Hello everyone. I’ve been learning German for roughly a year and a half now and over time I formed a certain habit, and I’m at a point where it’s starting to seem more strenuous than necessary and that perhaps I should give it up for some other approach. Let me just go over my current “procedure”:
I’ve made extensive use of SRS software (specifically: Memrise) for a good while now, and basically I read/listen to an article/entry from one of a few sources available under “DEUTSCH LERNEN” on the Deutsche Welle website (for example: Alles geplant? | DW Deutsch Lernen), and then I make a note of all the words I don’t know, which I then search in a bilingual dictionary for a couple basic translations, and after that I search in a monolingual German dictionary to paste the definition(s) along with the examples provided into my SRS software, the result is flashcards like this:
to document, show, record, deutlich zum Ausdruck bringen, bekunden, zeigen (dadurch wird dokumentiert, wie bahnbrechend diese Leistungen sind), zum Ausdruck kommen, deutlich werden, sich zeigen (sich) (an/in dieser Inszenierung dokumentiert sich die Freude am Experiment), durch Dokumente (2) belegen (Landwirte sollen in Zukunft dokumentieren, welchen und wie viel Dünger sie verwenden), dokumentarisch (2) darstellen, festlegen (etwas filmisch dokumentieren) (den Prozess lückenlos dokumentieren)
Everyday, I learn 15-30 such flashcards. What’s more, that results in what many would consider “enslavement” to the software, in that I have to review some 150 flashcards a day to not fall behind. Crazy, isn’t it? So essentially, I’m thinking that I could probably save myself a lot of trouble by giving up such a strenuous method, even if I’m slightly more likely to forget words I encounter. I say “slightly”, because I don’t even think it’s that much of a help to use SRS, especially since I mainly just use it out of compulsion to have all of those words in my deck; it doesn’t help either that I don’t enjoy all of the course-making, -doing, and -reviewing on an SRS system, and I’ve recently been doing a lot of my review without more than half a glance at each flashcard just because I want to get it over with as quick as possible.
Just to note, I also do some passive learning, such as watching German programs and such, but that is besides the topic at hand.
Obviously my method isn’t useless since my German has improved significantly - but am I right in thinking that I could spare the exertions by not using such a software? I could use the time saved (hours!) to read/listen to more articles and more “difficult” articles without having to limit myself lest I bite off more than I can chew and end up with loads of SRS work. I could use the time saved to re-listen to previous entries as well, which, now that I think about it, could be more effective than SRS review with a fraction of the effort involved. After all, dictionaries are meant to be referred to, not studied.
I should mention that I’m not a LingQ user and have only tried it out quickly over a year ago and I’m not planning on using it for German, but I may for French in the future. Nevertheless, I do follow Steve’s YouTube channel which has probably contributed to my reconsiderations.
I came to ask for people’s opinions here since I’m hesitant to drop what I’ve been doing so long (I’ve got several thousand flashcards in multiple decks), and fear that I might be somewhat “aimless” without a specific task to do each time, as absurd as that may sound. Also, if I stop, there’s no going back, because it would be an impossible task to make up for even a week.
Responses are much appreciated.