Pleco has a 10 dollar flashcard extension that I’ve been using for around a year now.
The flashcard system is more configurable than Anki however this also means it’s more complicated to set up. As you can see from the manual, there are tons of different options…
This can be super overwhelming for a lot of people, including me initially.
After going through various internet resources and using it for over a year, I’ve found a configuration that works for me. So I thought I would share it here.
Note - This is not a replacement for Anki. Currently Pleco has no way to replicate the system of Anki, however it’s planned in version 4.
Once you have bought the flashcard extension, you should see New Test option within the flashcards section of Pleco.
The first thing we need to do is create a new profile for this configuration:
- Go to ‘Manage Profiles’
- Tap ‘New’ and name the new profile.
- If you have a specific score card you can choose that, if not, leave it as default for now.
- Finish by tapping ‘Ok’
You’ve now got a profile created, make sure to select it by tapping on ‘Profile’ and choosing the profile you just created.
Scroll down into the ‘More settings’ section and tap on ‘Card Selection’.
Change the card selection system from ‘random’ to ‘repetition-spaced’. This is important as instead of randomly getting flashcards, you will have spaced repetition similar to Anki.
Spaced repetition is where newly introduced/difficult flashcards are shown more frequently than older/less difficult flashcards.
I tick both settings regarding sorting the cards randomly for due and non-due cards.
Cards are learned their score is above 600. This is because as you will see later, I have the scoring set up so that I first learn the definitions, and then learn reading the characters afterwards. A score of 600 means that I have scored correctly with both the definition and character several times.
My new daily cards are limited to 15. This is completely personal preference so if you think that’s too high or low, feel free to change it.
I also prioritize new cards by random so that I don’t unconsciously learn an order and not the actual flashcards.
For test type I use self-graded so it’s the same as Anki where you dictate how well you felt you did for each flashcard.
we want to do here is go to ‘Test Settings’. Once inside Set ‘Subject selection’ to score-based. This is required for setting up a score based spaced repetition. Every other setting inside Test Settings can be left the same.
Make sure to choose your flashcard deck you want to be tested on within Card Categories.
Here you can choose what you want to be tested on, depending on your score.
Initially I show the English definition of the flashcard, and then once my score is 300 or more I will show the chinese character. This means I’m firstly learning the word for speaking/listening and then afterwards memorising the character. There is many other options such as hearing the audio but I personally feel that the Pleco audio is too slow and doesn’t sound like native speakers.
Inside the commands section I switched on repeat incorrect, and I set the time to be during the test. This is as close to Anki as you can get using Pleco currently as any you score incorrectly you then have to answer correctly again or it loops. I delay the first repeat by 30 seconds, and then the second repeat for 3 minutes. This gives a good amount of time so that the flashcard isn’t just purely staying in your short-term memory.
I also shuffle repeat incorrect so that no order is retained.
The remaining settings I keep as default.
You should create a new scorefile for every different set of flashcards of the score will be carried over through different tests.
The scoring system should be automatic, no need to tweak parameters either.
I like to Show SRS intervals which means when you get a flashcard correct it will show you how long until you will next have to review that card.
Everything else can be left as default.
That concludes todays post.
Did I miss any settings that provide an even better flashcard experience?
Let me know in the comments below!
Want more tips and resources to learn Chinese?