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Jul 6, 2011

Learn the Kana with Anki

To continue from the article on learning the kana, one of the most useful tools to aid in learning and retaining knowledge of the kana is an spaced repetition system or SRS for short. My favorite SRS is a program called Anki, which is what I'll be helping you download and start using today. Anki will become your best friend for learning Japanese.

The first step is to visit the Anki website. Either click the link or type into your browser. The site that comes up should look like this.

Now select your operating system from the box that I've highlighted red.

You'll be dropped down to the appropriate section where you'll now click on the download link (highlighted in red again).

Select save file and wait for the download to finish. Once complete, double click the file and begin the installation. The installation is extremely simple – just select where you want it installed and click the install button.

Once installation is complete, click the close button on the installer and open the program. You'll be greeted by a screen like this. The blue area is where your decks will appear once you have made one, so for now it is most likely blank. Click on the download button, highlighted red, and we can get a kana deck.

The download window opens and you'll see a list of decks. The fourth one down, selected in the image, is a combined kana deck that has both Hiragana and Katakana. If you'd like to download it, select it and press Ok. The deck will download and open.

If, on the other hand, you'd like a deck for hiragana only, then type Hiragana into the search box. The third deck listed sounds good, so select it and press ok.

We can do the same to find a katakana deck, and the selected one sounds good. You could also pick another if you wanted.

Whichever deck you choose, you'll find yourself at the study options screen. Click on the New Cards tab to set how many new cards you want introduced each day. You can also set session time limits or card limits in the Review tab. Once you are happy with the settings, click the Review button. You'll see the front side of a card. Try to figure out what it is, then press the spacebar. You'll be greeted with the back of the card and four options (highlighted in red).

Based on how well you knew the character, choose a rating. Hit 1 or click the Again button if you didn't remember the character. Hit 2 or click Good if you remembered, but had some trouble. Press the spacebar or click Easy if you remembered it well. Only press 4 or click Very Easy if you feel like you know the character so well that you don't want to see it for a while.

Rinse and repeat for all cards. Once you finish your cards for the day, you're done. Come back tomorrow and the cards you need to review will be ready and waiting (warmly). Keep reviewing each day and you'll lock the kana into your memory for good.

Now you've learned how to download and setup Anki. You've also learned how to search and download premade decks. Feel free to experiment with other decks!

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  1. this looks really helpful thank you

  2. wow thanks this is really helping me im glad i found this info your giving out

  3. There is no download button on the version I just got. Program uninstalled. Sorry.

    1. They've recently released Anki 2, which has a very different layout when compared to the version shown here. If you download the version from the link below, it should be the same. I'll be making a post soon for Anki 2.