How to Learn Languages with ANKI like a PRO | Cierra Smith | Skillshare

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How to Learn Languages with ANKI like a PRO

teacher avatar Cierra Smith, Simplifying your next creative passion

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (27m)
    • 1. Intro to Anki for Language Learning

    • 2. Best Card types & How to add Cards

    • 3. Essential things to include in cards for language learning

    • 4. Setting Study Preferences

    • 5. Pro Tips (Scheduling & Statistics)

    • 6. Outro

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About This Class

In this course, you'll learn the smart way to use the all-time best application for language learning -- Anki. Anki is a free and open-source flashcard program using spaced repetition, a technique from cognitive science for fast and long-lasting memorization. "Anki" is the Japanese word for "memorization".

Anki is a sworn by tool for many polyglots and a daily part of my study routine. It's essential for memorizing and retaining your target foreign language. There's a learning curve but much less of one than most teachers will have you believe. The platform honestly isn't intimidating at all once you learn just a few basics. Learning a language with Anki and learning other subjects with Anki is often really different, which is why this course focuses solely on learning languages with Anki. You won't learn anything that's not necessary for the language learning process and you'll walk away from this course feeling like a pro at using Anki for the language learning powerhouse that it is.

The tips and tricks in this course can be applied to learning any and all languages. My aim was to keep this course as short and sweet as possible so you can start (efficiently) studying as soon as possible! If you're already familiar with Anki and looking to snag some useful tips, feel free to set this course speed on 1.5x or 2x. I'm sure you'll learn something!

Don't forget to grab your 51-page language learning printable bundle before you leave!

If you need some help setting up a long-term enjoyable study routine, check out How to create an efficient multi-hour language study routine. You'll find plenty of D.I.Y language learning inspiration at Thanks for taking my course!


