How to Use the Intermediate Deck

Compared to the beginner’s course, the intermediate deck is different:

  • It is build around video recommendations and prepares you to watch stuff on YouTube and anime episodes.
  • It has word booster cards, which repeat a new word with different sentences to quickly improve your listening comprehension.
  • It is managed by the jlab addon, which means you can automatically get rid of old cards (optional).
  • Booster cards and video recommendations are arranged in a way that you will first see 2-3 sample sentences with a new word a few times, then see the video.

Detailed Instructions

Split learning into word sessions and video sessions instead of mixing them. In a word session, you learn new words by means of sentence cards, just as in the beginner deck. In a video session, try to understand the videos on a video card without doing new sentences. I wrote a dedicated tutorial for approaching the videos.

This is optional, you can of course also do the video cards immediately.

While you are learning new words with sentence cards, a video card may show up. For dedicated practice with the videos, bury the card for now. This means it is removed from today’s session and you can finish the new sentence cards first. On the next day, the buried video card is the first one that shows up in your new cards. Don’t mix “bury” with “suspend”! Suspending a card deactivates it permanently, burying just holds it back.

Do not keep the video cards in Anki too long. They are meant to be deleted after you understood the videos and not to be reviewed very often. Maybe rewatch the videos after a few days; but instead of keeping the card, have a look at the jlab playlist linked on patreon, all videos are in there.

Just as for the beginner’s course, I recommend to first finish all old reviews before doing new cards. In contrast to the beginner’s course, the new deck is managed by the jlab addon, which means that you have the option to suspend very old cards automatically. This way, you will not face too many old cards at once.

Do 10 new cards / day. If you want to do more, don’t do 20 new cards at once, but 10 new per session. From my own experience, this works much better, your brain can’t remember too many new things at once. The flow is always this:

  • Do all pending reviews first (choose “Show new cards after reviews” in Tools -> Preferences -> Scheduling)
  • Set number of new cards to 10 (or less) in the deck options
  • Do all the new cards, but do not shift them forward in time too fast if something is new. First, choose “hard” for all cards. Then, after some time on the same day, check them again and choose “good” for all cards you remember.
  • When all new cards are gone (i.e. moved forward using “good” or “easy”) and you want more, then adjust the amount of new cards in the deck options. This is a bit fiddly, but most efficient for remembering things.

How to Handle Individual Video Cards

  • If you are in a sentence/word session, bury the card. It will then show up on the next day, as first card of your new ones. This is optional of course, you can also do the cards as they appear.
  • Read the hints on the card, especially if you are not using the language reactor addon to watch the videos.
  • Watch the video and try to understand what’s being said.

Especially in the beginning, I recommend to use the language reactor addon. It turns YouTube into a stop-and-go player, has a dictionary and sometimes also translations to help you figuring out what’s being said. Here are the most important controls:

  • q: toggle autoplay (this is on by default, try turning it off in the beginning)
  • a: previous subtitle line
  • s: replay current subtitle line
  • d: next subtitle line

Note that the subtitle quality on YouTube is often bad.

It is usually not necessary to understand every single word or sentence. What I try to do is to teach the most important words in advance, but I don’t teach all of the words. I usually skip infrequent ones or those appearing in an unimportant part of the video.

In other words: If you do not understand every single word, this is fine! Personally, this always made me feel bad, but this is rather a trait of a language learning perfectionist. If you understand the general message, you’re fine.

Keep in mind that listening comprehension is difficult. Don’t let difficult content drag you down. Never! Especially in the beginning this will be hard, but if you keep practising, you will improve.