Using AnkiDroid for language learning

So if you’ve been convinced to learn a language and know why you should be learning a second language, this post will guide you to learning foreign vocab at an enhanced rate and get your nearer to fluency then any other method of memorisation.

AnkiDroid is my favourite language learning tool…


Because it makes it learning a mass amount of vocabulary easy, quick and manageable in the long term. A few years back I even made a spreadsheet comparing 4 different methods of language learning and found AnkiDroid to be far better for learning foreign language vocab hands down.

Three things… Firstly, I’m not associated/affiliated with AnkiDroid in anyway whatsoever however just really like the service they provide. Secondly, they have an app for Android and Apple but when using an apple device use the Web App and add a shortcut to your home screen to avoid paying the App price. Thirdly, this method might not work best with language such as Chinese unless you put the effort in as you have may wish to have the characters, anglicised version and how to pronounce it and then the translation.

What is AnkiDroid?

AnkiDroid is a website and app that allows you to make use of Spaced Repetition to learn information quicker. This works by reminding you of information just before you’re about to forget it. This system allows you to focus on the stuff you don’t know and not be constantly relearning the stuff you already know. This prioritisation is the reason why Spaced Repetition is faster than any other method.

Looking at the graph below you can see how Spaced Repetition is used to aid you learn just before you forget.

Graph from: Farnam Street Media

This allows for faster rates of learning as you’re not constantly looking over the word ‘hi’ when you already know it by heart but instead you’re looking at words like ‘maybe’, ‘like’, ‘next’, ‘help’ etc. that are still used in daily life but aren’t the very basics. This enables you to build a vast vocabulary as a base through AnkiDroid and constantly add more words under your belt

Can this be done on paper?

Of course!

By getting some flash cards you can follow Thomas Frank’s method for Spaced Repetition. This method will work well but requires you to have the physical flashcards whereas AnkiDroid can be used on your phone, tablet or laptop.

Next Steps?

If you’re learning a popular language such as Spanish, French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese etc. there are frequency lists that you can access straight from the AnkiWeb site or AnkiDroid app. These allow you import ‘flashcards’ into your deck for learning. This speeds things up drastically as it means you don’t have to create your own ‘flashcards’.

By using a frequency list of 5000 words you would have an upper-intermediate level of understanding for a language as it would cover the majority of words used in daily life.

Of course you’d need to substitute this with some audio-visual material. This could be watching TV series and movies in your chosen language or even listen to the news, podcasts or music to aid with listening.

A Random Tip

While you’re watching TV, or you could listen to conversations while you’re out, take note of the sayings and words you hear most often. Add them to your AnkiDroid deck and you’ll soon find yourself knowing a lot more than you might think!

If you enjoyed this blog post, comment and let me know your thoughts!

About the author


Welcome! I'm Joseph. I'm trying to be a writer! While I could dabble at poetry, attempt and fail at a novel or two or even become an essayist Y'know these are all things I actually want to do... Anyway, that's beside the point. I want to hone my writing, explore my curiosity and share all the wonders of the world that I find with you!

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