I'm reading Lab Girl (Hope Jahren) these days and have struggled with my lack of vocabulary. I have been used to engineering and some political/economics jargon, but English literature (mostly emotional/descriptive terms) is still challenging. The book is more a poem than an ordinary memoir. So, I've tried to discern ways to improve my vocabulary study and found Anki.

Anki (must be from the Japanese pronunciation of "暗記" - memorize) is an flashcard app that makes remembering things easy. I found that most of the introduction videos are for medical school students, but learning vocabulary should be a typical flashcard application.

After moving heaven and earth for a while, I could create a default template for my vocabulary cards. I could defined three fields: each for words (or idioms), meaning (in Korean), and example sentences. I could define how the front and the back sides of cards and even give styles using the CSS. It also supports cloze type cards. I made a script to generate cloze quizzes from my vocabulary cards. I think the most vantage point of Anki (over other apps like Quizlet) is the spaced repetition. The spacing algorithm shows my struggling cards more often with intelligent scheduling.

Though it does not have a decent user interface (I guess the desktop app is implemented with Python and Qt), it is versatile, fast, flexible, open-sourced supporting multi-devices, and free. (Only the iOS app costs about $25, but I believe it is worthy.) There are also excellent add-ons and tutorials.

I hope it will be a card up my sleeve to fulfill one of my bucket lists; writing an SF novel in English before my 50. A long and winding but delightful way, fervently wishing to be there.