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Super-fast vocabulary learning techniques

 Language Learning Forum : Learning Techniques, Methods & Strategies Post Reply
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Splog
Diglot
Senior Member
Czech Republic
anthonylauder.c
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 Message 209 of 255
13 May 2010 at 2:54pm | IP Logged 
luhmann wrote:
I think this kind of sorting would work very well in conjunction with the 100k sentences method.


Do you mean to 10k sentences method, where people use an SRS for 10k sentences?

SRSing 100k sentences would be many years of work I imagine.
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luhmann
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Brazil
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 Message 210 of 255
13 May 2010 at 3:17pm | IP Logged 
Splog wrote:

Do you mean to 10k sentences method, where people use an SRS for 10k sentences?

SRSing 100k sentences would be many years of work I imagine.


Well... I'm trying to figure out a way to tenfold efficiency. The theory is thus: sentences are methodically arranged so that each new sentence has only a minimal amount of new information, or no new information at all, thus greatly improving retention and mutual reinforcement. This should allow to introduce new sentences faster, and to schedule repetitions at greater intervals.

10k sentences seems too litle... If I have 30k words, and add 3 example sentences for each, that's already 90k.

Edited by luhmann on 13 May 2010 at 6:58pm

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Doitsujin
Diglot
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Germany
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 Message 211 of 255
16 April 2011 at 10:08am | IP Logged 
luhmann wrote:
I use a SRS I wrote myself that manages scheduling up to the second.
[...]
PS Don't ask me for the program because the source code is really messy and needs to be rewritten from scratch, it is hard-coded to my data and it cannot be used without understanding its innerworkings.

Did you manage to clean up the code in the meantime?

Edited by Doitsujin on 16 April 2011 at 3:02pm

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Doitsujin
Diglot
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Germany
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 Message 212 of 255
16 April 2011 at 10:24am | IP Logged 
After reading the whole thread I ended up slightly confused. While googling for more information I stumbled upon the following free paper that nicely summarizes the "state of the art" of vocabulary learning:

Emerging Technologies: From Memory Palaces to Spacing Algorithms: approaches to second-language vocabulary learning

It also contains a very comprehensive list of web links and, since it's from 2010, most of them are still active.
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Matheus
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Brazil
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208 posts - 312 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*
Studies: English, French

 
 Message 213 of 255
04 May 2011 at 2:05am | IP Logged 
I have some questions for those who are experts about learning vocabulary.

I'm very methodical and I'll never say that I speak some language if I don't know the basic nouns. What do I call basic nouns? Nouns that even the most non-educated native speaker would know.
I don't know if some list like that exist, but it should exist, and be separated by verbs, adjectives and nouns.
We don't need to know all the verbs that exist in our target language, not even all the adjectives, because most of them have frequently used synonymous.
But when it comes to nouns, it's just different. I'm sure you can say.. "That's my car" or "That's my automobile, but what about nouns which are rarely used on movies, on the television, but are essential and worth knowing, like blanket, door handle, basin.
You may say, why one would bother about that thing? if they aren't frequently used.

I answer you: Imagine you were in your target language country, and you needed to say that your door handle is broken and you can't open the door, what would you say? "the thing I touch to open the door is broken?". I think it's not good for someone who wants to truly master another language, unless if it's not your goal.

What can we do? (I'm not supposing that the forum should do it) We can create a big list, separating the nouns by parts, which will have more branches, like. House > Kitchen (all nouns needed at the kitchen) > Living room (all nouns needed at the living room) > etc. This way we would have a noun dictionary. Most useful verbs appear more time than, Blanket, for example.

What if I create that big list? Would it worth it? I think I'd forget most of them, because they were not being used, I mean, you hardly hear or listen to these words, unless if you live in your target language country for some months. But would it be enough? Do someone have experienced that?

I also found that many people (including me) think that reading is a good way to build our vocabulary. My thoughts on it are: If we read, we will obviously learn grammar (the most efficient way to do that), cement words that we already know, and learn a few of them, but, for the words which hardly appear again, will we remember them after a few months?

Reading can be a good method, but if you're reading a book, you're likely to find a lot of nouns that you don't know, and searching for their meaning in the dictionary, even on online ones, can be very frustrating if you don't know many of them. Sometimes you can figure it out by the context, but not always.
Just read these phrases below:

"I was sleeping, but when I woke up, I realised that the blanket had disappeared."
I know it sounds weird, but would you understand by the context what blanket was?
I'd certainly not.

"She was eating her sandwich at the stream".
If you didn't know what stream was, would you figure it out by the context or it's ok to know that she was eating a sandwich at somewhere?

Another thing I realised today, is that watching movies can be a good way to learn vocabulary without the help of a dictionary.
Let's imagine that you're reading a book, and you read the phrase "pass me the salt".
If you don't know what "salt" is, and you don't have a dictionary, how will you know the meaning of the word? Because if you're watching a movie, you see the scene/footage and realise what the word means. You also practice your listening skill and the spoken language too.

Sorry for the long post.
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Iversen
Super Polyglot
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Denmark
berejst.dk
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 Message 214 of 255
04 May 2011 at 6:32am | IP Logged 
I'm not quite sure why you want to separate substantives from other word classes. If you didn't have this wish you could use frequency lists to fill out the holes in your basic vocabulary. We have several threads about those lists. I'm somewhat sceptical about using them to learn the words in the first place, but in mopping-up operations they are useful.

I also recognize the problem you mention with words you just see once in a written text (or even worse: just hear once in speech). And precisely for the reasons you mention I have somewhere written that I don't expect to learn words from extensive sources, only from things I study intensively - though expressions and specialized terminology will typically be learned from such sources, rather than dictionaries.

My cure is of course doing wordlists, and my current typical work method is either 1) copy a text by hand, noting down (and guessing or loosely looking up their meaning), followed by reuse in a wordlist where I take care to get the correct meaning (or at least one core meaning, if it is a word with diffuse meaning or several meanings) or 2) doing wordlists directly from a dictionary (not too big, but big enough to have morphological information and a certain amount of expressions). I might of course still miss the correct word for 'doorhandle' in some language, but if the need arose I would either point to the broken item or draw it on paper if I didn't have a dictionary around me. You can't prepare for every eventuality.


Edited by Iversen on 04 May 2011 at 6:37am

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Matheus
Senior Member
Brazil
Joined 4903 days ago

208 posts - 312 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*
Studies: English, French

 
 Message 215 of 255
04 May 2011 at 7:04pm | IP Logged 
The problem is that I feel ashamed because I didn't know basic words such as lampshade, cushion. I read lots of texts in English, but I really don't remember if I read these words at least once.

I'll search for those high frequency word lists on this forum. Although I can recognize many words from Latin roots, there are also "Germanic" words with low frequency that I've never seen before.

Do you know some English book which cover a good essential vocabulary? I'm not talking about words that are really hardly seen and even the native speakers don't use them (eg Tolkien - love to read in Portuguese).

I've searched for children's books but I'm not sure which one could be the best to read.

Edit: If you have a book name or a link of any frequency list in English (more than 3000 words) and could tell me, it would be highly appreciated.



Edited by Matheus on 04 May 2011 at 7:14pm

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lingoleng
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Germany
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 Message 216 of 255
04 May 2011 at 7:40pm | IP Logged 
Matheus wrote:
Do you know some English book which cover a good essential vocabulary?

I use this one. I think it is good, and there are other books like this, of course.


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