How To Use Anki: Your Guide To Using Spanish Flashcards (2023)

How To Use Anki: Your Guide To Using Spanish Flashcards (1)

January 23, 2022 by Sofía Godoy Learning Strategies 0 comments

Anki is among the top tools you can use for learning a language. Many students choose it as their go-to alternative for creating digital Spanish flashcards.

Although flashcards may not always be your chosen strategy as a language learner, it’s hard to deny they bring effective results.

Flashcards are excellent for memorizing difficult words and vocabulary. They’re also ideal for establishing a learning routine with goals.

Anki might seem a complex resource, however, mastering it is actually quite intuitive once you have a solid know-how of the basics.

I scoured the web to find all of your questions about how to use Anki. Join me in this in-depth guide to using Anki and Spanish flashcards for elevating your language learning.

Benefits of Using Spanish Flashcards

Flashcards are highly functional when it comes to learning a language. Although it’s one of the oldest tricks in the book, the use of flashcards continues to evolve for Spanish learners.

Choosing between paper and digital flashcards is meant to be easy. Read more about what option is best.

How To Use Anki: Your Guide To Using Spanish Flashcards (2)

Spanish flashcards often come with illustrations, example phrases, and many other digital features. You can now carry them in the comfort of your phone when you use an app like Anki.

As an excellent alternative to classic paper flashcards, Anki Spanish flashcards save you money on paper and supplies, plus they are easy to integrate into your language learning routine.

Flashcards allow you to actively recall information and memorize it efficiently.

Learn more about the perks and benefits of flashcards in this guide on How to Use Spanish Flashcards to Get Fluent Faster.

What Is Anki?

Anki is a digital flashcard tool you can use in any smartphone, computer, or tablet. It enables you to remember and memorize information efficiently pretty much anywhere you are.

How To Use Anki: Your Guide To Using Spanish Flashcards (3)
(Video) How To Use Anki Like A Pro [Full Step-By-Step Walkthrough]

5 Perks of Using Anki

1. It’s a Low Cost Alternative

Downloading Anki is free for Android but requires a payment for IOS. You can also use Anki Web for free. If your only option is IOS, let me tell you the investment is certainly worth it because it brings solid results when you put your time into it.

2. It’s a Popular Language Learning App

People use Anki all around the world. The amount of tutorials, support forums, and Q&A’s you’ll find available online is wide and diverse. The Anki user manual is thoroughly detailed and informative (it’s even in Spanish if you want to give that a try!).

3. It’s Accessible

You can choose between anki desktop, anki android, anki IOS, or anki web app. It’s available in several platforms and adapts to the device you have access to at any given moment you want to use it.

4. It Has Pre-Designed Decks of Flashcards

Anki has existing Spanish flashcard decks you can access for your own use. Users can share decks you can download and use on your personal Anki.

5. You Can Customize It

You can customize it as much as you want. Like I mentioned before, you can add the decks you want to learn to your personal Anki. You can include audio recordings and if you’re a visual learner, add the photos you want.

Anki is also easy to combine with the other Spanish learning resources you’re using. Add it to your routine and mix it up with 5 Strategies to Learn Spanish.

How Does Anki Work?

Anki is made for you to memorize concepts, names, and phrases you’re close to forgetting.

It works through an algorithm that identifies which words are easier or tougher to remember for you.

Anki’s algorithm uses spaced repetition. The spaced repetition technique is a learning strategy where you learn words and vocabulary by letting longer and longer periods of time pass between one training session and the next.

When you use Anki to learn a Spanish word the app creates more and more space between reminders.

Anki shows you the Spanish flashcards you had difficulty remembering right away and it shows you the ones that were easier for you to remember at a later time. As you advance, Anki’s interface shows you how the time between easier flashcards increases.

Ultimately, Anki saves you plenty of time when it comes to learning Spanish. It covers the easier stuff in a short amount of time and dedicates time to what you’re really struggling with.

How To Use Anki: Your Guide To Using Spanish Flashcards (4)

How To Use Anki for Language Learning?

Make the most of Anki and your Spanish flashcards with this step-by-step guide.

1. Download Anki

First, you need to download Anki to your computer. I recommend you start on your computer before your smartphone. The interface is more user-friendly on your Mac or Windows computer.

It’s easier to start your list of Spanish flashcards from your computer and then sync your phone. Once you cover this, you’ll be able to move to your phone for the majority of your language learning.

2. Make Anki Cards

Start by choosing to use a single deck of cards for your language. A “card” is a question and answer pair, or in this case the word in English and Spanish. A “deck” is a group of cards.

