Language Learning Tool: BYKI

I think that one of the most important aspects of language learning is simply organizing yourself, and keeping track of the words that have been learned.

I like physical flashcards, but I’m always afraid that I’m going to lose a word! It is also impractical after learning a few hundred words of a foreign language.

I have tried some free online flashcards, but the ones that I like the best are from BKYI.com. BYKI stands for Before You Know It. The flashcard system that they use tests users on several different levels (review, recognize, know, produce, own) it give you the ones that you got wrong more often then the ones you get right. I also find it very motivational that when you clear a level it plays victory music!

The company offers BYKI lite, which is fully functional with 90+ lists, the only feature disabled is the ability to add your own stack of flashcards until you’ve purchased it. I like the premade stacks, because they are organized by topic! It’s a great free product for beginners, and definitely worth it to buy it once you are at an intermediate to advanced level.

I would like to ask how other language learners are keeping track of their words. Do you use an electronic flashcard system? excel spreadsheet? a diary?

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7 comments
  1. Jericho Jak said:

    You’re behind the times on this one, duamei. 🙂 Anki is, among language learners, the most popular “flashcard” application. That’s because it takes advantage of an algorithm built around the way memory works (for more info, follow the link: http://www.wired.com/medtech/health/magazine/16-05/ff_wozniak?currentPage=all).

    This solves the problem of having *way too many flashcards*, because you only see the flashcards (or vocabulary words) you need, when you need to see them.

    • duaimei said:

      Hi, Thank you for taking the time to comment on my post!

      I remember trying out anki a while ago, but I (personally) like BYKI better. With BYKI, the keyboard automatically switches from Chinese (or whatever foreign language) to English. Also, with the transliteration you can put the tones in the pinyin by simply using the up and down arrows. There are also the features like being able to record your own voice and adding pictures.

      I do agree with you that whatever flashcard system a person winds up using, that if it is electronic, it should have some sort of algorithm that smartly shows the student what they need to learn/remember.

  2. languagewanderer said:

    I’ve never heard of BYKI but I’d like to check it out. I have more traditional way of reviewing vocabulary since I tend to read the notes from my copybook:p At some point I was using Anki but I got bored with it.However, what you write about BYKI sounds interesting!

  3. I only use my memory when learning a new language… which is probably why my Nihongo is not very good! haha!

    • duaimei said:

      😛 Sometimes, it’s not about aptitude, but persistence. Japanese is something that I go through fits and starts studying, which is probably why my Japanese could be better…

      • Language is one of those things that, if you don’t use it, you lose it. It helps to have someone to practice with too!

      • duaimei said:

        So true! Thankfully, with lots of effort gaining back what was once lost is possible.

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