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Cierra Smith

Simplifying your next creative passion


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Lifestyle Languages

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1. Intro to Anki for Language Learning: Hello. My name is theorist Smith and the owner of cultures, simply and an aspiring trilingual. I'm here to teach you all how to use RD for language learning in the shortest amount of time possible just to get you started and know some of the prototypes and expert techniques you should probably know before you actually dive into Aki, because there is a bit of a learning curve. Just if you don't know, aki is, Let's just go to what Wikipedia says. It says, OK, here's a free and open source flashcard program using spaced repetition, a technique from cognitive science for fast and long lasting memorization. Aki is the Japanese word for memorization. So as I just showed, this is how the archae interface looks. In. Just looking at it, you can see it does look a little bit intimidating, but I'm hopefully gonna be taking away any fear and just showing you how to really maximize your language learning. I do believe this is the best tool for language learners and it really works. So definitely stick around and learn more. 2. Best Card types & How to add Cards: First things first, let's talk about car types and how to add cards. So hopefully you're already in your deck, but if you're not, the first thing you're gonna see is your decks. I have a couple here that might've thought deck is the one that I used to read amines, which is a language that I'm learning. And ideally, you'd probably make your default deck, your language that you're learning as well. If you do have other decks, actually give them names, but you can do whatever you want. So Here's my default DAC. Make sure in the correct deck for use or adding cards. And crisis, very simple. You just click add at the top here, or you click shortcut key. Either one works and you can click on. And I'll admit that when I first started using Aki, I was just pretty much sticking with that font, which was basic. And basic does work fine because it's just your typical flashcard. You clicky and you read it, and then when you flip it, you read it again. Let let me just show you probably what it would actually look like. So this right here, this this is what would be a basic car that you couldn't write. And then this will be a basic card that is just a basic one. So basic, you can't type in anything, so you're not applying your skills as much so like in a concrete manner, you just digging up the answer in your mind. And then you click Show answer. And then there's your answer is more what you prefer. But from it, in a more advanced standpoint, I do think that writing the answer is a lot more hands on. And if you ever use glossa, which is another language learning app, then you're kind of an experience like that where you have to actually write in the answer. And I think that's a really effective. They do that. Just make sure you didn't miss it. You click add card that you go to type. You can simulate this or you can go down to basics hyping the answer. Honestly, I could go over all these, but I just find that they're really not that useful for language learning. You couldn't really do everything you need with just basic, basic or clothes which are getting too close in a bit. So let's just do basic type in the answer, choose, and then you would write down whatever your word is allowed. And then that's it. That's pretty much it, but I'll give it to other things. You usually enter the cards in the future videos, but just showing you how to add them. The current I is this is it right here. And so just know that once you wouldn't, once that flash card pops up later on, you'll be able to type in the answer. And so they're just looking at it. But if you don't want to do that, then you would click bait and the USC, the car, and then you can click show answer and it would show the answer without you having to type in anything which could be more time fishing. Or you could even do close, which has the most of a learning curve. Them I didn't use close for awhile, but closes like it's it's kinda hard to explain, but it can be really effective when she figured out you, it's basically like a hole in the blank type flashcard where you would have a sentence and then you would have a missing word, and then the word that you would put in close by, let's say, hello. How are you? Let's just pretend you're learning English. So you try to remember what is hello. And you know that Hello would know right before How are you. So to make this hello Be like a fill-in-the-blank, you would go up to the top here and USD close deletion. Or you can even get that by doing control shifts seem close. Lisa will put hello in these weird brackets. And then once the flashcard shows that later on, hello won't show up. But how are you will, and you'll just have to be like, oh, what would go right before I, how are you? And then you would put in hello. But this isn't involved typing anything like that. Basic technique is, once again, it's just one that you looked at in the, figure it out in your head, you click Show answer and it shows you the answer. And remember, this is, this would be if you were learning English, if you're learning another language, then this would be your target language right here and there when it actually be like them. Translation, unlike the other currents, this one would be entirely in your target language and you would be filling in the blank. So that's why we do close deletion. I finished really good for learning was in contexts. So like I said, I think closer these Shane closed card and there you can do cause deletions unless you click close right here. So either close or basic type in the answer I find are the most effective or for language learning with AKI. Alright, so the next video. 