tied to a session like I do with others (BYKI, another fav, is a time hog).

      In addition, I don’t want to use materials created by someone else, so available materials aren’t a draw. They never fit what I’m studying and I only end up itching to create my own anyway.

      Also, I don’t like Anki. Never have. I did purchase the Anki iOS app when several language courses I acquired used Anki (only) but Anki never caught on with me. I’m not alone in this so perhaps Pablo can fill that market.

      Here’s a question… can you send words/phrases to your teacher/language exchange partner to get translated and recorded via the Anki app? Last time I used Anki it wasn’t an option (but I could be wrong).

      Btw: Did you try Pablo?

  5. Apart from the addition of an infantile cartoon parrot, how is this an improvement on Anki or the many other spaced repetition apps available?

  6. Gabriel, thanks for the heads-up 🙂

    Giving different options to sign in is great. Thanks for putting in the time! I can now understand how beneficial it is to log in with Facebook so I’m happy to leave mine as is.

  7. Thank you so much Catherine!
    I’ll be available here for any comment regarding the app.
    Some of you already contacted me regarding the mandatory Facebook login.
    This was just a temporary solution and I’m going to roll out un update in the coming minutes on android, and probably tomorrow for iOS, where you will also be able to login with your phone number or e-mail address.
    If you don’t mind using Facebook though I still recommend it as it is so far the best experience for the social features on Pablo (easier to find a friend to create a conversation with, your avatar is the one you have on facebook etc etc :).


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