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Anki and other Questions

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Anki and other Questions

Postby leonl » Sat 01.17.2009 12:48 am

Question 1: How do you input cards/facts into Anki? I input mine using the Japanese model which means for every fact I get two cards production ,recognition. In the meaning field I write an English translation of the sentence, however from reading threads here and on other forums I can see this is frowned upon. So, how would you suggest I remake my deck so that uses only Japanese , but is still useful to me as a beginner.


Question 2: For anyone who is familiar with the audio course vocabulearn, is each word listed as a single track or are groups word listed together. I ask this because you can add sound to anki so I was thinking of buying the set of off ebay, and making it the audio portion of my course as I use a book focused on written Japanese.

Thanks
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Re: Anki and other Questions

Postby CerpinTaxt » Sat 01.17.2009 2:42 am

For sentences I try something along the lines of this:
Original Sentence: 私は京都でたくさんしゃしんをとりました
Answer:京都(At)で(Alot)たくさんしゃしんをとりました

Basically for any new or grammar structure I try to explain it with simple English, along with the Japanese sentence, so I can get the meaning across without translating it. For more advanced grammatical structures I also explain how to form the structure like:
Original:あっ、まだ飲まないでください。
Answer: あっ、まだ飲まないでください。(Negative short form+ください=Please don’t do)
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Re: Anki and other Questions

Postby furrykef » Sat 01.17.2009 5:16 am

leonl wrote:In the meaning field I write an English translation of the sentence, however from reading threads here and on other forums I can see this is frowned upon.


I disagree that it's a bad idea. The important thing is being able to understand sentences, not translate them, but I see no problem with using an English translation as a means of checking your understanding. You just need to develop an intuitive understanding that the meaning of a sentence and its English translation are not the same thing, which I think comes naturally enough anyway to anybody who studies a language long enough.

My own studies with Spanish have shown me that production is far, far more useful than recognition, because recognition comes automatically with enough study of production. However, that doesn't apply quite as well to Japanese because now you have to recognize words in two different ways: from their kanji and from their pronunciation. I've had it happen when I first started using an SRS program that I would recognize words from their kanji, be able to give the correct reading for the kanji, and even correctly translate an English word to the kanji and reading, but not be able to recognize the word from the reading alone! So that's something to watch out for.

So what's the right way to do it? Well... that's just it, I don't know yet! But I do recommend using lots of sound clips (gathered from sites like iKnow) to help you practice your pronunciation and perhaps speech recognition as well as your kanji. :)

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Re: Anki and other Questions

Postby furrykef » Mon 01.19.2009 3:52 am

I had some time to devote to this question today -- the question of how to put Japanese sentences into an SRS -- since my internet was out and I had little else to do until it was working again. So I reasoned out the problem logically and I think I've arrived at a model I can be happy with. Of course, it's still only one way... other people have plenty of success with different methods, of course.

(By the way, this is going to be a little long-winded, because I'm explaining the thought processes that led to the conclusions I've drawn rather than skipping straight to the conclusions.)

The basic problem is, any given sentence in Japanese can be expressed in three ways:

1. The sentence in kanji
2. The reading, expressed in kana and/or speech
3. The meaning (e.g., as an English sentence)

Ideally, we'd like to train the mind so that you can produce any form from any other form -- meaning from kanji, or kanji from reading, or whatever. But if you create a card for every possible case, you end up with this:

Kanji -> reading
Kanji -> meaning
Reading -> kanji
Reading -> meaning
Meaning -> kanji
Meaning -> reading

That's six cards! I find that too inefficient. What if you did it something like this?

Kanji -> reading + meaning
Meaning -> kanji + reading
Reading -> kanji + meaning

In other words, it asks you, say, "猫はテーブルの上にいます" and you have to respond, "ねこは テーブルの うえに います" and "The cat is on the table." Now you have only three cards, but each card requires you to remember two things. That can be a pain in the butt... for instance you have two cards that test kanji production, and testing kanji production is a bit of a pain, so I don't like doing it twice per fact. (In fact, I used to use this model, and I found it unsatisfactory for largely that reason.)

