The following is the explanation of GoldList Method which was published first on this site about seven or eight years ago. It was not a very polished explanation and some people either did not manage to work out what to do from it or came away with some misconceptions. As the user base of the Method has expanded over time and certain questions have been asked which show some of the misconceptions users have had, I have now re-written the main explanation. At the same time, some people liked the original explanation and did not want me to take it off line. So here it is.
If you are not looking specifically for the old explanation, please go rather to the new one, and what is not answered there is likely to be answered in one of the articles under the GoldList Method tab in the main navigation on the right hand side.
Aspects which are particularly in need of rewrite or reconsideration in this explanation are explained in brown Italics after each point.
In this page you’ll find the initial article from www.goldlist.eu about the Goldlist Method, but this blog contains a whole category on Goldlist, which you’ll find under “categories” – there you’ll find all the videos as well as articles and third party video about this method.
SO PLEASE USE THE NAVIGATION ON THE RIGHT COLUMN TO FIND THE MAIN REPOSITORY OF FILMS AND ARTICLES ON THE GOLDLIST METHOD. THIS IS BY FAR NOT THE BEST EXPLANATION HERE, AND WILL BE REPLACED WHEN I GET THE TIME TO DO A BETTER ONE….
Uncle Davey’s “GoldList” methodology for learning to the long-term memory.
- No reliance on mnemonics and no creation of strange methods to try and “visualise” words in contexts. No “think of a cat in a cot and you’ll remember that Polish for ‘cat’ is ‘cot’ “. – These are the ways by the way that course makers like Daniels gets phenomenal results over two weeks but they never last. Just as well, if they did, they would create a learner who, when he came to fluency, would not be able to say “kot” without thinking about a baby’s bed. Ridiculous. Oszustwo. Don’t let the oszusty deceive you by filling your shoes with the letter O at tea time.
I should add now that if a mnemonic natural appears to you, don’t fight it. You can even note it. But don’t try finding them and don’t use other people’s if they don’t resonate with you. You are not trying to learn but if a word joke or other piece of mnemonic creativity appears on its own in your mind, go with it. Why the change? Because creativity is linked to the long-term memory.
- No cramming, no learning against the clock. No learning for next week, or for tomorrow, or for a test, or for an exam. No conscious “memorizing”. The long-term memory is not a conscious function. Its samples are taken automatically and subconsciously out of the material which is run through the conscious. What we decide to memorise or forget only relates to s/t memory. You cannot decide to learn to the long term memory any more than you can decide to forget to the long-term memory. Disciplines based on the ‘aha!’ moment of putting two and two together to understand something can use the short term memory and be sure that they will get a long-term effect, but in languages there is very little “aha!”, and so short term memory is of next to no use at all.
You need to think of memory as a similar function to breathing – we breath best for our bodies when we don’t think about it, trying to breath at a special rate or especially deeply. The body regulates itself. We breathe ideally when we keep our mind off the process of breathing. For memory, when we take over the process consciously, like holding breath or breathing at a faster rate (‘hyperventilating’) we shut out for a time the body’s natural function. In other words when we take control of our memory by trying to memorize something there and then, we automatically shut out the possibility of long-term memorising and switch on instead the short-term memory function. And we can’t keep it up for long, and also it results in repetition of items in order to learn them which might be sampled on first reading even, if we just let go and let the God-given faculties of our body work. That’s why cramming methods and deliberate memorisation methods waste so much time for language learners and serious polyglots never use them.
Chomsky once commented on the inability of the child to learn language so well after the age of five or six, while language seems naturally to be acquired until this time. Chomskyites and other linguists have conjectured on numerous occasions what this faculty is that is lost, and how to measure it. In fact, there is nothing to measure being lost as nothing is in fact lost. What happens is that at that age an ‘extra layer’ comes in as the child learns by then to be self-consciously learning. The child, by school age, is aware that it is “now learning something” and making an effort to remember, not just being put through life’s algorithms passively. And so the short-term memory starts to come more and more into play, blocking the long-term memory function essential to the easy learning of languages. This method is all about putting back the long-term, unconscious memory into the learning process, which it does by taking any effort to rote learn or memorise on demand out of the progress, and focus instead on the mathematical process, the algorithm of the goldlist method, and on the pure enjoyment of writing out new words and just liking the experience of touching those words with our minds in a relaxed way, without pushing them on our memories.
