Because vocabulary cannot be acquired through reading alone in the first few years of study (when students cannot yet read quickly or widely), you will need to dedicate time every week to acquiring a working vocabulary. You are welcome to come up with your own system or to use one of the digital flashcard sets that have been developed for this course. The first is one of the most powerful flashcard programs currently available, the open source program, Anki. The second one, Quizlet, has fewer features, but is used extensively on this site as it is web-friendly. Both programs can be synced across multiple devices as well as be accessed offline (on the subway, etc.), allowing you to acquire vocabulary easily on the go.
- You can download and install Anki from this page or go through the central application repository for your OS (App Store, Play Store etc.). It is free for all platforms except that of the iPhone.
- The flashcard file for our text, “Samskritasubodhinii,” can be downloaded from the bottom of this page.
- Once you’ve installed the program, you can load the downloaded flashcard file via the “Import File” button as shown below. Unfortunately, the Anki interface seems to work somewhat differently across platforms, so these instructions may vary slightly for your setup.
- Once loaded, the “Sasktasubodhin.apkg” file will appear as the Saṃskṛtasubodhinī Deck. (The images below can all be expanded with a mouse click.)
Anki will automatically load the entire deck.
- If you would like to study only a limited selection of chapters at a time, click the “Custom Study” button (as shown below).
- In the popup dialog, select “Study by card state or tag” and choose “All cards in random order (cram mode).” 100 cards are selected from the deck by default, but you can of course increase that number to ensure your selection will include all of the tagged cards to be selected.
- When ready, select “Choose Tags,” as pictured below:
- Once you click on the box for “Require one or more of these tags,” you can select (either with a cursor click or the space bar) the tags for the chapter(s) to be reviewed. Note that chapter numbers are “01,” “02,” etc., while the numerals and ordinals are tagged “#01-10,” etc. In the example below, only cards from Lesson 5 are selected.
- If we then click, “OK,” clicking the “Study Now” button would start our review of Lesson 5 vocabulary.
Anki will show you the front or back of a card.
- Once you click, “Show Answer,” both sides will be displayed. Do not spend more than 3-5 seconds to think of the correct answer. You will make quicker progress by simply moving through your cards at a steady clip (giving you time to re-review them) than you will by spending an inordinate amount of time attempting to retrieve the correct answer.
- You can review missed words again in the current session by clicking on the “Again” button.
- “Easy” words will be quizzed less frequently than “Good” words, according to Anki’s Leitner system.
The majority of cards have audio for proper pronunciation.
- With every card, you should repeat after the speaker (Ajay Rao, University of Toronto), striving to emulate his pronunciation (paying particular attention to point of articulation and aspiration). As you’ll notice, the speaker’s Sanskrit has the Maharashtrian pronunciation of ṛ (ऋ), which sounds like “ru.” You should feel free to pronounce that vowel as pronounced, or as “ri,” as in the north, or as “er,” as it seems to have been once pronounced.
- You can get more pronunciation practice by clicking the “More” button at bottom right and selecting “Replay Audio.”
- Note that in the first few Lessons, a smattering of sample usages have been provided, which you needn’t worry about to begin with.
- If you decide to end your session early, you can simply click on “Decks” or exit through the “File” menu.
To synchronize your progress with the Anki server, you will need to create an AnkiWeb account.
- Then, in the Anki program, you can click on the sync icon to the far right of “Browse” (pictured below in the red box and indicated by the cursor) and enter your details in the popup dialog. The AnkiWeb interface lacks much of the functionality of the standalone Anki programs, but is useful if you happen not to have access to them at the moment:
Quizlet can be downloaded here. Once downloaded, you can search for the flaschards from within the application. Study decks have been developed for every lesson in Deshpande, as well as for paradigms and sandhi. Each deck’s name begins, “Saṃskṛtasubodhinī...,” e.g., “Saṃskṛtasubodhinī Lesson 5.”
One of the advantages to Quizlet’s simple interface is that usage is straightforward. Note, however, that the program has a few different modes. It defaults to flashcard mode, but you can also select a few other ways to study under “Choose a Study Mode” in the lower right corner, e.g., via the matching game under “Scatter.”
Under “Options” in the upper right corner, you can select:
- “START WITH > Both Sides” to learn the meanings of words.
- “MOTION > Flow” to reveal the translation while keeping the Sanskrit in view (rather than flipping between them).
- “AUDIO > Advanced > Sanskrit Audio On (English Audio Off)” to hear the Sanskrit for every term without the computer generated audio for English
- “▶” to play the cards in the set automatically
- and a shuffle mode to randomly dealphebatize the set.
- either on the word itself or on the speaker symbol will play the audio for the term.
- on the star will create a separate subset of words for review.