5 Easy Tips in Choosing Phrases and Sentences for Your ANKI


We know that filling up your SRS (Spaced repetition system) ANKI with phrases and entries on a regular basis and reviewing them every day is a very important element to learning Spanish and improving your vocabulary.

But with just SO MANY possible phrases how do you choose which to include into your database? Do you type down all sentences in the novel you just read?

Yes you can choose to be non-selective with it but you will still need to at least prioritize the best phrases to put into your ANKI.

And today we have a few easy guidelines you can refer to when choosing which phrases to include into your ANKI.

PRIMERA: FUN PHRASES
Of course who can forget our main motto: FUN comes first. HECK! We can even say that the “costumer is always FUN!”- well that is just not true. ;p

When choosing phrases to include into your ANKI it is best to choose or at least NOT MISS the fun phrases; or the phrases that make you laugh even in Spanish. Always look for the entertaining ones like these:
Example

Si no limpies eso; voy atropellarte con mi carro queso.
If you don’t clean that up; I will go and run you over with my cheese car.
–courtesy of Andrew the Odd from Howlearnspanish.com

¡Debemos insultar a los mal vestidas!
We need to insult the girls who can’t dress well!
-This came from an exercise from a book where you choose debemos (we should) or no debemos (we should not). Obviously the proper answer should be No debemos insultar; but debemos is more entertaining and TO THINK about it; if we insult lousy dressers- in time everyone will be good dressers and there will be more pretty girls that way. ¿Crees que no? jejeje

The brain processes fun and happy thoughts better- well actually it retains traumatic stuff with high efficacy but I don’t think many learners will prefer that path, right? So let’s stick to happy and fun for the time being.

SEGUNDA: YOUR FAVORITE LINES IN MOVIES
There are few things one could remember better than catchy phrases and dialogues in movies. I have these two examples from the Spanish versions of Hancock and Bad boys 2 respectively:
Hancock: Tu y Yo. . (You and I. . )
Mary: ¿Tu y Yo que? (You and I what?)
somos iguales. (You and me, were the same)
Mary: No. Soy mas fuerte. (No. I’m Stronger)
Hacock: ¿En serio? (You serious?/Really?)
Mary: Sin duda *Snidely* (without a doubt- the original English response was actually: “Oh yeah”)
That is the scene before the fight between Hancock and Mary.

Pretty much after this scene:

hacock and mary
Now here’s my favorite from Bad boys 2- this Will Smith’s reaction when Marcus shot Tapia:

¡Así es como tienes que disparar(to shoot)! ¡Ahora (now) y adelante(onwards) dispararas (future second person of disparar) así!
-That is how you gotta shoot! From now on that is how you gonna shoot!

rats bad boys 2

and that above picture is where this dialog came from:

¡La rata no puta forma no colonia! -Rats don’t f*cking build no colonies!
Cool right? So when watching movies like that especially the ones you already seen in English, wait for the scenes where you know they are going to say a catchy phrase; you probably know when since you’ve seen the movie in English (or in whatever language you know) preferably many times already.

TRECERA: STUFF THAT YOU MIGHT NEED TO USE
These will include regular everyday phrases off course like:
¿Como esta usted? (How are you?)
Or you are probably learning Spanish for a specific purpose like a job or a business transaction. If you are studying Spanish to become a Spanish Customer care guy (or gay or girl or whatever) you might want to include the following to your ANKI SRS:
– Gracias por llamar a Facebrook. Digame su nobre por favor.
Thank you for calling Facebrook. Tell me your name please.
– ¿Como le puedo ayudar, señor? (How can I help you, sir?)
– Tome asiento por favor (please take a seat)
Those are some examples to mention a few. All in all pick out the sentences and phrases that seem valuable for you and will help you with want you want to say or do in Spanish.

QUARTA: DON’T PICK OUT STUFF THAT ARE TOO COMPLICATED FOR YOU
Again; language learning is just like baby bear’s soup- not so hot, not so cold.

Don’t pick anything that you know will overwhelm you and cause you to get bored.

QUINTA: CHOOSE PHRASES THAT DON’T TRANSLATE TO ENGLISH LITERALLY (basically colloquial terms)
Not only will this make you sound cool –like you are really talking like a native and not like a textbook. But this will also help you understand the expressions of the natives since what is the use of studying Spanish if you will not speak with natives, right?

Some examples:
Vete con la musica a otro parte.
Literally- go with the music somewhere else. But what this actually means is “F*ck off!”.
¿A como son las verduras? –how much are the vegetables?
Usually learners would only know “¿Cuanto vale?” for “how much?” but because you read Translate from Spanish to English, you know better. Jejeje
¡Has dado en el clavo! –literally “You gave it in the nail!” but what this means is actually “Bullseye!” like saying “You’ve hit the nail in the head!”.

Yo había encontrado a mi media naranja. –Literally means “I have found my average orange” but what this means is “I have found my perfect half.” like trying to say that “I have found my soulmate”.
Knowing that we can conclude that the Spanish people sometimes refer to their spouses as “naranjas” or oranges. You can be confused if you heard that in some movie and you did not know what it means; “My love, you are my medium orange” huh??
So there you go; some easy and simple tips on how to choose phrases and sentences for your ANKI PLUS some example sentences too. Go now and add the sentences above into your ANKI ¡Que Dios te bendiga!
Please put your comments, corrections, and reactions below.

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About the author

I go by the name of Magallanes in this blog. My mission here is to influence you folks in the most effective way to learn the Spanish language. Welcome to my fleet!