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Any tips on using flashcards?

  Tags: Flash cards
 Language Learning Forum : Advice Center Post Reply
18 messages over 3 pages: 1 2 3  Next >>
cablesurfer
Newbie
United States
Joined 1446 days ago

9 posts - 9 votes
Studies: Romanian

 
 Message 1 of 18
03 August 2015 at 3:46am | IP Logged 
Hi all,

I have been learning Romanian since March and this is my first foreign language. I have been using Flashcard Machine and the
most frequently used word list to learn vocabulary.

I am hoping other, more experienced learners could provide me with some tips on using flashcards.

The trouble I'm having is in organizing the flashcards - which translations to use and how many translations to put on one
flashcard. For instance, the word "look." In the Romanian translation dictionary, there are several nouns, adjectives and verbs
(and more) that translate to this English word. I was originally just trying to have one English word for one Romanian word but
I'm not sure if that's possible anymore.

Plus, there are words in these frequent word lists that are just conjugations of verbs that have already appeared, like "to say"
and "said." Of course, then there are "I said", "you said" and so on. I'm not sure what the best way to implement these verb
conjugations using flashcards and this word list. "Is" and "are" are separate entries on this word list but they're from the same
verb.

Me being a bit obsessive isn't helping things either.

Any tips is very much appreciated.
1 person has voted this message useful



Mork the Fiddle
Senior Member
United States
Joined 2014 days ago

86 posts - 158 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Norwegian, Latin, Ancient Greek

 
 Message 2 of 18
03 August 2015 at 4:41pm | IP Logged 
Hello, Cablesurfer, and welcome to HTLAL. You have certainly come to the right place.

Other members here are far more experiened with flash cards than I am, but I can start you off by pointing you to the Search engine on the opening page. Below a number of tags to search on are listed. The tags are divided into three parts: Languages, Programs and Other Tags.

If you go to Other Tags, you will see among them ANKI and Flash Cards. Clicking on them will lead you to dozens of threads discussing the topic.

Good luck with Romanian, and, if you get the language bug, with other languages, too.
1 person has voted this message useful



cablesurfer
Newbie
United States
Joined 1446 days ago

9 posts - 9 votes
Studies: Romanian

 
 Message 3 of 18
03 August 2015 at 7:43pm | IP Logged 
Hi Mork, I suspected this topic has already been discussed at length here. I did do some searches before posting. It
seems like I need a pro account to access any of the answers I may be looking for. Thanks anyway
1 person has voted this message useful



Cavesa
Triglot
Senior Member
Czech Republic
Joined 3054 days ago

3277 posts - 6777 votes 
Speaks: Czech*, FrenchC2, EnglishC1
Studies: Spanish, German, Italian

 
 Message 4 of 18
03 August 2015 at 8:40pm | IP Logged 
Hi, cablesurfer, welcome to htlal!

First of all: yes, there have been many discussions about flashcards and their digital versions, but that doesn't make your question an less legitimate.

Flascards /srs (anki, memrise) are awesome for vocabulary and as well for conjugations and such things. But not for everyone (some people dislike them and therefore have little chance sticking around for long enough). And there are various ways. Translation cards (I recommend giving more than one word as a clue and to choose vocabulary based on other source than just a dictionary. Your course or vocab workbook or something like that should be fine.

Do you make paper flashcards or do you use any kind of software?
How do you choose the words? Based on encountering them in media or in a course? Some htalalers have had great success with frequency dictionaries, for example.

This forum is currently more of an archive, we are in a period of either transition to a new forum (how-to-learn-any-language.org) or the forums will be merged in future or who knows. But most members seem to be more active on the new platform these days, you you will get many more answers.
1 person has voted this message useful



cablesurfer
Newbie
United States
Joined 1446 days ago

9 posts - 9 votes
Studies: Romanian

 
 Message 5 of 18
03 August 2015 at 9:22pm | IP Logged 
I didn't know what ANKI was until Mort mentioned it. There is some useful info on that website with related links that
have pointed me in the right direction. One of the links from the ANKI website says that it's more manageable and easier
to retain info when flashcards with a lot of info are broken into multiple cards. But it seems like you're saying that more
than one word works for you?

Just as an example, in Romanian and probably other languages, too, there are multiple words for "the." Definite Articles,
Demonstrative Articles and Possessive Articles, all masculine, feminine and neuter, singular/plural and some with
multiple cases. That's quite a lot of info to have on one flashcard just for one English word.

I use Memrise, and also Flashcard Machine to make my own flashcards on the computer. I found a 6000 most-
frequently-used word list that I'm using to make my flashcards. I like flashcards a lot. I think I'm progressing well with
vocab, and the frequency word list is great because I'm recognizing many more words on Romanian TV as opposed to
just learning words like "couch, toilet, kitchen", etc.

Do you use flashcards? How do you study verb conjugations?

Good to know about the forum.

EDIT: Just in case there are other Romanian learners out there, I don't want to confuse anybody. I just realized the
possessive articles don't actually mean "the" but are still considered articles in that they precede the possessive adjectives
in order to form the possessive pronouns.

