Using Anki to learn a language

Hi, I’m using Anki to learn a language. I’d like to know if what Im doing is the right way. So, for exemple, I have the words “clothes” and “food” in the same sentence. I copy the card and put one copy in my “food” category, and the other copy in the “clothes” category. this, because I would like this card to pop up when I’m learning these 2 categories.
Is there a better way to do this ?
What tips can you please give about using anki for vocabulary and sentences.

In most cases, duplicating cards is neither necessary nor recommended.If you want to categorize your cards the way you describe, use tags instead.

I would also recommend learning vocabulary in context, by studying phrases instead of single words, which is, IMO, pointless if you want to study languages effectively.


Thanks. Of course, it’s better to learn words in a context. But this is not always possible, when you start a language, you cannot make sentences yet.

How do you organise your data in Anki ? do you create different decks : vocab, grammar, etc ?

I personally don’t organize my language cards. When I find an interesting word or expression, I simply add a card using that word / expression. When I don’t have new material to add, I copy phrases from newspapers / books / other sources .

What tags do you have ?

  • Language: English, German, …

  • Word Type: noun, verb, phrase, adverb, …

This helps me to e.g. find all Latin phrases quickly. I don‘t maintain a sophisticated deck structure, only main topics (language, work, general knowledge, …) and one level of subdecks (English, German, Latin, …or Chemistry, Biochemistry, Astronomy).

I’m new to Anki so thanks everyone for your answers.
I tried to download Anki in French, but no ways it’s in English but some functions are in French. For exemple “cloze” is “texte à trous” = text with holes. So I’m confused, I don’t understand all the names of the functions. I read the manual in French.


Merci Fero.
So, I put all my notes in 1 deck, for learning a language. I added tags. then, when I wanted to select the “adjectif” tag, through “custom study”, I had a mixture of all tags. What Am I doing wrong, please ? thanks

Please post a screenshot of the study settings.

Hi, friends,
I think there’s something I don’t undersand here.
I put in all the tags such as "TOUT::VOCAB::CLOTHES. “Tout” is my deck’s name.
When I choose tags via “custom study”, for exemple, the one mentioned above, I have notes from other tags included. The selection of the notes with the tag I chose isn’t done properly. What am I missing please ?

Here’s an example of notes selected. this note has nothing to do with my “tag : clothes”.

I don’t see that much help in French so yeah, unfortunately you need to learn the English terms :confused:

Someone has written good blog posts on the use of Anki to learn Russian : A deep dive into my Anki language learning: Part I (Overview and philosophy) - Ojisan Seiuchi (there is part 2 and 3).

I used to separate things in this categories:

  • conjugation
  • phrases
  • grammar
  • pronunciation
  • vocabulary

But, i’ve discovered the power of tags and hierarchical tags and it’s your best option.

I never use “custom study”, did you try “filtered deck” ? (main screen shortcut = F)

Thank you Guy…
Yes, you’re right, not much help in French. anyway, I changed the languae to English.
The pb for me is to create a “custom study” deck or a “filtered deck”. In both, I don’t have the notes with the tages I selected.
Is there a way to do this effectively ? thanks.

Maybe scroll up and down in the tag selection screen and make sure you have not accidentally selected another tag as well.

Thank you, I did it several times, I didn’t select the wrong tag. I wonder if there’s a pb when I enter my tags on notes. I understand that there must be an hierarchy. My tags are as follow : COLLEC::GRAM::VERBS
Please sb tells me what am I doing wrong. Anki takes more time and learning. I’m about to quit anki and go back to paper.

Hi! It’s hard to tell what you are doing wrong, without knowing exactly what you are doing (and trying to achieve). It would be helpful to have some more informations.

Try this maybe: open the Custom Study Session/Filtered deck from the main window, and then click on Options. A window like this should open:

There you can check if the Search string (e.g. in my screenshot deck:@::<::Medicina tag:##Fonti::FirstAid::Neurology::Pharmacology) actually matches the tags and decks you want to study.

If there are errors, you can edit the Search string manually.
E.g. if you only want to study cards with the tag TOUT::VOCAB::CLOTHES, your Search string should be: tag:TOUT::VOCAB::CLOTHES.

If you continue experiencing problems, please do the following:

  1. Post a screenshot of your Filtered Deck/Custom study session Settings.
  2. Explain exactly what you are trying to achieve (i.e. which tags and/or decks you want to study).
  3. Post some examples of cards that do not seem to comply with your settings.

thank you jcznk,
I did what you said and it solved the pb. Thanks a lot. Good luck for your studies.
And thanks everyone for your help. Not easy for me, I’m not a “computer” person.


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