When I was at university I used flashcards quite a lot to learn Chinese characters and vocabulary in Chinese and Japanese. After I’d learnt each character, I stuck the cards on the wall and eventually they covered almost ever inch of wallspace. Since then however, I’ve rarely used flashcards. They are quite effective, if you look at them regularly, but for various reasons I thought they weren’t for me.
Recently I’ve decided to give them another chance. This time I’m using Mnemosyne, a downloadable flashcard program, rather than paper flashcards. Some flashcard programs, including Mnemosyne, have a built-in spaced repetition system which
tests you after different periods of time depending on your assessment of how well you know the word/phrase/sentence. This apparently helps you to commit the information to your long-term memory.
So far I’ve entered quite a few sentences in Irish from articles on Beo, an online Irish language magazine. I’m using sentences rather than individual words because this enables me to see how the words and grammar is used in context. I plan to add many more sentences and phrases in Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, and maybe other languages.
I found a useful site today, the FlashcardExchange, which provides readymade online flashcards for many languages, as well as for other subjects. You can also make your own cards and share them with your friends. Most of this is free, but a one-off fee is payable for some of the services on the site.
Do you use flashcards or flashcard programs? Do you know of any flashcard programs which you can add sound to?