r/Anki Best Anki settings for language learning?

posted by u/[deleted] on 02 Jan 2019

Hi Anki!

I'm brand new to this app. I love it already. Who needs a girlfriend when you have Anki?

Anyway... What are the best settings for language learning? I'd like to review words that I struggle with each day, then every couple days, then a little more, etc. Right now my settings have it so if I get a word right, it will do it every 4 days. Does anyone have a recommendation for exact settings or a template?


posted by u/[deleted] on 02 Jan 2019 10▲

I use Anki for language learning, and the most important setting I've found is the "Steps (in minutes)" to control when Anki considers you know a word. The default is "1 10" which is too short-term focused (i.e. if I see a word and then 1 and 10 minutes later, yes, I'll probably know it, but the next day I'll probably forget it). You'll have to play around with what works for you, but I've changed it to "60 720 1440" (1, 12, and 24 hours later), and I feel my retention has gone up because I end up seeing it more upfront.

The other one I change is "New Interval" to "20" so marking something as failed doesn't completely reset it.

I've also been experimenting with moving my leeches over to a separate deck with different (smaller, more reps, less new each day) settings so I can focus on those. So far it's going well.

posted by u/dedu6ka on 02 Jan 2019 3▲

> I feel my retention has gone up

There is a quick and reliable way to see your Retention for 60m Delay.

FYI. 1440 will never be = 24h, bec the per-day card is avail for review in the morning; Also 1440 cards go to the Review queue - to the very bottom; so u may not see it Tomorrow. There is an add-on to 'fix' it.

posted by u/[deleted] on 02 Jan 2019 1▲

> There is a quick and reliable way to see your Retention for 60m Delay.

What is that way?

> 1440 will never be = 24h, bec the per-day card is avail for review in the morning

Meh, it's ok. I just want to see it sometime tomorrow.

posted by u/dedu6ka on 03 Jan 2019 1▲

We can twist Anki's arms by

creating a special workflow.

The idea is to click Again only ONCE - only when you failed on step=60m.

Your 60min button serves as 'Again' button; you need to add another Step=55mim.


The first rep: 55 60 Easy; if u recalled a card, click 60

Second rep : 55 240 Easy; stop and go to charts; you will see the retention-%.

Record it ( Total cards and Failed reps ).

Chart for Retention-% for the 2nd Learn Step=60min: http://prntscr.com/m2ffp4


Make a decision -- do u need to decrease the step? 80% is not the target ; plus

10 cards is not enough. So continue till a picture is clearer. After 3 - 5 days you will have a reliable stats and to change the step closer to the unattainable optimum.


When step=55m expires, click 60 ( i never click Again twice in the row) and go on as usual; you will mess up the stats -- but it is already recorded ( for the first batch of cards)! I record them in the Option's 'Description" -- and you will see it every time you are at the Deck info screen.

Score: http://prntscr.com/m2fj5y

.. Feel free to discuss the nitty-gritty; i gave u a basic bare-bones pict.

posted by u/[deleted] on 02 Jan 2019 1▲

Thx so much!! Super helpful and I’ll experiment tomorrow. You’re the best!

posted by u/ijgnord on 02 Jan 2019 6▲

I would read the section about deck options in the manual and try to understand them before you apply settings that are suggested from some anonymous person on the internet.

Also no one can tell you. If you use Anki to learn a list of vocabulary for a test you need different settings then when you learn for life (see the paragraph about retention rate and reviews necessary in the deck options section of the manual).

posted by u/[deleted] on 02 Jan 2019 1▲

Touché... thanks!

posted by u/ijgnord on 03 Jan 2019 2▲

I just remembered a more elegant answer at https://www.reddit.com/r/Anki/comments/9v2b1x/intervals_change_or_no/e9b91j8/ (this whole thread is useful).

posted by u/Sayonaroo on 02 Jan 2019 5▲

I was thinking about this since depending on your settings you can cut down on excessive reviews and save time and use that time towards something else

On this other thread I posted this comment because the op seemed to do more reviews than me :

this year I added 3347 cards to my main deck (I have 2 other decks where i added a few hundred cards. I made new decks because those cards were generated from readlang.com and I like seeing 1 format while reviewing a deck) and I did 24,442 reviews. it says my retention rate for the past year is 89.8%. However I use cloze deletion format so I added more like 1338 cards (it's what I get when I divide the number by 2.5. sometimes I make 1 cloze, usually I make 2, sometimes I make 3) https://choronghi.wordpress.com/2018/05/28/my-cloze-deletion-format-for-korean-anki-cards-made-from-tv-shows/

Op https://www.reddit.com/r/Korean/comments/ab8xah/2018_vocabulary_study_learned_2815_new_words_to/

Hit 5000 cards

67,000 Card Reviews

Just dividing total number of reviews by number of cards, I did (24,000/6000=4 vs 67,000/5000 =13.4 ) way less reviews.

You should decide on an acceptable retention rate and then tweak settings to reach that . for me that's somewhere between 80% to 90%.

I use one step of 2900 and I have it set so good is 7 days and easy is 11 days. this setting works great for me because it allows me to focus on cards I have trouble with. Also I can dump 100 words ( I have my number of new cards shown capped anyway)and not notice much of a difference in my review load. I also limit number of new cards to 30 cards a day