3. Essential things to include in cards for language learning: So the first thing I learned about aki is that it is a very extensive and versatile and there are just a lot of things that you can't add two cards. But I'm gonna tell you the essential things add for when you're learning a language. And then just cut out all the other white noise because it's just extra stuff. So let's go to basic type of the answer and then the closed deletion. Alright, so as a language learner, really all you need to put on your card is the original language, like your, I mean, your native language and the translation, what I always do is I put my native language on the front and then the translation. So this makes it where you actually have to remember it. I used to sometimes I would put them translation on the front. But when you see the translation, it's a lot easier to just automatically like, oh, army would that translation is this phrase in my native tongue and it, it doesn't require you memorizing your target language. It's more so like you're memorizing your native language in a sense, when you, when you put your target language on the front. And just if you don't really understand when Telemachus, they play around with it a little bit for yourself and you'll see that just putting your native language on the Friday is a more challenging and mentally invigorating task. Then doing the other version. So she say on the back, is your one language. That's really all you need. And then from a foreign language learner's standpoint, you should also have the audio on there. And he was really easy. You just click record audio and then you add it yourself. So when you hit record audio, this box here will show. And then you say the phrase or word in your translation language, your target language, and then you click Save. But when you put your heart, your current language gray, like it'll play it back to you right then so you can hear how you sound it or how if you had like a something that was like the audio format and you played it so that your computer would then you'll just hear played back for you white quick and then you can decide whether or not you want to just deleted all which she's pretty easy. You can use. Highlighted all ng-click back sees now completely get rid of the audio. Or if you want to bring it that you can click Control Z or Command Z on your keyboard. As the keyboard shortcut for undue brings back the ru. So no unhappy with that audio. And honestly those are really the only three things you need. Your native language, your target language, and audio, which will tell you the audio isn't essential, but especially when you're first learning the language and you're not familiar with how certain things sound, certain words or letters sound together. It would really be useful to have the audio layer. And then maybe like down the line when you're given like b2, h2 and see where you're really getting comfortable with hardening sounds that you'll have to add the audio anymore. And if you realize that seems to be taking up space on your computer, then I just say be smart about where you add the audio, like I say the ad. You should add audio for words that you know. You'll need a help, like remembering how they sound. If you know how they sound are ready, you can look at the warnings like, oh, that sounds like this. Then maybe you don't have the other you for that. If you're worried about teaming up to space on your computer. But I would suggest getting a fresh driver of our drive because it's just, it's really worth adding the audio because Anki can be a very well-rounded experience. If you're willing to add everyday, they have it doesn't just have to be a writing and reading thing. It can be a writing reading, listening, and even speaking. If you look at it and you hear the audio play or before you hear the audio play, do you say it yourself? And then you listen to the audio to see if you got it right. So well rounded experience, as long as you're willing to take advantage every day. And keep in mind that they have a lot of tools up here that you can use it. So if you want to, honestly, this is the area pretty useless for language learning. But bold italicize underline can be useful for indicating certain parts of the sentence. And then like let's say like if I had the rest of the thing that fear, which, and this is where I will have all this DIA, critics. But just to show you, because it's, you are trying to say like you were trying to remember Hello, You weren't, you distinguish it in the UK it is Bordeaux. And then your member, like when you see the answer, you see the white, the part that's bold and you'll know that hello was involved. So you note that the ballpark is hello and you've been you want more clarification. You can underlie how are you. And then underlying the translation of how are you. So you know exactly which words are what were you could even get even more specific than that and be like camera, which word is, you know, me italicize you. Italicize the translation. So then you're really know which words are white and that can be really useful. Down here you could ads had if you want to, which will help organize the Locard's. I think that they can be pretty useful for starting them because I didn't know that you need certain terms for business, their interest or family, certain terms for other things wished because, you know, there are a lot of different aspects of life, then using those tasks can be really useful. Like namely this tag could just be like Small Talkers and things so that you ever in a situation where you had you were trying to catch somebody you couldn't remember, you just whip out your OMG. Hopefully you would already have it open and then you could go to browse and go to this tag and you'll automatically see all the words that you had tagged with. So that's pretty simple. Needs you. Who would want to add a tag tags for not since you'll be fine without them, then you are colored that here if you would want to, under like color-code, but then again, like Asana essential, then you don't have to you. So once you do that, then you can just click Add and it'll be in your debt. And you'll go to see it later on. 4. Setting Study Preferences: The right-click, I just wanna go over study preferences. This is a really quick and easy, easy thing. You go to the top here we'll see file edit tools and help. And then you'll click Tools and go down to Preferences. You can ask it to by clicking control he. And then all the preference will come up. All right, here are the defaults and honestly, you don't have to change anything, you can leave it all. But I did want to at least offer you the opportunity. You'll see right here. There's night mode, which you can definitely get rid of that keen mind. You have to restart the aki, recent Aki for all these changes to take effect. But if you don't like how it's dark, it's white on black. You can have it black text on a white background. By unchecking Night Moon, WY, you