Anki Decks!

Remember how I said that the Rocky Shores anthology was available online starting at $50? Make that $89. I bit, and that $50 copy should arrive by post in the next few days.

I’ve long studied using flashcards, but these get cumbersome and occasionally messy to handle. I’ve started using a flashcard program called Anki to convert a lot of my physical flashcards into digital formats, and I’ve uploaded them to share with anyone who will find them useful. These Anki decks are meant to accompany the chapters in Faroese: a Language Course for Beginners.

The textbook comes with an audio component, and the publishers have been thoughtful enough to make those audio files available online. To get the best use out of all of these resources, then, I’ve incorporated the audio material into the digital flashcards. Since these are Anki multimedia decks, I’ve had to upload them as .zip files. I’ll provide more technical information on how to get these decks running on your computer at the end of this blog.

I just finished testing the Anki decks that I built this weekend, and they all seem to work well. If anyone uses these and finds errors or bugs in them, please let me know. I’ll fix them as soon as I’m able. And, of course, feel free to share them! I’ll be posting more as I progress through the text, so please check back often.

Some of these decks lack audio pronunciations of the words, and I think that that weakens their potential usefulness since there’s such a gap between intuitions about pronuncuation upon reading Faroese as compared to how Faroese actually sounds. If there are any native Faroese speakers who would like to help by recording pronunciations of these words, that would be just great!

Chapter 1 Decks

Practicing Pronouncing the Faroese Alphabet. This deck displays a letter from the Faroese alphabet as a prompt, and you can practice your pronunciation before listening to the recording.

Nouns. This deck features no audio (yet). Each card prompts with the Faroese noun, and the answer shows its English translation as well as corresponding pronoun according to gender. I find that associating nouns with their gendered pronoun is more efficient and more intuitive than naming them Masculine, Neuter, or Feminine, as it more closely binds memory of the noun with its other form.

Since we’re starting to learn the inflectional endings of nouns in all genders, I’ve underlined those endings or offered an underscore at the end of words with no ending. All words are presented in their basic nominative forms, even if they appear inflected otherwise in the text. (For example, I have used feria for the word meaning “vacation” rather than the dative form that appears in the textbook, feriu.)

Question Words. This deck integrates audio samples of Faroese question words with their flashcard presentation. The deck emphasizes knowing how the Faroese words translate into English, and the pronunciation audio is offered as part of the prompt.

It also includes sample phrases using question words in sentences. These are taken straight from the book.

Greeting People. This deck helps me a lot, as I have greater difficulty memorizing specific phrases than I have remembering vocabulary and inflection patterns. It includes both the Faroese phrase and an audio sample at the prompt, and the answer is the English translation.

Samrøða 1 and Samrøða 2. I’ve broken the sample conversations into Anki decks for students who will benefit from listening to the conversation in fragments. I’ve built these to give greater control over the flow of the audio in the sample dialogues rather than as an aid for memorizing alone.

Anki allows users to replay attached audio files, and this can be an effective way of isolating lines of dialogue that are difficult to focus upon in the overall flow of the conversation. It’s also useful for practicing pronunciation of those lines without having to simultaneously manage both the physical text and the audio file.

Chapter 2 Decks

Numbers. My copy of the textbook lacks the spelling of all the numbers provided in its audio component, and this mixes pronunciation with the numbers’ spellings found on Framtak’s and Unilang’s websites. The audio file doesn’t go into inflections for numbers one, two, and three, so this Anki deck doesn’t currently feature them.

How to Use Anki Decks

1: Download and install Anki. (It’s free!)

2: Right click one of the file links above, and save it to your desktop.

3: Locate Anki’s deck folder on your computer. I found it on mine by looking in User Folder > Documents > Anki. It should be empty. You might also just search for “Anki” and look for any empty folder with that title located in a Documents subdirectory.

4: Open one of the compressed files with your preferred program. I use WinRAR. Select only the file named “shared.anki” and the folder named “shared.media.”

Extract these to the Anki deck folder that we located in step 3.

5: Open Anki. Click the Import button in the lower right of the window.

6: You’ll be asked to name the deck.

I recommend the descriptive names above. The example we’re extracting is Chapter 2′s numbers lesson, so we might name this deck “Faroese Chapter 2 Numbers.”

7: Anki will ask you to locate the file with the cards to import. Select the file named “shared.anki,” then click the Open button.

8: Click the broad Import button.

You should get a confirmation message saying that all the Anki cards for that deck have been imported.

9: Click the Review button to start!

10: If you’re going to import more than one Faroese Anki deck, you’ll want to go back to your Anki folder (located in step 3) and delete the file “shared.anki” and the folder “shared.media.” You don’t need these anymore, and you will be moving identically named files into the folder when importing the contents of other .zip files. Repeat this process for each Anki deck.

The first time you run through each Anki deck, the flashcards will proceed in the order that I built them. After the first complete runthrough, though, they’ll be randomized… which will make remembering the gender of the nouns more challenging. All of these feature Faroese prompts, and the responses are either English translations or audio pronunciations of the on-screen text. Future decks will prioritize flexible knowledge of the material, prompting with English and expecting the response in Faroese.

Anki also assumes that you’ll initially only want to run through 20 of the cards in a deck. If you get to the end of a deck and without having exhausted all the cards, you can tell Anki to continue reviewing until you reach the end of a particular stack.

And after putting that tutorial together, I’m beat for the evening. I hope this is useful to someone!

About Adilegian

I'm a freelance writer, poet, and translator who's interested in the Faroe Islands. My freelance writing has appeared in such major US English videogame publications as Playstation: the Official Magazine, 1up.com, and Hardcore Gamer Magazine. I am credited for localization work on Konami's Metal Gear 4: Guns of the Patriots and Metal Gear Solid 2: Digital Graphic Novel. I earned my MA in English Literature and Creative Writing from the Center for Writers in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. I co-founded the online journal Town Creek Poetry, and my poems have appeared in The Southern Poetry Anthology: Volume II and the online Journal of Truth and Consequence.
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