5 Reasons You Should Start Using Anki

by David · 68 comments

The Old Way of Doing Things

We’re all familiar with flash cards. The concept is simple. Small pieces of card with a question on one side and the answer on the other. They can be carried around in your pocket ready  for review at anytime. In my experience they are mostly used for cramming before a test or learning words from a foreign language.

I find flash cards to be inconvenient and boring. I don’t want to cut pieces of card and it’s never pleasant when they drop out your hand and need to be picked up.

The New Way of Doing Things

I’m constantly amazed at how technology advances. We seem to jump leaps and bounds with a few blinks of an eye. However, with all the amazing technology available I find the ideas which use the simplest of technologies often prove to be the most useful.

Ever since I discovered Anki it’s been a big part  of my study for language and university. There’s only one way to describe Anki and that’s “digital flashcards on steroids” I believe everyone can find a place for Anki no matter what you’re learning.

Anki uses what’s called a ‘spaced repetition system‘  Think of it as a large database which stores everything you want to remember. There’s no need to worry about forgetting a fact because Anki will present it for review at the point you’re most likely to forget. The idea is to drill facts into your long term memory through constant exposure.

I was  skeptical at first. The thought of allowing a computer to tell me when I need to review a fact was a little scary. A few months later and I can say that I have had no problems. The system works beautifully.

1. Anki is Free

I don’t think I need to say more. There’s nothing to lose. Give it a go. It’s free.

2. Anki is Available Everywhere You Go

There are versions of Anki available for Apple, Android and Blackberry devices. Most of us carry a mobile with us everywhere. With the free cloud sync you’ll have your flash cards available with you everywhere you go.

For those of you that don’t have any of the devices mentioned you’ll be happy to hear that Anki also syncs with an online interface, also available free! The internet is available pretty much everywhere these days, right?

3. Anki Makes Revision Effortless

When I use Anki I sit back and flick through my cards without trying hard to remember. I know if I don’t know something I will know it eventually. I try to focus on covering  as much ground as possible. Anki will keep testing me until I know it.

4. Anki Makes Revision Interesting

Flash cards are easily customised to your hearts desire. This includes the use of colour and  the insertion of pictures and audio. If you’re having trouble remembering a word, Include a picture or some audio; after seeing or hearing it a few times you’re bound to remember!

5. Anki is Limited Only By Your Imagination

Anki can be used for all sorts of things like remembering lists, words, sentences, dates, names, places, grammar rules or maybe birthdays. Your imagination is the limit. If you need some ideas then check out the flash card decks other people have made, which again is all available for free.

There are those that believe using flash cards for language learning is a bad idea. I can’t understand why. Flashcards are an easy way to keep a language active in your brain. Actively using a language is always the better option for cementing knowledge, however the reality is we aren’t always able to use language actively. This is where flash cards are great for sneaking in extra study. Every little helps.

I’ve not even scratched the surface of Anki here today. I’ll be sure to write a post detailing how I use Anki in my own study.

What do you think? Will you be giving Anki a go? Perhaps you already use Anki and you have some thoughts to share?


  • Rishad Bharucha

    I’ll be going to university this Fall and I’m considering using a wiki. As a Computer Science student, concepts will be interlinked and I figure I can establish better hierarchy and linkage with a wiki than with flash cards. Just need to figure out a good one that has good mobile support.

    • I’m sure a wiki will be useful. The big difference is you’ll have to manage it manually.You won’t get the benefit of being able to dump facts into the database knowing you’ll be reminded about the things you need to work on.

      Perhaps you could experiment with both and see how it works for you.

      • Jamil

        I’m in high school and I used a wiki (MediaWiki). Although it defiantly is useful, it takes a lot of time to do it right. If you want to have hyperlinks pointing to different articles it takes a while and might deter you. However it helped a lot before exams and allowed for me to quickly review topics and understand them in my own words.