Each deck can have different settings, you can choose how many cards to show per day or the time between showing cards. Decks can be organized into a “tree” and carry multiple decks inside of different levels.

You can divide your decks into topics or types of vocabulary you’re studying. Once you name the deck, you can start adding flashcards.

Flashcards on Anki are also known as “notes.” Choose the “basic” (and reversed card) type for your Spanish vocabulary, this one allows you to create a card you can view from front to back and vice versa.

(Video) Spanish Flashcards: Can Flashcards Make You Fluent in Spanish?

The basic (and reversed card) creates a card in both directions similar to this example:

Card 1:

Front: la mesa

Back: the table

Card 2:

Front: the table

Back: la mesa

You customize each card or note by typing in the text, images, or recording audio. Keep it simple and try to start with a small amount of flashcards. Ten is a solid number you can manage as a beginner.

3. Explore Anki’s Other Features

Once you master the creation of notes or flashcards; you’ll be able to test Anki’s other fascinating features.

Anki supports visual learners because it allows you to add photos to the notes. You can take these photos on your own smartphone camera or download stock images for reference.

You can also record yourself saying the words on your notes so you can work on your pronunciation and Spanish listening.

Anki also has a type of flashcard called “cloze” which allows you to input more complex information. Cloze cards give you the option of selecting text and concealing it as an exercise of sentence completion or as questions for more complex topics.

Take advantage of Anki’s free decks of cards related to Spanish. These are created by different and experienced users. Many of them have a rating and specify if they have added resources like audio or images.

How To Use Anki: Your Guide To Using Spanish Flashcards (5)

4. Use Anki on Your Phone

Syncing Anki on your phone allows you to review Spanish flashcards while you wait for the bus, fall asleep, or have some downtime.

For syncing Anki to your phone you need to create an account on AnkiWeb. Then you should download the app to your phone and sync them.

5. Make Anki a Part of Your Routine

Once you set your mind to using Anki, you need to be consistent and committed.

Dedicate, at least, 20 to 30 minutes daily to review flashcards. A break is certainly advised so you don’t feel overwhelmed. You can add a break on one out of seven days.

Don’t review more than 10 new flashcards a day. You want to study them in detail, so adding large amounts might be too much and will force you to just cover the content without fully grasping it. This number might sound low but it’s actually way more than you think.

Although you might feel like you can go ahead at times and may want to review more, you should consider that 10 new words per day is thousands of new words per year.

(Video) How to Use Anki to Learn Languages (Spanish Subs)

Anki is meant to complement your other language learning strategies, so even if it’s already part of your routine you shouldn’ just concentrate on Anki. Learn to combine it with conversation, reading, videos, traveling, and other Spanish apps.

Discover what other effective resources you can use in these lists of the Best Spanish Vocabulary-building Apps and 10 Websites to Help You With Spanish Homework.

Best Spanish Flashcards for Anki

I strongly recommend creating your own decks of flashcards to start exploring the app. If you create your own, you’re exercising your capacity of memorizing and retaining this information.

If you don’t know where to start, I’ve selected this collection of vocabulary lessons for you to create your Spanish flashcards for beginners with Anki.

  • The Ultimate Vocabulary Guide to Furniture in Spanish.
  • The Spanish Supermarket: 100+ Vocab Words
  • A Massive List of Adjectives in Spanish for Beginners
  • A Vocabulary Guide to Personality Words in Spanish
  • Art and Painting Vocabulary in Spanish
  • Share Your Daily Routine in Spanish: A Vocabulary Guide
  • The Ultimate List of Spanish Greetings and Farewells for Beginners
  • 200+ Names of Animals in Spanish

If you feel ready to take it up a notch you can use this list of Advanced Spanish Vocabulary.

Use Your Anki Flashcards For Spanish Class

Flashcards are undeniably a Spanish learning strategy that works. Trying it through a modern and successful tool like Anki will keep you motivated and engaged.

Complement your amazing flashcard skills with live, 1-on-1 Spanish immersion where each class is guaranteed to level up your fluency. Sign up for a free trial class with our team of native, Spanish-speaking teachers from Guatemala.

Speaking Spanish takes you closer to top professional opportunities. According to Forbes Magazine, bilingualism is highly valued in the workplace and provides more competitive income. Take your productivity to the next level thanks to one of our flexible Spanish programs.

How To Use Anki: Your Guide To Using Spanish Flashcards (6)

Join one of the 40,000 classes that we teach each month and you can experience results like these

How To Use Anki: Your Guide To Using Spanish Flashcards (8)

“It’s great being able to interact with native speaking people and having a conversation with them not just doing all the work on paper. It’s also an amazing opportunity to speak with native Spanish-speaking people without having to travel to a native Spanish-speaking country.”

