Typing Contest

First off, I should apologize to Peter (peter) for being a day late. Sorry, mate.

Some time ago, someone came on the LingQ forum and mentioned a site called typeracer.com, a site where you can practice typing in English and dozens of other languages. I decided to check it out, and found that it was actually quite interesting. I always felt that improving my typing speed was an important task, especially considering the fact that I spend a great deal of my time in front of a computer screen.

Around two months ago, Peter, some other LingQ members and I were “hanging out” in a Google+ Hangout. I thought it would be fun to get everyone on the site to have a typing competition. I didn’t doubt that I would win, but was curious to see how other people stacked up. You don’t often get the chance to gauge other people’s abilities in such tasks as typing (I suppose much in the same way that you don’t really know how fast someone can run until you time them in a 100 meter or a 1 mile race, for example).

When the counter reached 0 and the race began, I pulled out to an early lead. With my eyes glued to the screen, watching the words as they passed by, I heard in the background some cries of agony as Peter struggled to move his fingers as quickly as possible at 4 in the morning. Nonetheless, I knew I couldn’t stop and look back. I had a race to win and nothing was going to stop me. My fingers moved quicker and quicker, the keys on my keyboard cracking like a whip as they slammed against the deck of the keyboard at breakneck speed. Nothing would stop me from winning this race, nothing. But in the midst of my intense focus, that Australian-accented squeal persisted. “What IS that??” I wondered to myself. I pressed on, blocking out all other senses as I punched in the last few keystrokes to take the victory. As I watched “Finished!” appear on the screen, I was suddenly thrown back into reality, and as the fog of war cleared I realized that it was Peter, who had a broken arm and a gash across is forehead, crying out in pain as he crawled along at a mere 40 words per minute.

“Not fair,” he said, “you cheated!”

Well, Peter. I’ve been practicing, and I hope you have too. I’m ready for this rematch whenever you are.

How’s my record? Well, there are plenty of stronger fish out there in the sea, but this war’s between you and me, mate. Here’s how my numbers stack up: http://screencast.com/t/zvU7rz71

See you at dawn.

I have a strange feeling that I’m going to lose dismally, not only because I haven’t practiced, but also because I’m simply not in Alex’s league when it comes to typing speed. I may have bitten off more than I can chew with this challenge…

Ok, the results are in.

Over three cutthroat rounds of touch-typing action, Alex, as expected, reigned supreme. His average WPM was 93.67 and mine was 72.67.

We also decided to do a race one-handed. I got 35 WPM and Alex got 34 WPM.

Anyway, as exciting as I’m sure this forum thread is for you all, the agreement was to humiliate the loser on the forum, so here I am…

Until next time, Alex.

One handed typing…I’m sure that’s useful for something, right? :smiley:

I checked the Japanese one but the sentence is clearly translated by a dodgy program. It doesn’t make sense, so not for study, unfortunately.

Lol @ Alex. Wow, you guys are great. I can’t get my typing speed higher than around 55 or so.

Also lol @Imyirtseshem’s comment.

Hmmm … for some reason I don’t believe that site, I got a high of 74 wpm. I know I don’t type that quickly.

I think it depends on the text, too. I didn’t reach any spectacular speeds, but had wide variations. I tend to have 98% accuracy, but would love to have 100…

That’s a very nice site. It’s very similar to a Russian typing site called Быстрый старт (Quick Start) http://klavogonki.ru/play/?gmid=82429 . A good feature of both sites is that they identify the book the text was taken from, in case you found it interesting and want to read more.

Cool! Thanks for sharing the TypeRacer site! I got 89 wpm! I love typing :slight_smile:

@Ernie, how do I start playing the Quick Start? I don’t want to play against other people, but I want to practice by myself…

Cloud1241, Well, that link didn’t work out as I had hoped, sorry–we end up on a page of scores. It looks to have timed out.

The text and text entry will be in Russian, so If you don’t type in Russian it probably won’t be much fun.

Try this link http://klavogonki.ru/go?type=normal . You should see a “stop light” at the left near the top. A countdown will start (or will have started), after which the text to copy will be displayed and the text-entry field will accept your typing. Or you’ll see in blue Начать игру (Start game), a little to the right of the stop light graphic, and you can left-click on that to start a short countdown to the game.

The text to copy will appear in the field that says, “Текст скрыт до начала игры” (Text hidden until the beginning of the game). The field that your typing will show up in is the field that says, “Набирайте здесь текст после начала игры” (Compose text here after the game begins).

This should work, I hope. Let me know if it doesn’t. Have fun!

I suck so much that I won’t share my typing speed. Too ashamed.

101wpm =]

But most of mine are in the 80-90 wmp range.

Oh, but I have accuracy problems. I have stupid fingers.

Typeracer has the big advantage that it does not expect you to use the standard keyboard layout for a language. I use a phonetic, students’ Russian layout, and it doesn’t affect the typing test at all.

Pity it doesn’t get you typing out bits of Russian books, but you can’t have everything :wink:

Typeracer in Japanese mode expects you to recognise Kanji! Aargh! (Hides under computer desk in shame).

My Russian scores were bad enough…

I wonder if practicing touch-typing in a foreign language counts as output, and is therefore useful for making passive vocab more active.

When your typing skills are as dreadful as mine, improving them is an important, if not necessary, step in increasing output.

60 characters (not words) a minute, beat that!

@skyblueteapot: Helen, if you’re typing at 12 words a minute, you might consider learning the standard Russian keyboard. It only takes about 3-4 weeks, although probably the first several days might be difficult, switching over. It’s easy enough to learn the standard keyboard (any keyboard) on the computer without additional training software. Then you could read genuine Russian when you’re typing, not those grotesque Google translations.

@peter: “useful for making passive vocab more active”–my guess would be only when one understands a good deal of what one is reading. That’s only a guess, however. It’s quite possible to do these “races” w/o knowing what the text that is being copied means, and although I bet that does have some benefit, the benefit is probably not half so much as when there’s a good deal of comprehension. Just having the language pass through one’s brain probably is helpful, would be my guess, although it may not be helpful to spend a lot of time on mangled texts such as from Google translate. It is probably harmful to read such texts.