  • Flash cards in general and Anki in particular are one of those controversial subjects that always stir up a lot of different reactions 🙂

    Personally, I haven’t had much luck with Anki, but I’ll be honest – I have never given it a decent go. I actually have a note written somewhere to make a more focused attempt to use Anki. Maybe I’ll even come up with something interesting to go with my recent monthly challenge feature on the blog.

    I still use Anki on occasion, to kill short periods of “dead” time in the supermarket queue or when riding on the subway escalator (those take up 2 to 3 minutes here in St. Petersburg; doesn’t seem like a lot, but feels like forever), but overall my use of Anki is far from efficient.

    Anyhow, looking forward to learning more about your work flow with Anki.

    • For me, flash cards are a small part of the learning experience. I think it’s silly to expect to learn a language from flash cards. As always, one hat won’t fit us all.

  • I tend to agree with about 50 percent of randy’s post on flash cards and about 99 percent of what Benny comments on in that post (I probably agree with Benny overall to about 70 percent level and Randy probably about 85 to 90). Those are my Chris analytics, you have my word my blog isn’t as…

    Flash cards I find take too much time to make on anki. I found myself doing something like the 10000 sentence plan on anki and it was just annoying. putting in all that stuff. I found I could just read stuff in context and speaking when I’m ready to and that was far more effective.

    If I used a smart phone, which I don’t, I could see myself doing some in a line or something, but otherwise… I’ll pass.. it’s really not very natural at all…

    • I found them a little hard to make at first. Once you get over the unfortunate learning curve it’s real simple and there’s a lot of possibility with the programme.

      I haven’t read the post by randy on the subject. I’ll be sure to swing by.

      Flash cards aren’t natural, no. However when used correctly they work wonders. I think the mistake you may have made is picking an already made deck. I create everything myself. Taking sentences from text I read. I have a personal connection to everything in my deck.

      I’ll be sure to write up a post on my method soon enough. But as always. We all learn different. I’m speaking about what works for me.

      • Well I study Polish so at the time there wasn’t an already made deck (there is now though)… but that’s my biggest problem… the time to make all those flash cards and not understand them completely is what throws me off.
        .

        That time is wasted time, there was so much more language I could be exposed to by just a magazine article… Randy takes a different view, he goes so far to say they are not beneficial which I disagree with to a certain point.

        I find myself reviewing the flash cards generated by whatever I’ve read in linq right afterwards sometimes.. .if anything is beneficial to me it’s doing it that way.. but even then I’d rather just read another article and look up the word(s) I keep seeing but haven’t really “clicked” with the meaning yet.

        • My apologies. I shouldn’t have assumed.

          Hmm I don’t see the time involved. It takes maybe five seconds to copy a phrase into Anki.

          Flash cards have been used for countless years for a reason. Saying they are useless is the same as saying the human race has been been plain stupid for all these years. Possible but VERY unlikely.

          I have to admit I didn’t like Anki very much in the beginning but it has grown on me and now I love it.

          “but even then I’d rather just read another article”
          Where flash cards come in the equation for me is while I’m in the line in a shop, while waiting for a class to start or while waiting for the train. Those small pockets of time to help keep the language active in my brain.

        • If you’re going to quote my opinion, quote it in its entirety: flashcards are not useful because they present the material completely out of context, which makes it mostly meaningless. Further, they present it in such a way that you learn it by way of 1-to-1 translation (which is not how language works) so what you do manage to learn, you will learn in a way that impairs your ability.

          • @yearlyglot.
            I was more recommending your post as a talking point rather than quoting it… I didn’t even go looking for it, if I see an “anki” post I think of your bit of fun over there 🙂

            As far as in the little pockets of time, you’ll see on Randy’s post where Benny comments that he says the same thing, this is where I do agree. But then like Randy says above, I notice the “1 to 1 translation”. That’s why the only time I find it useful is after I’ve just read an article, the words I learned sort of retain their context, because I just saw them.

