Questions tagged [vocabulary]

The body of words used in a particular language, or that known by an individual speaker.

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24
votes
3answers
326 views

How to start thinking in a new language

I'm fairly fluent in Hebrew, to the point where I speak it intuitively, often accidentally when I intend to speak English. But I struggle to think in it. My question is, what is required to think in a ...
21
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3answers
243 views

Can practicing vocabulary from L2 to the same L2 instead of from L2 to L1 be more effective for learning the vocabulary?

Can practicing vocabulary from a second language to the same second language instead of from a second language to your first language be more effective? Example: Suppose I know German and I’m ...
20
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4answers
613 views

How to remember words and improve my vocabulary

When trying to learn a new language I keep forgetting words, especially the adjectives. I think the main problem is that I don't use them at all and so after a bit I forget all the words that I don't ...
20
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4answers
727 views

How can I expand my active vocabulary in a foreign language?

I’ve been learning a foreign language for 5 years. Now, I easily understand everything I read, I know lots of words and everything seems to be alright, but I still have a problem. My active vocabulary ...
20
votes
2answers
461 views

Is SRS more effective than traditional study for vocabulary augmentation?

Spaced Repetition Software (SRS), such an Anki, has become somewhat popular in the language-learning realm for increasing one's vocabulary and similar reasons. However, is there any evidence that ...
18
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3answers
547 views

What resources are there for learning Toki Pona?

I recently started using Memrise to learn Toki Pona, because I find that language to be very interesting. Memrise is indeed useful regarding vocabulary, but I think it is not enough. Are there other ...
17
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3answers
522 views

How does learning vocabulary through sentences compare to learning with words alone?

When learning vocabulary, especially with the use of SRS (Spaced Repetition System), it is interesting to use flashcards. A commonly encountered problem is how to formulate those for maximum ...
17
votes
3answers
12k views

What are estimates of vocabulary size for each CEFR level?

The CEFR does not specify a vocabulary list or a vocabulary size for each level. I could find one scientific article attempting this mapping (research paper of Milton J and T. Alexiou (2009), ...
17
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2answers
1k views

When using flashcards, should the word or the definition be hidden?

A lot of language learning methods use flash cards to allow them to remember words and their definitions and to test their memory. Some people hide the words, while others hide the definition, which ...
16
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3answers
335 views

What are the advantages of studying words by their frequency?

There are many word lists sorted by how often they appear during speech (for example, NGSL or Top 100 Spanish words) and also lots of software and online services which make them easier to memorise (...
14
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3answers
170 views

How can I strengthen vocabulary knowledge of words learned with flash cards?

I've used flash cards a lot to learn Korean words, and it doesn't take long to memorize words well enough that I can recall them very quickly. It's especially easy to go from English to Korean - I ...
14
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3answers
207 views

Learning a language, for someone who can't stand flash cards

I can't stand memorizing words. I've found that the best way to memorize vocabulary is using (digital) flash cards, however I find studying flash cards to be one of the most mind-numbing and ...
14
votes
1answer
278 views

What is this phenomenon called when someone uses an “uncommon” word in his target language that is similar to one in his own language?

Suppose someone is learning words in a foreign language, and uses an "uncommon" word in his target language that is similar to one in his own language. For instance, the Spanish word for "mortgage" ...
14
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2answers
181 views

Grading vocabulary: How correct is necessary?

When grading vocabulary (either in a traditional classroom/test environment, or spaced repetition), is there any research into how to most effectively grade responses? Examples of possible answers (...
13
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2answers
854 views

Is the “T-Coding Method” a reliable method to learn vocabulary?

In Iran someone named "Mr Taraghghi" has imported a method for learning English vocabulary called "Vocabulary Coding" for Persian native speakers that works like this example: Consider the word "...
13
votes
3answers
230 views

How to make vocabulary acquisition fun?

I have been learning French for around 2.5 years. I am currently around the B1 level and have attained this by practising reading, writing and speaking and basically immersion. But one of the biggest ...
13
votes
2answers
98 views

Is there reliable data for the success rates of different methods of learning/reviewing vocabulary?

