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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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qklilx
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United States
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 Message 9 of 213
18 June 2009 at 2:29pm | IP Logged 
Passively, in text, going from the target language into English I can learn about 30-40 words in a day, almost every day, and keep them in my memory for a few weeks without ever having to recall them. Going the other way around is more like 10-20. Actively is maybe around 5-10. After about two reviews a month apart each I can have about 75% of it all in my head passively and 50-60% actively.

Iversen wrote:
Apart from that I don't find Zerothinking's 250 words/day out of reach. Using my current formate for wordlists (and thin pencils!) I can cram 250 words unto one sheet of paper, and after one repetition round I have learnt most of the words. However it would take a whole evening plus 1-2 hours the day after, and I couldn't do it day after day - it is somewhat taxing. I normally just do a few blocks of around sixty words daily, i.e. sometimes just 60, sometimes 120 or even 180 words, but in this last case I try to cover more languages.


Do you think your high amount of input would be as easy for you if you were to study a language completely different from those that you know?

Edited by qklilx on 18 June 2009 at 2:33pm

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fairyfountain
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Zimbabwe
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 Message 10 of 213
18 June 2009 at 2:36pm | IP Logged 
Quote:

Then why on earth didn't you continue having a regular plan when it was so efficient for you ??

Well, I don't have the time, to be honest. My main goal is to sound completely American, and I'm working really hard on that right now. I'd rather know 10k words and be able to native, that's it.
However, during the summer vacation, I'll try to take care of the vocabulary issue. I did forget some of the words that I learned that way, but I watch so much English and American stuff that I just can't forget *everything*, just because I stumble upon the new words so much. Knowing lots of words but not being able to pronounce them reeeeally well is not my dope.
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cordelia0507
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United Kingdom
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 Message 11 of 213
18 June 2009 at 2:53pm | IP Logged 
For the record FairyFountain: There is nothing whatsoever wrong with having a chic French accent when speaking English.
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fairyfountain
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Zimbabwe
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 Message 12 of 213
18 June 2009 at 3:00pm | IP Logged 
LOL. I love it when people say that, I hear that everyday.
I hate most French accents in English, it's just me.
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Kris
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Australia
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 Message 13 of 213
18 June 2009 at 3:34pm | IP Logged 
Normally between 30-50 words per day.
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FuroraCeltica
Triglot
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United Kingdom
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 Message 14 of 213
18 June 2009 at 4:09pm | IP Logged 
I think it depends on what you mean by learn. It is one thing to make a flash card of a new word, quite another to recall it and remember it, and quite another again before you could use it in active language.
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Iversen
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Denmark
berejst.dk
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 Message 15 of 213
18 June 2009 at 7:23pm | IP Logged 
FuroraCeltica wrote:
I think it depends on what you mean by learn. It is one thing to make a flash card of a new word, quite another to recall it and remember it, and quite another again before you could use it in active language.


Just for the record: when I speak about numbers of words without further qualification I always refer to passive, but well-established words - no doubts and no guessing allowed. However for the sake of this thread I just made a miniature experiment. I took one of my Russian wordlists from the beginning of the month, covered up everything apart from one column of Danish words and went through them to see whether I remembered the corresponding Russian word. There were 29 Danish words and 32 Russian words (because I always note the Russian verbs in pairs, perfective and imperfective), and I could remember slightly less than half the words: 14. Then I turned the page and did exactly the same thing with a Russian column, also with 32 words, and out of these I just missed three. I'm quite satisfied with getting 14 supposedly active words out of 32 from one column, but it is an open question whether I would also remember the words in a practical situation, standing forlorn in the snow on a street corner in a Russian town.

qklilx wrote:
Iversen wrote:
I normally just do a few blocks of around sixty words daily, i.e. sometimes just 60, sometimes 120 or even 180 words, but in this last case I try to cover more languages.

Do you think your high amount of input would be as easy for you if you were to study a language completely different from those that you know?


I know from experience that it is easy to learn the first few words (for instance for a travel), but they should be learned from context. Learning words directly from a dictionary like I do is hard in the beginning because you need to make all sorts of memory tricks to remember them, and still they just seep out of your memory. But with persistance this situation changes because you build up a repertoire of vaguely remembered words and with time you learn enough words to be able to build associations between known and unknown words. When that happens it suddenly becomes much easier to memorize new words.

If you study a related language you can use associations across languages when you memorize new words, and this evidently speeds up the transition from the first slow phase to the 'fast track' phase. Conversely, learning a completely unrelated language with few 'international' loanwords forces you to spend longer time in the agonizing first phase.

However there is a catch, which is tied to the organization of the brain. I learn languages in groups, but I have read that some people learn each new language so to say from the bottom, and their languages then stay isolated in the brain. In that case it would evidently be less important whether the languages were related or not.


Edited by Iversen on 18 June 2009 at 7:36pm

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Rycerz
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Poland
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 Message 16 of 213
18 June 2009 at 9:37pm | IP Logged 
You write how manny words do you can lern, but by what long time?


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