            With that said, I don’t mind them, but I’m not about to buy a flashcards rule! teach shirt either.

          • Flash cards are part of study. It’s not the whole method. They are simply used to jog one’s memory and keep the language in the brain.

          • Reading is more useful and more effective. Rather than argue over flashcards, why not just skip to the more effective method?

          • This post is all about flash cards. That’s why it’s what’s being discussed.

          • Wow, now you’re starting to sound like Benny…

          • LMAO what are you on about? Your question takes us into a different direction. I don’t see anything wrong with reminding us what the focus is here.

          • Now you’re being intentionally obtuse. I’m done here.

          • I say we keep replying on this thread until it indents so far that we find ourselves in bizzaro world..

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bizzaro_world

            how’s that for off topic

          • LMAO
            El 23 Apr 2011, a las 12:16, Disqus escribió:

          • Bennett Dunn

            And if you do both, sorry? How do you retain the words you read in books? When you look up a word it sticks in your brain for perhaps 2 minutes and then it’s gone. If you put it into anki however, it’s there for life.

          • Anonymous

            I have used them some. Mostly I make flash cards in ANKI from the book I am currently reading. So I have flash cards for Harry Potter right now. It puts the context to the words. Also, I agree that it is not as good of a system, but I am at the computer working everyday. ANKI allows me to get one minute bursts of review so that when I get back to Harry and Ron, I have a hand up. Are they the best system. NO. Can they be used as part of an overall system and as a quick way to review. Certainly.

          • Absolutely!

          • I’m sort of half way in Agreement. (Can I do that?)

            You can get a lot of mileage out of flash cards at the beginning when learning new words. Eventually, it gets cumbersome and tiring. You’ll need to just start reading more and more. Maybe put interesting sentences/words in the flash cards. But you still need to build that working base somehow. I found that when I stopped doing Surusu reps (Anki is annoying) and I just started reading Japanese Manga with a dictionary, words would come up over and over again. And I would start to remember. And I actually got through a few manga that way. Before, it was taking forever, but I was still learning. I’ve built my own SRS at http://www.focussrs.com.  I’m using it for Korean, but I believe I will soon need to ween off my dependence for this tool. Anki, and all other SRS’s are just tools. Eventually we will outgrow them. Don’t let it slow you down! 

            I think that’s why Khatzumoto says to delete the boring stuff. Because it slows you down. When I started deleting boring junk, It was very liberating. I felt it was holding me back, and now I had cut loose the chains.  

          • Bennett Dunn

            That is only because you are using the app ineffectively. I use anki all the time, inserting new words in context which I then review. I have learned all kinds of words which I would probably never have learned had I not made the effort. My Italian vocab. is pretty good as result

      • Well I study Polish so at the time there wasn’t an already made deck (there is now though)… but that’s my biggest problem… the time to make all those flash cards and not understand them completely is what throws me off.
        ….

        That time is wasted time, there was so much more language I could be exposed to by just a magazine article… Randy takes a different view, he goes so far to say they are not beneficial which I disagree with to a certain point.

        I find myself reviewing the flash cards generated by whatever I’ve read in linq right afterwards sometimes.. .if anything is beneficial to me it’s doing it that way.. but even then I’d rather just read another article and look up the word(s) I keep seeing but haven’t really “clicked” with the meaning yet.

      • Well I study Polish so at the time there wasn’t an already made deck (there is now though)… but that’s my biggest problem… the time to make all those flash cards and not understand them completely is what throws me off.
        ….

        That time is wasted time, there was so much more language I could be exposed to by just a magazine article… Randy takes a different view, he goes so far to say they are not beneficial which I disagree with to a certain point.

        I find myself reviewing the flash cards generated by whatever I’ve read in linq right afterwards sometimes.. .if anything is beneficial to me it’s doing it that way.. but even then I’d rather just read another article and look up the word(s) I keep seeing but haven’t really “clicked” with the meaning yet.

    • I agree, completely unnatural.