Is there reliable data for the success rates of different methods of learning/reviewing vocabulary? I.e.: no reviewing audiobooks hand-written flashcards SRS flashcard apps Goldlist method
12
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2answers
129 views

What are the pros and cons of learning noun classifiers along with vocabulary?

There are classifiers in several languages (e.g. Chinese), also known as measure words, for each noun. I think that it is a good idea to start learning them when I do not yet know many nouns, so that ...
12
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2answers
196 views

Mnemonics for learning vocabulary and complex writing for people with aphantasia

Aphantasia is the inability to create mental images. In the most extreme cases, people with this condition are completely incapable of re-creating any sensual information and lack mind's eye. All ...
11
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6answers
289 views

How can I overcome fear and failure when speaking to native speakers of my L2?

I've been studying Russian language on my own for more than 1.5 years. And I'm still bad at it because of lack of speaking practice. I didn't study everyday as I also paused for several months so I'm ...
10
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3answers
123 views

Online resource to study Russian language vocabulary

I'm looking for a website to study new Russian vocabulary. Not any site teaches the right vocabulary for russian language. I speak Russian a little bit and a lot of sites tend to translate wrong. ...
10
votes
1answer
111 views

How to use subtitles most effectvely?

I have an intermediate level in my target language (L2), which means that when I watch films without subtitles I understand relatively little. Turning on L2 subtitles increases my understanding to a ...
10
votes
2answers
74 views

Is it beneficial to learn vocabulary by words by lexical class?

Is it beneficial to learn vocabulary by words by lexical class? For example, learn a list of nouns first, then a list of verbs, then a list of adjectives. (There are, of course, more classes). I've ...
9
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2answers
168 views

Why can't I think of anything to say when someone asks how many languages I can speak?

There is this fairly common thing I've noticed, when a multiglot is talking to someone about languages, and they say "say something in x", suddenly all words in that language leave my head and I can't ...
9
votes
1answer
268 views

How many new words at a time?

I have a 1000 flash cards of new words. I pick a flash card at random to test if I remember the word. If not, I take a moment to try to remember it. With a 1000 flash cards I feel that I see too many ...
9
votes
1answer
217 views

How to learn the vocabulary of an ancient language like Aramaic, which is based on scripture only?

I've lately attended a series of lectures on the history of Christianity held by a Coptic scholar. He gave a few examples of Aramaic or Syriac sentences (translated from the Bible) which might be ...
9
votes
2answers
100 views

What are the main benefits and drawbacks of learning vocabulary only through conversation?

Many people learn foreign languages at school, which often involves learning vocabulary lists. Others learn languages through immersion. Each method has its benefits and drawbacks. What are the main ...
9
votes
2answers
126 views

Seeking an Arabic dictionary with colloquialisms

There are words in colloquial Arabic that Google Translate won't understand and which are not even an Arabic dictionary! This problem is noticeably worse than for, say, Spanish or English, where many ...
9
votes
2answers
107 views

What, besides frequency, gives a foreign word pedagogical priority in learning/teaching?

My understanding is that "survival" words in a language like numbers and days of the week are usually taught first, even though they may have a lower frequency than certain frequency used words like "...
9
votes
0answers
63 views

How to practice honorifics?

Japanese has honorifics (敬語 - "keigo"), a feature of which my native language English is devoid. For example, there is different vocabulary and grammar to use when speaking to a social superior, about ...
8
votes
3answers
155 views

How to personalize a vocabulary flashcard deck without spending too much time on it?

I understand that SRS programs like Anki is for review what you learn, not to learn the card completely new. However, for learners who require to learn a lot of new words (to pass a test for example), ...
8
votes
2answers
230 views

What is the average number of new Spanish vocabulary words an adult learner can learn per day?

And by recommended, I mean scientific research or recommendations from experienced language teachers. Out of a daily language practice session, how many new vocabulary words can an adult foreign ...
8
votes
1answer
64 views

What is the popularity of using colored (e.g. red) transparencies to obscure words in a language book?

