Kindle SRS: what is the most effective Anki format?

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kunsttyv
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Kindle SRS: what is the most effective Anki format?

Postby kunsttyv » Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:11 pm

Much of my language learning time is spent reading stuff on the Kindle (preferably while listening to the spoken version) . And while the Kindle popup dictionaries are very useful, I find it hard to make the low-frequency words stick without reviewing them. Thus, I've just done something I've been meaning to do for a long time: write a piece of software that takes all the words I've looked up in a specific Kindle e-book and turn them into Anki flashcards.

Here is the information I got to work with (in addition to some not too relevant metadata):
  • Name of the e-book
  • The word that was looked up
  • Corresponding word stem
  • Context sentence
  • Dictionary entry

To begin with, I've been experimenting with generating L2 -> L1 flashcards, to try to recall the meaning of the L2 word in context. The nice thing about the context sentence, is that I get the opportunity to revisit fun snippets of texts I've read earlier, and hopefully get to be personally invested in the cards.

However, there seems to be many ways to create these cards: L1 -> L2 cards, cloze cards etc. Since I have both the looked up word and the corresponding stem, there's a possibility for creating conjugation exercise cards. What are your experiences with flashcards for vocabulary acquisition. What has been the most effective for you?

Here's an example of the current format I'm dealing with, from a Radio Ambulante episode.

Image Image
Last edited by kunsttyv on Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kindle SRS: what is the most effective Anki format?

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:02 pm

Well done. Your results look very useful and effective, even for someone like me, not a big fan at all of ANKI.
What kind of Kindle do you use?
Does it give you all the data that appears in the image, or do you have to add some data manually?

My Kindle Touch (2nd generation, I think) gives me this kind of information:

"La novela de Genji (Pack) (Spanish Edition) by Murasaki Shikibu
"You have 30 highlighted passages
"You have 22 notes
"Last annotated on September 2, 2016
"indiscutida.Read more at location 1312
"Note: indisputable Edit "

I'm curious, does your Kindle give you more information than that? Does it format it differently?
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Re: Kindle SRS: what is the most effective Anki format?

Postby ロータス » Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:17 pm

L2->L1. Since you learn by reading, your example should help you just fine :)
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Re: Kindle SRS: what is the most effective Anki format?

Postby kunsttyv » Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:36 pm

MorkTheFiddle wrote:What kind of Kindle do you use?
Does it give you all the data that appears in the image, or do you have to add some data manually?

I use a regular Kindle Paperwhite. The thing is that the dictionary lookups are stowed away in an SQL database file called vocab.db. The lookup word and the context sentence are in different database tables from the lemma for some reason, so they need to be linked together by comparison. Finally, I had to de-DRM and convert the dictionary for it to be searchable by my program. Everything is very ad-hoc, but it seems to be working fine and I don't have to add anything manually.

I'm going to try this out with the hundred something cards that was generated from the Radio Ambulante e-book lookups, and see how I like it. I'll report back!
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Re: Kindle SRS: what is the most effective Anki format?

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Sat Jan 14, 2017 6:32 pm

kunsttyv wrote:
MorkTheFiddle wrote:What kind of Kindle do you use?
Does it give you all the data that appears in the image, or do you have to add some data manually?

I use a regular Kindle Paperwhite. The thing is that the dictionary lookups are stowed away in an SQL database file called vocab.db. The lookup word and the context sentence are in different database tables from the lemma for some reason, so they need to be linked together by comparison. Finally, I had to de-DRM and convert the dictionary for it to be searchable by my program. Everything is very ad-hoc, but it seems to be working fine and I don't have to add anything manually.

I'm going to try this out with the hundred something cards that was generated from the Radio Ambulante e-book lookups, and see how I like it. I'll report back!

A number of people might find this useful, though probably not many want to fiddle with de-DRMing a Kindle dictionary.
You've made a very nice program.
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Re: Kindle SRS: what is the most effective Anki format?

Postby kunsttyv » Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:12 pm

Thanks for the encouragement!

I've discovered a weakness with the dictionary lookup. It only searches for the first headword occurrence in the dictionary, but sometimes the same word can belong to several classes of words, eg. the adjective paliativo and the noun paliativo. Most often the meanings are interchangeable, but not always. I'm going to rewrite it to get all the headwords on the back side of the cards.

It has been five days, and I've seen 100+ cards, suspended a bunch I didn't like, and have 3 left in the deck. iQué horror! I need to read more to get more cards asap. One really surprising thing is that I almost couldn't answer a single card correctly the first time I saw it, even though I had looked up the word earlier while reading the book. On the other hand, almost all of the cards I saw the first couple of days of Anki are sticking well now after a few repetitions. I have to say this is really promising, even though I don't know yet if I'll be able to recall the meaning when I see the words again outside of this specific context.

I was particularly excited to review the cards from the La caída de River episode of the Radio Ambulante podcast. It's about the live meltdown of the main sports commentator of River Plate, when the team was relegated from the Argentine top division in 2011, something that had not happened in more than 100 years. The episode is bloated with desperation, pitch black humor and lots of sweet Argentine Spanish flavored swearing. Recommended!
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Re: Kindle SRS: what is the most effective Anki format?

Postby kunsttyv » Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:13 pm

I LR-ed the most recent Radio Ambulante episode yesterday, and just have to reiterate what an awesome resource this is for Spanish learners. ~30 hours of well produced engaging stories from all over Latin America, with very accurate accompanying transcripts, and even an English translation (I don't use it however). The ebook I created from the transcripts contains a quarter million words, that is to say the equivalent of 1000 book pages. Needless to say, this is a treasure trove of modern colloquial Latin American Spanish.

While my main focus is to learn the Spanish from Spain, I don't think there's anything wrong with a little diversity in my language consumption.
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Re: Kindle SRS: what is the most effective Anki format?

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Wed Jan 18, 2017 7:39 pm

kunsttyv wrote:While my main focus is to learn the Spanish from Spain, I don't think there's anything wrong with a little diversity in my language consumption.
This knotty problem comes up frequently on this forum. Spanish studies began for me so long ago that I simply can't remember whether it confused me then. Certainly now the differences no longer confuse me. Hearing a Castilian accent sets off a muffled chime in my head, and then that's it. This surely varies from learner to learner, but the biggest problem that I have is with the Argentinian accent. But with more practice, I am sure the problem would go away.
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