Do you use Anki? If so, how long have you been using and how good is it for YOU?

Hey guys, how are you all doing?

I’m new to this kind of software (spaced repetition). I’ve been using Anki for almost 1 month now and it seems to be wonderful.
I’d like to know more about your experiences with Anki, does it help with your speaking? how long have you been using it?

I used it for a while. Have now switched to Skritter, primarily because it supports handwriting recognition for kanji. (Obviously not relevant if you’re studying a European language.)

I’m sold on the value of spaced repetition, agnostic on whether Anki specifically is the best way to do it.

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Just getting back into Anki for my current project (Kichwa) after abandoning all spaced repetition systems some time ago for Spanish. Anki is good, does the job. I like the fact it is easy to import from LingQ to Anki so you can integrate them nicely. However for me it is a necessary evil rather than something I enjoy, giving me the vocabulary to start reading. Anki is good because you can do it on your phone in “dead time” waiting in queues or on the bus. With Spanish I ended up spending too much time doing SRS that I could have spent doing things more interesting and engaging with the real living language. In that sense I think it actually slowed down my progress. In the future I intend to use it sparingly and strategically, it is not a substitute for reading and listening. However if you are learning a new language script I’m sure it is much more important.

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I’ve been using it for exactly 727 days (Japanese).

Some people love it, some people hate it. If you are not careful you’ll end up doing hundreds if not thousands of repetitions (thankfully, there are some nice plugins to perform load balancing).

I went through some phases as an Anki user:

  1. Enthusiast: I was thrilled by the perceived progress, at first I was able to “learn” 20 to 50 cards/notes a day.
  2. Adapting: It became very difficult to “learn” an retain new information, so I had to tweak some parameters, stop adding new cards, etc
  3. Mind-numbing experience: I just did my repetitions because… well, just because it had to be done, I got bored, it was stressful, I only cared about scores, retention rates and stuff
  4. Taking control: more tweaks to Anki, new ways to study (vocab+audio, some writing, sentences+grammar points)
  5. Diversification: Anki + LingQ (reading and listening)

“does it help with your speaking?”
Well, it depends on your cards and how you use them.

“it is not a substitute for reading and listening”. It sums up everything I had to say. In fact, giving up on the real language to devote your time ONLY to Anki is a horrible mistake!

Anyway… I’ll stick with it for a longer time (as a complementary tool) so I can come to a concrete conclusion.

Thanks for your commentaries guys, looking forward to other ones.

I’ve been meaning to at least try out Anki. I tried it for two cards and I gave up because I was in a bad mood that day and I didn’t really find a deck that I really liked haha.

I liked Memrise, which is a spaced repetition system also. I used it to start out with Russian it did a great job helping me with small words and learning the alphabet in little time. I stopped using it because it became a bit of a hassle to import my own words to it.
However, like you said, it’s not a substitute for reading and listening. Listening to individual words is only getting a small bit of the experience.

If I can find a good deck that I like, I will continue to use it. If anyone can find a deck that involves learning mathematics and science terms in Russian, I will be your best friend on here!

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Actually thats also a great way of learning languages, just try different tools etc. I’m still searching for the perfect match to use with LingQ. Right now I’m all over the place in the language-app store. LingQ is my quiet base camp.

I think that’s it exactly! Not only is everyone’s learning style different, but our needs change from language to language, and at different stages of our learning. So keep experimenting and trying out different methods. This also keeps things fresh. I like the idea of LingQ as the quiet base camp! It’s the only constant in my language learning.

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I think at the very beginning, pure memorization is useful. You need to know some words before you can even begin to start reading and listening. Plus, you can go from zero words to a couple hundred pretty quickly, which is motivating.

But once you start to have a foundation, too much emphasis on memorizing vocabulary gets to be like trying to memorize the dictionary. It’s boring, artificial, and isolates individual words from their real world context. It needs to be more of a complementary tool to more “natural” materials.


Well… That’s exactly how I think.