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How many words do I have to learn ?

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Sennin
Senior Member
Bulgaria
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 Message 9 of 70
09 April 2009 at 9:38pm | IP Logged 
Fasulye wrote:
Toufik, I understand that you want to reach an intermediate level in a foreign language. I am in a comparable situation with my Turkish, therefore I made a word count of my textbook. It is my estimation that with a vocabulary of 1000-1500 words you are still on a beginner level. To reach the intermediate level you will need more words. With my other languages I have never counted the words, but with Turkish I will do it, so that I - while progressing - will be able to quantify such a question also on a higher level.

Fasulye-Babylonia


Yea, I agree. Knowing 1000 words is still pretty beginner-ish, though it is enough to hold a basic conversion.
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Toufik18
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Senior Member
Algeria
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 Message 10 of 70
09 April 2009 at 11:21pm | IP Logged 
Humm...I see, so I gess i'll have to learn at least 3000 active word to reach a good level in Spanish huh..? I am going to do it ;)
If you guys have a list of Spanish useful words, it'd be great to share it with me to make my vocabulary more and more useful.
Thanx for everyone who has replied to me ;)
Seeya
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rlf1810
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United States
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 Message 11 of 70
13 April 2009 at 9:52am | IP Logged 
Hello,

Here is the way I count how many words are necessary for each level of the CEF. They simply double with each level.

A1 - 500 words
A2 - 1000 words
B1 - 2000 words
B2 - 4000 words
C1 - 8000 words
C2 - 16000 words

It's a rough guide to be sure but still reasonably accurate I think.

-Robert


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irrationale
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 Message 12 of 70
13 April 2009 at 11:55am | IP Logged 
Yes, 1500 (of the most common words you will use) is a solid amount for a basic convo.

Edited by irrationale on 13 April 2009 at 11:55am

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Toufik18
Bilingual Tetraglot
Senior Member
Algeria
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Speaks: Arabic (Written)*, Arabic (classical)*, French, English

 
 Message 13 of 70
13 April 2009 at 3:03pm | IP Logged 
rlf1810 wrote:
Hello,

Here is the way I count how many words are necessary for each level of the CEF. They simply double with each level.

A1 - 500 words
A2 - 1000 words
B1 - 2000 words
B2 - 4000 words
C1 - 8000 words
C2 - 16000 words

It's a rough guide to be sure but still reasonably accurate I think.

-Robert


That's what Im talking about !
So to have a good vocab you need to know about 4000 words. It doesn't seem too much
Thanx indeed for the great help
---------------------
@ Robert
Thanx man and I appreciate your reply ,)
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Whiskeyjack
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Canada
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Speaks: English*
Studies: Finnish, Spanish, Russian

 
 Message 14 of 70
13 April 2009 at 3:13pm | IP Logged 
at 3,000 to 4,000 words do you think a person would begin reaching the boundaries of fluency?

im somewhere near 2,000 words in my finnish studies and will be moving on more seriously to russian after 3,500 words

Edited by Whiskeyjack on 13 April 2009 at 3:14pm

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josht
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 Message 15 of 70
13 April 2009 at 3:23pm | IP Logged 
Whiskeyjack wrote:
at 3,000 to 4,000 words do you think a person would begin reaching the boundaries of fluency?

im somewhere near 2,000 words in my finnish studies and will be moving on more seriously to russian after 3,500 words


No, I don't. I've never done a count of how many German words I know, but I'd be willing to wager that it's far more than 4,000, and I still very often have to reach for the dictionary.

In my opinion, most of the people who think you only need 2-3,000 words to be "fluent" are being far too conservative, perhaps because they don't want to scare off potential language learners by, right out of the gate, saying that you'll need 10,000 or 15,000 (or some other number higher than 2,000) words. Perhaps it's also just a case of humans being lazy. 2,000 is a nice, relatively small number of words, and people like the idea of learning 2,000 words and being able to get by just fine in the language. The only problem is that it's not going to happen. :)
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leonidus
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Russian Federation
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 Message 16 of 70
13 April 2009 at 3:26pm | IP Logged 
If you want to discuss things on the surface, 4000 words could be enough, but as soon as you go into details, you'll be lacking words immensely. A native speaker wouldn't know that you don't have a clue what this particular word means. There are also set expressions and idioms which native speakers take for granted and you may find difficult to grasp in natural speech. But yeah, if your 4000 words are your active vocubulary and you can use them all with ease in speech, then that's a very solid ground. You'd be asking about other words here and there, but that won't interfere with your general understanding, unless the subject gets too specific and detailed.


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