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  5. TinyCards is out now!!!


TinyCards is out now!!!

It might still be the 18th for some of you, and the 19th for others, but they just released the TinyCards app!

If you have a IOS device, type "TinyCards" (make sure there is no space between the two words, so don't write "Tiny Cards"!) and download it! If you're logged in to Duolingo, it will connect your Duolingo account to the TinyCards app!

Try it today!

EDIT: I was just playing around with it and it's a great app! For languages, they have Spanish, French, German and Portuguese cards from the courses on Duolingo, as well as a Russian alphebet course, a Hiragana course and three Chineasy decks. They also have a few other topics. I also just created my first deck; the Cherokee syllabary. I'm also working on an Arabic Alphabet course, which will take longer! But it's a good app and I highly recommend it.

July 19, 2016



Thanks for letting everyone know. Hopefully they are working on an Android version.


Yes, and a browser-based version would also be great :)


I would almost entirely quit using Quizlet if they made a browser-based version:~)


Is it currently just for Apple phones?


I believe it works on the iPad as well. Just no other operating systems.


My sister's IPad has it.


I have just downloaded it from the UK store and I was pleased to see it knew who I was immediately. My profile description came over, and also my profile pic eventually.

I was hoping that I would not have to create a new profile. This leaves the door open for cross-strengthening and other data feeds in the future... even if there is nothing now. I have no idea if they are intending to do anything like that though.

Nice slick interface - a real pleasure to use - not clumsy like the Memrise app has become. However, I might stick with Memrise for now, as that works offline. This doesn't seem to. Or at least it caused problems for the audio. I didn't try an offline test of a deck without audio. Anyone been able to use it offline?

Has anyone used Chegg Flashcard+ and are able to give a comparison with that? Or can compare with any other flashcard programs.

Also, has anyone seen any documentation? I prefer to read the manual to see what the capabilities are. But I haven't found anything.

Had a quick browse. There are decks for hiragana and cyrillic. I thought this was interesting. You can imagine them using Tinycards to supplement future Duolingo courses with specific decks that teach language features that Duolingo is not capable of teaching.

I had a look at Chineasy - I wanted to see if it was the whole thing of not. Chineasy is currently only 3 decks of 12 cards each. Hopefully they will add more. However, the testing shows you the mnemonic and the answer at the same time. It is hard not to see the answer obviously in front of you in the mnemonic.

I tried creating my own private deck for testing purposes. Audio in your own decks seems limited to whatever languages Duolingo currently supports. So it lists Catalan but not Korean for example. However it did allow unusual combinations like Catalan to Welsh. It seems to be using the same TTS that Duolingo uses ... so I guess no attaching your own audio clips.

Also you can't access the Duolingo images or make a copy of their courses (or any other course for that matter). My plan was to create a superset of all the images and then do translations for Tagalog or whatever. I was hoping to make a copy of Spanish as a starting point. If we were allowed to select from the Duolingo images then it would avoid issues of copyright and they are also easier to recognise. That's why at airports they show you a stylised outline of a plane on a sign, rather than a photograph of a plane (you recognise it in an instant rather than your brain having to think about all the planes it has ever seen and compare them).

So a good start. Very simple - so even young children can use. It will be interesting to see what it becomes.

Anybody notice anything else?


I'm working on a documentation guide now. I'll send you a link when I finish. Great review of the app.


Thanks - that would be great!


Thank you for all that info. I am glad to see it does connects somewhat to the Duolingo site. How did you find the process of creating your own deck? Was it easy?


The last line of the app description on the app store says "Love duolingo? Easily import all the words you've learned to Tinycards to keep them fresh in your memory"

I've not seen anyway to do that yet, maybe they will open up some things on the tinycards website tomorrow or something.


Let the A/B testing begin!!!


It's very simple and easy. One thing that sets it apart from memrise is that you can add pictures from the web, and add TTS automatically.


Yeah, I was kind of disappointed in the beginning with not having a way to create the cards online using csv documents. I'd still kind of like that for my own archive purposes but creating the cards using voice dictation is very simple. If you can pronounce the language you are learning that is.


Blissfully simple. But then the down side of that is a lack of features. It is no Memrise or anything. No columns and attributes etc. However, I think anyone could use this - there is very little thinking involved.

In the deck settings you can choose a language for the front and a language for the back. You also say if you want to be tested on the front or the back or both sides.

Each side of each individual card allows you to choose a picture or text. It is one or the other. You can then select an image from your device or search the web. Or just type in some text.