  • By the way, flash card talk is always a great way to get hits on your blog lol… I shouldthink something up haha

  • “There are those that believe using flash cards for language learning is a bad idea. I can’t understand why.”

    I’m one of those people. I will explain my reasoning. I don’t speak for anyone else.

    Flashcards present words or thoughts completely out of context. If it’s a word, you have no idea if that word is a noun being used as a subject or an object, a verb in the present, or past, perfective or imperfective, or a preposition, or an article, or an adjective or adverb. You get the idea.

    If it’s a phrase, it’s got a little more context, but still not enough. Can you use it in a joking situation, or is it only for something serious? Is it okay to say in polite company? Is it colloquial, or literary? Are there puns? Is it only used with a particular subject matter?

    Further, flashcards encourage memorization of one-to-one translations. If you learn “coche=car” and recite that over and over, you will have to create an visual literary association to the word “car” or an audio association to the sound of your voice saying “car” in order to learn the word “coche”. By comparison, if you only hear the word “coche” when someone is talking about their car, standing near their car, pointing to a car, etc, you will associate that word with the concept of an automobile, and there won’t be any mental translation step in your mind.

    I’ve written several posts at my blog, on these topics. It’s quite controversial, and people love to argue that I’m wrong. But this is because people too often simply accept the old, well-known learning tools, rather than questioning them. Obviously, if you’re paying attention to my blog this year, you’ll know that I strongly and loudly question the validity of any and every one of the popular “learning” tools, and I am putting my money where my mouth is, by learning Turkish without any of these tools at all.

    If you want to fit in a little extra learning time by using your iPod or Android on the bus or while standing in line, you’d be much better served by reading a short story in the target language, or watching a short dialog, or listening to a podcast or a song. New vocabulary is far more effectively learned when you experience it in actual use.

    • Randy has had to put the boxing gloves on over this topic so his reply here is pretty air tight.

      But I’ll reiterate anyway the only time I feel it’s really helpful, is directly after I’ve read that article or dialog where the context is still fresh.

      Otherwise I can see how someone would use them in line or during a short bus ride, they’d have to think less then listening to an Assimil dialog 5 times or read an article.

      randy said:
      “Flashcards present words or thoughts completely out of context. If it’s a word, you have no idea if that word is a noun being used as a subject or an object, a verb in the present, or past, perfective or imperfective, or a preposition, or an article, or an adjective or adverb. You get the idea.”

      Someone else might say: “You can add all that stuff to anki with tags” but then this goes back to my annoyance with time. Especially in a high grammatical language like I’m learning.

      Randy has studied Russian intensely and has started with Polish, I’m probably not going to tag all the grammar in this sentence I was working on earlier:

      “Małe formy są z reguły zorganizowane w formie przedsiębiorstw jednozakładowych”

      Literally every single word except for the prepositions need multiple tags, I’m probably just going to keep reading. Spanish has less grammar but would still have a similar problem.

      Neither I and I believe Randy doesn’t either study an Asian language, so perhaps Anki would be good to practice writing as they pop up,

      but otherwise in my opinion context is always king.

      • “Randy has had to put the boxing gloves on over this topic so his reply here is pretty air tight.”

        I beg to differ.

        “Someone else might say: “You can add all that stuff to anki with tags”

        No, that would be stupid.

        “but otherwise in my opinion context is always king.”

        Yes, you are correct. Flash cards are not here to replace the real world.

        • “” “Someone else might say: “You can add all that stuff to anki with tags”

          No, that would be stupid. “”

          This tone and word usage is something we’ve refrained from David. Lot’s of people add those tags and pictures, perhaps you wouldn’t.

          Anyway flashcards bring up a lot of heated discussion, flash cards not here to replace the real world, we can agree on that…

          Here’s to having more of the real world.

    • I think your argument is weak.

