Creating Chinese Study Decks

August 30, 2019

I recently been getting back into studying Chinese and been looking into ways to learn more effectively. The first thing I did was think about what small piece of Chinese do I want to be better at? There are too many aspects and had to focus in.

It came down to three main areas:

  • Reading Chinese for video games
  • Conversational listening
  • Conversational speaking

My writing / reading was quite good, but I wanted to be able to play video games fully in Chinese so I’m focusing on that. Listening I manage with watching tv shows.

The big one was speaking. I wanted to speak fluently, meaning without thinking too long and feeling natural. From my research the best method is Anki. Anki is a flash deck app, used daily to help you memorize things – perfect for language learning.

I created an Anki deck called Chinese Phrases, this displays an English sentence to repeat in Chinese. Usually a useful sentence I can see myself saying. I practice everyday and have improved significantly.

Anki example Example phrase

But I need more phrases, because I couldn’t find a tool I quickly created one – called chinese_phrases.

This is a ruby gem which given a csv file of words will pull a list of Chinese sentences with those words. This pulls sentences from Line Dict. In the future it could even pull sentences from Tatoeba.

You can see the repo here:

https://github.com/bendangelo/chinese_phrases

Deck gen CSV file generated

Once you have the outputed csv, it can be imported into Anki and practiced everyday. There are a few options to configure, see the repo for instructions on how to install.

Anki