Jlab Beginner’s Course

I created a free, anime-based course for beginners that teaches (almost) all grammar and about 1000 words. You can download it from Ankiweb. There’s a summary video on YouTube.

Current version: 14
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Troubleshooting guide for import and update issues.
Other decks I created.
Patreon for supporting the project – thank you!

  • Flashcard-based for maximum efficiency (ships as Anki deck)
  • Each flashcard introduces only a single new item (word or grammar)
  • No prior knowledge required, in particular no reading skills
  • Follows Tae Kim’s grammar guide
  • All example sentences are from real anime & dorama
  • Audio and image included
  • Minimal grammar explanations on the flashcards
  • Works with my Anki addon, which takes care of teaching the writing systems. Can also be used without this.
  • My own most important lessons learned are on cards in between, taken from the learner’s diary I kept for about 5 years
  • Install the PC version of Anki (Qt6 branch, the addon does not support Qt5 anymore).
  • Install the jlab addon (in Anki, go to Tools -> Addons -> Get Addons, then enter the following ID: 2110939339).
  • Download and import the beginner course on your computer (after the addon was installed).
  • Optional: Install AnkiDroid or AnkiMobile.
  • Optional: Register a free account on Ankiweb to sync your progress across multiple devices.
  • Optional: Sync everything to your mobile device using Ankiweb.
  • For correct updating behavior, only import the new deck on your computer’s Anki while having the jlab addon installed (nothing bad happens if you do it on a different device, but you need to take care of a few things yourself then.
  • Get Anki, AnkiDroid or AnkiMobile.
  • Download and import the Jlab beginner deck on your computer.
  • All further instructions are found inside the deck.
  • Without the jlab addon, you need to take care of a few things yourself, read more here.

Anki provides a lot of freedom, you can customize lots of things related to the deck. For proper updating however, don’t do the following:

  • Shift, add or delete fields on the note.
  • Rename the deck or move it into a subdeck
  • Delete one of the subdecks

All of the above lead to problems when updating to a later version. The problems can all be fixed, but this is fiddly and complicated. Changing the card template however is fine.

  • The deck has two subdecks. Start with the listening comprehension deck, it contains a few extra cards.
  • Try not to do more than 10 cards in the beginning (to avoid an avalanche of old cards).
  • For card-specific questions / bug reports / complaints, use the question link on the card.
  • Before asking a question, have a look at a few more cards, I usually cover things with more than one example.
  • Try to focus on listening comprehension first, that’s the easiest part. Don’t try to recite/shadow the sentences.
  • If you’re not a total beginner, you may already understand some of the cards upon first sight. These ones should be suspended immediately (@ or !).
  • Further instructions are found inside the deck.