Spaced Repition Software (SRS)

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Posts114Likes80Joined8/10/2018LocationPH
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Learning Japanese

Hey guys, anyone of you use SRS (in particular Anki) as a means of quickly jamming information to your memory? Research has proven that it is a quick way to learn AND retain information. 


Look at this Wikipedia article, it mentions the many benefits of this and much more. I guess the reason why I am asking is because I have used it to some success when I started learning Japanese. Thing is, it got boring real quick... and I quit because of it. 


Do you think it's best to try again? I mean I guess I can go the usual route of reading books and such but idk. Looking forward to your replies :)


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#1
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Posts142Likes114Joined4/10/2018Location
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Thanks for sharing - interesting write-up on Wikipedia. 


I am sure the science of it is sound, but I find that I don't retain the information that well after say... 3 months, even if I am consistent within the three months. 


Sometimes, if I really want to remember something, there is an interesting method that I learned from reading Jonathan Spence's The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci (The book is not really about memory methods, but a history book about a Jesuit priest in China during the Qing Dynasty). Matteo Ricci basically associates new information, in this case, Chinese, with something that he already knows, and then he files that information away, in a mental library, that is mentally anchored in a building. 


The method is actually quite time-consuming, because you need to make that piece of information vivid, and associate it as many qualities as possible with your present knowledge (reason why I don't use it most of the time). But having said that, I find that it sticks a lot more than simple spaced repetition.

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#2
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Posts114Likes80Joined8/10/2018LocationPH
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Cool, thanks for the reply. So you're basically saying to make a mental image of the new word so that it can stick to your longterm memory right? Interesting, I might look into that. 


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#3
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Posts1133Likes732Joined18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
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Mel.Palogan wrote:
it got boring real quick... and I quit because of it.

You aren't alone. I blogged about it here:

The dangers of overusing SRS.


meifeng wrote:
Memory Palace

Just curious - what did you use it to memorize? That particular mnemonic was invented to memorize entire books worth of knowledge, so I find it overkill for my purposes. I use a combination of mnemonics and repetition to get vocabulary and grammar to stick.

I'm reading the Malazan Book of the Fallen.

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#4
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leosmith wrote:
Just curious - what did you use it to memorize?


Usually students' names - I'm terrible with faces+names, and sometimes, I get up to 100 students. 

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#5
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Posts298Likes159Joined6/10/2018LocationLagos / NG
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Spaced repetition is a proven memory technique that helps you keep what you've learned strong in your mind. The way it works is you review each word or phrase you've learned in spaced intervals. Initially the intervals will be smaller: you might review a new word a few times in one practice session, and then again the next day. Once you know it well you'll be able to leave days or weeks between revisiting without forgetting it.

I like using Duolingo and memrise for vocabulary and phrase practice because it takes care of spaced repetition for me. The app keeps track of which words I haven't practiced for a while and reminds me to strengthen my understanding of those. During each lesson, it mixes up familiar and new words to space out the repetition.

Kevwe A.

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#6
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Posts270Likes101Joined15/9/2018LocationSkopje / MK
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Came to this thread from other thread :D


I like this approach, looks really interesting! 

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#7
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Posts459Likes280Joined8/7/2018LocationAlmeria / ES
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SRS has a lot of benefits especially for gaining large quantities of nouns and the advantages have been proven , however there were lots of tests and without constant renewal, or applying the new words learnt the information is simply not retained for long periods. 


For exaple if you were asked as a child the day after xmas .... to tell someone all the things you got and everything thta happened you would probably list the lot but after a few years of not retrieving the info you probably as an adult can only list what was memorable. Also because they are just translation based and solely visual ( even if you speak the words or hear them said aloud) many people can say a word but can't remember what it is for so it is hit and miss.... 


my advice is to start creating phrases with the new vocab as soon as possible. Writing the words out helps commit them to memory we are programmed to forget most of what we see. Our eyes have to filter out every grain of inute detail as we walk to work each day etc because if we stored it all we would run out of space at a very early age.. If we don't constantly retrieve the memory of something important we saw on that daily journey ( ie placemarkers that help us remember the route to go) then we lose the visual info very quickly. If you learn by looking at flashcards etc without stimulating other senses you will not store the visual info in the part of your brain that keeps permennt records

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#8
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Posts14Likes8Joined16/10/2019LocationUS
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No I dont use it. The only thing this will help with is remembering stuff, and I dont want that. I don't want to just remember words and sentences I want to ACQUIRE the words and sentences, so that they become a part of me and my subconsciousness. And I've found that this only happens when I expose myself to active story listening and reading over an continuous daily basis. And over time I will have accumulated an enormous amount of exposure to the words and sentences which now has been acquired to my subconsciousness. This is my way of using "SRS". And also if the words and sentences are importent enough they will appear often, so no need to force remember stuff. Let it come naturally :)

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#9
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Posts35Likes31Joined20/9/2019LocationRizal / PH
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Mel.Palogan wrote:
Do you think it's best to try again? I mean I guess I can go the usual route of reading books and such but idk. Looking forward to your replies :)