When I was in Japan twenty years ago, I noticed that high school students would sometimes study English from special books with black and red printing inside. The book would come with a red-colored ...
8
votes
1answer
93 views

According to research, should related words be taught together?

On this site, we already have a question about learning related words together (or not) as an autonomous learner using a spaced repetition system. At the time of writing, that question does not have ...
8
votes
2answers
184 views

When to remove a word from Anki

Anyone familiar with Anki, or Spaced repetition in general, should know that the algorithm assumes that you will never remove a word from the system. You'll always review learned words, but after a ...
7
votes
2answers
350 views

How can flashcards be made using only the target language?

Usually, language flashcards are made with a word on the front and its translation on the back. This happens to work well with nouns like apple and most colors because, well, fruits and colors usually ...
7
votes
1answer
43 views

How to combat the predisposition to forget certain types of words?

When memorizing vocabulary lists, I found that I'm rather good at remembering nouns and adjectives, but verbs tend to slip my mind quite easily.* It's led me to wonder if others experience the same ...
7
votes
2answers
132 views

Efficient techniques to use songs to learn and retain vocabulary

I'm learning a language that is morphologically rather unrelated to my native tongue. I find great difficulty in retaining vocabulary in this new language, to the point where I have reached something ...
6
votes
3answers
381 views

When studying German, how much time should be spent on learning grammar rules vs. vocabulary?

How much time do I need to give to learning grammar rules versus vocabulary while studying German, or is it possible to speak a foreign language without needing to learn grammar rules?
6
votes
2answers
192 views

Is learning vocabulary by means of (bilingual) vocabulary lists inefficient, and if yes, why?

A previous question, "Is it bad to only learn vocabulary through conversation/applied use?" (The question is now only visible to users with 2000+ reps) looked like three questions combined into a ...
6
votes
2answers
104 views

Should one memorize vocabulary in or without context?

Many people ask you when you say that you are learning a new language "how much vocabulary do you have?" And actually the more vocabulary one has, the more he can master the language. Some people ...
6
votes
3answers
104 views

How can I apply the words I learn?

I know lots of words. I know I do because I know so many I have to review at least one hundred every day and it takes ages. I never am able to use these words in conversation though, and I don't ...
6
votes
2answers
43 views

Seeking Egyptian Arabic dictionary with sort of most common single words top down style

I am looking for a website which has an app for the most common single Egyptian Arabic words, with the ability to sort words from most common to least common, preferably with romanization included in ...
6
votes
1answer
35 views

An application to show words on display

Me and my coworkers are very inclined to learn foreign languages and decided to rotate a constantly updated list of words on displays that we have around the office. To work such application is a ...
5
votes
1answer
78 views

Is there more than one learning “path” through the intermediate levels in learning languages?

The Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) divides levels of language proficiency into A1, A2 (beginner), B1, B2 (intermediate), and C1,C2 (advanced. An A1 is learning the basics, and a C2 is ...
5
votes
1answer
113 views

Why can't I remember words?

I have a bad problem, I learned a lot of English words, I am registered on Memrise.com and every day I study new words and review them. Now I have more than 1100 words in my long term memory according ...
5
votes
2answers
104 views

How does the vocabulary learned through immersion compare to vocabulary learned via study?

When reading texts in L2, (sometimes) it can be easy to infer the meaning of a word based on its usage in the text. This can work similarly when listening or conversing. (Of course, to ensure there is ...
5
votes
1answer
152 views

Should I learn a whole bunch of new words at once with Anki?

I've got a specific anki deck where I have around 350 cards that I'm reviewing and 260 new cards that I haven't touched yet. I'm behind on my reviews for this particular deck (put it off for a while), ...
5
votes
1answer
308 views

“Means” versus “can be translated as (in some cases)”

A word represents a concept. Different languages sometimes use different concepts to describe the same matter. In such cases (my impression) the word of one language is often said to "mean" the ...
5
votes
1answer
134 views

What are the benefits of extensive reading?

What are the benefits of extensive reading? More, specifically, in what ways is extensive reading helpful for learning a target language? Responses based on research would be appreciated.