What the hell is Anki?

Anki is a program which makes remembering things easy. Because it's a lot more efficient than traditional study methods, you can either greatly decrease your time spent studying, or greatly increase the amount you learn. Anyone who needs to remember things in their daily life can benefit from Anki

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Should I use it to learn Spanish? 

Of course! It will make you remember more and learn faster!

Unfortunately, many people who start using Anki do not know how to use it properly. They just download it (did I mentioned it is FREE?) and write their flashcards in the most boring and traditional way they can: back and reverse flashcards.

The problem with creating a flashcard in this simple mode is not the main problem, many people have done it that way for several years and they have accomplished their goals. The issue here is that Anki, by itself, is already an incredible efficient tool. Let me explain why. 

Anki learns about you. Different from the traditional paper flashcards where you are just repeating the same 100 cards over an over, Anki knows (since the very first use) which cards are difficult and which cards are easy for you. Using its algorithm it can track, over time, when you are going to forget a particular item. Knowing this, there is no question why the people using Anki learns faster than any other traditional paper flashcard method. Even in the long term having 5000 paper cards is not efficient, but how about having 10000 cards in your pocket and only reviewing the ones that you are about to forget.

Like I said, Anki is an incredible tool, let´s just give it steroids to make your language learning faster. 

Flashcard as it is presented in Anki.

Flashcard as it is presented in Anki.

Flashcard as it is presented when you click for the answer.... BORING!

Flashcard as it is presented when you click for the answer.... BORING!

 

First, lets learn the basics. Your brain is not designed to remember words or numbers. Cavemen did not need a written language to communicate, they needed images. Our brains are capable of remembering visual images than anything else, but since learning a language using only images is going to take us longer the closest is context. I always say: context is king and for a good reason.  

 
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A bank in Spanish is: Banco

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A stool in Spanish is: Banco

 
 

Now, imaging having the card BANCO in one side, you will always have 50% of mistakes when answering. You think the answer is stool and it was bank, and viceversa. 
But what if we have the Cloze Deletion flashcards?

Cada lunes voy al [BANK] para retirar dinero.                                     Siempre que me subo a un [STOOL] me caigo.                                Every Monday I go to the bank to withdraw money.                         Every time I get on a stool I fall down. 

Nevertheless, Cloze Deletion can be improved much better. 

Throughout the years, I have been experimenting with Anki trying to make the perfect flashcard to learn Japanese. I started with the back and reverse type and failed. Then I moved into Cloze Deletion and I greatly improved, but I needed more and after editing Anki I created the Golden Anki format.

 
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Once you click on the Show Hint you can 

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With Golden Anki you get more than a single sentence of context. You can edit the card with different colours inside Anki for better presentation. You have the typing box and a Show Hint that you can also edit. 

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When you type in the answer, Anki shows you in green what you have answered correctly. 

 
 

But, hey!, you said brains remember better images with context than just simple words. 

 
 

That is right. You can add images to the Anki Golden flashcards. Just remember, images that you put are much better than images that somebody else put. 

Here you can see an example of how images could help you more. 

The image itself has context using the word that you need to type in. Plus you get the context from the sentence where the original vocabulary item can be found. 

Images can contain text or not, as long as they don´t give away the answer. There must be a small challenge every single time. That is why I crossed out the words in the image but I left the first letter of each uncovered. Thus, I can relate Shrek with the word that I am about to learn. 

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Notice that I typed the answer wrong so you can see when it is revealed what my mistakes were.

 
 
 
 
 

So at the end of the day, what are the advantages of ANKI GOLDEN?

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WATCH this video to see how to install ANKI and how it works with my Readings files.

I am in!! How do I get ANKI GOLDEN?

I created ANKI GOLDEN with the sole purpose of helping my students to learn faster. But to keep it updated and and to create newer content I am just asking you to support me by becoming my Patreon. You get ANKI GOLDEN since 1 dollar. Once you become my patron I will send you an email with a code to access the ANKI GOLDEN code to configure your own Anki to work with my flashcard files.