Saturday, September 17, 2016

Learn Spanish Reading Harry Potter y La Cámara Secreta on Anki

When you want to have fun learning a language, you can always listen to an audiobook. But doing that, a few problems arise: 1) You might take 3 seconds to understand a sentence. But the narrator doesn't wait for you to understand it, and keeps on speaking. What was he speaking again? Oh my god, he's already speaking another sentence! It's easy to get lost. 2) If you missed a sentence, it's a burden to go back to the sentence you missed. Do I have to go back to 2:43? Or is it 2:20? Or is it 2:25? Where the hell is that sentence that I missed? Having to go back on the audio all the time is a chore. 3) If a sentence contains a new word that you haven't seem before, you can't mark it to review it later. Because audiobooks can't be marked. Fortunately, all those 3 annoying problems are solved with Anki!

Anki is a learning software that can be downloaded here:

The Anki deck can be downloaded here:

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- To make this deck, I downloaded the spanish book, told Office Word to open up a new line on every "." of the book. The result is that the book gets divided into 6500 small pieces, instead of 2000 long paragraphs. Then I took those 6500 small pieces, put them on Google Translate, voilá. Google Translate might not be 100% accurate, but it does give you a general idea of what's being said on the spanish sentence, which to me was good enough 99% of the time.

Boring legal notice: The copyrighted material in this deck is being used for nonprofit educational purposes, therefore it is considered "Fair Use" under US law.

Here is a (poorly formatted) preview of the first 30 cards:

1 1
El peor cumpleaños The worst birthday
No era la primera vez que en el número 4 de Privet Drive estallaba una discusión durante el desayuno. It was not the first time at number 4 Privet Drive exploded a discussion over breakfast.
 A primera hora de la mañana, había despertado al señor Vernon Dursley un sonoro ulular procedente del dormitorio de su sobrino Harry. Early in the morning, he had awakened Mr. Vernon Dursley a loud hooting from the bedroom of his nephew Harry.
—¡Es la tercera vez esta semana! —se quejó, sentado a la mesa—. 'It's the third time this week! he complained, sitting at the table.
 ¡Si no puedes dominar a esa lechuza, tendrá que irse a otra parte! If you can not master that owl, you will have to go elsewhere!
Harry intentó explicarse una vez más. Harry tried to explain once again.
—Es que se aburre. It's being bored.
 Está acostumbrada a dar una vuelta por ahí. It is used to walk around there.
 Si pudiera dejarla salir aunque sólo fuera de noche... If I could let her out if only at night ...
—¿Acaso tengo cara de idiota? —gruñó tío Vernon, con restos de huevo frito en el poblado bigote—. —do I have stupid face? He growled Uncle Vernon, with remnants of fried egg in the village mustache.
 Ya sé lo que ocurriría si saliera la lechuza. I know what would happen if the owl out.
Cambió una mirada sombría con su esposa, Petunia. He changed a grim look with his wife, Petunia.
Harry quería seguir discutiendo, pero un eructo estruendoso y prolongado de Dudley, el hijo de los Dursley, ahogó sus palabras. Harry wanted to discuss, but a thunderous belch and prolonged Dudley Dursley's son, drowned his words.
—¡Quiero más beicon! 'I want more bacon!
—Queda más en la sartén, ricura —dijo tía Petunia, volviendo los ojos a su robusto hijo—. —Queda More in the pan, ricura said Aunt Petunia, turning his eyes to his son robust.
 Tenemos que alimentarte bien mientras podamos... No me gusta la pinta que tiene la comida del colegio... We need to eat well while we can ... I do not like the looks of school food ...
—No digas tonterías, Petunia, yo nunca pasé hambre en Smeltings —dijo con énfasis tío Vernon—. No Nonsense, Petunia, I never went hungry in Smeltings he said with emphasis Uncle Vernon.
 Dudley come lo suficiente, ¿verdad que sí, hijo? Dudley eat enough, is not it, son?
Dudley, que estaba tan gordo que el trasero le colgaba por los lados de la silla, hizo una mueca y se volvió hacia Harry. Dudley, who was so fat that hung down the back side of the chair, grinned and turned to Harry.
—Pásame la sartén. Pass me the pan.
—Se te han olvidado las palabras mágicas —repuso Harry de mal talante. He will have forgotten the magic words Harry replied morosely.
El efecto que esta simple frase produjo en la familia fue increíble: Dudley ahogó un grito y se cayó de la silla con un batacazo que sacudió la cocina entera; la señora Dursley profirió un débil alarido y se tapó la boca con las manos, y el señor Dursley se puso de pie de un salto, con las venas de las sienes palpitándole. The effect this simple phrase occurred in the family was incredible: Dudley gasped and fell off the chair with a thud that shook the whole kitchen; Mrs. Dursley gave a weak cry and mouth with her hands over her, and Mr. Dursley stood feet, with veins throbbing temples.
—¡Me refería a «por favor»! —dijo Harry inmediatamente—. —¡Me Meant 'please'! Harry said immediately—.
 No me refería a... I did not mean ...
—¿QUÉ TE TENGO DICHO —bramó el tío, rociando saliva por toda la mesa— What do you have said bellowed uncle, spraying spit all over the table
—Pero yo... —But I...
—¡CÓMO TE ATREVES A ASUSTAR A DUDLEY! —dijo furioso tío Vernon, golpeando la mesa con el puño. How dare you scare DUDLEY! Furious said Uncle Vernon, pounding the table with his fist.
—Yo sólo... —Only me...
Harry miró el rostro encarnado de su tío y la cara pálida de su tía, que trataba de levantar a Dudley del suelo. Harry looked at the red face of his uncle and his aunt pale face, trying to lift soil Dudley.
—De acuerdo —dijo Harry—, de acuerdo... 'All right,' Harry said, according ...
Tío Vernon volvió a sentarse, resoplando como un rinoceronte al que le faltara el aire y vigilando estrechamente a Harry por el rabillo de sus ojos pequeños y penetrantes. Uncle Vernon sat back, puffing like a rhinoceros who get enough air and watching Harry closely out of the corner of his small, piercing eyes.
Desde que Harry había vuelto a casa para pasar las vacaciones de verano, tío Vernon lo había tratado como si fuera una bomba que pudiera estallar en cualquier momento; porque Harry no era un muchacho normal. Ever since Harry had come home to spend the summer holidays, Uncle Vernon had treated him like a bomb that could explode at any moment; because Harry was not a normal boy.


  1. Neri, I think what you do is genius! Could you do this book-to-anki for German too? It doesn't have to be Harry Potter. Maybe some book that also has a German translation available, so that we can further reinforce our learning by reading the whole text too. Thank you for all your hard work!

    1. I already made Alice in Wonderland, german version, converted to Anki.

      Very fun book!

    2. Fantastic; great choice! Thanks again!

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  4. I mean this deck was removed from anki, can you upload, please? Sorry for my English.