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How many words do you learn per day?

 Language Learning Forum : Learning Techniques, Methods & Strategies Post Reply
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William Camden
Hexaglot
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United Kingdom
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 Message 81 of 213
12 November 2009 at 1:44pm | IP Logged 
I think it is the review of words, and if possible active use, that fixes vocabulary in your mind. For that reason I favour learning fewer words over time, but learning them better.
2 persons have voted this message useful



astein
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Germany
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 Message 82 of 213
26 June 2010 at 4:47pm | IP Logged 
I just use Anki when I am reviewing. With SRS, you don't need to worry about forgetting
anything later, as you need to keep reviewing. My basic strategy is to put in words in
groups of 1000 (really only 500, as they are front and back). Then, I learn two of
these groups every weekend. I'll miss a weekend every so often, but I probably average
3-4000 words a month.

It really works. I started studying German in September, but I only really started
seriously studying in January. Since then, I have built an Anki deck of 26000 cards. I
have been in Germany for the last month, and I have almost never encountered a word
whose meaning was unfamiliar (except for some Bavarian slang words). Granted, I still
need to pick up some more idioms (I just put 1000 into Anki), but I would certainly say
that my German is on the edge of advanced fluency (probably somewhere between C1 and
C2).

This isn't to brag, but rather to say that you shouldn't sell yourself short here!

By the way, it could have helped that I have already learned a great deal of Chinese
(around 4-5000 characters). Character memorization really, really helps with visual
recall and vocabulary learning as a whole.

Edited by astein on 26 June 2010 at 4:48pm

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ChristianVlcek
Bilingual
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Netherlands
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 Message 83 of 213
26 June 2010 at 5:19pm | IP Logged 
astein wrote:
I'll miss a weekend every so often, but I probably average
3-4000 words a month.


Dear God you're a monster =|

Haha I wish I could pull off half that number in a month. Maybe I should give it a shot.

Though can you reproduce them actively afterwards? Or do you find yourself limited to passive knowledge?
1 person has voted this message useful



astein
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Germany
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 Message 84 of 213
26 June 2010 at 10:05pm | IP Logged 
At first it is certainly just passive knowledge. However, once you review the words
enough, they begin to find their way into your speaking. I simply try to purposely add in
some new words every day.

Although they will be somewhat passive at first, they will still spring up in your head,
when the situation arrives. You have to simply be conscious of which words you can
replace. That is generally my problem. I have certain phrases that I use a lot, and it is
difficult to get out of that habit and enrich the vocabulary a little.
2 persons have voted this message useful



feanarosurion
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Canada
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Studies: Finnish, Norwegian

 
 Message 85 of 213
27 June 2010 at 5:30am | IP Logged 
I have to agree with the general idea that when you first learn a word it's going to be completely passive. Active use just reinforces things. I remember the first word in Finnish that I ever learned was "Hyvä," meaning "good." Don't ask me why it was the first word I learned, I just know that it was. Anyway, my point is, I began using it in active constructions such as "Good Day," or "Good Night," and before I new it, when I thought "Good," it was a toss-up whether my brain would go to "Good" or to "Hyvä." What I'm saying is that it's the active use of the words that cements and activates it. In my case, it was a weekly Finnish class offered by my local Finnish cultural association. I'm still taking it now actually, and I'm treating it as my place to activate all the vocabulary I soak up between classes.

I'm also a user of Anki, and I find it to be absolutely amazing for me. I recently revamped my whole deck, and I've figured out a way to integrate grammar study into vocabulary flashcards. Essentially, I type in about 10 different forms for each word, roughly 5 single and plural for nouns and various verb types for verbs, into each new card. This has me training how words are formed in different situations, and I could create different card types to drill different grammatical forms in the future. This process makes adding new cards a real chore; it can take me quite literally hours to add a new batch of words. However, the benefits are already evident to me, and I can see patterns in words very easily now, and I would trust myself to form different word forms on my own in most cases. Plus, I essentially add every word that I come across, regardless of whether I already know it or not. If I haven't added it as a flashcard previously, I add the word. I'm doing sentence mining to supplement this. Basically I type in the sentence where I saw the word, which usually covers another couple of words as well. At this point I'm just at the mining stage, but after about a month or so I'm going to use that to train the use of all these words in sentences. At the rate I'm going, I tend to add 25-50 flashcards a day, or at least write them down to add them later. In my books, this means I've "learned" the word, and then I can review it and solidify it, plus figure out the finer points of its usage.
1 person has voted this message useful



Liface
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United States
youtube.com/user/Lif
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 Message 86 of 213
27 June 2010 at 10:22am | IP Logged 
astein wrote:
I just use Anki when I am reviewing. With SRS, you don't need to worry about forgetting
anything later, as you need to keep reviewing. My basic strategy is to put in words in
groups of 1000 (really only 500, as they are front and back). Then, I learn two of
these groups every weekend. I'll miss a weekend every so often, but I probably average
3-4000 words a month.

It really works. I started studying German in September, but I only really started
seriously studying in January. Since then, I have built an Anki deck of 26000 cards. I
have been in Germany for the last month, and I have almost never encountered a word
whose meaning was unfamiliar (except for some Bavarian slang words). Granted, I still
need to pick up some more idioms (I just put 1000 into Anki), but I would certainly say
that my German is on the edge of advanced fluency (probably somewhere between C1 and
C2).

This isn't to brag, but rather to say that you shouldn't sell yourself short here!

By the way, it could have helped that I have already learned a great deal of Chinese
(around 4-5000 characters). Character memorization really, really helps with visual
recall and vocabulary learning as a whole.


That is absolutely INSANE (in a good way)!!!! 26000 cards! My biggest Anki deck is Spanish at just over 5000 cards, and that's over learning it for 2.5 years. Generally I only add the words I encounter, though. I don't use any wordlists.

Edited by Liface on 27 June 2010 at 10:23am

1 person has voted this message useful



William Camden
Hexaglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
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1936 posts - 2333 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Spanish, Russian, Turkish, French

 
 Message 87 of 213
27 June 2010 at 3:22pm | IP Logged 
You could probably "learn" 6,000 words in a month - and then forget all but 400 or 500. Most words learned on the first day of the month would be forgotten by the 30th day, and so on.

Probably it's better to learn 10% of that, 600. And actually LEARN them so you can understand and use them in all contexts. What you need is lots of review.
2 persons have voted this message useful



astein
Pentaglot
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Germany
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80 posts - 134 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Italian, French, Mandarin
Studies: Russian, Dutch

 
 Message 88 of 213
27 June 2010 at 3:37pm | IP Logged 
Well, it works best for me to simply force in as much quantity as possible. With SRS,
you really won't totally forget any of the words. Even if they are somewhat passive,
they are still at least activated in your memory, and are therefore much easier
than completely new words, either for understanding within conversational context or
for transition into active use.

It often happens that I hear a word whose usage is unfamiliar to me, but whose
meaning/translation I have already learned. When that occurs, it is quite automatic to
be able to intuitively comprehend the contextual and stylistic usage.

Also, I understand that a lot of people like to learn words by coming across them in
real-life media forms. I understand the appeal and the fear of relying on some
translation, but I have found it a lot more comfortable to be familiar with all the
words in the first place, and then adjust the meaning in my head based on the context.
It's pretty frustrating when you are reading at a steady pace and then have to pause to
puzzle out some word or turn of phrase.


2 persons have voted this message useful



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