What is Anki?
If your goal is to memorize lots of new information (think: Chinese characters), consider utilizing a spaced repetition system. Studies show that doing so can dramatically improve one's retention and recollection of information.
Anki packages this system into an easy-to-use interface in which users can create original Chinese flashcards or download preexisting flashcard decks. Anki is available as a smartphone app and desktop app. As expected, the two apps can be synced for a fluid learning experience between devices.
Anki is a free open source program and you can download it here.
Ready to get started? We welcome you to use the following tutorials from Fluent Forever author, Gabriel Wyner, to install and begin using Anki.
Tutorial 1: Install Anki and create your first flashcard
"Anki is a program which makes remembering things easy. Because it's a lot more efficient than traditional study methods, you can greatly decrease your time spent studying and greatly increase the amount you learn."
Tutorial 2: Install the Fluent Forever Flashcard Deck
Tutorial 3: Install a downloaded Anki deck
Tutorial 4: Where to find shared decks and review basics
Learning vocabulary using a spaced repetition system is one of the fastest ways to pick up new vocabulary. Whether you're a beginning student struggling to remember the 100 most common Chinese characters or a more advanced student preparing for a standardized test like the HSK 4, Anki will help you get the most out of each of your Chinese study sessions. We hope the above tutorials have helped you along your way to Chinese excellence!
If you're looking for other great Chinese learning apps, check out our suggestions for some great smart-phone based Chinese dictionaries and our review of Skitter, a game-changing app for students hoping to improve their character writing skills.
Students looking for a more robust virtual Chinese learning platform should read our review of Yoyo Chinese.