How To: Get Audio Flashcards For Anki Using ChinesePod

Audio flashcards are an incredible resource for learning languages. They turn listening and reading activities (which are passive) into active ones. Unsurprisingly, you need passive activities to improve your passive language ability (for example, your listening comprehension), and your need active ones to improve your active language ability (producing the language). The size of your your passive vocabulary can be very different from the size of your active vocabulary.

I’m planning on doing a couple of posts in the next few weeks about how I use flashcards, and why.

The first premise of my flashcard theory is that audio flashcards are the go. I’ll explain later. Don’t question it, just do.

Here’s how to get them using ChinesePod (on Google Chrome) .
Even if you don’t listen to many of their podcasts (which I don’t recommend – if you have a subscription, their podcasts and the ability to listen to dialogue only versions are extremely good) it may be worth paying for a subscription to have access to their glossary.

Step 1: Go to the ChinesePod glossary page.

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Step 2: Put in your search (I recommend writing the characters, rather than the Pinyin).

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Step 3: Click the play button, then right click on the button and select ‘Inspect Element’

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Step 4: This little box thing will come up. Click the ‘network’ tab.

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Step 5: Press the sentence’s play button again. You will see something like this come up in the box.

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Step 6: Click on the ‘rec’ one (not the other one). You should see a ‘Request URL’ that starts with http://s3. Select and copy this address.

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Step 7: Add a new card to Anki. Simply paste the URL into either (or both) card fields.

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Step 8: Copy the sentence from ChinesePod.

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Step 9: Paste the sentence into the deck. That’s it! Rinse and repeat.

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Author: Dan

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  • Teresa Moya

    Hi!

    Do you know if there is some way of transfering all the vocabulary list into Anki?
    The Chinesepod flashcards are OK but I prefer to use flahscards in my phone…
    Thank you very much!

    Teresa

    • Hi Teresa!

      Thanks for your message, and thanks for reading!

      Yes, in fact there’s a direct export to Anki function in ChinesePod. You can find it here: https://chinesepod.com/tools/export

      Hope it works for you!

      Dan

      • Teresa Moya

        Thanks Dan!

  • Mari McClelland

    Hi Dan!

    When I try to follow these steps, I get to having the “inspect element” window open, but when I press play a second time nothing appears in the “network” box, so I have nothing to copy. Any idea what I should be doing differently? This is exactly what I’m looking for with flashcards.

    Thanks!

    • Hey Mari,

      Are you using a Mac, and Google Chrome? They’re the only things I’ve tried this with, although it may work with other browsers/Windows. I just double checked and I have no problem doing it on my computer… so I’m not really sure what the problem is! Sorry! Maybe try updating to the newest version of Chrome. Let me know if you sort it out!

  • MarkFromSanFrancisco

    On Windows at least, I think the easiest way is to just record the audio using Audacity.

    – install Audacity
    – install “LAME MP3 Encoder”
    – enable “stereo mix” as an audio input device (google it)
    – record using “stereo mix” as input, and push the vocab item buttons you want
    – selected and export clips as mp3 files

    (It’s really unconscionable that they don’t allow easy downloading of vocab audio. It’s paid service!)