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How do you guys setup your flashcard decks? English to Chinese or Chinese to English?


andyfastow

  

17 members have voted

  1. 1. How do you prefer to set up your flashcard decks?

    • Chinese on front, English on back
      6
    • English on front, Chinese on back
      5
    • Chinese on front, Chinese on back
      4
    • Sentences with cloze deletion
      2
    • Pinyin on front, Chinese on back
      1
    • Other - specify in the comments below
      3


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I'm making my first deck in Anki using words and phrases I've recorded from some sessions with tutors I did this week. Since I've never done this before, I'm wondering whether I should put the English on the front of the card and try to recall the Chinese, or do it the other way around. I imagine that different people will prefer different approaches as is the case with anything, but I'm wondering if there is one way that is widely considered to be superior at promoting recall.

 

Pimsleur uses English to Chinese in their audio lessons... seems like maybe some kind of research might have gone into that choice so I'm tempted to set up my deck the same way. How do you guys do it?

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Well... in one of my decks, I set it so that I am prompted in three ways.... 1. prompt - english/pinyin : response - hanzi... .2. prompt - hanzi (with a 'p'): response - pinyin... 3. prompt hanzi: response - English and pinyin

 

One other thought is that maybe consider memorizing example sentences that use the new vocabulary word. This will help in two ways.. 1. give a context for usage... 2. because Chinese is sometimes like a song, if you are getting jammed up remember which tone or pronunciation to use, you could recall the sentence and 'sing' it!  I think some of you know what I am talking about... Anyway, hope this helps.

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Chinese on the front, English on the back is useful for passive understanding, vice versa seems more helpful for active use. Chinese-Chinese would probably be the gold standard, but using both languages is useful for translation skills.

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I wrote an article about this recently:Flashcard overflow: About card models and review directions. It's not really a description of what I do, but I have tried quite a lot of different setups and in the article I try to discuss the pros and cons with different kinds of setups. There is no simple answer, really, it depends on what you're using SRS for and what you cover through other ways of studying. For instance, I tended to stress passive understanding of characters rather than how to write them because I wanted to boost my reading ability as quickly as possible so I could start reading real books.

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Thanks for the link Olle. In my case I'm trying to remember spoken words and phrases that come up in tutoring sessions so I can use them again in the near future. Baron makes an interesting point about English on the front helping more for active use. I think I'll start with this approach and rejig things periodically as I move beyond my current extreme beginner stage.

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If you want to inculde more context, you could also use cloze tests with hints in English. That had the additional advantage of ingraining not only the translation of the word, but also the (one) context in which it can be used. Perhaps not necessary for simple nouns, but good for anything slightly less obvious.

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I actually hadn't heard of cloze tests before I started this thread, but after some googling and reading through the opinions here I am starting to appreciate its value. It has happened several times already that my tutor will say something to me that I don't understand, but then when I listen to the recording of our session I will realize that actually I do know the word(s) she was using but for some reason just wasn't able to recognize it at the time when she said it. Maybe including some more context in my anki deck might help me with this.

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  • 4 months later...

I have 2 decks. English -> characters and pinyin -> characters which I learn at the same time. I'm finding that it is working quite well so far, and it am able to associate the characters with both sound and meaning quite easily. Plus if you use an app like flashcards (or website like quiz let) it pronounces the card so that you have the added stimulus when you review them (and play games etc etc)

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Pinyin on front, English on the back (but that's because I don't have a reason to learn characters yet)

I just use Pleco really. I rarely use flashcards though, I simply write a lot of sentences with the vocabulary I know (again, using pinyin), and eventually I remember the words on my own while talking.

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I use pleco and I go through all the possibilities including handwriting the characters for every character/word. It is important to remember to include words as well as single characters

 

Usually I like to show character prompt for pinyin and meaning, then I like to test my writing with show pinyin prompt for character..

 

With pleco you get to choose lots of ways to test yourself.

 

.

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Character in front, pinyin, Dutch and sample sentences on the back; and for reverse, Dutch and clozed example sentence in front and characters, pinyin and entire example sentences on the back.

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I use 3 decks

1) Words: C->E

2) Words: E->C 

3) Characters: C-> Pinyin (don't bothered by the meaning of a single character)

4) Grammar: E->C.

 

For number 4, this is not for SRS features. I just use ANKI as a means of revising certain grammar points. I have made concise notes about 'use of adjectives' etc so ANKI is handy to be able to look at these on the go, without having to sift through a book. 

 

My progress using a deck like C->E is multiple times slower as E->C . I find it a lot hard to remember and retain the Hanzi rather than remember the pronunciation pinyin. 

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