During a testing session, if there is text on that side of the card then it will attempt to read it out using the TTS. I am not sure about languages where Duolingo uses voice recording rather than TTS. The list is missing languages like Ukranian but includes Welsh. I am not sure what the pattern is. [I can confirm Swedish Norwegian and Danish are there currently :-) ]

Edit: correction.... it is possible to mix text and images on the same side. I just noticed the "Add fact" button. It splits the current side of the selected card into multiple vertical regions, depending on how many times you press it. Each fact can be an image or text.

Edit: There is a limit of three facts, and you can only have multiple facts on the back side. I think this may be a bug, as testing can be in any direction you want... so why allow multiple facts on one side only.


When you create your own deck are you able to share them with other users?


Yes, unless you mark a deck as private then it will be visible to others when you publish it.

There is a search page to find public decks.

Anyone can create a public deck, as far as I know.

Luis himself has created one for Lamborghini cars.

When you enter the app for the first time you are 'encouraged' to follow three accounts. Any decks, created by accounts you follow, appear in your stream. So there is an account called Duolingo and an account called Chineasy. Accounts beginning Tiny seem to be the branded accounts for the app: TinyScience; TinyGeo; etc. You can also follow regular users.

There is a trending tab of decks that are popular right now, whether you are following the author or not.


Is TinyGeo geometry?



It is Geography:)


Khan Academy is probably best for math stuff.


I really need geometry :(


Where did you find Norwegian, or is that for Apple only?


I tried creating a course just now, and Norwegian was available to me on both platforms (iOS and web).


So is it courses in Norwegian in general or were you able to find the Duolingo Norwegian Cards? That's the one I can't seem to find. I found Swedish but no Norwegian.


Replying here...

No, I meant that users can create Norwegian decks, as that language can be selected for the faces of the deck (they are creating). This means that TTS (text-to-speech) will be performed for any text facts.

Whether Duolingo actually create an official course is a different matter. They have only done this for a few languages (not Norwegian).


Ok, thanks, that what I thought, but wanted to be sure. Hopefully, they'll come out with one soon.


Creating decks from a mobile device is a very fiddly and time-consuming chore. It's also impossible to add custom audio, notes and all sort of other things one can do easily on memrise. I hope they will add a web interface and many more customisations for those who wish to create decks. The automatic TTS for certain languages is nice feature, but really the whole thing is of very limited value when one cannot mass add variables/word lists/etc.
This could potentially become a very good tool, but at the moment I find it very underwhelming.


Yeah, it's very simple to create a deck of 20 or so cards, but if you want to create larger decks (or even ones with 5000 words like they have at Memrise) then this isn't the tool for the job.

The TTS does kind of limit the languages that can have audio decks created for them. I'm not sure how the Chineasy decks have added audio though.

I think it good for a first version, but I will continue with Memrise for now. I might do some Chineasy though if they add more decks.


One of the things I ran into early on is a 150 card limit on the decks. Not really a big deal if they'll give us folders to organize them.



I had thought that any limit must be big as the Duolingo courses have 1000+ words, but I can see now that they are really just sequences of decks.

I haven't seen anywhere we can create courses like that.

Or even create multiple lessons. All my cards are in one lesson. Are lessons what you mean by folders?




I had thought that any limit must be big as the Duolingo courses have 1000+ words, but I can see now that they are really just sequences of decks.

I haven't seen anywhere we can create courses like that.

Or even create multiple lessons. All my cards are in one lesson. Are lessons what you mean by folders?

They are not letting us create courses for some reason, only the duolingo account can. By folders I mean they would be just like the courses except they would all be unlocked from the beginning. They had that in for everyone in beta, they were called "bundles" but they went away when courses were added. I asked about it, they said they were just for duo at the time.

If you create over five cards (I think it's 5) they should automatically separate into lessons.



If you create over five cards (I think it's 5) they should automatically separate into lessons.

Thanks! My test deck was only four cards when I published it. Fixed now.


Agreed, I wish we could use .csv files to mass-create card decks.


Wow, thanks! This app is awesome, they really nailed it!

And it also has Chinese (Chineasy)! I think they want us to start learning the characters first!


Don't use Chineasy. It does not teach sound in detail, which is essential for every language, but especially for Chinese , because of the tones. There are traditional and modern chinese characters, but Chineasy does not tell you which is which. So some characters you learn might not even be in use in modern writing, or only in Taiwan. There is also no concept behind the vocab. that is used. You learn characters for words that are used regularly and often, but also characters for words that are not important, especially for beginners of a language.

