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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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ellasevia
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 Message 201 of 213
11 December 2010 at 4:29am | IP Logged 
justberta wrote:
This forum has become such a silly place lately. This T.A.C thing, people blogging about learning 100 words in one day, 10 languages in one year. It's pretentious and annoying.

I agree that some of these things might be perceived as silly to someone who doesn't agree with their main principles. TAC is about setting goals and studying as hard as you can to achieve them, literally following your dreams. What's so terrible about that?

Maybe people can learn 100 words per day. What's your issue with that? I doubt they would be able to remember them all perfectly a day later, but that's what review is for. I'm sure you're going to blow up on me for saying this, but between all of my Anki vocabulary lists I am introduced to approximately 285 new words per day, and usually review some 1200 others. Nowhere, however, am I saying that learn them perfectly. From continued exposure to them in daily reviews and from native materials, eventually the words stick. For me, this works quite well. Maybe this method is completely useless. If so, great. Find one that works for you, but don't condemn everyone who uses something besides what you do as wrong.

I don't deny that 10 languages in a year is a lot. I don't deny that the person may not progress as quickly as if they concentrated on just one or two, or even three languages. But I also don't deny that if this is an activity that the person enjoys, what do you care? What business do you have in judging the validity of their hobby? It's a different matter entirely if they are complaining about why they're not making as much progress as they'd like--then you can tell them to either stop expecting so much or narrow down what they're studying.

No one is making you stay. If you think everything here is so silly, pretentious, and annoying, then just leave.

justberta wrote:
As long as a person states that he reads and writes a language. That's fine. However to state that he speaks a language merely from studying it alone in his room with grammar tables and vocabulary lists is a bit much if he's never been to the country or spoken to natives.

Saying you speak a language is a very general term in English to indicate that a person has a knowledge of a language. If you want to be more specific, you can say "I speak, read, write, and understand fluent French, can read literary works with great ease in the original Latin, and can read and speak some basic Russian," but this is often far too detailed than what the person you're speaking to cares to hear. Saying "I speak French, Latin, and some Russian" is far more efficient. In German you could say "ich kann sehr gut Englisch" (lit: I "can" very good English), omitting a verb altogether, but this is not the case in English. Deal with it.

justberta wrote:
Comical is when a 20 year old native English speaker noob comes to this forum stating that he will now study Russian, Mandarin and Spanish. Simultaneously.

Gasp! What a catastrophe!
I don't get this. Who is to say that he can't do it? Everyone has to start somewhere. This is not comical, this is a personal decision someone has made to embark on an exciting journey of discovery through three fascinating languages. Honestly...

Edited by ellasevia on 12 December 2010 at 9:24am

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doviende
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Senior Member
Canada
languagefixatio
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 Message 202 of 213
11 December 2010 at 7:53am | IP Logged 
If we can get back on topic for a moment, Ellasevia has a great point there. By learning many new words in a day, and then reviewing them, it's quite easy to achieve 80% or 90% success. 80% of that 285 number is 228, which is still quite a healthy amount.

I usually find that the big time sink for me is that small percentage of "hard" words and phrases. I end up forgetting them every day and having to review them over and over. I save a lot of time by chopping them out and just deciding to learn them later. They usually make more sense when I encounter them in a different context.
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Lianne
Senior Member
Canada
thetoweringpile.blog
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Studies: Esperanto, Toki Pona, German, French

 
 Message 203 of 213
11 December 2010 at 7:54am | IP Logged 
justberta wrote:
Comical is when a 20 year old native English speaker noob comes to this forum stating
that he will now study Russian, Mandarin and Spanish. Simultaneously.


As much as I don't really want to get involved in this...

I understand that many people in English speaking countries (especially the United States and to a certain extent Canada) don't speak any other languages. But I don't think it's fair that that leads to this kind of generalisation about all native English speakers. Because I speak English, does that mean it's less likely that I'll have success learning other languages? I don't think so.
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ellasevia
Decaglot
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 Message 204 of 213
11 December 2010 at 7:56am | IP Logged 
doviende wrote:
If we can get back on topic for a moment, Ellasevia has a great point there. By learning many new words in a day, and then reviewing them, it's quite easy to achieve 80% or 90% success. 80% of that 285 number is 228, which is still quite a healthy amount.

I usually find that the big time sink for me is that small percentage of "hard" words and phrases. I end up forgetting them every day and having to review them over and over. I save a lot of time by chopping them out and just deciding to learn them later. They usually make more sense when I encounter them in a different context.


