Support

Check the Technical Support, Instructions & FAQ sections below or contact us for any problems you may encounter.

info-vapa@vapa.mk

INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE OF iBALKANS

Thank you for purchasing our application. We seek to improve the functionality and usefulness of iBalkans at all time and appreciate your feedback. We have tested this application in real life situations in the Balkans and believe we have covered the most important phrases needed, but please contact us if we have forgotten anything.

Write us at ibalkans-info@vapa.mk

The Balkan Communicator (iBalkans) is easy and fun to use. It has been designed according to Apple's iPhone Human Interface Guidelines. This document should explain any unique features of the application and help you get the most enjoyment and benefit.

iBalkans is available in 3 versions (set up depends on which version you own):

  1. iBalkans Lite
  2. iBalkans
  3. iBalkans Full
LANGUAGE SELECTION AND TOPIC INSTALLATION:

iBalkans. Before using iBalkans for the first time, you must install languages and the sound and text files for the topics you wish. Three (3) languages are included in the purchase of iBalkans, but it is you must choose which three (3) languages you want to install. You can always install additional languages through in app purchases.

iBalkans Full. This version come pre-loaded with all languages, but you must download the topic sound and text files for each language. Go to the STORE to do this.

iBalkans Lite. This version come pre-loaded with all languages, but you must download the phrases (topic sound and text files) for each language. Go to the STORE to do this. To upgrade to the regular version of iBalkans or the full version, purchase the app from the app store (go to Settings or click the iBalkans icon on the tool bar).

HOW TO INSTALL LANGUAGES AND TOPICS:

1. When you start iBalkans (NOT iBalkans FULL or iBalkans LITE) for the first time you will be asked to choose three (3) languages from the list of languages. Choose the languages you desire (3 languages). You will be asked to confirm you choices -- choose carefully! When the language(s) of your choice are installed, a check mark will appear next to that language. NOTE FOR USERS OF iBALKANS FULL -- you will not need to choose languages so skip this step and proceed directly to step 2 to download sound and text files.

2. Navigate to the STORE screen by clicking on the STORE icon. You will see the complete list of topics.

3. Choose the topic and you will see the languages for which you are able to download the phrases and sound files.

4. Press the language/flag icons for the languages you wish to download the text and sound files. Once pressed, the language/flag will brighten. You can download all language files for this topic at once by pressing all available languages or you can download one at a time as needed. Once the sound and text files for this topic are downloaded to your device, a green arrow will cover the language/flag icon. You can download topics for your installed languages at any time.

5. Repeat step 4 for other topics as needed. There are 8 topics in all. Adding topics is free, you are only limited by the languages you have installed on your device.

6. Press SETTINGS to choose your SOURCE LANGUAGE and TARGET LANGUAGE. All available languages will be displayed. You can change your SOURCE and TARGET languages at any time by returning to SETTINGS.

7. ADD NEW LANGUAGE. If you need to purchase a new language, just go to the SETTINGS > ADD NEW LANGUAGE to buy the new language (each language comes with all topics and phrases). You can continue to add as many languages as you like through this process on in app purchase.

The languages are abbreviated as:

AL = Albanian Shqip
BG = Bulgarian Bolgarski
BS = Bosnian Bosanski
CR = Croatian Hrvatski
EN = English English
FR = French Français
GR = Greek Ελληνικά
MK = Macedonian Македонски
RM = Romani Romanes
RO = Romanian Română
SB = Serbian Srpski
SL = Slovene Slovenščina
TK = Turkish Türkçe
BASIC OPERATIONS

Go to SETTINGS to select SOURCE and TARGET LANGUAGES by using the Picker Please note that the Picker displays only the languages installed on your device.

After you have selected your SOURCE LANGUAGE and TARGET LANGUAGE, go to the MY TOPICS button to access the list of Topics.

Each Topic has its own Icon:

  • Ten Phrases to Save Your Life
  • Celebrations
  • Travel
  • Romance
  • Life on the Street
  • Food and Drink
  • Essentials
  • Conflict, What Conflict

Some topics are further divided into sub-topics

  • Travel: Words and Phrases
  • Life on the Street: Questions, Statements and Money
  • Food and Drink: Phrases, General Meat & Fish, Spices, Local Specialties, Fruits, Vegetables, Desserts and Drinks
  • Essentials: Phrases, General, Countries, Nationalities, Numbers - Cardinal, Numbers Ordinal, Months, and Days
  • Conflict, What Conflict: Divided into Phrases and Words

Click on your desired TOPIC and a list of phrases is given. Select phrase and press the phrase itself or the PLAY button to hear. Click FORWARD to see the next phrase or BACKWARDS to see the previous phrase. Click PLAY ALL to hear all the phrases in that Topic or Sub-Topic. Click PLAY ALL again to stop the playback or simply navigate away from this screen. Click on the STAR to add this phrase to your individually-created My Favorites list of phrases.

If you select a TARGET LANGUAGE written in a non-Roman alphabet (e.g., Greek, Macedonian), you have the option of viewing the phrase in both the original script or in transliterated form. Once the phrase is displayed in the green box, click on the blue arrow to flip the phrase and reveal its transliterated form.

Some phrases in some languages are marked with the following abbreviations:

  • form. = "formal," i.e., a more formal form of a phrase to be used in a more formal setting as opposed to an informal phrase.
  • inf. = "informal," i.e., a more informal form of the same phrase.
  • rel. = "religious," i.e., a term favored by members of a particular religious faith.
  • f. = "feminine," i.e, the feminine form of the word or phrase.
  • m. = "masculine," i.e, the masculine form of the word or phrase.