can make the ink user interface bigger or smaller, or just leave it at 100. You've got a scheduling. And this can be, this is a little bit more studying focus. I find that I don't know exactly what they have the default set to, but it is good to at least take note of when they say the next day starts. So this just means that once you finished the cars that you studied for their day, like they have since it's spaced repetition in there's a sediment and numbers. The sediment a number of cars. They have huge city today. So say you had 30-70, say today. You study those 37. And also you're done for the day and you're not able to study any other cards until that day ends and the next day starts. So if you studied at like 11:59 PM and you're always going to restart it 12 anyway, that's not how it works. So you can see right here they have a set amount of hours past midnight. So this right here will actually be that the next day starts at 10:00 AM. And this can be useful if you know that you're gonna be studying around a set time each day. I do think most learners do kinda have that kind of rules. Hopefully you do where you can set it to be about around that time so that every time you check in, you'll be able to, you'll be able to study more cars. Like you don't want to get wrong and see that you've already studied your card for the day because you didn't wait until the next day starts, which is a certain amount of hours past midnight. So this will be selling at 10:00 AM. And if you wanted to start earlier, you can say like five AM or something like it, that's where you want to say, I just stay like don't do this to cram as much as you can. If you'd like. Now you can say 0 hours past midnight in then it would start at midnight. And then you like, I can see somebody doing this began more than this fair in then they study their next is cars that night, so that the next day we don't know when they wake up the next day, they will have any cars, the cilia that day because they've already reached their limit for the day. So I just think this is geared around to where you'd normally studies, that there'll always be new cards really study around the time that you want to study. So if I know the SAT around ten AM in the morning, then I want the next six currents or restart attend. Because they're going to start, they're gonna start like 20 hours apart, 24 hours apart, no matter what. So if you started at 10:00 AM today, then also sorry, today and tomorrow. If you didn't have study your cards today due to tab, all the cars you were supposed to study today? Tomorrow as well as other cars a year. So there's a study tomorrow. So it is it gathers its cumulative and you can't really get out of it. Like you miss a day, you're going to have to study a bunch later on. So I just try not to miss any days. I was probably going to work out best for you. And then this other stuff is a bit more. So let's stay focused, but it's good stuff to know if you're signed and you'll see where you can log out. And then this is backup so that you can decide on how many facts backups of Aki you wanna keep on your computers. I definitely say to keep a good amount of backups because there's nothing more disappointing thing, accidentally breaking your laptop or something happening. And your hierarchy that is, so keep those backups, preferably log in or create an account. And then you also have a data lake like the cloud. So just keep that in mind. 5. Pro Tips (Scheduling & Statistics): So right-click also just want to give a few other pro tips for language learning with RQ. If on a card and you're setting it, you can go down here and click more. And you'll see that a whole bunch of options. I find that the most useful to options here are buried and suspend. So bury cards, the span guard. What this does is if you barrier the car, it'll go away for that day, but it will show backup tomorrow. So if you just know you see a word and you're like, I know what the translation is, but I'm just having a brain FAR is not coming to me today, are proudly come to me tomorrow. Click Barry card and that word will go away for the day and it'll come back tomorrow. And then it'll be the same where if you get like let me kinda hard to explain what I'm gonna say, But you could show answer right here. You'll have these options. So if you were able to remember what the word was when no problem. Probably click good. You could click easy. We'll just super easy to remember. But as somebody who's been using donkey for awhile with language, Clicking good and really don't click easy. Like I don't really ever click it. But if you really, really know the word, you can click easy and then it'll much larger intervals before it shows up in this word. I just recently learned this phrase, which is why even easy, it's just a 24-hour day and the futures and the future here. But after you learn a word for a while and it's been showing up for awhile. You'll click easy. It'll be like over a year into the future. And good will be a shorter amount of period up shooter minuss time, but like it's still, it's good. So it'll be shorter than easy, but longer than hard and longer than a gain. So who was Harvey? Remember it'll be even a shorter amount of time where it'll show up. This word will show up eight days in the future as I clicked hard. And if I set a game where I just looked at the the my native language on the Friday and I was like, I can't remember what this phrase was in that language and I will click again because I got it wrong. And that will make a short ten minutes in the future or undertake minuss in the future. So that'll basically restart its whole space repetition timing. And then the next time I see it would be like two days into the future or something because that's just how spaced repetition goes. So like if I clicked easy and I saw it again, then the next E, next time it will be even larger so that the repetition intervals just keep getting longer depending on which you click. So, thank you. Click. Like I said, it'll kind of go through my 0s from, again, easy. It'll get longer in between that span of time. So that's like how space repetition works. Yeah. So basically Thing Moore and clicking very current means I won't show up until tomorrow. And tomorrow it'll have these exact same options. So instead of cooking, if you had clicked again where you, you like, you would see again that day, then the next time you see it, which cannot use default for the first