Home Forums The Japanese Language Monolingual decks(anki), why and how.

This topic contains 7 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Jason 10 years, 7 months ago.

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • Author
  • #41271

    I have used monolingual decks with great results for the past 6+ months, so I thought I would share how I use them. I hope it’s of use ;)
    As Khatz has mentioned a million times, monolingual decks are a great way to study languages. One of the many benefits is that you can’t study material more advanced than your current level, since you won’t be able to understand the definitions for words. When learning monolingual you will quickly start to realize that the English-Japanese dictionaries out there are flawed in many ways when it comes to definitions, which is another reason why monolingual is awesome. When making the cards you will be using a lot of your current knowledge to understand the grammar and words used in definitions, which will make for a more interactive study environment, where you know a word’s meaning pretty well once you click add. You should expect a lower success rate on cards due to the cards being much harder than the bilingual cards.

    At first it might seem daunting to start a monolingual deck, but actually it’s pretty easy. First of all you need to find a good dictionary. How complicated the definition depending on the dictionary you chose. As a beginner you will probably want to go with something aimed at kids, teenagers etc..
    Personally I use these two. Sanseido is great for simple definitions, but as I am getting better I am using goo a lot more. There are a lot of great dictionaries out there, so you should by no means limit yourself to using these two, it’s just my personal favorites.

    As suggested by Khatz(you can read more about monolingual decks over on his site) the first thing you should do to get comfortable with J-J dictionaries is to look up words you already know and add them to your deck. Once you are comfortable using the monolingual dictionary you can start adding your own words.
    Sometimes the definitions might have new words or new grammar. If that’s the case you can look up the grammar and the words you don’t understand. This will make you learn a lot from just adding words to anki, and 1 word can branch off to 10+ words if definitions keep having words you haven’t seen. If there are too many new words, or you don’t want to learn the words used in the definition just go ahead and add the word to a bilingual deck. I still do this with maybe 1/4 of words I want to add ^^

    The layout I use is
    Definition -> word
    word -> definition

    But that can of course be changed depending on your preferences. I recommend getting Japanese support, which will allow you to automatically add furigana to your card(can’t be used in question field). I also recommend tagaini jisho which is a great offline dictionary that can also be used to show stroke order, JLPT level etc.. If you have the sentence where you saw the word and decided to add it, that’s probably the best example sentence to use. If you didn’t write it down, I suggest using google, alc or denshi.

    This is my setup

    Card examples (sorry ’bout different text sizes, I just used some I already had uploaded)


    Nice post, thanks. Sanseido looks a pretty cool dictionary, so thanks for sharing that too :D The pictures under “This is my setup” are a little small though, can’t really make much out. Plus, for the people who don’t know who Khatz is, you should probably mention which site you’re talking about.



    Sounds interesting, thanks.


    You can see all the pictures in their original res by just clicking show picture only. It’s scaled down by the forums.

    Khatz’ site:


    I couldn’t find “show picture only”, so I’m assuming it’s some kind of Firefox nonsense. Chrome’s equivalent worked fine though; hadn’t realised they were scaled down, just thought they were small.

    What can you say of Tagaini Jisho? Is it any good?

    And why do you have 2.7TB of encrypted data? What are you trying to hide? :P And how do you manage to even have 2.7TB of data in the first place? My laptop’s hard drive is 450GB and I’m not even half full o.0


    For me it’s called 画像だけを表示 I just assumed that was what it was called in Firefox and other browsers.

    It’s great. I mainly use it to check JLPT level since no other dictionaries do that very well. It is super fast and has all the info you would ever need in a Japanese-English dictionary. Also, it can be used offline :)

    There’s only around 1TB of data on the drive, I bought it just so I also have space in the future. I have it encrypted to protect my own privacy, and prevent people who might steal the drive to get access to my personal data.






    Good write-up, thanks for the helpful tips.

    Incidentally, in Firefox you can right-click an image and select “View Image” which will allow you to zoom in on it better. You can also drag and drop it into a new tab.

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.