About Repetitio

First and foremost, Repetitio is based on an important reality of the human brain.

We forget.

In fact, each time you learn something new, you are facing a battle against time. Your newly created memory will weaken everyday.

This process of memory decay is natural, unavoidable and necessary: think of it as natural selection within your brain. But unfortunately it makes traditional learning very inefficient. 

To create a memory that lasts for the long-term, you need to review what you have learnt. By reviewing the memory, you reset the forgetting curve and give it a slower decay trajectory.

And in fact, the way to give a memory optimal strength for the long-term is to review it just before you forget it. By repeating this process several times, you radically boost the strength of the memory and ensure it lasts for the long-term. This powerful principle is known as spaced repetition.

Spaced repetition is perfectly suited to learning foreign languages because of the way language works.

Why does la cesta mean basket in Spanish? Why does tak mean yes in Polish? Why does casser mean to break in French?

The answer: this is just how it is. There is no reason. Language is comprised of symbols - words that relate to specific meanings - and at its core the learning of language is the memorisation of these symbols.

In other words, to learn a foreign language, you have to create strong, instantly accessible memories for pieces of information which are essentially completely arbitrary. This is known as declarative knowledge , or the knowledge of facts - think of each word you know in a given foreign language as a fact. Bonjour means hello in French, that is a fact, to understand and use a foreign language you must have access to thousands of these word-facts. This may not be the only skill involved in using a foreign language, for you must also have procedural knowledge , but no matter your level, it is a hugely significant part of it. Have you ever met a fluent speaker who had a tiny vocabulary? No, nor have I. They don't exist.

All language learners use a version of spaced repetition without realising it, for the more they use a language, the more often they come across important words and their knowledge of those words is thus refreshed. But if you want to speed up this process and make it both more efficient and more effective, then you need to commit to a spaced repetition algorithm. And this is where language learners have been forgotten.

Spaced repetition is powerful, but clunky. Some software follows its principles to the letter, and creates something that is hard for humans to stick to. Some websites pick and choose which parts of spaced repetition they want to use and thus dilute its effect. This is a great tragedy.

Spaced repetition is unfathomably powerful and is perfectly suited to language learning, the purpose of Repetitio is to help normal language learners benefit from its raw power. To achieve this the needs of the language learner and the principles of spaced repetition are uniquely balanced. Repetitio is easy to use, intuitive and will revolutionise how you learn.

Currently Repetitio is only available for a limited number of people. If you are interested in being one of the first users then send a message via the contact page.