Learn new vocabs anytime, anywhere

After the previous post, you learnt how to set up and use Anki to add new vocabs as well as studying them.

However, if you continue to use Anki for some time, you will start to notice one problem:

  • It’s fast to study words because you just need to guess and then choose “Again”, “Good”, “Easy” on each word.
  • But when it comes to adding a new word into your Anki deck, it’s going to take a lot of time. Because you have to:
    • Write down the word to the “Front”.
    • Look up a dictionary for its meaning.
    • Copy & paste the pronunciation, meaning and examples from the dictionary to the “Back” field in Anki.
    • These steps can take 1-3 minutes for each word. Imagine if you have 20 new words, it would take 20-60 minutes, just to add them to Anki.

Because of this, you won’t be able to add new words as you first see it. For example:

  • When you read a book/article, will you stop on every new word and add it to Anki?
  • When you see an advertisement, will you notice new words and add to Anki?
  • Basically, when you see anything in your daily life, will you stop and add new vocabs into Anki?

The answer is probably no. It will take too much time and will take away the joy of reading/listening/seeing.

But wouldn’t it be useful if you are able to remember all the new words that you encounter every day in your life?

If yes, how to achieve that?

Actually, there’s a way. So instead of directly adding new words into Anki, you write them down on a note first, it could be a paper note or a note app in your phone (I use Wunderlist). Note them down as a list of single word or phrase. For example:

  • You read a Facebook post that says: “It was a remarkable party. I met a lot of amazing friends.”
    • Write down the word “remarkable” in your note.
  • You read a shop sign that goes “Barber”, note it down too.
  • You watch a movie and there’s a line: “He’s a man of dignity. You should treat him with respect”.
    • Note down the word “dignity” and maybe “respect”.
  • etc.

Now that you have a list of words in your note. You need to find some time at night to add all those words into Anki. It may take 20-60 minutes depends on how many words you have per day, but it’ll be worth it in the long run.

Adding new vocabs as you see them every day” is extremely useful because:

  • You get to understand the world around you a bit better every day.
  • You have a strong connection to the word because you saw it in your daily life. You will feel more excited when you study it. It’s not just some random word from a textbook.
  • You begin to notice and look for new words in everything you see every day.
  • The more you do this, the faster it takes you to note it down and add to Anki.
  • Over time, you build a huge collection of practical vocabs that can actually be used in your daily life.

Try it yourself. Try to “add new vocabs as you see them every day”.

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