getting started with language tools

In this tutorial, we'll go over the steps to configure Language Tools, a new Anki Addon packed with language-learning functionality.

first: is language tools right for you ?

There are a few limitations in the add-on currently, you should be aware of them:

step 1: get an API key

Language Tools is a paid add-on. It requires a monthly subscription due to its reliance on high quality paid resources such as Neural Text to Speech voices, translation services, etc. If you are a Patreon subscriber, or a trial user, you already have access to Language Tools, using the same API key. Subscribe, or sign up for the free trial.

step 2: install the add-on

Open the add-on page: https://ankiweb.net/shared/info/771677663 , you'll see the addon's code: 771677663. Open Anki, in Tools menu, click Add-ons, then Get Add-ons... Paste 771677663, click OK, then restart Anki.

step 3: enter API key

After restarting Anki, go to menu Tools, then Language Tools: Verify API Key. Enter the API key you obtained previously, then click OK. If everything goes well, it'll show that your API key is valid.

step 4: language mapping

Now, we need to tell Language Tools what languages are contained in your decks and fields. Go to menu Language Tools: Language Mapping. You'll see the screen below. You can simply press Run Auto Detection, let the process finish (it make take a few minutes if you have a lot of decks). If the automatic language detection didn't correctly detect languages for certain fields, you can adjust those manually. When done, click Apply.

step 5: voice selection

Next, go to menu Language Tools: Voice Selection. From there, you can select the audio voice you wish to use for a particular language. Language Tools currently only supports selecting one voice per language. You can sample the different voices by listing to audio samples drawn from your decks. Once done, press Save Voice Selection.

step 6: add translation to your notes

Now, we're going to add some automatic translation to your notes. Go to Anki's Browser, then select a few notes from one of your decks. Go to menu Language Tools, Add Translation To Selected Notes... You'll the following dialog. Choose your From Field, your To Field (which will get overwritten), then select a Service. Click Load Translations and you will see the translations appear. If you are satisfied with the translations (note you can double-click and edit them), you can click Apply To Notes, and your deck will be updated with the translations. Note: once you've done that, Language Tools will remember that the English field should contain a translation from the Chinese field (in the example below). More on that later.

step 7: add audio to your notes

At step 5, we set up voices for each language. This will come in handy now. Still in the Anki browser, select some notes and go to menu Language Tools, Add Audio To Selected Notes...
You'll see the following dialog. Note that you should dedicate a field to hold the audio tag, if you don't have one, you should add one to your note type. Select the From Field, and the To Field (which will contain only the audio tag). The language contained in the field, and the voice for that language were set previously. Click Apply To Notes and the audio will be added to your cards, and this setting will be memorized.

step 8: look at the editor

After having mapped languages in your fields, and added audio and translations, you'll notice some buttons in the editor. The Speak button allows you to pronounce any text, as long as you have a voice setup for that language. The Play button will appear for fields which have an audio tag, you can use it to verify that your audio was generated correctly. Finally, the Choose Translation allows you to choose another translation (it will show you a number of choices), if the current one is not good.

step 9: add a new note

When you add audio, or you add translation or transliteration, Language Tools remembers those settings, and will run them automatically when you edit a note, or when you add a new one. This allows very easily adding new notes. Make sure the Note Type and Deck matches what you've configured previously. As you type in the Chinese field (which is the From field for Audio, Translation and Transliteration), the other fields will be generated automatically.

The end !

This is the end of the tutorial. If you have any questions, please email languagetools@mailc.net. Are you interested in trying AwesomeTTS or Language Tools, to easily add Audio / Translation / Transliteration to your flashcards ? Signup for AwesomeTTS Plus.