Using Anki flashcards with sentences, not just vocabulary

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Using Anki flashcards with sentences, not just vocabulary

Post by Gregarius » Sat Aug 04, 2012 9:49 pm

Someone here (I forget whom), a while back, recommended the Anki flashcard program, and I greatly appreciate this. I've used this to memorize many vocabulary words. I think generating a list of common words from the text I'm working on, putting them into Anki, and getting them into my head is a necessary prerequisite to reading Latin works. As for how to easily generate these lists (like at the back of Pharr's Aeneid), I have no good idea, and would eagerly solicit other's opinions.

But recently, I remember someone else here saying that they create flashcards each with whole sentences and their translations. I'm curious how many people do this, and how effective it is? Are you trying to memorize the translations phrase by phrase? And which sentences do you do? All the sentences from whatever you are currently reading? Example sentences from a textbook? Idiomatic sentences, like those in the back of "Six weeks prep. for Caesar"?

I like Anki a lot, especially on my phone, because it lets me make use of many stolen moments throughout the day -- waiting for bus, waiting for a computer to start up/shutdown, making coffee, etc. I've been trying this with sentences. I like finding more time in my day to work on Latin, even a couple of minutes at a time throughout the day. However, it seems like Anki is designed to make me memorize these sentences, and I'm not sure I want to memory sentences and their translation, I want to be able to read new sentences without any a priori memorization. If I've seen a given sentence four or five times in a week, I stop "seeing" it, and just know what this one means. While that's great for individual vocabulary words, and I'm not sure that's a good use of time for whole sentences. Any thoughts?

Finally, I'm curious what common strategies are for memorizing words with unusual uses or grammar. For example, a list of verbs which take the ablative. In the past, I've just tried to memorize these as a set together. But, now I wonder if it is better to just remember, say, careo's ablativeness along with the definition when I'm memorizing that? If you do try to memorize sets of words like this, it seems that Anki isn't that useful -- it is really designed to help memory linked pairs of words. I suppose folks just use old-fashioned memory trick to memorize these?

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Re: Using Anki flashcards with sentences, not just vocabular

Post by adrianus » Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:22 pm

Gregarius wrote: As for how to easily generate these lists (like at the back of Pharr's Aeneid), I have no good idea, and would eagerly solicit other's opinions.

Exempli gratiâ:
Total word count Unique word count Vocabulary density Words occurring only once
63,719 7,114 8.957 1,021
Showing frequencies for:

P. Vergilius Maro, Aeneid (ed. J. B. Greenough) [sort by Alphabetical order]

Weighted Freq.
Count Word Max. Freq. Min. Freq. This Word Total Key Term Score Definition Lexicon Entries
A 244 0 15.25 15.25 0.0171 littera Lewis & Short, Elem. Lewis
Aba 4 0 1 16.25 0.0035 [unavailable] Lewis & Short
Abas 6 2 3 19.25 0.0061 The twelfth king of Argos, son of Lynceus and Hypermnestra Lewis & Short
Abella 1 1 1 20.25 0.0012 a town of Campania, V. Lewis & Short, Elem. Lewis... sequentia...
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.

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