To what extent should I memorize the flash cards?

A flash card will ask me something simple like: What does the letter "f" sound like in "la foca" (Spanish)? From here I have two paths. The first path is this... I can remember, "Oh, foca! That f is just like English. That's easy!" The second path looks like this... I can remember a seal with his mouth wide open, the recording is of a man saying loudly... "la FOca!" Oh wait, no, I just remembered, it was actually a woman. Below the word is the IPA: ['fo.ka], and I vividly remember at the bottom it says: "Example word for F." Ah, this is the card that teaches me how to say F. It's not one of the other cards that teaches a spelling rule. As you can see, in the first path I only answered the question of the flash card without much of a care for anything else (the IPA, the seal, the recording, the additional text). In the second path I remembered many small details about the flash card. I ask this question for two reasons: 1) It determines which button I should press in Anki. How well did I REALLY remember this flash card? How well SHOULD I remember it? 2) Gabe talks in chapter 3 of his book how the more you put into pronunciation at the beginning, the more it pays off at the end. He specificially says learning the IPA for your language can have a huge benefit, comparing it to someone who enjoys and excels at math because he understands the rules and how they are all linked together, and someone who just gets through math class remembering what he has to to get a passing grade. My two examples of ways to remember this particular flash card are just two extremes. There are an infinite amount of ways you can remember the flash card. I just started Fluent Forever and I am very interested in how much effort others put into memorizing their flash cards, and what Gabe himself thinks about this.

* Originally posted by ElectronicShow.

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  • I guess no one is interested in this :( I emailed Fluent Forever and didn't get a reply either.

    Anyway, I think I answered my own question.

    When doing the trainer, just answer the ONE question it asks you. Don't try to memorize every detail about the card. I tried memorizing every detail of every card and my sessions were too long. At 28 cards per day* I was taking 60-90 minutes per session. Normally it should take about 30 minutes.

    If you are interested, do give an effort in memorizing the IPA when it asks you to pronounce something. It will help you in the long run. See chapter 3 of the book "Train your eyes" section.

    If you can memorize other parts of the card, that is a bonus. See the "First Gallery" in the book for more details. But just focus on asking the ONE question it asks you. If you get it right, press Hard/Good on Anki. If it was super easy, press Easy. So far I have only pressed Hard/Good and never pressed Easy, and it has been working fine for me.

    *The default setting in the pronunciation trainer

    * Originally posted by ElectronicShow.

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