I think you should try it again. It's an old but effective method when memorizing a lot of things whether it's in language learning or something else. The Idea of Spaced Repetition was introduced to us by our teachers as early as early as kinder garden and I've used this technique til college. I do understand that it can get boring but it might also be because our mind is just getting tired of trying it and you just need to rest. I had the same experience before that I get bored with it but as I try again the boredom diminishes as I start to pick up the other things that I need to remember in order for me to move to the next batch of newer information that I need to memorize. And I think that's really the goal of this method of memorization. Just like the image captured in the Wikipedia Article that you shared showing five flash cards. You're supposed to memorize one, go back, memorize, two, go back then memorize three and go on. This also becomes exhausting redoing it from the start specially when you're already at your 100th and above flash card. But it works. We just need to rest on it. With or without a flash card to me it always works. And I want you to give it a try because who knows it may not really be boredom but just the simple fact that our mind needs to rest quicker when learning new things until it paces out and gets the hang of it. 

"Не волнуйтесь"

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#10
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Posts54Likes57Joined4/9/2019LocationCórdoba / AR
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While I often hear people talking about SRS systems as a way to learn languages faster, I‘d rather look at it as a tool to learn languages more in-depth. When done well (i.e. when you design the cards yourself) SRS can in fact take an enormous amount of time out of your schedule, but at the same time it allows you to memorize a lot of little details that you would otherwise skip entirely.


I lean heavily on SRS for my vocabulary study and create my own Anki decks. I’m studying German, which is a grammar heavy language with an excess of irregularities including 3 genders, 7 plural forms, 4 cases (nominativ, akkusativ, dativ, genitiv), 12+ irregular verb types, etc. That means that each word has a ton of extra information I have to know by heart before I can really say that I‘ve learned it. You could, in theory, learn all of that through bare exposure to the language, but I just can’t stand waiting around forever until I’ve run into each individual variant of a word enough times so that it sticks and I can use the term freely under any context.


To give you an idea, these are all the cards I will create for a single German noun:


DE (nom. sing.) > EN

EN > DE (nom. sing.)

DE (nom. sing.) > Gender

DE (nom. sing.) > DE (akk. sing.)

DE (nom. sing.) > DE (dat. sing.)

DE (nom. sing.) > DE (gen. sing.)

DE (nom. sing.) > DE (nom. pl.)

DE (nom. sing.) > DE (dat. pl.)


That’s just nouns. Prepositions, verbs, adverbs, etc. all have their peculiarities and card sets so you can probably imagine that this takes quite a lot of work. To make it a bit less time consuming I developed my own ‘smart‘ deck that lets me import spreadsheets with all the info in bulk and creates every card automatically. Still, it takes a lot of effort and fine-tuning and I honestly can’t expect most people to go through this kind of process.


The problem, as I see it, is that SRS only works if you do it well. That means creating cards that test a single piece of data at a time and that are relevant to you. You have to keep things simple and sadly most publicly available decks will compress all of the information of the example above into a single card, which makes for a tiring and frustrating review experience.


As I said, German is a grammar-heavy language, somewhat distant from my native Spanish. On top of that, I intend to use German for work so I have really high expectations and cannot just sweep cases under the rug as most German learners do. Now, if I were to study French, which shares a ton of vocabulary with Spanish and English and has a simpler grammar this would probably not be worth the effort. So I guess it will always depend on the language in question, and the level you are trying to achieve.


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#11
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Posts1Likes1Joined22/10/2019LocationHK
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I am not so much an expert but I feel making your own cards is good and then testing more specifically what you want to learn. It's difficult to test reading, listening, vocabulary all at the same time. I have just been making my own anki cards to test sentence listening skills for mandarin. I took the audio from a series called "Growing up in China". I set up the card to repeat the voice five times. If I can't get it, there's the replay audio button to listen again. Then I reveal the card with the answer and the audio will repeat another 15 times. So then I am reading and listening at the same time. My brain might zone out and I try to mimic the recording without reading. That helps me move along my speaking skills a bit more. I am just learning vocabulary through the sentences. It is a lot of time to make the Notes but I am listening to the audio as I make the Notes so I guess that's only good as well. I am not really bothering on the reading characters. I can glance at it but it's not a main focus. Maybe for reading, I will use a different card that shows the sentence first, then audio when revealed.

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#12
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Posts1133Likes732Joined18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
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markoSSS wrote:
cards that test a single piece of data at a time

I completely agree with this. I've tried to put more stuff on cards, with bad results. The only exception I make is in my Russian deck only I ask for the 5 conjugations of certain irregular verbs. So for example the front says взять and the back says возьму, возьмёшь, возьму́т, взял, возьми́те. I was too lazy to break it into 5 cards.

I'm reading the Malazan Book of the Fallen.

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#13
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Posts94Likes74Joined18/6/2019LocationSan Jose Del Monte / PH
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I may sound insane but I like memrise for learning new materials and anki for reviewing. If you told me I had to choose one, I'd do Anki. Just stick to the "no more than 45 minutes a day reviewing" rule and you'll be fine. After that burnout sets in hard. Even for my fun youtube to anki cards.

Find me on Discord:

https://discord.gg/R4zepcA

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