Progress Report: Learning German with Anki

After reading numerous articles on Hacking Chinese, I decided to dive into Anki. Anki is space repetition software. It lets you create any set of flashcards that you want, and then helps you review your deck daily in a more efficient manner.

Thanks to the iPhone app, it has become very easy to stick to a daily routine over the past two months. Looking at the current stats, I have done 13 hours of reviews. I recently ran out of “new words”. Now everything in my deck is either “Young+Learn” or “Mature”. Reviews that used to take me 10-20 minutes now take 5-8 minutes.

This is exciting! My deck has just under 900 flash cards in it. And I have realized that I am only getting started. It’s time to start adding new words to the mix. I have started to add new cards, in part thanks to German is easy!. That author has the funniest yet well written articles on the roots of German and English.

Am I fluent yet? Hardly. 900 words isn’t enough to hang your hat on. I read tweets from my German friends and feel like I keep getting closer to understanding it before hitting “Translate” on Tweetbot.

Nonetheless, I feel like I am better grounded to learn German than ever. But it’s important that I keep loading up my deck with new words and expressions. And getting them from a native German author is the best way to capture contextual sentences to build up my deck. If I can make a habit of extracting new content from every blog article and also creating reverse cards (where the front and back are swapped), who knows where I could be a year from now!

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