This article was originally posted on WomenLearnThai.com.
Anki Flashcard Decks: The introduction…
Anki is a Flashcard based spaced repetition program. It can help you to study Thai by training new words using flashcards. You can create your own flashcard decks.
In this document I’ll show you how you can make your own flashcard decks that include:
- Audio (Thai and English)
- Pictures (from schoolbooks)
- Thai script
I’ll be using the official schoolbooks for P.1 and P.2 but you can use any other Thai course book with pictures. You’ll need an electronic or scanned version of the books. The result will look like this:
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So, what do you need to make this?
1. You need pictures. Pictures can come from any source. The official Thai schoolbooks contain hundreds of little drawings so they are a great source of pictures. Below the drawings you’ll find meaning of the picture in Thai. Many schoolbooks are available for download on the net (from legal websites). Here are some links:
The SEALANG website:
All older P.1 to P.6 Thai language schoolbooks (click on LAB – Basal readers).
2. You need a program called Anki, which is a space repetition flashcard program. Anki is available for Linux, Android, iOS, OSX and Windows. Oh yes, and it’s free.
3. You need a computer or smartphone.
4. You need any Text-to-Speech (TTS) engine. In this example I use the audio of google Translate (which is quite good and not to be confused with the translations of google translate). Google translate is a free online service. If you have you have an APPLE system you could also use the tools provided by APPLE.
5. You need a plugin for Anki that will convert pictures and their file names into flashcards. This plugin is called “Media Import”.
These steps have to be done only once (at time of installation).
Step 1: Install Anki:
- Go to ankisrs.net
- And download and install Anki.
Step 2: Install AwesomeTTS:
- Start Anki.
- In the Anki menu click on: Tools / Add-ons / Browse & Install.
- Enter the following code in the dialog box: 301952613.
- And click on OK.
Step 3: Install Media import:
- Start Anki.
- In the Anki menu click on : Tools / Add-ons / Browse & Install.
- Enter the following code in the dialog box : 1531997860.
- And click on OK.
Creating a flashcard deck…
This step needs to be done only once. If you start from an existing deck you can skip this step. In the Anki window click on the “Create Deck” button (at the bottom of the window).
In the “Create Deck” dialog box fill in ”school book” and click on the “OK” button.
In the Anki window click on “Add”
In the “Add” dialog box click on “Fields…”. The “fields for Basic” dialog box will pop up.
In the “Field for Basic” dialog box use the “add”, “delete” and “rename” buttons to create 4 fields (remove other fields):
Field for Basic dialog box:
- Phonetics Thai
- Click on the “close” button in the “fields or basic” dialog box.
- In the “Add” dialog box click on the “Cards…” button.
The “card types for Basic” dialog box will pop up. First let’s create the layout for a card with English on the frontside and Thai on the backside. In the “Card types for Basic” dialog box fill in the “Front Template” and “Back Template” field as shown in the picture and click on the close button. You can copy/paste the fields from here:
Now let’s create the layout for a card with Thai on the frontside and English on the backside. Click the “+” button, in the fields as shown and click on close. You can copy/paste the fields from here:
Click on the “close” button in the “add” dialog box.
Adding data to the deck…
First you’ll need to collect pictures from the schoolbooks. You can do this with the help of a PDF viewer and just take screenshots of the selected area. Only select the picture (not the text). Keep the selection as small as possible.
- On ubuntu you just press shift-printscreen.
- On MAC you just press Command-Shift-4.
- On windows 7 and up you can use the snipping tool to do so.
Save the file and give it the name of the Thai word (later on you’ll also need the transliteration).
Step 1: create new cards based on file names.
- Select “Tools- Media Import …” from the Anki menu.
- Browse to the directory where you’ve stored your pictures and select the other field as shown in the picture.
Step 2: adding other data to the cards.
Click on “Browse” in the main Anki window.
Select “school book” by clicking on it.
Click on the card you want to add data to in the list and fill in the remaining fields (English and Phonetics Thai).
- Go back to the browse window and make sure your deck is selected.
- Select “edit/select all” in the anki menu.
- Select “AwesomeTTS/Add audio to selected” in the anki menu.
- Fill in the dialog box as follows and click on generate.
Do the same thing one more time for English.
Replacing incorrect audio:
If AwesomeTTS would generate incorrect audio you can replace the generated audio with your own file.
- Click on “browse” in the main Anki window.
- Select your deck (school book) on the left side.
- Select the faulty card.
- Delete the “[sound:xxxx]” part from the “Thai” or “English” field (depending on if the mistake is in English or Thai) and upload your own audio by clicking on the paper-clip).
Create a filtered deck with only English-Thai cards:
The deck you’ve made contains both Thai-English and English-Thai cards. To study for instance only English-Thai you can create a filtered deck. Select “Tools/Create filtered deck…” from the main menu and choose only card1, which is the English-Thai cards like this: (change the maximum number of cards you want to have in your new deck if necessary).
If you want to make a deck with only Thai-English cards, replace card:1 by card:2.
Rescheduling a deck for new study:
Anki limits how many times you can review a certain card on one day. But you can manually reschedule your deck for new study.
You can reschedule your deck for new study via the browse window:
- Go to the main Anki window.
- Click on Browse (on the top of the window).
- Select your decks (schoolbook) on the left side.
- Choose edit/select all in the menu…
- …and then choose Edit/reschedule in the menu.
Exporting a deck: Sharing it with others:
To export a deck (to share it with others):
- Go to the main Anki window.
- Click on “Decks” (on the top of the window).
- Choose File/Export… from the menu.
You’ll now see the Export dialogue box:
- Un-ckeck “Include scheduling information”.
- Check “Include media”.
- Choose your deck “school book” in the include field.
Creating filtered decks with cards of only 1 lesson:
You can also create filtered decks that contain only the vocabulary of 1 lesson. For that you just fill in the “Tags” field when you add or browse the cards.
When creating all filtered deck you could select for instance all…
- English-Thai cards
- of lesson 1
…by filling in the following the “Tools/Create filtered deck …” dialog box.