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Someone has had trouble remembering enough words with their Goldlist

Caption below picture: ‘Wallachians distilling “Slievovitz”‘ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Someone (sic) wrote to me recently suggesting that the Goldlist was not for them as they had tried to do a distillation and only remembered 2 of 25 words.

Now I am someone who has just discovered that there is more than one metabolic type, that a good 45% of people are Matebolism B types as opposed to Metabolism A types, and that’s why the traditional diets based just on calories and not concerned with the whole sugar question don’t do the job but actually made me worse. Given that fact, I’m perfectly open to the idea that just as there is more than one type of metabolism, there may be another type of memory and that really not everyone will benefit from the Goldlist method – yes it is perfectly possible. I have an open mind on that question.

However, given that the Goldlist Method has indeed helped the overwhelming majority of people who have tried it, including some who could never learn languages using other methods and now can, as well as some others who were already successful polyglots with their own tried and tested methods who nevertheless saw enough merit in the Method to add it to their armoury of tools, I would be reluctant to give up on it just after not having a great result on the first distillation. Instead I would look at the reasons why a person could find that they distil a headlist and only manage to throw out 2 of the 25 and not something like 6, 8, 10, 12 or even 14 as is the experience of most people using the method.

I will write a lot more on this in the book, but in bullet form the things that can cause you to have lower distillation rates are as follows

Please see if any of the above affected your study, and if so, try to change them out of the way you study. Not just this method but any method will not have a fair chance if these conditions are present.

If you still cannot eject more than 2-3 from 25, then remember that ejection because of memory is the first line of attack in distilling, but it is not the only one. Other ways include combining onto one line, either by making a phrase which could be a fictional title of a poem, book, film or painting, and even when combining random words you could imagine what kind of image or story that would be – now sometimes we are capable of remembering words better in combination than in isolation. I wonder how many people in the world remember the English word “prejudice” only because they heard it in combinations such as “racial prejudice”, “without prejudice”, “Pride and Prejudice“. Other ways of combining are to list together words that come in a sequence such as the numerals, days of the week, months of the year, etc, or combing verbs of motion and adjectives with their opposites. You will often find that doing a combination rather than a complete ejection at an earlier distillation helps arrive at a safe full ejection sooner in the later distillations. And a final method of distilling involves simply ejecting vocabulary from the list on the grounds of likely non-use. If the English translation (or your native language translation) of the target language word or expression is one that you would never us in your own language, then it’s a prima facie reasonable assumption that you might not need it so  much in the target language either. If in doubt, you can eject. For every action there is an equal and opposite subconscious reaction, which is why the act of throwing something away often leads to its better retention. After all, we usually remember whether we have given or thrown something of ours away and don’t waste time looking after it afterwards.

I hope the above pointers are helpful to Someone and to others.

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