On the Google Beta group Huliganov and Friends, one contributor, lepenseur, asked:
When you are doing the distillation process, what number do you use? Example if you are distilling the first list do you use 1 – 25 or the next number? How do you know (if that’s important) to what list that list belong to?
Generally you treat each of the four “corners” of the exercise book as separate lists run with their own sequential numbering through all the pages of the book. The head list is top left, so the first page has 1-25, the second has 26-50 and so on very predictably. The 20th page will have 475-500. This is for ease of counting the input into the system, as well as being a convenient and appropriate portion for memory work before you should take a 10 minute break.
The top right hand of each page is the first distillation. It is sequentially numbered through the book, but the numbers will be about but not exactly 30% smaller than the numbers on the Head list. Page 1 may be 1-18 only. That would make page 2 start at 19, and if that adds another 16 then the second page will be 19-35, and the third 36-say 52 or 53 – it’s roughly going to be predictable but it can vary a bit. Similarly the bottom right hand will be 1-12 or 13, second page 13 or 14 through to 23, 24 or 25… and you get the idea.
A hard word which isn’t filtered out may for example be number 990 in the headlist, number 672 in the first distillation, number 503 in the second and number 378 in the third, but it will always be on page 40 of that first exercise book you use, which I call “the Bronze Book”. When you transfer to the second level book, the “silver book” in order to do distillations 4 through 7, the number this hard-to-remember word may have could be say 246. And this time it will no longer be on page 40 but in the second book it will already have moved up to page 10, because distillation number 4 also has 25 word blocks, like the Headlist.
If the word makes it to Gold Book, which is distillation number 8 and final, then it will be not in a group of 25, but will be written as beautifully as you can on a beautiful book using all the space as you think fit aesthetically. You can also mix languages in the final gold book, whereas I would advise keeping the bronze books and the silver books for one book at a time, and three or four bronze books will distil into one silver book. You would never use up a 96 side hardback book on one language once we got to the gold level, distillation 8. three thousand words at that level of distillation would have been 40 to 50 thousand at headlist. There is no sense in learning that number of words in a single language. Much better to learn with the same time 12,000 words in four languages than 48000 in the one foreighn language, which you will never use in ordinary conversation. Either way you are looking at many years to process such a lot of vocabulary properly into your memory. 48000*3/25/3 gives you 1920 hours. That’s an hour a day on average for a little over 5 years. With language school style learning it’d probably take you ten.
Lepenseur, many thanks for a good question. I shall also add this answer to my blog called Huliganov TV. I’d like to welcome everyone of you over there as there are also things going on over there for languages gthat will overlap a bit with here, but some completely different stuff too.