Answers to Krzysztof on layout of Goldlist books.

Snail shell

As it goes around the cycle, it gets less and less. The outer cycle is like bronze, the middle like silver, the inner like gold.

One Polish viewer, Krzysztof, asked me the following questions about the Goldlist over in Youtube, and agreed that I could answer in English and over here so that more readers can benefit. I haven’t translated the questions, as the questions will be obvious from the answers.


Chciałbym zadać kilka pytań o Gold List, otóż mam taki który ma 40 lini jednak gdy piszę 25 słów pod sobą to jest to mało czytelne, czy nie mogło to by być 20 słów ?

If you have large handwriting, and go over the lines, you may need to look for another book with larger lines, but these ones frequently don’t make up 40 lines per page. In such cases instead of having 25 lines in the headlist, you might need to reduce it to 20. 100 is easily divided by 20, so dividing the headlist up into 20s instead of 25s is a very valid alternative method.

Even for people who can easily fit in 25 in the headlist, limiting to 20 allows the goldlist book to take an alternative form which may appeal to some people: 20 for Headlist in the top left, then D1 (1st distillation) on the top right has maybe 14 words of the 20, in the middle right you have D2 with let’s say 10 words, and D3 on the bottom right with say 7 words. You would then be coming back up the left hand side with D4 on the bottom left on about 5, and have D5 on the left in the middle with maybe 3, and just take maybe 2 forward to the next book, if by that stage you even wanted a second book. I’d see it as a perfectly viable alternative.

Czy dobrze zrozumiałem, iż nie mam się tego uczyć, czy może warto to przeczytać kilka razy po napisaniu ?
Ciężko mi uwierzyć, że po przepisaniu 25 słów w języku niemieckim zapamiętam je.

You won’t have learned them all, only about 30% will have stuck. But you won’t know which really have stuck unless you leave it lie for two weeks at least at each stage. If you want to read your page out loud once, after writing it, that’s not likely to be a problem, but for pleasure. Repetition is what starts to feel like forced learning – you switch on your conscious memorizing and the unconscious one turns off – they don’t both work at once, you see. And the unconscious memory is the one that samples effortlessly a certain percentage of all you see when you are not actively trying to memorize, direct to the long-term memory.

Jednak to pan się zna, więc proszę o radę.
Te słowa mam pisać pod sobą, czy w jednej linijce można napisać

I would write them one at a time in the headlist. Condensing gradually into phrases or fictional book titles is fine in later distillations, and helps the memory process.

Po co są następne zeszyty brązowe, czy tam trzeba robić kolejne słowa z danego języka czy kolejne destylacje ?
Jednak pan mówił, że na kolejne destylacje jest zeszyt srebrny.

The second bronze book keeps going with the headlist and distillations 1-3 when you have run out of space in the first one. The silver book can be a lot thinner and contains distillations 4-7.

About David J. James

52 year old accountant who loves languages, literature, history, religion, politics, internet, vlogging and blogging and lively written discussion. Conservative Christian, married to an angel, we have three kids, and live in Warsaw, Poland. I can help you with company set-up, bookkeeping, payroll, tax, audit and due diligence all over Poland and the region.

Posted on 03/03/2011, in Answers to your questions, Gold List Methodology, Languages and Linguistics, Mówię po polsku!, With Another Person and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Thank you for the interesting variant. I still cannot figure out what numbers to use for the distillations (cannot see the numbers well in any example) – use the number as it appears in the headlist or start back at one for each new distillation? Thanks for this continuing discussion.


    • Each list (ie H, D1, D2, D3, D4, etc) has it’s own set of numbers going from 1 through to however many you make. Whatever the last number in the D1 position was on a certain page, the first number in the D1 area on the next double page will be +1 greater. That applies to all. There’s only one Head list, (H) and if you had 3 or four bronze books then the second bronze book will not start at 1. It might start at 2326 or 3551 or the beginning of any set of 25, depending on how thick your first bronze book was. The first d1 in the next bronze book could be any number, but is likely to be a number between 55% and 80% of the number for the same word in the H list.

      Just to check if you are doing it right, pick a word from your last distillation. Let’s say the word is “tondeiru”. For this word you could do the following analysis:

      “tondeiru” D3#356, D2#449, D1#603, H#827

      This means that that particular word was in those respective positions in each of those lists, and you could use that information to see what your average distillation percentage was at that point in each of the lists.

      It may be that the word “tondeiru” doesn’t appear at all in D4, because the learner may have remembered it.

      But if your goldlists are anything like the above and you can recognise that kind of mental analysis, then the chances are you’re doing them exactly right, as long as the dates at which “tondeiru” is re-written are at least 2 weeks apart from each other. If not, then you’ve probably not applied the method as it’s supposed to be and it probably won’t work properly for you.


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