– Melanie

How To Use Anki: Your Guide To Using Spanish Flashcards (9)

“HSA offers very affordable, quality, one on one classes with a native speaker. My son has greatly benefited from taking classes. We have seen his confidence increase as well as his pronunciation improve, because he learns from a native Spanish speaker. HSA has quick, personal customer service. I have appreciated the one on one interaction and teaching that my son gets from his teachers. He has gotten to know his teachers, which has increased his confidence in speaking Spanish. Our family has been very pleased with our experience so far!”

– Maple, Parent of 3

How To Use Anki: Your Guide To Using Spanish Flashcards (10)

“My Son, Heath, is taking the classes. He’s been with Luisa the entire time and we absolutely love her. She is always patient and is a great teacher. Heath’s dad speaks Spanish so they get to have little conversations.”

– William R, Parent of 3

(Video) The "Anki Method": Build a BIG Spanish Vocabulary with the Anki App

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Sofía Godoy

Freelance Writer at Homeschool Spanish Academy

Native speaker of English and Spanish, I’m a sustainable travel and social impact entrepreneur who loves going to new places and meeting people from different cultures and backgrounds. I love spending time with my family and being outdoors with my dogs. Writing, communicating, and creating are my passions. I strongly believe there are more creative ways to solve the issues our world is facing and I like doing my part in any way I can.

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learn Spanish learning strategies


How do you use Anki to learn Spanish? ›

The Anki language app works like this: you plug in your vocab, review your words for the day, then tell Anki how easy or difficult those words were to remember. You do this by selecting: easy, medium, or hard. Anki uses this information to plug these cards into its algorithm.

How do you use Anki flashcards effectively? ›

Related Coverage
  1. Create your own cards. ...
  2. Find classmates who use Anki, too. ...
  3. Organize the decks. ...
  4. Use spaced repetition to its fullest. ...
  5. Use it every day—not to cram. ...
  6. Take advantage of community decks.
Sep 6, 2018

Can you use Anki for Spanish? ›

Anki is among the top tools you can use for learning a language. Many students choose it as their go-to alternative for creating digital Spanish flashcards. Although flashcards may not always be your chosen strategy as a language learner, it's hard to deny they bring effective results.

Is Anki enough to learn a language? ›

Sure, Anki won't necessarily teach you a language from scratch, but it's a powerful tool for self-studying languages that lets you review vocabulary, grammar and phrases.

How many hours a day should I do Anki? ›

How Long Should it Take to Review Anki Every Day? Short answer: Old cards: ≤ 1 hour per 100 reviews. New cards: 1-2 minutes/new review.

How many Anki cards should I study a day? ›

Our suggested 10 new cards per day is a good starting point, but if it's too much then you could decrease it to 5 flashcards per day. But if you find that you can stay on top of all your Anki reviews a day, then you can increase it to 20 new cards a day.

How many Anki flashcards should I do per day? ›

Generally I recommend to start at 20 per day, do it for a week or two so that your daily reviews balance out, and then decide if you want to do more or less. Keep in mind, consistency is the most important thing here. It doesn't matter if you do 80 new cards per day if you only do it once per week.

How long should you spend on each Anki card? ›

Here's the general time pattern:
  • Learn a card the first time. Average time: 1-5 minutes. ...
  • First review of that card. Average time: 20-60 seconds. ...
  • Every consecutive review of that card. Average time: 5-20 seconds. ...
  • Cards marked incorrect now appearing again. Average time: 5-60 seconds.
Jul 12, 2017

Are flash cards a good way to learn Spanish? ›

Flashcards are one of the most useful tools for learning a new skill. Learning Spanish with flashcards is a great option to add to your learning toolkit, because it makes the process simple, easy, quick, fun, and helps speed your memorization of any information.

Do flashcards help with Spanish? ›

Flashcards can be an important tool for learning Spanish, whether you're about to travel overseas, want to learn a new language for your job, or want to help your kids learn for school or just as life preparation.

Is Anki better than flashcards? ›

As Anki uses spaced repetition it is definitely the more effective of the two flashcard apps for getting you to learn vocab.

What does the CIA use to learn languages? ›

The Defense Language Institute (Where CIA Spies Study Languages) The Defense Language Institute (“DLI”), located in Monterey, California, is where the CIA, members of the U.S. armed forces and various other government agencies go to learn foreign languages.