time you see a card is about like like one day. So it kinda depends on like what you set your preferences to by doing things like one day. So by clicked. Again and then it showed up again tomorrow. Then all these hard, good, and easy, they would all be short. Like those time periods would be a lot shorter now because I clicked again so occluded and no, it wouldn't, right. Whenever you hear on click more and Barry card initiative tomorrow, all of these would be the same because I didn't say I didn't know what I was saying. I had a temporary brain fart and on that. So you can get very hard for that. And then if you don't ever want to see a cardigan, you can click suspend card and that's it. You just, you have a card for hello. And you learn hello a year. And you know that no matter what, you're never gonna create Hello in that language. So you can just click suspend card and it won't, wouldn't ever show back up. It'll still be on your deck, but it will never show up for you to study again. So I do think that's useful for words or phrases that you get a super comfortable with in a certain point and Kim's always time for you to keep reviewing it. So I do think those are two good ones to remember. Everything else isn't really like these others who aren't that useful, my opinion, you can kind of look around them, play around. I do think that clicking Options, let me show that going more clicking Options. There is some pretty useful stuff here that you can change yourself some more. What I consider to be studied preferences. So like this is where you set it remains. So this is basically saying that the first time you see a word, if you clicked easy, it would show up in four days. So eat like forties is pretty long for her. If you just this is your first time at receiving the card. So just keep that in mind name up here. That's pretty useful depending on how much time you have each day and how much and how rigorous you trying to be. You can set the amount of cards you plans that each day and it'll show let those out of cards, you show up. But I've listened. Oftentimes, it'll even be more than that just depending on like, how long ago you learned the cars which you'd have a big deck. Like there's a set amount of time. You could just so like what I just showed you where you click Show Answer. Easy and extending eight days that it wasn't a reseller. Like it's still going to show up in a days even if there are 20 other cars that you're gonna study. So they even have you had these studies 20, you may still have more than 20 on that day, but it'll at least they'll be like this 20 that it will be around 200. It's kind of hard to explain. But I just say like keep in mind the amount of rigor that you want and then the new credits per day accordingly, you can make it a whole bunch, or you can keep the default. So, and then there's a whole lot of different settings here. This even shows like your maximum views per day would be 200. And then let me say grams per day would be like if you had 20 new cards that you just add it, it will show up. 20, like those 20 new carta show up and no more new cards. So like new crimes across you literally just added and then the rest of the reviews, you know, they're exactly what they sound like the reviews. So tops, you could have 200 reviews. So I've never had 200 even though it's been set to 200. But if you were just like you had a whole bunch of cars in there, it could reach it can reach to i, j, you have it set to this. And there are all these other cells. These are the thoughts you can leave them as is, it really doesn't matter, but you can look around and play around with him if you know your learning style and what would work best for you. And then I also wanted to go over statues, right? Query, this is just a really extra. Then you're into data. It can be useful to look at how many words are you studied each day, how many total reviews you've done right here shows up. My average is 2400 views per day, which honestly it feels like more than that when I City Aki, but for the days that I missed, what I miss that that that day is like a 0 reviews for her that day. So messed up my average. And I do think that over like the lungs then it can be useful if you're like, why am I not seeing much growth a good? Because you thinkers this book for the days you miss, the average is just going down like your average could be like five cards per day if you missed a whole bunch of days. So that might be right, you're not seeing as much growth as you want. And I do think that looking at these statistics could be nice little u's and show you what today's Eumaeus. It'll kinda allow you to assess what days are having the hardest time, like fitting your study and that you could kinda rearranged accordingly because this will show it to you by the day. These top right here is Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and then on the other days. And then you can even go down here and show you kind of like see this stuff is it's cool to look at but you don't have to know any of it's just there for you to know. I think this one can be used for sou like if you're kinda provide the best time of the day to study, looking at the stats could show you when you study best like when he would get the most correct answers, which in their mind is is not clicking in OK, he's mine now, clicking again is a right answer. So just keep that in mind to you. If you didn't room or the worrying you stood in it, you didn't click again. They're going to consider that a right answer. So this statue something to keep in mind. So this show you which ours, you do this. My best. I was just showing you the hours and up unless I get the most correct. Even like either clicking easy, good, or even hard. Which for me is like they do in military time. So 21 o'clock to 22 o'clock in the next would be 2021 o'clock. So it's kinda obvious American Night by these. But these statistics, but I knew the reader look at these and kind of Herman, when your mind is written the best when it comes to language learning. 6. Outro: Thank you all so, so much for taking this course and sticking with it to the, well, forget to check out my website quarter for more information regarding fine, do it yourself, language learning and over to do the class project as well as sick as a snapshot of your screen if you're Anki deck and hopefully inspire the other students taking this course. Thank you so much and hopefully I'll see you in the next one.