ルリドラゴン ・ Ruri Dragon 🐲 (Absolute Beginner Book Club)

It’s a recurring thing that living beings with horns don’t appreciate having their horns touched. :eyes:


not sure if this has been mentioned before in this club, but I’m wondering if anyone has been/is planning to make anki cards of the new vocab you’ve been encountering in the book? I think it might be worthwhile to enhance my learning, because I’ve been annotating the new words I’m seeing but not really making effort towards memorizing them beyond that. I was thinking about how tokini andy did it with his manga challenge, whenever he encountered a new word he made an anki card for it. But he seemed to have some sort of automation that would quickly create new cards for him (?). To be honest I’ve only ever used pre-made anki decks so I don’t know if it’s worth my time and if so, how to make new cards efficiently. Any thoughts would be appreciated:)


I made a few Anki cards in the past and that did help me remember the vocabulary, but I’m not doing it anymore. The reason is that I think that it’s funnier to read than to do Anki reviews. And as I keep reading, at some point, a word that I encounter several times, I start remembering it, that’s good enough for me.


When I’m reading I don’t bother making anki cards as it ruins the flow. I circle back around afterwards, usually when I’m explaining my understanding to others or just otherwise studyingetc, and add new words/grammar points I don’t already know.

Making your own cards is I find 100% more valuable than premade decks because you connect your own memories of reading and encountering words and that helps with the recall phase, but it also depends on how you set up your cards. I had an overhaul earlier this year to make something like 4-5 sets of cards based off a single note input, and that seems to work well for me, though my daily card reviews looks staggering (but isn’t really).


I write words down with pen on paper, which I guess has been shown in research to improve memory. Sometimes I review the lists and rewrite them, leaving out the words that I remembered easily (or at all). If the percentage of words in a text you don’t know is high, this method can be kind of overwhelming, though, so it might not be preferable at the absolute beginner stage.

That said, I think my 1500+ anki cards (all made by hand, not automated) got wiped somehow, which is actually kind of a relief to me.


I’ve made lists like this before when I was reading through Japanese the Manga Way, but I didn’t really go back and look at the list much. I looked at it a few months later and realized I knew more than half of the words on the list from my Genki studies/wanikani which was kinda cool! So it was kinda a neat way to track progress in vocabulary acquisition

Yeah I think if I were to do further vocab studies from the text, I wouldn’t study EVERY unknown word, I’d probably choose the ones that I think would be useful to know

I’m thinking like, if I see a word in my reading, and I’m like “Huh I think I might want to know this one later,” then I could go ahead and make a card for it. That’s kinda the idea I have right now.

oof I don’t know whether to say sorry or congrats. Lol


@Jintor Thanks for the tips! I get what you mean about how making cards “ruins the flow”, so I’m thinking I might go back and look through my annotations after I finish the book, and pick some of the more useful words to make cards of.

May I ask how you set up 4-5 cards from one note?


Sure, you kind of need a bit of basic HTML/Javascript knowledge to really get the most out of the system for formatting etc. The technical stuff you can find by looking for stuff like ‘custom card types Anki’ or ‘making my own deck Anki’, it’s a bit much for me to guide you through in this post, but there’s plenty of tutorials out there.

Honestly I would probably need to write a whole-ass blog post on this and properly think about the best example card to show, but here’s how I work:

Screenshots of my Anki setup

Let’s take this card I made for 水やり (watering plants) from the manga 朝顔とかせさん as an example:

The bit above the line is the ‘front’ of the card and the bit below the ‘back’. This specific card is testing my recall of pronounciation.

Here’s how I would set it up:

So this is my basic card creator. You can see here I have something about 11 fields, I don’t always fill all of them in, but the types of cards this note will generate depends on which ones you do.

  1. Sentence: I always fill in the sentence where I encountered the word, highlighting the particular word I’m looking to remember. In this case it’s なんだ水やりに来たのか?山田 [the word would be in red on my card]
  2. Meaning.
  3. Elements, breaking down the individual kanji for compound words.
  4. Pronunciation.
  5. Synonyms - this one is very helpful when you’re trying to narrow down particular words and there’s multiple words that mean the same thing.
  6. Notes front
  7. Notes back - just anything extra you want to write (either on the front of a card, before you’ve tried to recall it, or on the back, after you’ve recalled it)
  8. Context - This one is useful - what is the situation where I saw the word? What scene was this in in the manga or work, etc?
  9. Picture (context) - thinking of depreciating this field, I don’t use it that often, but basically it’s ‘where did I encounter this word’ etc. Sometimes I will use manga screenshots for this.
  10. Picture (what it is) - I find this most useful for nouns, but I often plug the word into google image and just get a grabbag of whatever comes up.
  11. Sentence (Cloze) - Repeat the sentence but pull out the word, so in this instance なんだ**[…]**に来たのか?山田 [you’ll see why in a minute].

So this input generated 4 different cards (front and back combos).

Basically I have 4 ‘pairs’ of cards: Test meaning, test pronouncation, test recall, and test from picture. The core of my system is I only ever want to be testing a single piece of information on a word at any given time (I got this from the book Fluent Forever which I think is a good way of thinking about language and flashcards, though I don’t necessarily recommend the associated courses)

So if I’m testing my recall of the meaning of a word, than the front card should give me:

  • The kanji in a sentence
  • The elements of that kanji
  • The pronounciation of the kanji
  • Where I saw
  • Any images to remind me (if needed)

You don’t necessarily want to be punched in the face with all of them, which is why I hide the ‘secondary’ info under the hint tags. This is where the sentence [cloze] comes in, by the way - this is where you might test word recall from meaning. The front would be like:

(Watering plants)

And you brain would be like, oh, 水やり goes where the […] is. Sweet.

I also change a bunch of styles, line weight, colours etc. It’s pretty simple stuff in CSS terms but I think it makes a big help in terms of making sure your eye is drawn to the right places and ‘less important’ or secondary information is deemphasised when reviewing.

I also use a slightly different type of card design to remember grammar points [cloze cards] since they usually need to be explained more.

Sorry if this is just confusing - this is just my own method I’ve arrived at after a lot of experimentation and time. I still need to think about how best to explain it to other people!

It’s also worth noting I make the cards on PC but I mostly study on Ankidroid, so these cards sync via Ankiweb and I can just test myself on my phone basically anywhere.


Wow, thanks for the detailed information! The screenshots are really helpful.
It’s funny that you mention Fluent Forever. I actually have read it, and it was the first language resource I ever looked at once I decided to start learning Japanese. I think I learned a lot from it but I found that because he was talking about how to study languages in general, most of his tips regarding SRS weren’t super easy to apply to Japanese because of kanji. It’s been a while since I read it, but I recall in the book he did talk about Chinese and Japanese a little, but his attitude was more like “These languages are very hard to learn and you’ll have to do extra work because of the writing system!”, but not going into huge detail how to approach it for more than a brief paragraph or two. But it seems like you’ve pretty much solved that in your card setup.

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Yeah, I found it an interesting exercise because he doesn’t give you a step by step for Japanese and Chinese, so you sort of have to extract what works out of his system and adjust for non-romance languages.

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Lmao said i was gonna read along but just didnt but now im lvl 10 and theres vocab lists i should prob start now.


If you want to, you could also start ちいさな森のオオカミちゃん ・ The Wolf of the Small Forest book club! 🌳 (Absolute Beginner Book Club) along with us next week.