Antimoon Method

Recently I came across a method for learning English called “The Antimoon” method.:

One of the main ideas with this method is the use of SRS (Flashcard) systems. Basically, instead of adding single words, e.g. English->German, you would instead just add an entire sentence in your target language, and then the otherside of the card would contain dictionary definitions (also in the target language). I believe khatzumoto uses a variant of this method when learning Japanese.

I’ve given this method a try, and so far I have about 500 cards with various sentences which are a little over my current level. This of course helps me understand the sentences when I see them again, but it doesn’t really help me produce similar sentences. It seems like alot of time, especially the effort required to actually create the cards.

Has anyone used this or a similar method and has it worked for them? Is it worth the effort, or is LingQ enough for your input needs?

I added 12,000(12,000 cards) sentences in 5 years time. It really helped me to retain and understand vocabulary during an infant stage of my learning. Once you hit that high intermediate level where you can handle most of the stuff without referring to a dictionary frequently it is at that stage you should get away from SRS learning and should devote more time on reading books. It is just a small aid not a major bullet. However, it was 100 times more efficient than paper flashcards.

*magic bullet

is there something like that for japanese?

khatzumoto has some of his SRS decks for download on his site i think:
all japanese all the time.

i’d say it’s worth reading up on his method.

hmm… i’ll have a look at the site again, thank you :slight_smile:

There are also decks available on Anki for Japanese. They are Core Japanese 2000 Vocabulary and then one for 6000 Vocabulary. They are good because they ask you the same question in many ways and also have audio.

They are taken from a site called, which has now changed into a new site, the name of which I can’t remember. The new site is a pay site.

I remember reading about Khatzumoto’s sentence method. He took his dictionary definitions from internet dictionaries. If you are also doing your reading on the internet, you could copy and paste both your example sentences and your dictionary definitions.

Personally, I prefer quality pre-made decks if they are availalbe. The only cards I make myself now are example sentences from grammar books. I think that in the future we will see more and better pre-made decks available.

I do not understand the preference for pre-made decks. I would rather read an interesting content item, creating flash cards as I go, than go through a bunch of phrases or words that I have never seen in any context. I just find it difficult to stay with such lists or decks, although I have often done it, over the years. I find that retention is low compared to seeing the words and phrases in meaningful contexts. When I review my new words amongst a majority of known words, in interesting texts, I am increasing my grasp of what I already sort of know, while encountering words that I am trying to learn, as well saving totally new words that I need to learn. And all the while I am interested in what I am reading, and with any luck have already heard.

But, I recognize that everyone has a different approach.

I don’t see the point of downloading ready-made card sets, I think the point of reading the sentence yourself, looking up definitions in a dictionary, etc… is what makes the sentence stick, not just seeing it without any context.

I grabbed mine from a book I was reading, and it gave the sentences some context for me, and helped better than just using random sentences.

Yes, finding your sentences in texts that you are interested in is much better i think. At a guess maybe 10% of the words will be specific to the subject, and the rest will be in general use in the language, plus the grammer is sinking in no matter what the subject is. Finding your own also encourages to find new media sources, webzines, twitter, forums.

The word “antimoon” interested me very much. What does “moon” in “anti-moon” mean?

It doesn’t make literal sense to a native english speaker…,

I wonder if “antimoon” means antimony.

“a toxic chemical element with the symbol Sb and an atomic number of 51.” Antimony - Wikipedia

Is it possible to learn a language without making mistakes?
What do you think?


I don’t think it is possible. Even children make mistakes. I do mistakes in my native language as well.

I think it is not possible to learn without making mistakes and a bad idea to make that a goal of language learning

I worked with the sentences method and it works fairly well. Almost everything works really. Nothing is 100% ineffective if you’re working with the language. Nothing is 100% effective either. :slight_smile:

Unless you’re copying and pasting from online content and online dictionaries, it just seems like a lot of work to make cards. I used to do it, but I gave it up.

I think pre-made sets of sentences be helpful for illustrating a variety of grammatical points. I’ve also found pre-made sentence decks to be helpful for learning vocab. But I probably only spend like 5% of my study time going through pre-made decks.

If I made all my own cards, I’d either go through a lot fewer cards, or I’d have to spend a lot more time on it.

With Khatzumoto from AJATT, the SRS seems to be a much more central component of his studying. I tried to be SRS-centric for a while, but I found some good premade sentence decks for vocab and grammar, and just decided to go with those as I didn’t really enjoy spending so much time on my SRS.

I know, but the problem is that we are not children and we are also learning a second language. Of course you will make some mistakes, even in their native language, but I think being careful when speaking and writing and making sure that sentence is 100% correct, you can learn with almost no mistakes.

Please read this: You can damage your English by writing and speaking | Antimoon