What I should add is that if we did but know it, we are alternating in and out of these two systems the whole time, we switch ourselves into short-term mode by thinking about memorising and switch out of it by forgetting about memorising. Imagine a time bar like you get in some medical machines which changes to red whenever the short-term memory is working, and green for long-term memory, and grey if neither were working, which I suppose is also possible. You wouldn’t have uniform periods of coulours, but someties very brief flashes of the other colour as well as protracted spans. The idea is to put ourselves into a relaxed state enjoying the words and phrases for their own sakes and with focus on a manual algorithm and not on rote learning, without disctrations and with enjoyable material.
- Pay attention to study times. Because the l/t memory is not a conscious function, we are not aware of when it tires. This is measured to happen after 20 minutes. At that point, the sampling process will be become less than optimal, and so the learner to the long-term memory is wasting his time, although he or she may feel interested and want to keep going. The rule is, after 20 minutes, take a break of at least 10 minutes in which a completely different sort of thing is done.
It really doesn’t matter whether the student comes back for one more or ten more sessions of twenty minutes in the day, as long as it is not forced and the interest is still there and therefore the motivation. It is not necessary to do the work every day. The more regularly we come to it the less likely it is that the habit of doing it will break, but we do not need to feel enslaved to it. The language learning is a relaxing, fun thing, not a chore.
- Get comfortable when learning, don’t rush, and use attractive materials. We banish unpleasant experience from the long-term memory and garnish pleasant experience to the long term memory. By all means eat and drink during the 20 minute sessions of learning, but not alcohol, and also avoid music and background noise. After all, when learning to the l/t memory, you don’t have to work that hard. Less is more – less effort to cram means more of what you do learn actually sticks.
The use of Omega 3 and Vitamin D is helpful. The GoldList can easily be taken on walks and done outside, because it is ink and paper and not a screen that whites out in the sunshine. Similarly sleeping well assists the balanced functioning of the memory. If the gold list system doesn’t work for you even if you are sure that you understood the whole rationale and why it should work even though it is counter-intuitive (and by now there are videos all over the internet which back up the fact that this works – you’ll find some of them below) but you are finding a different story, then you need to look at how much Vitamin deficiency you may have, get sunlight, omega-3 and other vitamin and mineral supplements and ensure you are getting enough rest, enough sunlight, fresh air and water. Check your water for fluoridation, which is something everyone should do anyway, and use filtration in the home.
This is just a case of looking after general health. GLM helps you to work outside in good weather, which is often not possible when working with a screen. Sunlight is essential for vitamins and also for a good mental state.
- Use a variety of materials that present the content in a different way. For example, which explain the use of a particular tense or case in different ways. One book should be the “pace setter” and the other courses supplement it. A good choice of pace setter will be a course book which has vocabularies in the back going in both directions and which clearly teach something like 2000 words or more. There should be graded explanations of grammar, not shying away from grammatical terms but giving plenty of explanations and examples. Lengthy passages just on culture are a mere padder in language books – you can learn about any culture without learning the language properly. Photographs likewise, as well as cartoons and pictures. Discount these when choosing a language book in the shop. But give a premium to courses which offer a lead on second book for intermediate level, and advanced.
More on materials selection in the new explanation. You can use a whole variety of materials in GLM from beginner courses through to advanced literature or technical books written in the language for advanced learners.
- When using the key item in language learning, the vocabulary book, ensure that all the grammar for each word accompanies the word into the book. For instance, you would not just write “to begin” but also (began, begun) to show that it is a strong verb. You would not just write “Jugend” but “die Jugend” or “Jugend f.” Write the word on the right hand side of the page in your own language or the language from which you are learning the target language, and do 25 words at a time. 25 words can be comfortably written out that way in the course of 20 minutes, with time just to read the list through aloud at the end. Always work with units of twenty five head words, which wshould be written at the outset on the top left hand page of a double page A4 hardback writing book. You number the headword list from the beginning onwards so that the 5th such page will have numbers 101-125, etc. You always note the date you added the owrds to the list. You make an overall target of words to cover with no short-term time limit. It will be something like 2,500 words, which gets a learner up to what we used to call O level, and means that they become intermediate and most teach yourself course have roughly this number of words. I’m coming to the timing shortly.
Some people take the GLM as being only for vocabulary, and if you like you can use it that way, but I urge people to have grammar paradigms, rules and explanations, all the stuff the course gives, also in the lines of the GLM. IN addition it is often more valuable to use phrases than single words. Some people in various places on-line have criticised GLM and said it is not for them because it is just word by word vocabulary out of context. This is not the case, it is whatever is in your materials and material selection is up to you. Working through a small dictionary may well be necessary in some projects and avoidable in others. The point about collocations being more important than individual words is not an issue. I agree, so if you can find material with collocations rather than words for your language, go ahead and use that. I particularly recommend the Routledge Frequency Dictionaries as there is an example sentence for each lemma, and thereby you get far more than the 5000 words spoken of on the tin, as well as a broad range of registers taken from a real life corpus.
