How to Create Anki 2 Vocabulary Flash Cards


Anki 2 is a sophisticated computer flash card program that keeps track of the difficulty of individual flash cards (adaptive spaced repetition software). The program automatically schedules the next review of a card depending on how well a learner could remember that particular card. For you as a learner, this is great: You only have to follow Anki 2’s scheduling to attain and maintain a certain knowledge level.

For more information on spaced repetition software, and where to download Anki 2, please check this article.

Anki 2 goes beyond two-sided flash cards

Anki is very flexible. It allows you to design flash cards according to your own needs.

Traditional flash cards have two sides: On one side, you write a question, on the other side, the answer to the question. Let’s say, you are a native English speaker and want to learn French. On the question side, you place an English word, and on the answer side the meaning in French. You could also include the pronunciation, gender (for nouns), a French sample sentence, word usage, and collocations on the answer side.

When you want to test yourself from English to French, you look at the English keyword, and try to pronounce and spell the word in French.

To test yourself in the opposite direction, you just flip the card, look at the French word, and think of the English meaning. Unfortunately, you now also have all your additional notes on your question side (previously answer side), which provide unwanted cues and hints to the English meaning. Ideally, you now want to hide these notes.

Unfortunately, a two-sided flash card with notes doesn’t easily allow for testing in both directions. Continue reading