Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Anki - the intelligent flashcards

Anki is a program which makes remembering things easy. Because it is a lot more efficient than traditional study methods, you can either greatly decrease your time spent studying, or greatly increase the amount you learn.
Anyone who needs to remember things in their daily life can benefit from Anki. Since it is content-agnostic and supports images, audio, videos and scientific markup, the possibilities are endless. For example:
  • learning a language
  • studying for medical and law exams
  • memorizing people's names and faces
  • brushing up on geography
  • mastering long poems
  • even practicing guitar chords!
This is how Anki´s developer describes it´s program on
Studies have shown that 48 hours after a study session, we have generally forgotten 75% of the material. When undertaking something that requires a lot of memorization, such as studying a new language, forgetting 75% of the material you learn can be very demotivating. So I have decided to try it out myself. And it works :)
After testing some existing decks I´ve realized it would be much effective if I use my own cards, to remember for example, the vocabulary from a given lesson. Indeed, now I can remember much more easier the new words. One of my tricks are to introduce together with the word expressions and examples. Here is a model:

What do you think? And of course, I try to make so that the explanation is also in German, to learn the language as naturally as possible for a non-native. 

One of my friends, Helen, suggested me to make a deck with the words requested at official tests, as for example a list of words for "Start Deutsch 1" for the level A1. This means a lot of work, there are more then 500 words, and I am already over that level. But I think this could help a lot for someone at the beginning. Of course, I would make the cards much more easier.

For example:

kommen < kommt, kam, ist gekommen >
_______ mal her!
Woher _________ das Brot?
Er _______ aus Italien.
Wir _______ spät nach Hause.

and on the other side would be the answers:

Komm mal her!
Woher kommt das Brot?
Er kommt aus Italien.
Wir kommen spät nach Hause.
So I said it is better to ask first, is there anybody who would be interested to have such a deck? 
Please leave your comments below or on Facebook.
Also if you have any other suggestions or observations share them.

Download Anki today or use it online, as it better suits you. Just give it a try. For me, it works great.


  1. I think even your simplified deck is too complicated, and too much work, Anki is for memory retention not a replacement to a text book. Just learn the infinitive.

    I'm using Anki to learn the phrases at I also add a sound file for pronunciation.
    The 100 lessons cover A1 and A2, I'm up to lesson 10

  2. Thank you for your suggestion. I will try to resume myself to one word - one phrase, but in German a word can have so many meanings...

  3. I am making a mega deck ... i am making the book :

    "langenscheidt basich german vocabulary"

    into anki decks .... it have 4000 words with a sentence for its use and the translation of the word and its sentence to english .... if you are interrested we can both help each other

    i will be waiting for your response

  4. Hello "Anonymous", I am interested in your offer. Send me an email to german4free(at)

    1. Hello Andreea can i also have the Anki with 4000 words? Thanks

  5. Sorry G, we never came to actually makind the deck. If it helps, here is the Link to the book on Scribd: