Anki

ankiAnki is a helpful educational app that can be used on a PC, tablet or cell phone to learn Japanese, or just about anything you like. The app makes use of spaced repetition which aids the language learning process greater than traditional flashcard techniques. The intelligent application assesses the learners progress over time, customising the flashcards to each user. Words or phrases you have already fully mastered are not shown again, and more attention is focused on expanding on other unknown areas. The app can be downloaded free of charge, and everyone’s experience is unique to them thanks to the wide range of decks and additional plug-ins.

Pros
· Free to use, however purchasing app for the iPhone will set you back $25 (a good investment for language learners)
· You can tailor the app and flashcards to your own needs and skill level when installing.
· New cards can be designed on the app for specific words or phrases, and you can also use the download area to choose other people’s created cards.
· The SRS technique of learning shows better results than ordinary flashcards.
· Highly suited to most devices including PC, Mac and Linux, as well as Android and iOS platforms.
· Excellent access anywhere you are, AnkiWeb syncs your current flashcards to all devices wirelessly- great for on the bus, at home or the office.
· Fantastic community support, including from the designer.

Cons
· The app can be used by virtually anybody with ease, however the customisable parts are not as easy to grasp- those not accustomed to modern computing can stumble here.
· Can be difficult to start up to begin with, and can quickly go wrong- watch the how-to video beforehand to avoid problems.

Verdict?
Anki is my personal favourite app for learning Japanese via flashcards. The massive cache of cards and specific decks make learning easy and fun. It can work on almost any platform on the market, and can be synced to stay with you on the go. Users of other similar apps like TextFugu also have Anki for its extensive vocabulary. Yes, the app is confusing at first because of the multiple options available, but persevere and you will have a handy, intelligent little app at your disposal wherever you decide to learn.


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