1000-word German flashcard deck
My corona lockdown insanity could now be your flashcard deck
I’ve kept working on my Anki card format and now have a much better template than the one I use in this deck.
My new template automatically generates cloze deletions based on example sentences (no need to make separate notes for clozes or make “fake” clozes on basic cards by hand) and color-codes nouns by gender using conditional formatting.
Check out the template, or read my post about conditional formatting in Anki based on field contents.
You can find those posts on my language blog, Monoglot Anxiety. I decided it was best to separate my language hobby from my personal homepage, so all future German/Anki posts will be there.
After finishing Duolingo German, I started making digital flashcards so that I’d have something to keep my iThumbs occupied through corona lockdown better than scrolling through the reams of international and domestic horrors served up by my newsfeed. I ended up spending months of experimenting with Anki and looking into popular German vocabulary sets online, and this 1000-word flashcard deck of core German vocabulary is the result.
I put a lot of thought into my deck and drew a lot from my experience learning German to inform what words to include and how to build the cards.
Thoughtful vocabulary choice
- Balance1 between nouns (499) and other parts of speech: 230 verbs, 212 adjectives and adverbs, 59 prepositions and conjunctions
- 100 most frequently used and dozens I encountered often as I learned to read German books and news
- Abstract nouns important for comprehension in addition to the usual concrete noun categories (animals, foods, jobs, etc.)
- Expands core noun, verb, and adjective vocabulary from the popular Fluent Forever 625 Base Vocabulary Word List
- Omits pronouns, articles, most numbers, and other words that you probably already know and which are anyways better learned by immersion or focused grammar study
Example sentences pulled from real German sentences for every word
- Sources included Linguee, Reverso Context, and the Goethe Institut A1-B1 word list
- Base form of verbs and nouns (or identical form) consistently used to avoid ambuguity, especially if you use the examples to make your own close deletion cards
Card types with consistent design for easy import of new cards. See this Google Drive sheet for an example of how you could format an excel spreadsheet for easy import.
Cards teach important grammatical properties of words
- Distinct card types for nouns, verbs, prepositions, and other
- Special cards generated to teach noun plural and verb conjugation
My deck is available for anyone to use for free on Anki
Spaced repetition has been shown to improve memory retention under some circumstances, and based on my experience digging around on Anki enthusiast forums and blogs, it seems that Anki’s core (or at least most vocal) demographic is a combination of med students and quiz bowl types, a crowd united in its need to absorb and retain heaps of minutea.
Language learners also need to absorb and retain heaps of minutea, and there are plenty of spaced repetition softwares out there made specificaly with language learners in mind. The famous Pimsleur Language Programs are based on spaced repetition, as are Memrise, Quizlet, and Wanikan
The main reason I like Anki is that it allows me to make my own cards and sync them across my devices for free—which is something anyone can enjoy even if you’re not interested in getting into the Anki-optimization weeds.
Get the cards and vocabulary list
If you haven’t used Anki before, you’ll first need to make an AnkiWeb account and download Anki for your desktop or phone. Once you’re logged into AnkiWeb, you can simply click the “Download” button on my deck’s page to access it through Anki. You can then either use the flashcards in your browser through AnkiWeb or sync your phone/desktop app to your AnkiWeb account to use the cards wherever you go. I recommend using the phone app!Google Drive vocabulary list
I’m currently also playing around with the idea of making “expansion packs” of vocabulary built around certain themes (food, high fantasy, politics, etc.) that work with my card formats. If that ends up happnening I will of course also make the Google Sheets available as well for anyone who prefers to make their own cards.
Don’t hesitate to reach out if you notice an error in the cards or want to help with improving them. I hope they’re useful!