Presita el Usona Esperantisto № 2023:5–6 (sep-dec)

Build vocabulary with a free Anki deck

Lasta ĝisdatigo: 2023-12-28
The Anki icon.

On any given day, there are many points where one encounters “empty space.” For instance, in my particular case as a college professor, perhaps one class has concluded, and I have a bit of time before my next class begins. Or perhaps I’m stuck in line at a grocery store. Or perhaps I’m just waiting for a commercial break to end as I watch some television.

In most cases of “empty space,” I used to reach for my phone to check the latest headlines. However, it’s not healthy to spend too much time doomscrolling. So instead, I decided to fill some of that “empty space” with something more productive: studying languages.

In a recent article, I described how the flashcard program Anki can be helpful for building vocabulary. At present, my Anki deck contains about 5,600 Esperanto terms. It tests from Esperanto to English and also from English to Esperanto. So, in total, there are 11,200 cards in my deck. To create this deck, I did not use some clever form of automation. Rather, each term was inputted one at a time, as I progressed throughout my Esperanto language-learning journey.

Among the Esperanto decks that I’ve come across, my deck is unique because I have added a “Related” button to nearly all of my cards which reveals additional vocabulary. Sometimes terms are revealed that mean something similar because they share the same root. Other times, terms are revealed that sound similar but mean something different. For me, it was helpful to learn related terms in chunks like this. Note: all related terms that appear also have their own cards in my deck. Furthermore, each definition that is listed for each related term is the exact same definition that appears on all the cards associated with that term. In short, all the information in my deck is consistent throughout the deck. For the definitions themselves, I referenced PIV and PMEG. I tried to include only terms found in these sources.

For what it’s worth, I used this deck to prepare for, and pass, the Common European Framework of Reference exam in Esperanto at the B2 level. As such, I feel fairly confident in saying that a strong command of the vocabulary contained within my deck should be a good indication that one is at least at the B2 level, if not beyond.

Just over 135 years ago, L.L. Zamenhof published Dr. Esperanto’s International Language. Within this “First Book,” he introduced and described the language that has since come to be known as Esperanto, which he hoped would help promote world peace. This book was translated into more than a dozen languages, and at the beginning of each edition, Zamenhof permanently renounced all personal rights to his creation and declared Esperanto to be “the property of society”.

In hopes of helping future students learn Esperanto through a resource that has been immensely helpful to me, I have decided to make my deck freely available, such that it too can become “the property of society”. You can download it here.

I encourage anyone interested to start studying today. You might be surprised at what you can accomplish by filling the “empty space” in your life with something productive.