Reversing Flashcards

I searched the site and didn’t find this mentioned, so I apologize if it has been discussed. I wonder what the site creators/administrators think about the idea of being able to reverse your flash card. That is, if I study French and save a French LingQ, it would be nice to be able to have the flashcard show me the English word and for me to try to remember the French word. I find with paper flash cards that it helps to ‘cement’ my knowledge if I can go in both directions easily with a word.

I wonder, though, if this runs counter to Steve’s philosophy on not trying to produce the language in the first six months of so of studying it.

We have discussed this reverse Flash Card thing. We could do it but it is not high on our list of priorities right now. You are able to enter the Hint or translation of a word in Vocabulary, guess how to say it, and then see which of the words you have learned correspond to this meaning.

I am not a fan of reverse Flash Cards because it reinforces translation as a means of obtaining vocabulary. It is also harder work, and I do not like to give my brain too much hard work when I learn languages.

But if a lot of people request this, it is something we can eventually do.

Thanks Steve. It is definitely harder work, and if you have found it not to increase one’s mastery of the language then I’m not in favor of it. I also agree about the translation aspect, which I have mixed feelings on, but overall realize is something a language learner needs to get away from as quickly as possible.

Ok, it is harder work, but don’t you think this is a good way for improving what you call “active vocabulary”?

I think that the best way to work on active vocabulary is to use these vocabulary items in writing and speaking. There is quite a bit of learning activity that does not create much long term learning. Reading a dictionary, studying word lists, reading grammar rules, and I am inclined to think that the reverse Flash Cards may be in this category but I do not know.

I think it is good to go through the flash cards fast. It is faster to do them from the foreign language word. But I am open on this.

I used to use paper flash cards a lot (before I got to LingQ), taking the native language form as the basis. They seem to work better than pure word lists in a notebook, which teachers tend to make their students use. With single words I was frequently frustrated when I found it difficult to understand the words I had previously learned in a foreign language text. What worked better (for vocabulary and grammar) was when I put sentences (or parts of them) from Assimil courses on flash cards.

Now I know better from my own experience (with LingQ). For some time it may be hard to produce something in the foreign language without translation, but with flash cards that start from the foreign word or phrase your progress is much faster and your capability to recognize words in a new context is enhanced. Eventually productive capability will also grow faster.

Just to be clear, I’m not asking to have that feature added. It sounds like the consensus is that it doesn’t add a lot of value, and I would rather the programmers be free to make other, better changes!

Some of the flash cards I make are just phrases with very little to no hint. I am just trying to see if i can understand the meaning of the whole phrase. Usually the hint is just one or two little words in the phrase which i thought was important enough to remember, but i don’t write out a translation of the phrase because I don’t think it is necessary.

anyway, it works for me

I find it invaluable to be able to study the flash cards both ways. It doesnt take much more time and my recall of the target vocab is improved exponentially. I find it very frustrating that I cannot do this on Lingq and if you had competitor websites of a similar standard to Lingq its something that would make me consider spending my money elsewhere . I appreciate that some things on this website are still under development and you have to prioritise what to alter first. To that end is there any chance of gettting some sort of poll for members to indicate what they value as a priority? I imagine using the cards both ways is somthing that many people would be keen to do. Also some sort of timetable highlighting what is going to change and when would be very welcome, at least the highly visible changes that will effect the customer.

Admittedly know nothing about programming websites but surely it cant be that difficult to install this feature can it?

All in all though I think this is a really good website, its quite easy to use, especially considering the amount of info and functions that it offers and assuming that things like the flashcards change and more and more content is added I could see myself investing more and more money and time here in the future.

  1. We have a long list of improvements and it is not possible to provide a timetable since we have only a rough idea of how long these improvements will take our programmer to implement. Furthermore there are regularly other unexpected problems to deal with which upset our plans.

  2. We may eventually ask for input on improvements, however, for the time being we need to focus on ways of making the site easier and more appealing to newcomers, rather than on making it better for our “power users”. We hope to turn the corner on this and then really focus on the many suggestions we have received for improvements.

  3. Reverse flash cards are on the list.

a quick and dirty work-around is to shorten the window vertically and scroll down so the top of the flashcard is hidden-- where the keyword appears-- then click until the hint is visible and the keyword is hidden at the top.

Then guess the keyword and then scroll up to check your answer … it helps if you have a wheel-type scroller on your mouse.


You are a genius!!!

That is a great way to review flash cards. In fact if you leave the phrase visible you can usually figure out which (one) of the words in the captured phrase is the answer. Most of the time you do not need to scroll up to the Hint.

We should start a “Users Tips to getting more out of LingQ” thread, in fact I will do so now.

I just wanted to add my voice to that of Actionhank. I think having such a feature would definitely be more appealing to newcomers, being one myself. I also understand, having read your book Steve, that such a strategy isn’t necessarily one that you endorse.

Kudos to Dooo for the workaround… but if in the future reverse flash cards do become available…I think it will be a big hit.

Also I would like to have a button “shuffle the flashcards”

I agree Cakypa!

I have a list of 100 things I would love to have. If we implemented all of our ideas I really think LingQ would be twice as powerful. We will get there one day.

Meanwhile I am more interested in shuffling Flash Cards than in the reverse flash cards idea. But then that is just me. We may ask people to vote on what they consider important, but only when we have the resources to deliver on some of these requests.