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Customizable flash card app? (Android or iPod)


AdrianK

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Hello,

 

First of all I'm new here so I apologize is this is the wrong place, or if a thread answering this exists, I couldn't find it.

 

I'm looking for an app that allows me to continually add flashcards once I learn that character. For instance, it begins with 1 or 2 characters, and each time I learn a new character I can add it to my virtual deck of flash cards. I want to be able to learn them myself, then go through the cards once or twice a day to keep them in my memory. All apps I've found have a pre-set amount of flash cards.

Thanks a lot,

Adrian.

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I use Pleco. I would recommend it unreservedly.

 

It allows you to add as many characters to a category as you like, you can have more than one category, you can customize how the cards are laid out, You can add characters from the included dictionaries or import decks.

 

You can study them simply or using SRS. It can do audio and words (more than one character per card)

 

It is very comprehensive.

 

I use it on Android but I would imagine it is just as good on an iPOD.

 

There is a free version you can download to test and see if it is what you want/need

 

You can add other dictionaries and extras if and as you need them.

 

I would visit their website, there is link to it on the home page of this forum.

 

And no I don't work for them and I don't get paid for this :) It is just the best Chinese learning app out there.

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Pleco is worth having, but personally I don't use the flash card program it includes. I use Anki, you should be able to find it for Android in the store. You'll want to load up the vocab on your computer, or possibly use somebody else's deck.

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but personally I don't use the flash card program it includes. I use Anki

Out of curiosity, why?  The time saved from not needing to deal with flashcard maintenance is huge (though I can understand if you want customised cards beyond the configurations available in Pleco).
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If I may expand upon my initial opinion - I've used both Anki and Pleco (and Skritter), but I have to say that I much prefer Pleco. It's so easy to make flashcards on the go from words you've looked up, or words in documents that you've saved, and Pleco's built in dictionaries allow you to switch between many Chinese-English dictionaries as well as Chinese-Chinese dictionaries if you get up to that point. And Pleco is strictly for Chinese learning, whereas Anki is more for general flashcard use, so Pleco naturally has a ton of Chinese specific functions that you won't find in Anki. It's the difference between using a tool made for Chinese vs using a tool that is made to be general. There paid add ons that allow Chinese speech for all of your cards, there is Chinese character OCR (I don't actually find it useful, but others may), there are really nice brush script type fonts, even an optional dictionary if you are interested in Chinese medicine, and a slew of other great Chinese specific tools. And I think the integration of all of the tools is excellent. You can look up words and make flashcards without ever exiting the reader for example. 

 

I think that the free version of Pleco is worth downloading at least to check it out. Its available in the app store for iOS and android. The iOS version had a big update a while ago and is amazing. I think the add ons are worth purchasing, and if you want to get the flashcard module, if I'm not mistaken I think you have to purchase that. I think the free version is just the dictionary, but its been many years, so I don't quite remember, and it may have changed since I first got it. 

 

Anki on the desktop is free, but if you want the iOS mobile version, last time I checked it was something like $25. I think the flashcard module in Pleco is about $15. I did not like that at least when I used it, you had to add all of the flashcards on the Anki program on the computer. And I also had some issues with syncing between devices, but that may have been ironed out. With Pleco, I do all of my flashcards on my iPhone, it is so convenient to take around and study during the short 5 min breaks you find throughout the day. You can add and change flashcards on the go, which I don't think you can do with Anki. 

 

I think the only reason I would consider Anki is if you HAVE to have a desktop app to go with your mobile app. And to be honest, I think it is easier and more convenient to have all your flashcards on one device (my iPhone). I've never felt limited not having a desktop app with Pleco. I felt annoyed being forced to build my flashcard deck on the desktop in Anki, even though I tend not to study on the desktop, but rather on the go on my phone. And flashcard making is much more automated in Pleco than it is in Anki. 

 

Skritter also has a computer interface as well as a mobile app. I like Skritter, and you can take a look at it as an option, but I would only recommend it if you are serious about learning to Write chinese characters. Otherwise, Pleco is in my opinion better and more complete. 

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hedwards,  I find hard to understand why if you have Pleco you don't use the flashcards.

 

I tried Anki and really didn't like it, It is not designed just for Chinese so it is not as comprehensive. It is time consuming to input card data and if you use ready made decks they are only ones made by other people sharing their decks and so I found that their were mistakes and a lack of consistency from one card to anther regarding content. So one card may have the barest info possible and others were confusing with too much info.

 

You can configure cards in Pleco in different ways.

 

I am also not a fan of SRS on a regular basis, I like to review and test a fixed group of characters/words from my most recent lesson. Then I will every so often do a SRS test on the last few lessons all together and work through it like revision till I have learnt that batch and then move on to the next lesson. Every so often I will review all the characters from the past few months again.

 

Skritter is very nice, it is well written and is presented beautifully, but out of my budget mainly because like a gym subscription I know I will be enthusiastic for a month or so but then for what ever reasons I will be unable to use it. So I agree if you are serious about learning to write it is the best for that, but you can achieve similar results with out it if you put your mind to it.

 

I know Anki is free but it shows, Pleco is very reasonably priced, their customer support is second to none and Pleco has been invaluable in my studies for many years now.

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I disagree with the "it shows" in the last paragraph of the previous post. Neither Anki nor Pleco can guarantee that shared content is correct and consistent, and Anki doesn't aim to be Chinese specific, but general purpose. 

 

My own answer to the original question is that Anki is the maximally "customizable flashcard app", but if you want something more Chinese-supportive then Pleco is great too. These two are the best at what they do as far as I know.

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The main reason is that I only have Pleco on my phone, but I have Anki on my phone, both computers over 3 OSes. Also, I don't generally enter my text via Pleco, I can collect words using Pleco, but even before I started using imron's CTA, most of my texts would require about the same amount of effort to input into Pleco as it would to enter it into a spreadsheet for Anki.

 

Then there's things like my flashcards for Learn Chinese From Movies that only require a few minutes work to import into Anki and probably a lot more time to import into Pleco.

 

Those are my reasons and I freely admit that I'm not knowledgeable enough about Pleco's options for importing things from outside Pleco that it might be better than I think.

 

Don't get me wrong, I own Pleco and love it to death, I just prefer to use Anki for my SRS needs.

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I use flashcardmachine.com just because it's what I used for studying in college so I'm used to the format. You can make an account for free online, but the app costs like $1.99 I think. I make my flashcards on my computer and then download/sync them to my phone. I don't think there's a limit for the number of cards or sets you can have.

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