      “If it’s a phrase, it’s got a little more context, but still not enough. Can you use it in a joking situation, or is it only for something serious? Is it okay to say in polite company? Is it colloquial, or literary? Are there puns? Is it only used with a particular subject matter?”

      You’re talking about the social aspects of language here. That’s not what flash cards are for, which makes this point irrelevant. Flashcards are for remembering hard core FACTS. Moreover, it’s not in anyone’s interest to learn from the card. The cards are for reinforcing what you’ve already been exposed to. Therefore, the social aspect relating to the use of the phrase has already been learned.

      “Further, flashcards encourage memorization of one-to-one translations. If you learn “coche=car” and recite that over and over, you will have to create an visual literary association to the word “car” or an audio association to the sound of your voice saying “car” in order to learn the word “coche”

      Yes, this would be where you add a picture or audio to your card in ANKI
      “By comparison, if you only hear the word “coche” when someone is talking about their car, standing near their car, pointing to a car, etc, you will associate that word with the concept of an automobile, and there won’t be any mental translation step in your mind.”
      Again, flashcards aren’t meant to replace other forms of acquisition. They are for REINFORCEMENT

      “New vocabulary is far more effectively learned when you experience it in actual use.”

      I agree, however, I don’t learn new vocabulary from flash cards, therefore this again has no relevance to ME. I understand that people use flash cards ineffectively, however, not for one minute will I subscribe to your notion, which renders them completely useless, because your argument has little weight if any at all.

      • Much like whiskey and wine drinking.. to each his own with language learning I suppose…

      • Much like whiskey and wine drinking.. to each his own with language learning I suppose…

      • Your arguments are beginning to border on non-civil in their appearance. I’m sure that’s not your intention, but it has an appearance of unfriendliness…

        You think my argument is weak? You’re entitled to your opinion. Meanwhile, I speak several languages fluently, and a few more non-fluently, all of which is simply evidence of the fact that I’ve got plenty of experience with several methods of learning and/or reinforcing. With that said, in my experience, and in my (weak) opinion, flashcards do more harm than good.

        The only exception I am willing to make is with learning characters for languages like Chinese or Japanese. But even then, the learning of those characters is the only aspect of the language for which I can see a possible benefit from flashcards.

        You disagree, that’s your prerogative.

        • My intention is not to be unfriendly. You are “making an argument” arguments are either strong, weak or float about somewhere in the middle. Don’t take my words literally.

          I agree, I am allowed to disagree as much as you are. I’m simply explaining why I don’t think what you say makes much sense to me.

    • Chantelle

      I’m late to this party, but I believe that the usefulness of flashcard depends on how they’re used. If people make context-less cards in which they simply post a translation of the word on the other side – that’s terrible. 

      However, my personal use of Anki is highly effective. It avoids all the flashcard pitfalls you mention in your comment.  First, I always give context (a sentence, a paragraph, whatever). If I’m focusing on a specific word,  I’ll use more than one sample sentence. That way how to use it appropriately becomes obvious. In other words, I can easily tell if it’s something that’s supposed to be used in the context of a joke, with friends, in writing, with people of higher status, etc. 

      Second, for the most part, I also don’t translate things on the other side. Instead, I use a dictionary to define my terms in the language I’m studying. I never translate things in my head. 

      Listening to and reading from a variety of materials is incredibly important to me, but I’ve found that that’s not enough. That process is too slow. In real life, I may only encounter a certain term once a week or once a month – so it’s hard to remember because the frequency isn’t enough and  it’s surrounded and disguised by a bunch of other things I don’t understand. But if I use Anki to artificially stimulate real-life encounters at a more frequent rate, then the next time I actually do encounter it — I understand immediately and don’t need the 10 or so other real life encounters that would be necessary for me to figure it out. 

  • Anonymous

    Just started using it myself. Enjoying it and the ease of turning it on as I work at the computer and getting in a bit here and there.