I started thinking about the six-card model again, its advantages and disadvantages. Its advantage is each card tests only one thing, but its disadvantage was six cards per fact is quite a lot, and I realized that it was also redundant. I realized, if you can correctly do "meaning -> reading", and "reading -> kanji", you don't really need to test "meaning -> kanji"; instead, in your head you can simply do meaning -> reading -> kanji if you get stuck, so you don't need a card to test that case. So that suggested two possible three-card models:

Model 1:
Meaning -> kanji
Kanji -> reading
Reading -> meaning

Model 2:
Meaning -> reading
Reading -> kanji
Kanji -> meaning

The second one seems more natural to me, but either one is probably equally good. I think these are probably the best models you can use with a program like Anki. My current belief is that other models either cram too much information into too few cards (like the second model I described earlier), or they leave too much information out, or both (for instance a system that tests only kanji -> meaning + reading). I wouldn't go so far as to say that other ways of doing it are wrong, but you'll probably have a tough time convincing me that any other way is better than this one. But by all means, if anybody has any criticism to offer, speak up. :)

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Re: Anki and other Questions

Postby leonl » Mon 01.19.2009 5:22 pm

Thanks for all the input. Kef I like your second model, so I think I will try it out for a while, thanks
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Re: Anki and other Questions

Postby furrykef » Tue 01.20.2009 8:52 am

I've created a model for this in Anki now. These are the settings I used:

Tags: Japanese

(Leave "Minimum spacing" and "Spacing multiplier" alone.)

Fields:
* Expression
* Reading
* Production answer notes -- this is shown in the answer to Meaning->Reading questions to give clarifications, other possible correct answers, wrong answers to watch out for, etc.
* Meaning
* Recognition answer notes -- this is shown in the answer to Kanji->Meaning questions to provide clarification, etc.
* Audio
* Source

The bold ones should be marked "prevent duplicates" and "prevent empty entries"; Audio should also have "prevent duplicates"; everything else should have these boxes cleared. By the way, I wanted to name the Expression field "kanji" instead, but using "Expression" allows Anki to auto-fill the Reading field with kana after you're done entering the text. (Your model has to have the "Japanese" tag for that to work.)

If you're feeling adventurous, you can eventually expand this with even more fields. With my Spanish cards I often have "question notes" to provide additional information in the question for various cards, but I've decided not to use these with my Japanese cards yet.

Now here's the templates for the actual cards:

Card 1: M->R (short for "Meaning->Reading")
Question:
<h1>Meaning -&gt; Kana</h1>
%(Meaning)s

Answer:
%(Reading)s
%(Production answer notes)s
%(Audio)s


Card 2: R->K ("Reading->Kanji")
Question:
<h1>Kana -&gt; Kanji</h1>
%(Reading)s
%(Audio)s

Answer:
%(Expression)s


Card 3: K->M ("Kanji->Meaning")
Question:
<h1>Kanji -&gt; Meaning</h1>
%(Expression)s

Answer:
%(Meaning)s
%(Recognition answer notes)s


(If you have used different field names than mine, you'll have to adjust these templates to match.)

The reason for abbreviating the card names is because then you can tell at a glance which cards are enabled when creating cards. For example, you'll probably want to disable Reading->Kanji cards for sentences that contain no kanji, since those cards would be pointless, but of course you should enable them again after you're done adding the kanji-less cards!

Whew! That should about cover it. Hope somebody out there finds this useful... ^^;

- Kef
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Re: Anki and other Questions

Postby jcdietz03 » Tue 01.20.2009 12:24 pm

The AJATT method:
Q: ねこは テーブルの うえに います
A: 猫はテーブルの上にいます

(also in the answer)
猫: Cat; テーブル: table; 上: On
You probably won't forget ねこ,テーブル, or うえ, (because they are really common) so there's no real need to write the definitions for this sentence.
You don't list all the definitions of the word, just the correct one for the sentence.
If you are an intermediate student, you're supposed to write the definitions in Japanese.

(also in the answer)
The cat is on the table. Again, write the meaning in Japanese if you know how.

Getting the answer right is harder than the furrykef method (in my opinion). It's harder to write 猫 given ねこ than it is to write ねこ given 猫. So your memories will be stronger but your studying will be more painful. It's up to you which method you prefer.
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Re: Anki and other Questions

Postby furrykef » Tue 01.20.2009 12:40 pm

jcdietz03 wrote:Getting the answer right is harder than the furrykef method (in my opinion). It's harder to write 猫 given ねこ than it is to write ねこ given 猫.


Huh? My method also has you write 猫 when given ねこ, at least using Model 2. (Using Model 1, you write ねこ when given 猫, but you still write 猫 when given "cat", so you still have to know how to write 猫 one way or another.)
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Re: Anki and other Questions

Postby jcdietz03 » Tue 01.20.2009 1:34 pm

I didn't catch that. My apologies. Anyway, I like one card per fact.
I can see how Reading->Kanji+Meaning might be too much information on one card. It's leaving out Kanji->Meaning and Meaning->Kanji, but I'm not really interested in training my mind to do those things. When you read, you do Kanji->Reading->Meaning (though maybe only beginners do this), so I might have trouble with the Kanji->Reading part which I am not drilling. I don't think it will be so difficult to do this Kanji->Reading conversion when drilling the opposite way.

