AlchemistCamp 45 days ago [-]
In my experience, a textbook and flashcards are great for your first 500 words or so and just enough grammar to get your bearings. I also do a lot of listening and phonics work at the beginning.

After the first month or so, I find extensive reading (with graded readers) to be by far the fastest way to pick up and cement vocabulary gains.

Listening (to radio or podcasts) is harder until you building a larger vocabulary, so I gradually add it to my reading habit as I improve.

davidgtl 45 days ago [-]
The specific method doesn't really matter, the base idea is to emerse your brain into what you want to learn, don't overdo it(take breaks, as many, as long as you need to), but definitely take every chance you can for repetition and reinforcement. To clarify a few ideas: - emerse(as opposed to passively observe) means that you actually do some mental work, if it feels too easy, you're underestimating yourself - overdoing/breaks: things will not stick as well if your mind becomes tired/foggy. Find the times you have the most excitement to learn. Also do your best to create that excitement(sleep, food, exercise, self-treats) - repetition & reinforcement: things sticks to your mind after repeated active exposure; recalling them is relatively easier than learning, so try to sprinkle throughout your day a question or two about things you've "already learned" and when you stop making mistakes you can start cycling out those questions, don't add new things faster than you can cycle them out

Perhaps you now see in what specific ways the practices you mentioned might help you. Be creative with them make it fun and enjoyable

P.S. your associative memory doesn't discriminate, try not to mix your learning with things you don't want to pop in your mind later e.g. learning another languager, baby screaming from the other room, stress, etc.

tanseydavid 45 days ago [-]
I found that practicing pairs of opposites was one way for me to expand my vocabulary in a somewhat methodical way when I was working to improve my Spanish.

Pairing opposites in this fashion amounts to reducing the recall effort (At least for me). It is somewhat like getting recall of two words for the effort of one.

I also tried to identify common recited listings of words such as" "Who, What, When, Where, Why and How" and then learn them by rote in the second language.

krm01 45 days ago [-]
This sounds interesting. You’re creating a single array for easier memory storage that you then only have to parse when a function calls for it.
clorohk 45 days ago [-]
Shameless plug, but might be useful for some people here.

I’ve created vocabulary books with the 2000 most frequently used vocabularies for 40 languages (so far). You can find that here:

Those are real translations, not Google Translate, and all cross checked and proofread.

Came up with this for myself when learning Cantonese. Before that I found HSK (Chinese standard test) very useful which kind of follows a similar approach.

It’s not for everyone, but people who like 80/20, etc. might find this quite useful

kleer001 44 days ago [-]
And lots of lovely teasers on your youtube:

Not much of a linguist myself, but they look nice. Will keep in my bookmarks for later.

myth2018 45 days ago [-]
I think there's no single answer. I usually experiment with different methods and stick for a bit longer with the one showing the best results. But I often get "saturated" and, when I feel I reached a plateau, I start to try new methods (even methods I've already tried and disliked at the first contact).

Memorization-based methods like spaced repetition flash cards never worked with me, but I know some people who got wonderful results out of it.

I use sporadically the paid version of It has some annoying bugs and the usability isn't great, but I enjoy the method.

I try to talk to native speakers whenever I can. That helps to build emotions related to the new language and I feel that those emotional connections usually help to "burn" the new vocabulary into your brain, it doesn't matter whether the emotion is positive or not (that's my experience at least).

adamnemecek 45 days ago [-]
Getting a Wikipedia dump in said language and counting word occurrences and then learning the most common 5000 (or however many) words. There will be duplicates (e.g. different forms of a single words) but who cares.
decuran 45 days ago [-]
I've been working on a tool that lets you see connections between words in your own language and one you're learning. It is based on following etymology trees up and back down. It has helped me a lot and I enjoy browsing around in it.

For example you can see the connection between Spanish 'mano' ("hand") and English 'manufacture', 'manipulate', etc.

namaljayathunga 43 days ago [-]
To have a emotion of the word, I watch this channel.

westcort 45 days ago [-]
I used the NWSL list and translated them to several languages. You can use them here:
GoMonad 45 days ago [-]
I've used Anki (spaced repetition app) with some success. I haven't been particularly dedicated. However, I know it's something that many people use and get results.
bigpumpkin 45 days ago [-]
Use the new words you learned in speaking and writing.
afarrell 43 days ago [-]
I've found it helpful to memorize songs and poetry in the other language.
Ftuuky 45 days ago [-]
watch movies in the language you want to learn with english subtitles (or vice-versa)
nullsense 43 days ago [-]
Anki + immersion + regular output
Ievgeniia 45 days ago [-]
Just start chatting with a native speaker. From my experience, it's one of the best and most efficient ways.