Click the button on the My Topics Navigation Bar to toggle between List View of Topics and Icon View.

Navigation Bar: At each topic click on the return button to return to the previous page.

Click on the COMPOSE BUTTON on the Navigation Bar to send an email to us.

SEARCH -- enter the term or keyword for topic-level search, make sure that your international language-specific keyboard is loaded on your phone or touch under Preferences on your device. Click on one of the phrases to hear it.

Toolbar contains these buttons:

MY TOPICS. Takes you to the application start page from any location.

QUIZ BUTTON. Click here to go to the quiz section. You will be quizzed on the topic you are viewing so make sure you have first selected the Topic you want. Next you will see the main quiz page. There are two types of quizzes that can be modified for use according to your learning style, needs and desired outcomes: The Phrase Quiz and the Sound Quiz. Choose either PHRASE or SOUND on the navigation bar. In the green box you will see one phrase or word from your target language and selected Topic and below will be 4 possible answers in your source language. Read the phrase in the green box and select the correct answer. The application keeps track of your right and wrong answers and you will receive your score after finishing the 10 questions in the Quiz. Your progress through the ten questions is indicated in roman numbers at the bottom of the quiz.

The Sound Quiz is activated by clicking SOUND on the navigation bar while in the Quiz. The phrase or word is now hidden, replaced by a play button. Click play to hear the sound and then select the correct answer.

Additional modes can be installed by selecting one language for both the SOURCE and TARGET language, i.e., English for TARGET LANGUAGE and English for SOURCE LANGUAGE. Thus, you can practice your recognition of the writing system in the Phrase Quiz and your recognition of the sound system in the Sound Quiz. These quizzes will help you increase your listening and reading skills.

FAVORITE BUTTON. Click here to be taken to your own list of favorite phrases. You can add phrases at anytime by clicking on the FAVORITE button on the toolbar, while viewing the phrase. To remove an item from the Favorites list, swipe the phrase and click DELETE.

SETTINGS BUTTON. Here you select your source language (usually a language you know well) and your target languages (the language you wish to practice). The help button will take you to full instructions. The ADD A NEW LANGUAGE button will take you to the complete list of languages. Add a new language to your version of iBalkans to increase your options and possibilities. If one language is already installed on your device, a check mark appears after the language.

Don't forget -- Language is Power!

FAQ iBalkans

Q.  I just bought and downloaded a Bilingual language app and it quits during the download process? What's going on?

A. The Bilingual Apps do not work with iOS 5.0.  We are fixing this issue now and wil have a new version ready soon Please send us an email and we will compensate you for your purchase.

Q.  I just downloaded iBalkans Lite and it quits during the download process? What's going on?

A. IBalkans Lite does not work with iOS 5.0.  We are fixing this issue now and wil have a new version ready soon.

Q. Why do I have to download the Topics from the store?

A. We decided that it would be better for each user to customize his or her version of iBalkans to fit his or her own needs. Not everyone needs Romance, for example, but pretty much everyone has to eat and to propose a toast at some point in the Balkan adventure.

Q. I just purchased a new language through In App purchase, but the new language does not show up on my list of languages in settings? How can I add the new language's icon to the language list?

A. Turn off the iBalkans (not the device) and restart the application -- the language should now appear in the list of languages.

Q. I need to learn a new phrase in one of the Balkan languages. Can I make suggestions on new phrases for new versions?

A. Sure, just send your ideas to us at ibalkans-info@vapa.mk

Q. For some of the languages, there is an important difference between masculine and feminine forms but you give only masculine forms. Why!

A. You are correct, there are important differences and the current version of iBalkans is "fixed" on the masculine forms. The number of such phrases is small but we do hope to add a feature whereby the user can select his/her gender to make all phrases gender appropriate.

Q. I don't see any videos?

A. Video is not supported by iBalkans at this time. Stay tuned...

Q. When leaving the Store my app occasionally quits and I'm returned to the main screen of my iPhone. Is this normal?

A. No, this should not occur. Please let us know about all such issues. We will realize periodic updates to correct such problems.

Q. What other languages are you working on?

A. At present, we are finishing work on Slovene, Croatian, Romani, and Bulgarian. We will then complete Bosnian and begin to implement other non-Balkan languages, including Spanish, Russian, German, Dutch and Norwegian. We also have plans to add Chinese and Farsi.

Q. I can't hear the sound recordings?

A. Make sure the volume on your iPhone or iTouch is turned up or your headphones are plugged in.

Q. I really want to learn one of these languages. Where can I study these?

A. Many North American, Australian and European universities offer courses in these languages, both during the summer and during the school year. There are also community organizations that offer language instruction. From our experience, your best bet is to study in your home country for an extended period and then head to the Balkans where you will find many language courses as well as the chance to practice your skills daily. If you need suggestions for programs, write us.

Q. I really like the idea of learning languages through phrases, but need to know more about it. Where can I find your philosophy?

A. Visit us, we'll explain in person over coffee.

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Latest News

  • Updated! Our suite of bilingual apps have been updated to work with iOS 6.0 and iOS 5.0. Please update your app to ensure you have the latest features.
  • Balkans Full 3.0 and iBalkans Lite have been released! Now enjoy our app with Russian and German as well as exciting new features.
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