  • I’m inclined to agree with Randy on this. I’ve tried various methods using flashcards, from full sentences (as in the AJATT/Antimoon method), simple word definitions, and they all have the same effect on me. I only know the sentence or word within the context of my computer, and I can’t really use them in reallife situations without visualising the card, massively slowing me down. Of course, once I’ve used it a few times out of the context of the flashcard, I remember it and use it without thinking. I could of simply just ignored the flashcard process, and looked up the word when I needed it. In fact the words I know best, are ones I simply don’t know how I know, i.e. I’ve heard people say them, and just know what they mean.

    I think flashcards just slow people down, my girlfriend who learnt my language (English), never used flashcards, and didn’t even study much. When I decided to learn her language, I did so using traditional methods and then made extensive use of various flashcard methods. Guess who learnt to speak and understand faster? (I’ve even made stupid excuses for myself, such as ‘well, English is easier, bla bla’

  • I’m inclined to agree with Randy on this. I’ve tried various methods using flashcards, from full sentences (as in the AJATT/Antimoon method), simple word definitions, and they all have the same effect on me. I only know the sentence or word within the context of my computer, and I can’t really use them in reallife situations without visualising the card, massively slowing me down. Of course, once I’ve used it a few times out of the context of the flashcard, I remember it and use it without thinking. I could of simply just ignored the flashcard process, and looked up the word when I needed it. In fact the words I know best, are ones I simply don’t know how I know, i.e. I’ve heard people say them, and just know what they mean.

    I think flashcards just slow people down, my girlfriend who learnt my language (English), never used flashcards, and didn’t even study much. When I decided to learn her language, I did so using traditional methods and then made extensive use of various flashcard methods. Guess who learnt to speak and understand faster? (I’ve even made stupid excuses for myself, such as ‘well, English is easier, bla bla’

  • I’m inclined to agree with Randy on this. I’ve tried various methods using flashcards, from full sentences (as in the AJATT/Antimoon method), simple word definitions, and they all have the same effect on me. I only know the sentence or word within the context of my computer, and I can’t really use them in reallife situations without visualising the card, massively slowing me down. Of course, once I’ve used it a few times out of the context of the flashcard, I remember it and use it without thinking. I could of simply just ignored the flashcard process, and looked up the word when I needed it. In fact the words I know best, are ones I simply don’t know how I know, i.e. I’ve heard people say them, and just know what they mean.

    I think flashcards just slow people down, my girlfriend who learnt my language (English), never used flashcards, and didn’t even study much. When I decided to learn her language, I did so using traditional methods and then made extensive use of various flashcard methods. Guess who learnt to speak and understand faster? (I’ve even made stupid excuses for myself, such as ‘well, English is easier, bla bla’

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience.

      Out of curiosity, where did you get your sentences from?

      • I extracted sentences from books, magazines and TV shows. Like another poster commented, I too read Harry Potter and extracted sentences out of it, I watched films etc, and picked out phrases I didn’t know. I even “sentence mined” my girlfriend when she spoke to me or her friends. Some of the phrases were simple things like “Take the pizza from the oven”, and more strange ones such as “Harry took his wand and waved and chanted” 😀

        The biggest problem was that I could understand the sentence when I read it after seeing it in the flashcard a few times, but when I had to say a similar sentence, I’d have to try and visualise the flashcard to reproduce the sentence, this took time and defeated the point for me. The sentences I can produce naturally and quickly are the ones I’ve heard people say in real situations, and I somehow I’m able to use.

        I’m still trying to find “my way” of learning, and all of the methods I’m reading on the internet (AJATT, Benny’s language hacking guide, etc) don’t work for me. Perhaps the best method that has worked for me at the moment is watching TV and movies without subtitles and listening to people in reallife situations.

        • By reading what you just wrote I can see that we have different expectations. Being able to read the sentences for me means progress. I would then be able to read similar phrases when reading.

          Sounds like your using the flash cards for input, so that what you’re going to get better at – input.

          Output comes best with practice using the language.

