David A. Antler

Never forget that word you looked up

Despite spending many hours reading a book, it’s sadly easy to forget the contents, especially the subtler points and passages. I’ve mentioned this issue before.

I neglected to consider that all the wonderful vocabulary words picked up during a read eventually become forgotten, too.

During the past couple of years, I’ve been using Anki to efficiently learn Spanish. While the upfront effort of creating flash cards is steep, spending a few minutes on practice each day can seal these words into your memory forever.

The same memorization strategy can be leveraged for English but with less effort.

Every time you highlight a word on your Kindle and look up the definition, the word and context are logged in a database called vocab.db on your device. I’ve written a program to export your Kindle vocab words into an Anki deck so you can seal these difficult English words into your vocabulary as well.

A flashcard of mine looks like this:
Note that the front is on the left, the back is on the right, and there’s an audio file attached that tells you this word is prounced like “Skittles”, except with a “V” instead of an “Sk.”

Shoot me an email if you’d like me to make an Anki deck out of your vocab.db file!