Is Anki better than duolingo? ›

If you will ask us, there is only one specific question that you need to ask yourself when choosing which one to use: Do I want gamified content? If the answer is yes, then Duolingo is perfect for you. If not, then the simplicity of Anki will surely be the match for your needs.

Can Anki make you fluent? ›

The statement "Anki will help you reach fluency" is mathematically impossible : r/languagelearning.

Is 3 months enough to learn Spanish? ›

It is possible to learn Spanish in 3 months, but it is true that to fully master the language to a native level, you will need more time. An intensive Spanish course covering all levels (from A1 to C2) consists of 62 weeks (about 15 months in total).

Can I become fluent in Spanish in 6 months? ›

If you can manage to combine being surrounded by native Spanish speakers and by the Spanish language itself, you will be able to become fluent in 6 months (given that you will put efforts into study).

What is the fastest way to become fluent in Spanish? ›

How to become fluent in Spanish: Takeaways
  1. Try a Student Exchange with a Spanish Family.
  2. Take Spanish at School or College or even a Spanish language course.
  3. Travel to Spain or South America.
  4. Live abroad (temporarily or permanently)
  5. Make Spanish friends in person or online.
  6. Listen, speak, read and write as much as you can.
Mar 14, 2022

Should I do Anki in the morning or evening? ›

But I'm talking more about where to put the “heavy studying.” For most people, this comes down to when to do Anki, or kanji, or some major focus task. The answer is without a doubt: first thing in the morning.

Can I study all my Anki cards at once? ›

To study all Radiology cards at once, click on “Radiology Flashcards” in the home screen in Anki. c. To study a custom set of decks at once, you will need to create a filtered deck. To create a filtered deck, you must use tags.

What does 1m mean on Anki? ›

"1m" means 1 minute. "4d" means 4 days.

Why do people like Anki so much? ›

Anki is so popular and powerful because many of its add-ons and integrations make it quick and easy to create cards that have all the info you need — without having to fuss around too much.

How do you do Anki without getting bored? ›

Another auditory aspect that may help your retention percentage is reading the card aloud. I did this whenever I got super bored of reading the card, so I could keep going to finish up the interval of studying. Another “peripheral” when doing Anki cards is adding memes to cards so you won't get bored.

How can I learn Anki fast? ›

Use A Timer To Review Quicker

Now the best tip that I have for you, regardless of whether you use premade Anki decks or make your own cards, is to give yourself a timer for each Anki card that you do. Usually, I give myself 5 to 10 seconds. During that time, I ask myself how much do I really know.

How much is too much flashcards? ›

No more, no less. Some Classes can be broken down into anywhere between three and 40 Decks, with anywhere between 15 and 400 cards in each. The sweet spot is generally between 20 and 200 cards per deck.

What does 10m mean in Anki? ›

For the New Cards, I recommend these settings: The Learning steps setting is set to 10m 1d 3d. This means that pressing Again shows the card in 10 minutes and pressing Good would show the card after 1 day, then after you press “Good” on that, you'll see it again after 3 days.

How many new words should I learn a day Anki? ›

By following this approach, at the beginning of your learning process, your deck would fill up terribly quickly. Therefore, you might find yourself investing too much time in it. This is why I recommend adding words sparingly, in particular no more than 20 words per day.

Can you pause Anki for a day? ›

Being able to come back from a break to find Anki in exactly the same state you left it in may sound attractive, but unfortunately while it's easy to tell the computer to suspend its estimates of how quickly you are forgetting, it's not possible to suspend your memory, so memories will continue to decay if you don't ...

Do Anki decks expire? ›

As AnkiWeb is a free service, we need to periodically delete unused account data to keep costs down. Decks stored in your account will expire if your account is not accessed in 6 months or longer.

What is the easiest way to teach yourself Spanish? ›

7 of the Best Ways to Learn Spanish
  1. Download an app on your phone. ...
  2. Subscribe to a Spanish-language podcast. ...
  3. Watch the news in Spanish. ...
  4. Start a conversation club. ...
  5. Carry a Spanish-English dictionary with you… ...
  6. Sign up for a language class. ...
  7. Spend time in a Spanish-speaking country.
Dec 18, 2017

How can I learn Spanish fast by myself? ›

The 18 Best Ways to Learn Spanish by Yourself
  1. Watch Movies and TV.
  2. Learn from Authentic Videos with FluentU.
  3. Learn Grammar with Textbooks.
  4. Learn Vocabulary from Novels.
  5. Immerse Yourself Wherever You Are.
  6. Listen to Radio and Podcasts.
  7. Download Spanish Apps.
  8. Travel to Spanish-speaking Countries.
Jul 20, 2022


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