Creating same vocabulary cards with varying frequencies

I’m creating some notes for Greek New Testament vocabulary words. Here are some goals, bug I’m not sure how to achieve all three:

  1. Have one deck containing all the words in the Greek New Testament, sorted by frequency of occurrence across the whole New Testament.
  2. Have one deck for each book of the New Testament, containing all the words that appear in a single book. Each of these decks will be sorted by word frequency within a single New Testament book.
  3. When I learn a word in one deck, I won’t have to re-learn that word in other decks.

I could create one note for each New Testament word. Then I could create a frequency field for how often the word appears across the whole New Testament, and several other book-specific frequency fields. I’m not sure what the next step is, though. I’ve thought about filtered decks and tags, but I can’t figure out a way to achieve all three goals at once. :thinking:

What’s the best way to do this in Anki?

I would suggest using subdecks. Have one deck for the whole Greek New Testament, then one subdeck for each book.
This way you would only have one note/card for each word, and you wouldn’t relearn them.
However, I don’t really understand what you mean by “sorted by frequency of occurrence”. I mean, I do understand what that means, but I don’t understand what you expect from Anki once you have entered the frequency of occurrence of each word.

Thanks for the subdeck suggestion! I’ll look into that some more.

I’ll try to explain what I meant about frequencies a bit better. When Anki shows me new vocabulary cards to learn each day, I’d like it to show me the words that occur most often before it shows me words that don’t occur much. That way, I can make the best use of my time by focusing on common words instead of rare ones.

It seems like this behavior could get a little tricky to configure, though, because that behavior is dependent on the context/deck. When I look at a deck for the whole New Testament, I’d like to learn words that occur most often across all books first. When I look at a subdeck for the book of John, though, I’d like to start learning words that occur most often in just that book, even if those words aren’t as common in the New Testament as a whole.

Hi, and welcome to the forums. I wanted to reach out to you because it looks like our need for Anki converges here, as I also study NT Greek vocabulary. Your mention of vocabulary by frequency makes me think of the frequency lists in Metzger’s Lexical Aids which I have been using for years. Are you also using Metzger?

Anyway, I can share what I have, or at least the set up to get you going. Here is a screenshot of one of my cards (with the answer side showing):

As you can see, I have built this card type around Metzger’s vocabulary lists, although I also include other words as needed (which would be those fewer than 10 times in the New Testament). The note type will generate cards for both Greek first and English first, thus two cards per vocab note.

If you are just getting started, I could share some of this with you so you could take it from there. As for organization, your needs are a little different than mine: I just have all of my vocabulary in a single deck (I also have another deck for grammar matters, including a lot of conjugation stuff). Since you want to sort by frequency and also by the New Testament book, then here are my recommendations.

Let’s start with New Testament book: each vocabulary item in most cases would appear in more than one book. Because of that, subdecks are not the way to go, because then each card would have to be duplicated to each subdeck, and those copies would function independently from each other, and so you would not achieve your goal #3 in the original post. Instead, this is a case for tags. You can tag each vocabulary card with a tag for each book the word appears in. When it comes to learning the cards, I normally would recommend you do not worry about which book of the Bible the word appears in. Rather, once a term is learned, allow Anki to keep presenting it according to its schedule so that you never get a chance to forget it. However, there may well be times when reviewing the terms in a particular book would be useful to you, and that is where the tags will come in handy. Since you would have tagged your cards by book, you can set up a custom study by tag so you can review cards by book for the extra review.

Now comes frequency. On the notes as I have set them up, the frequency is one of the fields, so that information is already encoded in each card. It would be possible to create filtered decks based on the content of that field in a similar way to the tags I described above, but it might not be a convenient an approach if you do need to have them regularly separated into separate decks. If such is the case, I think that is where you would want to use subdecks: one Greek Vocab parent deck and one subdeck for each frequency group.

My preference, as I mentioned before, is to have all the vocab in one deck, and then I manage which cards to learn next mostly by the order I added the cards. Since it is a massive undertaking to add all of the cards, I mostly add them as needed—in case you are curious, I chose to start from the least frequent, since I am reviewing from my studies from 15 to 20 years ago, and it is the less common words that I do not remember as well and slow me down in reading from the Greek. Also, I have been simultaneously going through my Greek grammar book, and I add vocabulary from each lesson, so the order is a little odd, but I will eventually get all of them. But anyway, my point is that you don’t need separate decks or subdecks to manage when you learn something. You can set that with the learning order (it is the Reposition command in the Browse screen), or even simply suspend cards that you want to save for later but are not yet ready for.

I hope that helps. I may be of further use to you, depending on your needs. For example, do you have the Metzger book, and would you like to have the cards that I have made so far? Or perhaps I can help you adapt my solution for your needs. Just let me know.

Years ago, we used to study the Metzger frequency lists by PowerPoint. Each group of frequency was a separate PowerPoint presentation, and we would run through the slides as though they were flash cards. It was a great solution at the time. Yet Anki is so much better for several reasons, especially the scheduling based on performance, which PowerPoint was never designed to do. I think Anki is the best possible platform for this kind of thing, especially as it is so powerful in allowing a very great degree of flexibility to be tailored to the particular needs of the material and one’s own preferences. If you are just getting started with Anki, I hope you will soon find it as helpful for you as it has been for me and so many others. If not, let us help you getting working for you.


@garrettm30 Thank you for the welcome and for all the advice! (And sorry for such a delay in my response :grimacing:)

I haven’t been using Metzger’s Lexical Aids. It seems like it could be a good resource :+1: I have all the vocabulary words and definitions I need for now, though! My biggest hurdle is getting that data into Anki in a way that I’d like to use it.

Your suggestions about using the Reposition command and suspending cards are good. I’ll need to look into suspending cards, and how the Reposition command works. Will it affect cards in all decks?

I realized that I will probably not be memorizing multiple Greek vocabulary lists at the same time. In other words, I won’t be working on learning the vocabulary of the whole Greek New Testament, while also trying to learn all the vocabulary in the book of John. What I’ll likely try out is to make notes with all the frequency data I want (frequency in the scope of the NT, frequency in Matthew, frequency in Mark, etc.). I’ll create one deck with all the cards. Then, I’ll set one of those frequency fields as the field I can sort by. So, if I want to work on John’s vocabulary, I’ll set the frequency_john field (or whatever I call it) as the sort field, and then I’ll reposition the cards. Then, I’ll move all the cards with a frequency of 1 or more into a new deck, and I’ll work off of that deck. When I’m done, I’ll move the John cards back into the main deck. I can then resort by another frequency column and create a new deck to work on. Does that sound like it would work? I’m assuming Anki will keep track of my progress on a set of cards as I move them from one deck to another.

I’ve been tinkering with imports, exports, decks, sorting, and fields. It looks like the approach I was going to take will work!

If anyone’s interested, the templates and CSS I’m using are below. Greek, Frequency (NT), and Definition are all fields on my notes.



<div class="frequency">{{Frequency (NT)}}</div>



<div class="definition">{{Definition}}</definition>


.card {
  color: #000;
  background-color: #fff;
  font-family: "Times New Roman";
  font-size: 42px;
  text-align: center;

.definition {
  border-top: 1px solid #000;
  margin-top: 40px;
  padding-top: 40px;

.frequency {
  font-size: 20px;
  position: absolute;
  top: 20px;
  right: 20px;