Reading->Kanji is the production side of the card, and Reading->Meaning is the recognition side of the card.

To get around [too much info per card], AJATT suggests limiting to 10 kanji per sentence. That seems like a lot. I would probably want no more than two previously unknown readings per sentence.
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Re: Anki and other Questions

Postby furrykef » Tue 01.20.2009 3:28 pm

jcdietz03 wrote:I would probably want no more than two previously unknown readings per sentence.


That'd be a good rule of thumb, though I count by words rather than kanji (unless the words are particularly long or use kanji that I haven't learned in RTK1). Too much new information in a single sentence will only guarantee that the sentence will give you trouble, and you'll probably still groan when that sentence comes up even after it's stopped giving you trouble just because it reminds you of the trouble you had before. (You can tell that I've gone down that road before. :P)

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Re: Anki and other Questions

Postby jcdietz03 » Thu 01.22.2009 11:53 am

I have a related question: How to input kanji cards from the Heisig method. Not to turn this into another Heisig thread but specifically how to put in the cards.

My cards now look like the following:
Q:The deadly ELBOWS and HUMAN LEGS of James Bond force him to obtain a LICENSE to kill.
A:允

I was thinking about a different format where there are several carriage returns between key word and the story. This way it's more like a paper flashcard where you can cover up the hint. Example:
Q:LICENSE


The deadly ELBOWS and HUMAN LEGS of James Bond force him to obtain a LICENSE to kill.

I want to switch SRSes. KhatzuMemo, which I use now, is kind of slow. Anki is faster because the deck is local and I think the Anki SRS algorithm is better too. And you can export your deck, which you can't do with KhatzuMemo. And you can study online, the chief benefit of KhatzuMemo. You can't study with a cellphone (I don't think, you can w/ KhatzuMemo) but I don't have an internet connected cellphone. My Heisig stories are in a text file, I would need to input them into Anki.
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Re: Anki and other Questions

Postby furrykef » Thu 01.22.2009 7:55 pm

I don't like the idea of using the complete Heisig story for the question because I think it makes the answer too easy; you're not drawing upon your memory to actively recall the story itself, making it harder to remember. I'd make the English keyword the question and put the story (as well as the kanji, of course) on the answer side.

I think its better to use Reviewing the Kanji instead of Anki for Heisig, though, because you can get plenty of stories there and they're well-integrated into the site's flash card system. The site has so many good stories for RTK1 that you'll never have to invent any on your own ever again (although I'd still recommend trying that).

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Re: Anki and other Questions

Postby nukemarine » Thu 01.22.2009 7:59 pm

I set up anki cards based on what they're accomplishing.

Kanji

I test keyword to kanji mainly. This should be easy to set-up, and anki has pre-fabricated decks on it. Though there's merit to kanji to keyword, it may be best to hold off on that till you find you want it.

Grammar

Here I have cards that are

Sentence - Kanji (I try to bold the portion of the sentence dealing with the grammar point).
Sentence - Kana
Sentence - English (more literal translation, make sure to add politeness levels and conditions)
Grammar subject (this is the purpose the sentence is getting across)
Audio.

Here, I do reading (Kanji sentence as the question), but I care only about the grammar point and what it's doing to everything. I am not overly concerned about the vocabulary or conjugation unless it's important to the grammar point. I also do production (English to spoken japanese). Again, it's about using the grammar point correctly. I'm still not overly concerned with vocabulary.

PS: When I say overly concerned, I mean is I do not fail the card if I got the vocabulary wrong, though I do mark it as difficult. The point is about the grammar with these.

Vocabulary

Kanji Word - Kanji Sentence
Kana Word - Kana Sentence
English Word - English Sentence
Photo
Audio

Like grammar cards, vocabulary cards I will fail only when I get that one vocabulary word wrong. I do readiing (kanji to kana/audio) and writing (audio to kanji). Here, I mark the card wrong if I cannot pronounce or mispronounce the word in addition to not knowing what the word means.

For dictation I write out only the vocabulary word and not the whole sentence. I mark the card wrong if I use the wrong kanji (usually if you can write the kanji, you know what the word means).

Since my stuff is coming from iKnow, I have very useful audio and photos for further reference.

Again, the point is I'm using sentences. What I do differently than others is that I'm using the sentence as context, but not as the question itself. I also treat cards differently based on their function.
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