Precisely. I should have made clearer though, that those 285 words are divided between my 15 Anki lists (one per language). So I'm not actually learning 285 each day for German, for example, but only 20.
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newyorkeric
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 Message 205 of 213
11 December 2010 at 8:08am | IP Logged 
Let's remove the acrimony please. Any more bickering messages will be deleted.
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Deji
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 Message 206 of 213
11 December 2010 at 9:13pm | IP Logged 
I would like to speak up for those of us with long words lists that we haven't learned. I now have a Bengali word
list of 4,300, of which I probably know 30%. This is in a database on a mac. (This also represents years of work
struggling with Bengali fonts for the mac, writing jukktakors etc, etc.) I would love to try ANKI but find many of
these word learning systems will not accept the Bengali fonts. I tried learning 45 words per day, but this kind of
"feeding " is hard for me, so I found myself dropping it. I "collect" words in when I read texts(with a teacher) and
try to find a sample sentence for all the words I can. Since I want to sort my lists both in English and Bengali
order, I have developed a number code for Bengali words--simple, just A-is-01, B-is-02, etc--but, of course,
in Bengali alphabet order. (Madness ensues if you let your computer sort Bengali words in English alphabet
order).

It is somewhat deflating to have collected all of them and not know them all--but--what I DO have here is a
pretty good little basic dictionary. Especially for those oh-damn-what-IS-that-word moments. I can look up
words. It is actually better than 90% of the Bengali to English on-line dictionaries I have found (this is not saying
much). I can also create a number field to sort for random ordering. I can make "cards", can't "turn them over"
but I just make the English in teeny-weeny type, so it takes real effort to read.

I know that people will be firmly in either the pro-computer or no-computer camp, but for me, putting your
words on computer makes your list 80% more useful.

On the other hand, not to agree with some of the ruder comments, but I have been exchanging chat with
numbers of Bengalis through livemocha. I don't know if this "polyglot" thing is seeping out to the unwashed
language masses, or what, but I have learned to steer clear of french chats with people who list three or more
languages as "beginner". That may mean "I was THINKING about beginning". Or worse, "my french sounds like my
spanish/Italian/german even after a fair bit of study." And I'm not getting mad at them just for the sake of
getting mad--trying to help them get it right is frustrating for all concerned.

I do notice that french is very hard for South-East Asians--who normally have 3-4 different languages. Perhaps
because hindi et al is so WSIWYG. Spelling is very logical, if not always written in stone. Sometimes I feel as if I
am constantly telling them "Why on earth do you think you would pronounce those consonants, just because they
are WRITTEN there ??

Does anyone have any suggestions about wordlist programs that would be Hindi/Bengali friendly?

But other than occasional trolling, I enjoy the debates on this site. It is by no means as cranky as some.

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ellasevia
Decaglot
Winner TAC 2011
Senior Member
Japan
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Speaks: English*, German, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Croatian, Greek, Japanese, Turkish, Italian
Studies: Mandarin, Persian, Arabic (Written)

 
 Message 207 of 213
11 December 2010 at 9:48pm | IP Logged 
I find it hard to believe that Anki wouldn't support Bengali/Hindi text. As a test, I just went to a random Wikipedia page in Bengali and copied a couple words into one of my decks, and then did the same for Hindi. It seems to work fine.
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Deji
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 Message 208 of 213
13 December 2010 at 2:13am | IP Logged 
ellasevia wrote:
I find it hard to believe that Anki wouldn't support Bengali/Hindi text. As a test, I just went to
a random Wikipedia page in Bengali and copied a couple words into one of my decks, and then did the same for
Hindi. It seems to work fine.


Alas, it doesn't work! Thank you for the effort. I was all excited at the thought--and probably could copy Bengali
words from the internet--but if I copy them from my list this is what I get: bèMglA. Not this বাংলা. I CAN type
Bengali into anki. Just not with the older, superior font layout that I use, which has most of the combined letters.
If I wanted to retype the entire list into anki, though, I could do it. But at the end of the day, anki is just a better
database than my simpler database.

All font layouts are not created equal, and I really need to find someone Bengali who has a mac. Actually, I might
just try using anki with Shubhamay Ray's dictionary. A Bilingual Dictionary of Words & Phrases (English-Bengali),
one of the best resources. Thanks for the suggestion-- much appreciated.


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