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Salem State University | Department of World Languages & Cultures | Language Resource Center

Anki Flash Cards

What is Anki?

Anki is software for PC's, Macs, iPhone/iPad, and Android phones and tablets that does what flash cards did in the old days to help students drill and memorize facts. For language study a program such as Anki is useful to memorize vocabulary and verb conjugations, for instance. Anki is free software for most platforms (see below).

A more technical definition of Anki:

Anki, a free "spaced repetition system" (i.e. flashcard-style memorization tool), offers a gentle learning curve, a pared-down software interface, and online access and synchronization. Once you install and launch Anki, you can easily spend hours discovering all its neat capabilities and tricks—like an HTML editor for manually designing your "cards," audio embedding, tagging, and many more—but setting up a basic "deck" and "cards" is hardly rocket science. Hit the big "plus," choose a basic deck style (or use a pre-templated style you created), and write the front (question), back (answer), and tags of your cards one after another.

You may find this introductory video useful:

This is the first of seven videos about Anki. See them all at YouTube here:

Where do I get Anki?

Choose your platform:

Where do I get my flashcard decks?

You can make your own decks of flashcards, of course, and you will probably do that once in a while (there are instructions in this video). However, one of the great things about Anki is that people can share decks with other people and thus the wheel doesn't have to be reinvented.

One way to share decks is to share the file that contains a deck. Anki files have the extension .anki and they are saved in a folder named Anki (in Windows it is in the My Documents folder by default). So let us say your friend has created a deck for the vocabulary for a chapter of your textbook. Your friend can just email you the file and now you can use it too. (To share decks that contain multimedia, such as image or audio files, a folder of the same name as the anki file needs to be shared as well.)

One very powerful and easy way to get a deck that someone else has made and made available publicly at the Anki site, is to connect to the Anki web site from inside the application and search for the title. To do that in Anki for Windows:

  1. Go to File
  2. Select Download,
  3. Select Shared Deck
  4. At the top of the window search for the deck you want.

This same thing works like this in Ankidroid (for Android phones and tablets):

  1. Press Menu button > All Decks
  2. Press Menu (again) > Download Deck > Shared Deck
  3. Search for what you want
  4. Click on the selected item and wait patiently to download
  5. After download: Click the Return button; you will see the new deck on your list of decks
  6. To start using, press "Start Reviewing"

Some decks you can look for, for Spanish:

  1. Anda 08 Indirect Object Pronouns
  2. Anda 08 Reflexive Verbs
  3. Anda 08 vocab, part 1: clothing
  4. Anda 09 Questions with pronouns: direct, indirect, reflexive
  5. Anda 10 Mandatos (Spanish commands)
  6. IPA Spanish & English Consonants (Symbol First)
  7. IPA Spanish & English Consonants (Description First)
  8. IPA Spanish & English Vowels & Consonants
  9. Essential Spanish Conjugations
  10. Essential Spanish Verbs
  11. Essential Spanish Vocabulary 1
  12. Essential Spanish Vocabulary Top 5000
  13. Essential Spanish Participles
  14. Essential Spanish Prepositional Phrases
  15. Essential Spanish Irregular Conjugations
  16. Spanish Verb Manual

(If you want to upload and share your own decks you can go to the Anki website using a browser and create a free account. At the Anki website you can also work with your decks or other people's decks without using your software.)

Available decks from the SSU LRC

Different people have shared decks that go with the textbook Anda. Search for them at the Anki site as explained above. For example, if you're looking for decks pertaining to Anda, Chapter 8, search for "Anda 08" and you will see what's available.

Here are some of the files that have been uploaded to the Anki site above. You can also download them from right h ere and then open them from inside the program Anki (right click to save to your computer):

These decks do not contain any multimedia, such as pictures or audio, which can be included in Anki.

More information about available decks for SSU language students coming soon here.

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Salem State University | Department of World Languages & Cultures | Language Resource Center

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Last updated: March 22, 2012