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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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translator2
Senior Member
United States
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848 posts - 1862 votes 
Speaks: English*

 
 Message 49 of 213
27 September 2009 at 7:11pm | IP Logged 
If I started at 8:00 am and studied until 8:00 pm, I could easily memorize around 2,000 words and take a test with about 90% accuracy. HOWEVER, two weeks later, I would have forgotten most of those words unless I reviewed them everyday/every other day for several weeks which, of course, would then end up being only 150 words a day of real permanent learning.
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Lingua
Decaglot
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United States
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 Message 50 of 213
27 September 2009 at 7:33pm | IP Logged 
Iversen wrote:
I'm too lazy to read 10 pages to learn 100 words. I learn 100 words from a dictionary, and then I read 10 pages for fun.


I would say you partially learn 100 words from a dictionary, then you continue your learning of the words from reading. And don't trot out that "cheval" = "horse" example - most of the words in a language are not concrete nouns. And even concrete nouns are not always that simple. "Hus" = "house" ?



Edited by Lingua on 27 September 2009 at 7:36pm

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Iversen
Super Polyglot
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Denmark
berejst.dk
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 Message 51 of 213
27 September 2009 at 9:54pm | IP Logged 
Lingua wrote:
I would say you partially learn 100 words from a dictionary, then you continue your learning of the words from reading.


Precisely - that's the idea

Lingua wrote:
And don't trot out that "cheval" = "horse" example - most of the words in a language are not concrete nouns. And even concrete nouns are not always that simple. "Hus" = "house" ?


Yes, what about hus/house ? It is as concrete as can be, but is used in a lot of expressions, which ultimately all are derived from the central core meaning. So it is definitely worth knowing this core meaning* beforehand if you should happen to meet one of the less clearcut examples, such as houses in astrology or a certain music genre.

(something with a roof and some walls and ample space inside where people can live)

But it is almost a waste of time to discuss this - we'll never agree on the second part of your statement. And that gallant stead will continue to leave its stable at regular intervals to trot the green pastures of this forum.


Edited by Iversen on 28 September 2009 at 12:20pm

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William Camden
Hexaglot
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United Kingdom
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 Message 52 of 213
19 October 2009 at 8:25pm | IP Logged 
translator2 wrote:
If I started at 8:00 am and studied until 8:00 pm, I could easily memorize around 2,000 words and take a test with about 90% accuracy. HOWEVER, two weeks later, I would have forgotten most of those words unless I reviewed them everyday/every other day for several weeks which, of course, would then end up being only 150 words a day of real permanent learning.


That is correct. This is what I call the "pouring water into a cloth bag" aspect of mass vocabulary learning. You are much better learning 150-200 words well, that is, able to remember and actively use them later, than 2,000 in a "cloth bag" way.

Napoleon, when in exile on St Helena, tried to learn English, and in garbled English described his attempt to learn the language, according to a book about his last years I read a long time ago. It is hard to make out exactly what he meant because his written English was so bad, but he seemed to be saying that he learned thousands of English words but could not spell or use them properly. He seems to have tried to learn lots of English words in a short space of time. A genius in many ways, Napoleon could not conquer the English language.   

Edited by William Camden on 19 October 2009 at 8:25pm

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Akalabeth
Groupie
Canada
Joined 3705 days ago

83 posts - 112 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: German, Japanese

 
 Message 53 of 213
20 October 2009 at 1:44am | IP Logged 
I'm studying Russian and tend to learn between 50-100 new words per day using SRS. I also
copy out some of the exercises and all of the example sentences and translations from my
Russian book, so I tend to add between 150 and 300 cards per day. I've got 1400 flash
cards so far, and it hasn't gotten unwieldy yet, as long as I make sure to never miss a
day. Granted, I'm quizzing myself mostly on comprehension, so not much of the knowledge
is active.
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Rycerz
Newbie
Poland
Joined 3941 days ago

33 posts - 33 votes
Studies: Ukrainian, Polish*
Studies: English

 
 Message 54 of 213
21 October 2009 at 6:40pm | IP Logged 
Hey!
I have one ask.. what it's SRS?
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Akalabeth
Groupie
Canada
Joined 3705 days ago

83 posts - 112 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: German, Japanese

 
 Message 55 of 213
21 October 2009 at 7:18pm | IP Logged 
Spaced repetition software. Basically flash card software that spaces out questions
depending on how well you do, so questions that you always get right are asked more
frequently than ones that you frequently get wrong. I prefer Anki
(http://ichi2.net/anki/), but there are some others. Somewhat of a pain to use at the
rate I'm going at though, since I need to spend several hours a day just typing up the
new questions I want to add.

A lot of people find it kind of boring to study a lot of material via SRS, but it's worth
a try if you've never used it.

Edited by Akalabeth on 21 October 2009 at 7:24pm

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meramarina
Diglot
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United States
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 Message 56 of 213
22 October 2009 at 3:19am | IP Logged 
I am not sure I really want to know how many words I learn per day. I do believe in setting goals and keeping them, and also in documenting progress, but I know that if I began to keep count of exactly what I do each day, my obsessive-compulsive tendencies would take over and throw me way off track: I'd count and count and count, get distracted, and would no longer be learning language. And, because my attention and ability to concentrate and retain knowledge fluctuates so much and so frequently, I know I would get upset over, for example, 50 words one day and 2 the next. And no number would ever be quite good enough. Thus, I don't sum it all up. As long as I work every day and can remember and apply at least some of what I've learned, even if it is only in small increments, I'm not going to worry too much about it. Because if I let myself do that, I will.

I could make a reasonable estimate by going over my source material and the vocabulary lists and cards I've made from it; this information is in all my computer, but doing so would be time-consuming and I'd rather dedicate those hours to language or other kinds of learning. I learn almost everything from context: I read, or listen, write notes, and review them. Then, I practice the words verbally or by writing. Sometimes I seem to just absorb words very easily, other times nothing seems to make it into my long-term memory. Some words I learn right away and can recall well, and others just don't take root in my mind and I have to learn and relearn them. So I would not know if I should count words and phrases I've had difficulty learning only one time, or instead three times, or seven, or nine, or seventy-nine, or however many times I have to reinforce my memory until the new material becomes firmly established.

As long I make progress, and gradually understand more and more, I have to try to be satisfied with that. Not too satisfied, though, or I would lose the desire to learn.



Edited by meramarina on 22 October 2009 at 3:48am



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