[Swap language order] on iOS!

How to make your target language appear first

Tess Yang avatar
Written by Tess Yang
Updated over a week ago

This article will cover:

  • How to change the order of languages in your Glossika sessions

  • Why you might prefer one order over another

Traditionally, Glossika sessions have been quite fixed in format. You hear a sentence in your native language, hold it in your mind, and then hear a sentence in your target language and try to connect the dots. How do your native and target languages line up?

Many users requested that they would like to do the opposite of this, however, so we've made it possible. Simply:

1. Open a session (whether Learn New Items or Review)

2. Click the settings "cog" icon in the top-right corner of the screen

3. Click the "Switch Order" icon, shown below

Does it really matter which language I hear first?

No — in the sense that many people have succeeded with either approach. This is ultimately a quite small factor that will be overshadowed by your other habits: how consistent you are, what other resources you use, how often you actually use your language (reading, conversing, etc), and so forth.

To get more granular, you need to understand the concepts of recognition and recall:

  • Recognition — you see new knowledge (target language word) and follow the breadcrumbs back to old knowledge (native language word)

  • Cued recall — you start with old knowledge (native language word) and, after getting a nudge in the right direction, reach for old knowledge (target language word)

  • Free recall — you start with old knowledge (native language word), and then set out into the depths of your memory to find new knowledge (target language word) without any hints

Generally speaking, it's easier to recognize information than it is to recall information. This is true even in our native languages — everybody understands more words than they can actively use. For the same reason, you might find that there are words you understand upon hearing/seeing but cannot remember when talking or writing.

These things in mind:

  • Easier (copying) — the "easiest" you can make things is to hear your native language first and then hear the native language. At this point you aren't thinking too much, you are just observing the two languages and taking in information.

  • Harder (recognition) — when you are ready for more of a challenge, or if you are worried you aren't really "learning" anything, you can switch the order to hear your target language first. If you can understand the sentences without the crutch of your native language, you've got proof that you're learning your language!

  • Hardest (free recall) — for a real challenge, adjust the settings so that you hear your native language first. In the pause before the target language plays, try to translate the sentence yourself.

Each of these "exercises" does slightly different things for you. We encourage you to mix things up from time to time.

Did this answer your question?