What is active and passive vocabulary? A learner’s passive vocabulary is the words that they understand but don’t use yet. Active vocabulary, on the other hand, is the words that learners understand and use in speaking or writing.
When learning a language, should we focus more on developing an ability to speak or on building up our understanding of the language? This is a common question language learners ask, especially at the beginning of their language learning journey. Here are my views.
In my opinion, the best way to memorize vocabulary is NOT to memorize vocabulary. I have always found that trying to memorize vocabulary is an extremely low-efficiency activity. No matter how hard you try, some words are going to stick and some words will not stick until much, much later.
The myth is that there exists a battle in language learning: introverts vs. extroverts, and that extroverts are the better language learners. I do not believe at all that you need to be an extrovert to learn a language. Language learning comes down to the three keys: number one, attitude. You have to be interested in the language. You have to like the language. You have to believe you’re going to achieve your goal.
I recently watched a video which features polyglots Luca Lampariello and Anthony Lauder. In it they make the point that you don’t need to have a large vocabulary in order to be fluent. Anthony has said in the past that even with a few hundred words you can be fluent, or you can be fluent at a relatively low level of proficiency in a language. I don’t agree at all.
I hear all the time that Google Translate doesn’t work. It’s not accurate. It’s this and that. I think Google Translate is a tremendous resource and not only for language learners. It’s not 100% and it’s better for some languages than others, but I find it extremely useful.
When it comes to learning a new language, some learners like dictionaries. They read them. They treasure them. They worry about getting the best possible dictionary. I don’t like using dictionaries. Using them is like one-way love.
The question, don’t you forget your languages or how do you maintain your languages? That’s a very common question.
How do you not forget languages? The simple answer here is I don’t forget languages. I have not forgotten a language and I think there are several reasons for this.
It is tempting to believe that we can just acquire a small number of very useful words, and sort of get a jump start in a language. I have never found that to be the case. Even learning “where”, “when” “why” etc. does not help a lot, in my experience, because it simply takes a […]
I studied Czech a few years ago so my statistics at LingQ for that language are not current. However, the statistics from my recent Polish challenge illustrate the fact that we can learn or add to our “known words” total well over 100 words a day. In fact in the case of Polish (since I know other Slavic languages) it is over 300 words a day. You can learn 100 words a day, if you are willing to put in the time.
Language learning is one of the most enriching, rewarding, satisfying activities we can engage in. But how to learn vocabulary fast? The most important task in language learning, in my opinion, is the acquisition of vocabulary, words. If we have enough words, we can make sense of what we’re reading or listening to and we […]