NT Greek et al.

Thinking about Koine Greek, the New Testament, and related topics

What is Anki? A minimalist Primer

Leveraging easily customizable rich cards and the efficiency of a Spaced-Repetition-System algorithm to streamline vocab learning (and anything else). It just makes sense.

Using Anki for Greek

This page is the center point for a suite of resources and ideas about how to utilize Anki effectively for language learning – specifically for working with Ancient Greek. These resources have been gleaned from other peoples’ best ideas and my my own experience gained through a few years of using Anki. I will be progressively adding more resources here, as time permits.

What is Anki?

Anki is a free flashcard program designed to enhance your leaning experience and increase your memory. As they say on their site:

Anki is a program which makes remembering things easy. Because it’s a lot more efficient than traditional study methods, you can either greatly decrease your time spent studying, or greatly increase the amount you learn. Anyone who needs to remember things in their daily life can benefit from Anki. Since it is content-agnostic and supports images, audio, videos and scientific markup (via LaTeX), the possibilities are endless.


Anki facilitates making many content-rich note cards to learn anything you are aiming to learn: like Greek vocabulary, grammar, syntax, morphology, etc. It uses a Spaced-Repetition algorithm aimed at optimizing the learning process (it is default aiming for 90% correct response to the flashcards; I have found my personal level is around 95%; considering I have in the neighborhood of 10,000 cards I am working with, as of April, 2020, I say that is pretty fantastic). It also allows you to sync your content between devices for free.

Anki’s Features

Anki allows you to customize your learning experience, from card design to review options. Though you will probably find a huge boost just from using the basic features, you can always tweak it in new ways. You can synchronize your cards across multiple devices for free. Review cards on your phone; make them on your computer. Want to load your cards with images, sound, colored text, or more? Anki makes creating media-rich cards a breeze. With the ability to handle decks with 100,000+ cards, you won’t ever run out of space for more words, more grammar, or more whatever. While the basic features of Anki are already a huge learning boost, there are several add-ons available that can further tailor your learning experience. And on top of all these great features, Anki is open-source which means its free to use (except for the iPhone app: if you have an iPhone, just buy the app, it will be worth it) and safe.

Check out the Anki manual for a crash-course in the how and why of Anki.

Basic Principles for Anki card design

Basic principles for using a spaced-repetition system for learning.

Dr. Piotr Wozniak, a pioneer in the field of digital spaced-repetition systems, wrote this essay of sorts in 1999, entitled “Effective Learning: Twenty Rules of Formulating Knowledge.” This is a good place to start with for thinking about how to make and use Anki cards. Effectively using Anki is not the same as just reviewing or studying more with the same old approaches you have used in the past (even if you were an avid notecard maker), and the approach does take some getting used to. This essay will highlight some major pitfalls to avoid at the outset. While not hard and fast rules, it is a great guide along the way. After reading this I began the journey of moving from a casual user of Anki to an intentional and effective user. It really is worth your time.

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