There is no concept behind Chineasy other than it looks appealing for beginners because of the pictures. I don't know why Duolingo has it in the app, but I hope they are not partnered with it or something and I hope they eventually move away from it. It's well below the standarts of Duolingo, critizised by the professional language community, not well thought out and pretty much a waste of time for beginners.


Really? Well, thanks for the warning, I'll keep that in mind. But I'm actually learning the characters with Skritter. Have you tried this one yet?


Yeah, it's that bad. Here is a thread from the reddit page of duolingo. They discuss Chineasy below and it's pretty grim. https://www.reddit.com/r/duolingo/comments/4su2uu/duolingo_is_teasing_us_for_a_big_news_this_tuesday/

Especially the quotes from Victor Mair, an expert on teaching chinese: "apart from their pronunciation and morphology, recognizing a few characters as forced pictures is useless if one is interested in learning Mandarin or any other Sinitic language. [...] Nobody can even begin to learn Chinese with Chineasy. I pity anyone who wastes 2 minutes or $20 on Chineasy. If an adult does it, he / she is a fool, but if they induce a child to do it, they are leading him / her astray."

I heard of skritter. I assume it can only be better than Chineasy. Trainchinese is an app with exercises for writing. There's also Pleco with several dictionaries and a SRS vocab. trainer, but it costs a lot. There's an app simply called Writer where you learn to write characters as a game. I'm sure there are tons of good coursebooks. Anything but Chineasy.


Everyone wailing on Chineasy is sort of missing the point in my opinion. It is in no way promoting itself as a full solution to learning Chinese, it's just a way to familiarise people to the writing in a non-threatening and simple to follow way. It shows you what some basic glyphs mean, so in a way it is teaching radicals without ever saying that it teaching radicals. It's like one of those Alphabet charts, where A is for apple and S is for snake. That's not going to teach you English, is it? But it still has its purpose.

I don't know if I already said it, but if you were in a position where you knew nothing about Chinese characters, flicking through Chineasy is at least going to force you to understand a tiny bit - it is the thin end of the wedge.


Thank you for this response! :-)


The reviews are not very encouraging though.


I still wouldn't bet they're starting a Chinese course anytime soon, though.


Probably not soon, but eventually they will.


It's disappointing to me that duolingo has included Chineasy on their app at launch and thus given this gimmicky product even more promotion. Chineasy is based on a false premise: That Chinese characters are pictograms and that pictographic associations provide an ‘easy’ way to learn to read and write Chinese characters. What it does instead is only promote confusion about how Chinese characters really work and leads beginner learners down a false path.

Here's what a US professor of Chinese Language had to say about the product:



Chineasy provides a new and fresh approach to learning characters. I don't think it should be a big fuss since if this approach doesn't work, one can always try another method. The process of learning a language should not be under the pressure that if you choose the wrong path, your learning is done for. I tried Chineasy myself. Some words' visualizations are good, some are terrible but if I happen to learn Chinese, I wouldn't mind combining this with other sources.

(The article does provide some good points but I feel uncomfortable when the author starts to get a bit personal: "One thing that stands out in the countless articles about ShaoLan and her method for learning Chinese is that they usually feature her in unusual postures and poses. I think this tells us something about the substance of her work.")


I agree about the author getting personal - simply unnecessary and added nothing to his(?) arguments except a tone of childishness.


The comments on this and the same author's later article on chineasy are generally great as well, with in-depth discussions about the relative merits of Heisig's systems in comparison. But I don't think anyone has anything nice to say about chineasy.


Hear hear. I'd add that Pleco has a solid flashcard system to go with its mix of free and paid dictionaries. I've always used it for Chinese and Anki for everything else. (As an aside, I don't anticipate this changing - TinyCards seems like a pale imitation of Anki. If Duolingo truly cared about education, it would just release CSV text files of its courses' vocabulary lists, complete with noun genders and conjugations, which could be easily ported into open-source Anki. At least there are scripts lurking in the forums to let you brute-force your own Anki card decks...)


Unfortunately, the iOS app for Anki costs almost twenty quid.


The perils of iOS, that... It's free on every other platform, though.


Indeed, but it means just offering Anki files would be less than optimal for me. Given tinycards is actually free and my experiences with the desktop version of Anki didn't inspire me to spend £18... Duolingo releasing Anki flashcards would not be anything I'd get excited about.


