A Guide on Learning Your Vocabulary Builder Words Using Anki

A nice and detailed instruction on how to export the words in Kindle Vocabulary Builder into Anki, by Satanmymaster on reddit:

I always felt that the vocabulary builder is a nice but incomplete feature. I missed the ability to export my words to external language learning software. Turns out it’s possible and very easy, thanks to a nice little app called Kindle Mate.
Download the app from here. Once installed, the process is quite straightforward.
1) Launch Kindle Mate
2) Connect your Kindle. It should say “Kindle Connected” in the menu bar at the top. You will notice all your highlights and vocabulary builder words in the menus.
3) Download definitions of words by pressing F12. Select the appropriate dictionary (there are 2 Chinese dictionaries and WordNet 3.1). Start downloading – it may take a while. On one occasion, the app would not download anything, but it turned out this was because the WordNet servers were down at the time.
4) Go to the File menu and select Export to Files -> Export All Vocabulary Words. In the Save dialog, choose the “Anki” format and save the file.
5) Download Anki for free at: http://ankisrs.net/
6) Click File -> Import, and select the file you have exported from Kindle Mate. NOTE: Make sure you select the “Allow HTML in files” checkbox in the Import window, in order to obtain proper formatting.
At this point you may start learning your words using the desktop app.
Now, if you want to practice on your mobile phone or tablet, Anki has a nice app for that. I only have an Android phone, so I can only provide instructions relevant to this OS, but I assume the iOs version shouldn’t differ much.
1) Create an account on https://ankiweb.net
2) Open the Anki desktop app and click the ‘sync’ button (the circular icon in the top right-hand corner of the window). Log in using your ankiweb credentials.
3) On the first instance of doing this, the app will ask whether you want to overwrite content on the web, or on the desktop app. You want to do the first thing, since you’ll be adding new words from the desktop, not the other way around. This is done only once.
4) That’s basically it. Log in with your credentials in the Android app and you get all your vocabulary on your phone. Moreover, it syncs both ways, so you can maintain progress on both platforms.
One final remark – what if I want to add new words that I have added to the Vocabulary Builder while reading new books? Fortunately, that’s very simple. Open Kindle Mate, connect your Kindle. Press F12 and download the missing translations. Export the file as described earlier and import it into Anki. It will only add new words from the file rather than overwriting the whole thing. Sync and voila!
Mind you, it’s the first time I’m using Anki, so I’m not familiar with more advanced functions out there. But it seems to be working great so far. The awesome thing is that not only do I get to learn new words from the books I’m reading, but the flashcards also display context from the passages I have selected. Here’s how it looks on my phone:
Hope that helps, cheers
edit: One more useful thing – you may want to randomize the order of the learned words, instead of having them in chronological order. To do that, open the desktop app, select the deck with your Kindle vocab, click options and select ‘Show new cards in random order’ in the ‘New cards’ tab.

3 thoughts on “A Guide on Learning Your Vocabulary Builder Words Using Anki

  1. Kindle Mate is a fabulous program. I have been waiting for something like this forever. However, the add definition function [F12] does not seem to be working for me. I only see two Enlish-Chinese dictionaries and one english-english dictionary. I am trying to get Spanish definitions. Do you have any idea what the problem might be?
    Thank you very much.
    Chris Phillips

  2. Is there a way to add the word and the definition to two different fields for anki? It would make importing it so much easier!

    • please try the new beta version, which allows you to use different Anki styles when exporting. Download at kmate.me/beta.
      Pls feel free to let me know your feedback. Thanks.

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