I'm putting vocabulary on Anki, using the "Add" option, and I just add the material without trying to memorise it first. (I'm using the deck created for "Fluent Forever")

When I go to study it with "Study Now", it tests me on material without showing me both sides of the card or anything for the first time I encounter a card. I assume what I have to do is click on "Show Answer", then click on "Again <10m", and see if I do better the next time I see it the same day.

Is this normal, or is there an assumption that you've already learnt something before you put it on Anki?

2 Answers 2


This is normal. Cards are first considered learning cards and Anki does not consider mistakes as lapses. Only when you have passed through the learning steps, the card is converted into a review card, and mistakes count.

So right, you most probably won't know the answer the first time, but you try to remember it, and see if you can get the answer right when the card comes up again (this, by the way, could be earlier than 10 minutes, if you don't have other cards to review in that interval).

Anki is very customizable, so if 10 minutes seems too long, or maybe you want a few more steps, then you can change those intervals under 'options' when you open your deck.

[By the way, I use the Assimil method, and have my cards first pass through a '1st Wave' assimiliation deck, where the answer is shown together with the question. During this '1st Wave' I just focus on understanding and pronunciation, hopefully assimilating some of the answers without effort at the same time. After a couple of weeks, when those cards have passed through a few review cycles and have reached a certain 'Interval' (i.e. time until the next review) then I 'reschedule' them in the browser (i.e. they start at 0 again) and move them to a regular '2nd Wave' review deck, where I have to supply the answer myself.]


It depends on how detailed your cards are. If you can understand the word, you are learning with the content of the card alone (through examples) then it is not problem to add it to Anki. If you want to keep your cards short, with less explaination, you should be sure to understand or memorize them before adding the card.

The important thing is to understand the word before clicking on something that is not a try again. Otherwise, you will lose time reviewing something you have not learned.

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