You seem to misunderstand: if Duolingo put out "official" CSV text files (i.e. files with a .txt or .csv extension), they would work with lots of flashcard apps, Anki being only one of them. Here's a long list of the iOS apps (some paid, some free) that support text/CSV file import/export:, and that could use open-sourced Duolingo flashcard sets, if Duolingo ever released them: http://www.flashcardapps.info/filter/import/export/

Webapps like Quizlet also work with .txt files.

[deactivated user]

    Liked the article. I do think Chineasy will be helpful if you focus on the back side of the card. Having the pinyin, audio, and normal character is what I am interested in.


    Agree on all points. Was really disappointed when it was added during the tiny cards beta. It's ridiculous how much leverage this silly 'approach' still has because of a fancy TED talk.


    Thank you for your response, this was good information to know!


    I love this app, I've been wearing it out. It's replaced my other flashcard apps for the time being. I think it is a little cute but I got used to that pretty quick. It used to have a folder feature a few weeks ago, they got rid of that but I really hope they bring it back. I don't like that it doesn't use our duolingo name, other than those two things I'm very happy with it so far.


    Now look who's talking about cute! El ratón sunshine lol
    but yeah, I have to agree with you!


    lol, I've forgotten to post the sun a few times and someone always asks me where it's at, so I can't quit now!
    The app is a little Fisher Price cute but it grows on ya


    It's just like a pet, isn't it! :)

    • 2059

    android, windows is waiting :(


    It's not beautiful, but here is a little user guide for using Tinycards.


    It is a very good app, but the latest Memrise app is going to be a big competitor and of course can run all of the Memrise courses from their web site.

    I was hoping Duolingo would have produced a set of cards for each of the languages available on the web interface but hopefully that will come eventually. Until then I will stick with Memrise (which also allows you to download a course to learn offline.


    What do you mean the latest Memrise app? Whats so special about it?


    It has more functionality similar to Duolingo than previous versions of the app.


    pls be an android version asap.


    Slightly disappointed to realise the Russian alphabet set seems to use the same transliteration as the Russian course, which on the one hand makes sense, and on the other it's IMO a very poor transliteration, and I'm dubious about how useful it is.

    Cute app, though. Seems more like Anki than like Memrise, with the added bonus of being free on iOS (I think Anki is about £18 8-o)


    Duolingo has confirmed, through their official Twitter account that they are working on other platforms and they will come out at some point in the future. I know many, many people are wondering.


    It is a little annoying that the levels are all locked. It would be better to unlock the levels to where you are up to on the Duo course.

    • 1716

    Now that it is released, perhaps the Duo Team would find a little bit of time to address some issues with the web application...


    it's a great app. They nailed it even in the first version of the app.


    no desktop? i gues ill wait then


    Woohoo! Beta test was fun =D It's great to see the number of other courses on there, besides language-learning.


    Tiny Cards is cool and all but it would be nice if the pts transferred to duolingo itself. Sure it is helpful but there is little incentive to use both.


    I'm getting answers wrong because I can't type an umlaut or an eszett. How do i find the characters for the german alphabet?


    Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is awesome. I hadn't heard of TinyCards. I can't wait to try it. Hiragana, Chineasy, Cherokee oh my! Super cool.


    So still no Korean alphabet, even though they have Japanese AND Chinese?


    But they do have a Korean course in Incubator.


    Are these the exact words as the courses. Or did they add words?


    Is it possible to connect Tinycards with Duolingo so the progress from one app is also accounted for on the other ?


    Why did they delete the 'Add Fact' button? So ein Pech!!


    I just downloaded the Tiny Cards app on my iPhone and I love it, except I'm studying Russian and I can't switch between using Cyrillic and using the English alphabet without closing out the app and going to settings. Then, I end up having to start the cards over again for that one lesson. Can anyone tell me how I can switch between the 2 alphabets while using the app -- without having to go out of Duolingo?


    I am using the Russian Duolingo Tinycards along with the Duolingo course. The tinycards are great. I really like them. My iPhone tc app has a test for each module, my iPad tc app does not. I like the test. Why doesn't the iPad app have it?


    Everybody try mine


    nooooooooooooooooooooooooo its right now


    I wish Tinycards had a point system like Duolingo and statistic features like Anki. These features would better motivate me as a learner.


    I used Tinycards after each story I worked with. Somehow, I have deactivated them. Does anybody know how to reactivate them?

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