Edited by cablesurfer on 04 August 2015 at 2:33am

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Cavesa
Triglot
Senior Member
Czech Republic
Joined 3054 days ago

3277 posts - 6777 votes 
Speaks: Czech*, FrenchC2, EnglishC1
Studies: Spanish, German, Italian

 
 Message 6 of 18
03 August 2015 at 11:11pm | IP Logged 
Well, depends on the kind of word. (I am now using more Memrise than Anki but the format is the more or less same).

1.articles and such things are not that good for flashcards, I think. And after all, you will see them all over again everywhere, without special cards. Posessive articles and such things, why use flashcards? Grammar exercises of various kinds tend to be sufficient. Do you really need to memorize them? I recommend lots of reading and listening to the language, these things tend to settle down with enough exposure.

From my experience, it is much better to learn them in whole sentences and contexts than trying to decipher translation cards like "my (feminine, akkuzativ)"

2.Sometimes more words in the question function well to distinguish which of the options in the target language I want. But there are more ways to do it. It's hard to think of an example right now... ok, something like this. a dictionary just gave me more German translations of "to do": "machen", "tun", ...

In past, I tried cards like Q:"to do (2 words) A: "machen, tun" but it didn't work well for me. I don't think two pieces of knowledge should normally go on one card.

Now, there are more options to ask for one word only:
1.putting more translations in the question:
Q:to do, to perform
A:tun
vs.
Q:to do, to make
A:machen
The problem is that, quite often, it might still not be that clear.

2:a hint what not to say:
A:to do (not machen)
Q:tun
The best option, in my opinion, at least as long as you are still learning a bit limited vocabulary and don't have a list of ten synonymes to exclude. Fortunately, there are not that many synonymes that would require this method because of no difference usable for method n.1.

3:first letter or two(very common among course creators on memrise)
A:to do (m-)
Q:machen
I find it sometimes too easy with the hint but otherwise it works

4.you can create fill in the blank cards where the sentence could make it clear which word you are asking for. But I must say I really dislike memorizing sentences, even though some learners swear by it.

Of course, neither is substitute for learning in context and using other tools than flashcards/srs as well. But it can help you restore order in that mess.

I agree the flashcards can be great supplements but I recommend you not disregard those boring and not that media covered vocabulary totally as well, you might still need it in many situations. Depends on your goals, what do you want to use Romanian for.

For conjugations, I find two formats excellent:

1.my old one on anki:
Q:aller (présent)
A:je vais, tu vas, il va, nous allons, vous allez, ils vont

2.new one on memrise, but trasferable anywhere
Q:je ALLER présent
A:je vais

Of course, the language cannot be learnt with flashcards only, I recommend you continue with your other tools as well. I don't know what resources are available for romainian, but there should certainly be some grammar books or websites and a some fun and interesting novels to dive into soon.
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cablesurfer
Newbie
United States
Joined 1446 days ago

9 posts - 9 votes
Studies: Romanian

 
 Message 7 of 18
04 August 2015 at 12:04am | IP Logged 
Great post, a lot of useful info. Thanks!

I am learning Romanian because I want to visit Romania (and other countries), speak with the locals and maybe have
an extended stay. It started as a way to be respectful of the Romanians and have some knowledge of their language,
even though I think many Romanians would love to practice their English with me. Now, I find it fascinating and
would love to learn other languages, too. Depending on how Romanian goes, I was thinking my next would be
Czech. For some reason, I picked two difficult languages to learn, it seems. I suppose it could have been Chinese.

You write English well. Have you found English an easy or difficult language to learn and speak?
1 person has voted this message useful



Cavesa
Triglot
Senior Member
Czech Republic
Joined 3054 days ago

3277 posts - 6777 votes 
Speaks: Czech*, FrenchC2, EnglishC1
Studies: Spanish, German, Italian

 
 Message 8 of 18
04 August 2015 at 1:25am | IP Logged 
Thanks :-) I found it extremely difficult at first because I hated the teacher whose main method was to shout at people (especially those who dared to defend themselves). I hated the language, the teacher, every day at school. Of course it was hard, due to being discouraged, stressed and ridiculed almost every day. I had learnt basics of French first so the fall from that beautiful and more regular language to mainstream, ugly and chaotic English without having a choice was very unpleasant (especially back then,when I was 12).

Later, I started playing an online text based multiplayer rpg in English. That's basically how I got a CAE. 90% the game (real time interaction, tons of descriptions, discussions, story telling,...), 5% movies and tvseries, 2,5% reading books, 2% grammarbook and 0.5% classes later with another teacher. Suddenly, it wasn't that hard to learn English, that was being done on the background. The challenge was to roleplay on a level acceptable by my clan and to type fast enough not to die in combat. I succeeded, got my CAE and became full member of a respected clan. But I still sometimes die due to not typing fast enough. :-)

Well, another language is always an option but you might like to wait a bit, especially if Romanian is the first foreign language you have ever trully attempted to learn. No idea what makes Czech so attractive (there are suddenly several Czech learners on htlal) but if your interest is genuine, why not. But you might want to enjoy the luxury of a large language after Romanian, who knows :-D

Edited by Cavesa on 04 August 2015 at 1:26am



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