Anki’s spaced repetition software is an essential tool for language learning.
Learn how to effectively and efficiently integrate Anki into your language learning.
The purpose of this website is to help you with using Anki for learning a foreign language.
(as well as to provide information on other language resources).
About Me: The Anki Language Learner
Hi! Hola! Bonjour! こんにちは! My name is Robert, but you can call me Rob. I love learning languages and using Anki to help me learn the plethora of languages from around the world.
Anki has helped me so much and saved me from so many awkward situations while traveling the world. So I felt I needed to share Anki resources and share my 2 loves with the interwebs:
- 1) the tips and tricks I’ve learned about Anki.
- 2) the languages that have enriched my life and have allowed me to connect with others in different countries.
What is Anki?
Anki is a study tool created by Damien Elmes. It is a flashcard app that uses a novel spaced repetition algorithm to maximize learning. There are Anki apps available on Windows, Mac, Android, (all free) and on iOS ($25) as well as a browser version @ AnkiWeb.net that can all be synced to one account
Click here to download the Anki Desktop app (for Windows or Mac, both are free) or download it at the Google Play Store (“AnkiDroid Flashcards” app) or App Store (“AnkiMobile Flashcards” app) on your mobile device.
Anki Resources for General Language Learning
When you first get started with Anki, you might feel overwhelmed with all the features that come with it. Don’t worry! The following resources will help you in general for learning a language with Anki.
- LanguageLearning Subreddit ( r/languagelearning ) – A really helpful and supportive Reddit community of languages learners from around the world, learning all the languages you can fathom.
- Anki Subreddit ( r/Anki ) – For basic questions about Anki or even more advanced Anki problems, this Reddit community of Anki users can give you some tips and tricks.
- Speakada.com – They have fantastic pre-made Anki decks for learning pronunciation (such as the IPA, minimal pairs and alphabet) in various languages, including French and Spanish, and many others. There are also done-for-you Anki flashcards for learning the most frequently used vocabulary (like the Top 100 Words with sentences, Common 625 words with images, and more).
- How to Learn Any Language Forum – A long established community forum that has had a long history. I especially like reading the experiences and lessons shared by other language learners that are written in the log section. You could implement similar language learning techniques yourself, and incorporate them with Anki.
Anki Resources for Learning Pronunciation
A great way to start learning a language is to work first on your pronunciation. Even if you’ve already begun studying a foreign language, your accent and pronunciation may need some improvements. Thankfully, Anki can help with improving your pronunciation by regularly testing you on the unique sounds of a language.
The following resources are great for improving your pronunciation with Anki:
- Minimal Pairs, IPA and Alphabet Flashcards for Anki – To improve your pronunciation, you can actually use Anki to help you do so. Learning to pronounce well is dependent on your ability to comprehend and distinguish what you can hear. So Anki can be useful because you can put audios and phonetic info (like the IPA or alphabet) into your cards, then test yourself on these. Anki flashcards that have minimal pairs, IPA or the alphabet can help you boost your pronunciation in a foreign language.
- Interactive IPA Chart – The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is a useful tool to help you learn the sounds of any language. You could use this interactive IPA chart to help you get familiar with the different sounds, and then could make your own cards, or use a premade deck from Speakada.
- Forvo.com – There are native speaker audios in several languages, and you can use these audios in your own Anki flashcards.
- Italki.com – A website where you can find native speaker tutors and professional teachers that can help you learn a language. You could use some of their corrections and lessons and put them in your Anki cards! I’ve done this myself and learned a lot doing this.
Anki Resources for Learning Vocabulary
Anki really shines when it comes to memorizing vocabulary in a foreign language. Learning a language requires a ton of vocab memorization in short amount of time. I personally found Anki flash cards to be the best way to get this done. Anki is perfect for this because of its spaced repetition system which ensures that you never forget a word.
- Learning Vocab through Sentences in Anki Cards – I highly recommend learning most of your new foreign language vocab in the context of sentences. This resource shows you how you can add these words and sentences into your Anki cards, so that you learn how to use new words properly when you write and speak.
- Wiktionary Frequency Lists – Here you can find lists of the most common words in various languages, which you can use for your Anki cards to study. These are a good start, but the problem with these lists is that they are not based on the root of a word. That means that thee lists include all variations of the same word as separate entries. For example, for the word “run”, a separate entry is included for “run”, “running”, “ran”, “runs”, etc. I find frequency dictionaries to work better, if you can get them for your language.
- Frequency Dictionaries – Frequency dictionaries are much better than frequency word lists because frequency dictionaries are more thoroughly researched. They show you a list of the most common words in a language. Also, they include only the root word (“lemma”), so that you don’t waste your time learning easy variations and conjugations of the same word. Frequency dictionaries often include example sentences, so you can focus your Anki study on common words in the context of sentences.
- Pre-made Vocabulary Flashcards for Anki – If you want to save time and effort, or if you are not so technically adept with Anki, then pre-made Anki decks may be for you. Other language learners have already done the work for you and have made Anki flashcards for learning the top words in French, Spanish and many other languages. They can already include example sentences and/or relevant images, native speaker audios of the words or sentences, as well as the IPA! These can be a lifesaver, and helps you get started learning vocabulary immediately.