#3-2020-Apr-“Learn how to make sentences in Spanish by using flashcards without being overwhelmed by present/past/future”

tl;dr: Learning a language is hard. I find the spanish conjugation especially hard. This is a set of flashcards to practice one “verb-tense” at a time for the most common verbs.

Motivation

My primary motivation for learning Spanish is that I live in Spain and I want to understand and communicate with the locals. I have found decks of flashcards for learning the vocabulary. But I have not found any good resources for learning how to use verbs correctly. And I am stuck speaking in the present tense. I have tried a physical grammar book but it is hard to make it stick without flashcards. I have met a lot of Spanish learners the last year, and it seems like many others struggle with the verbs.

Since I have the advantage of knowing some programming and having an expert (my Spanish girlfriend) I started creating these flashcards.

Who is this for?

Intermediate Spanish learners who wants to learn how to use verbs in different tenses.

How it works

../_images/forgetting_curve.pngforgetting_curve

The forgetting curve (shown above) shows that we have a tendency to forget things rather quickly. But if we are reminded at smart intervals we can remember things forever. These reminders are less frequent the longer we learn. Flashcards are an effective tool for memorizing, and it works by reminding you just before you forget.

Installation

  1. You need to install anki to use these cards. (Anki is the best way to practice flashcards. It is cross platform but you have to pay to use the ios version)

  2. Set your user name and download the flashcards from the flashcards page. See what is tracked and why?

  3. File -> Import the files from previous step and start practicing :)

The flashcards

The flashcards are organized into decks. Where each deck is for a single tense.

../_images/decks.pngdecks

Each flashcard has a table of the conjugation.

../_images/conjugation_table.pngconjugation_table

Each flashcard have a single verb per card with 7-10 example sentences.

../_images/sentences_decir.pngsentences_decir

You try to conjugate it before clicking on the button to reveal the correct conjugation.

FAQ

Why not a single sentence on each card?

I believe it is easier to keep a single verb in memory at a time. And I think one needs a few repetitions before learning how to do it.

Why 7-10 example sentences?

No particular reason, please give feedback if you think it is too few/many.

What is tracked and why?

Each card sends a web request to my api with:

  1. The deck name

  2. The question name

  3. The user-name you put in when you downloaded the cards

Why? I am curious to see how many people use these cards. Also, I hope to offer an interface for people to see their progress.

NB: If you don’t want me to see your progress just put in some jibberish in the user-name field

How to give feedback?

Feedback is greatly appreciated :) Please send me an email or a message.

How do I make these cards?

  1. Export the verb cards from the shared deck (see below)

  2. Conjugation by verbecc

  3. Download the sentences from tatoeba

  4. Starting from the verbs collected (1) conjugate the verb and find sentences used in the form.

  5. Upload sentences to google sheet

  6. My girlfriend quality checks them and make changes

  7. Download sentences, include html snippets for replacing words and adding tracking

  8. Using anki src code to create/update my decks with the cards and exporting the apkg files

  9. Upload apkg files to mongodb

  10. Serve apkg files and modify them to include the username with a flask api running in my kubernetes cluster

  11. Tracking is done by another api that writes to influxdb also running in my kubernetes cluster

Acknowledgement

  • The pictures and base notes are based on the shared deck Spanish Top 5000 Vocabulary

  • The sentences comes from the spanish native sentences of Tatoeba

  • Conjugation by verbecc

  • My patient, helpful, and loving girlfriend <3