A bit of Spanish

Created: Feb 1, 2023 | B quality | Low importance

Today I learned a bit of Spanish, by signing up for Pimsleur Spanish. I did the first audio lesson (written lessons don't start until after the second lesson). I studied Spanish for a few years in high school, but I never used it and never became fluent. Honestly, Spanish is by far the most useful language I could end up learning, seeing as I live in the San Francisco Mission District.

I also downloaded a deck of Spanish phrases for the Anki flashcard system. I haven't dove into those yet, but when I opened Anki I did find my old "capitals and countries of the world" deck that I had been meaning to work through. I had previously done US states and capitals to great success, but the countries of the world was a lot harder to stick with. Part of the problem I had was that there were too many "cards". What I realized was that Anki generates cards based on inputting "notes" (which are collections of facts) and running them through "templates". So I simply had to create an alternate set of templates for my world countries and capitals deck, and I could weed out some of the more tedious cards (things like, "Where on a map is this country's capital?" and "What city in <country> is this?". For the latter, the answer was always the capital and it was a bit overkill).

Actually, it's interesting that I'm using Pimsleur and Anki, because they both used the "spaced repetition" method for showing you something right when you were about to forget it, and thus helping you commit it to long term memory. Or at least that's the claim, and I know that definitely the Anki folks claim to have actual research to back it up.


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