          For me, flashcards are for jogging my memory and keeping the language in my brain.

          • My goal was exactly the same, this is the idea of the antimoon/AJATT process, although I’m not learning Japanese, the priniciple is still the same. I’m at the point where I understand almost everything I read. The stuff I don’t understand too well are idioms, slang, of which all I can do is ask somebody what it means, as sometimes even Google doesn’t help.

            Maybe I’m not understanding the Antimoon(AJATT to a lesser extent) process well, but they both claim using Flashcards with sentences everyday will eventually help you produce output based on similar sentences. To me this simply doesn’t work, although I’m not denying it has worked for other people.

            I won’t deny that flashcards are useful when initially starting out, perhaps trying to memorize a few 100 phrases, but after that, the usefullness goes away for me.

    • wei2912

      1) Languages vary in difficulty
      2) Humans vary in their ability to learn languages
      3) Methods of learning vary in efficiency per human

      Do what is best for you and don’t blame yourself for being slower than someone else when it comes to learning a language. 🙂

      Just curious, what is her language?

  • I’m inclined to agree with Randy on this. I’ve tried various methods using flashcards, from full sentences (as in the AJATT/Antimoon method), simple word definitions, and they all have the same effect on me. I only know the sentence or word within the context of my computer, and I can’t really use them in reallife situations without visualising the card, massively slowing me down. Of course, once I’ve used it a few times out of the context of the flashcard, I remember it and use it without thinking. I could of simply just ignored the flashcard process, and looked up the word when I needed it. In fact the words I know best, are ones I simply don’t know how I know, i.e. I’ve heard people say them, and just know what they mean.

    I think flashcards just slow people down, my girlfriend who learnt my language (English), never used flashcards, and didn’t even study much. When I decided to learn her language, I did so using traditional methods and then made extensive use of various flashcard methods. Guess who learnt to speak and understand faster? (I’ve even made stupid excuses for myself, such as ‘well, English is easier, bla bla’

  • I find flashcards don’t help reinforcing different writing systems. They are useless when learning a language with a different alphabet. After a while, you just end up recognising the look of the word and not the actual word itself.

    • WOW you must be doing something seriously wrong. They are most effective when dealing with another script

      Flashcards definitely work better for me with Japanese than they do with Spanish.

  • I find flashcards don’t help reinforcing different writing systems. They are useless when learning a language with a different alphabet. After a while, you just end up recognising the look of the word and not the actual word itself.

  • Thanks for the advice. I’ve started using Anki a week ago, and I’m already love it. When there is a difficult word,  I add to my deck but before doing that, I search a picture about the word. This makes the learning process funnier than before.

  • user

    Anki does not allow me in any way using sequential cards which is absolutely essential.

  • Trying to import a an excel spreadsheet which incorporates persian script. It converts all script to question marks. Can anyone help?

  • Ilya Kushlianski

    I’ve been using Anki for half a year and I’m very pleased because it gave me an opportunity to memorize so many things that I would never have learned without Anki. Great soft!

  • Anki-paino

    I use Anki to learn Japanese, to teach my daughter to tell the time, learn her spelling and maths “facts”. I also use it to keep track of music I have learnt but want to maintain my ability to play.

  • Ewen

    absolutely 🙂 i’ve been using anki to study for my upcoming jlpt, and its been helping me SOOOOO much. i think this is the first time in my life where im actually retaining the stuff that i’m cramming haha

  • james

    Hi just started using this to learn polish, i bought a few books for my son and it had an audio book with it, so i enter a page into the app then learn the words using the flash cards – once I’ve learnt them i read the page. once thats sorted i listen to the audio and practice reading aloud its working wonders. I’ve found the disney books are the best if your starting out as the slightly interesting and simple.. ill be moving on to harry potter soon.

  • I have been using anki for years, and it really makes studying more fun. Not only can I learn more with it than without, but it also seems much easier. I used it for German, Korean, Law etc and I couldn’t do without it.

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