- You write the words into the vocab book by hand, in a beautiful hard back book, as neatly as you can, without getting stressed over it if it’s not as neat as you would like – so that the learner can take a pride in the look of it and not hurry over it. Write at a pace that is comfortable and natural. Do not do this in a computer, latch onto the natural memory that is linked to handwriting. It is a long-term memory function, which is why your signature always comes out the same, year in, year out, and you don’t even need to think about it consciously. Also, as stated above, you want to take your goldlist with you, and do it in the sun and in the bathroom and all sorts of places – even on aircraft when the fasten seatbelts sign is on and you can’t have the computer on. Also fiddling with diacritic signs means that the computer is not the best place for this – you will work slower and more arduously and less flexibly than you think. I like the computer as much as anybody does but we need to remember its limits. With computers it’s a bit like with the guitarists in a student Christian Union meeting or a youth worship meeting – the best guitar is the one that knows its place and doesn’t chime in when not needed, and the best guitarist in the church is the one who knows when to stop playing and give primacy to the voice. Computers are best when we reserve their use for the bits they do best. You could have your source word list or grammar book open in the computer, for example, no problem with that. Especially when so many good language books and audio files, often out of print in paper versions and replaced with more dumbed-down versions, can be found being file-shared on pdfs.
Yeah, sorry to guitarists in the above comment, but someone had to tell you. Should someone really not be able to write other than with a keyboard there is an Excel version available (here’s the latest which I made especialy for Kris Broholm’s New Year New Language Conference and is exclusive to that event 😉 ) GLM Template for NYNL but it is still not the recommended way of doing this and before trying it you ought to have at least given a good shot to acquiring a taste for the pen and paper version. Obviously this doesn’t apply to people who have a disability that prevents them from writing and can only use a keyboard, you are naturally welcome to use the Excel version straight away. Of course, printing this template also give you a good pen and paper template to use, if you print it a lot of times on double sided and put it all together like a book.
- The explanation of the grammatical models and the practising of basic sentence types goes like any other system. The gold list is not a course book it is an approach to the course book. In fact you don’t only need the goldlist method for languages, I’m sure it also helps with history, geography, case law for those studying law, and latin names of things for scientists and doctors. There are many possible uses for goldlisting other than languages, but languages is the place where the dividends it pays are the most clearly evident.
My system differs in how you approach the learning of the vocabulary, which is 80% of learning a language if you consider that the irregularities of grammar can and should be linked as I say to the specific words they refer to.
I repeat that this doesn’t mean you cannot use it for the main grammar paradigms and you should. And for practice sentences. There is nothing wrong with the fact that some lines are sparsely filled and others are quite full. I can report in my own case that GLM works very well for Physics and Agriculture. These are the two non-language uses I have applied it to so far. I think the real kicker is going to be mathematics.
- After writing out the vocab set of 25, and reading it through, a process which should take 20 minutes, you break for at least ten. You did not try to learn those 25 words, you just enjoyed writing them out in a nice book with a nice pen slowly and in pleasant comfortable surroundings. you do nothing more with them. If after ten minutes, you would like to go on to the next session, then you turn the page of the vocab book, go to the top left of that double page and do the next 25 numbered words. Then read them out aloud, and then take another break. You are enjoying the language, not cramming it.
Some people like my dear friend Lýdia Machová advocate a 20 line approach, rather than my 25 line approach.
This is dependent on the availability of writing pads which are 40 lines deep. If you have pads which are about 32 lines deep, then there is enough room to do 20 instead of 25 words, and either way you get to round hundreds, just once every 5 pageturns instead of once every four page turns. The name for 25 line method is nijuugogyouhou and the name for 20 line method is nijuugyouhou. (I just add that detail by way of needless complication, but at least you can feel like you are doing a martial art for the mind, which in a way, you are).
- Don’t do more than about 10 such sessions a day. If you get anywhere near that, make sure they are spaced out with other things going on between them.
If you are in a really positive mental state then don’t worry if you feel like doing 300 lines on a particular day. The record for 70 day challenges is about 15,000 lines so that means that the gentleman concerned managed over 200 lines a day as an average run rate. This is very rare, and is the equivalent of a university degree’s worth of knowledge per calendar year, subject to adequacy of materials selected. Don’t worry if you cannot get up to that.
- After no less than 2 weeks and no more than 2 months, go back to the headwords. No less than 2 weeks because the short term memory effect has passed, so anything you still remember is already learned to the long-twrm memory, and you will not deceive yourself. No more than 2 months in order to keep up a certain tempo. This should be a relaxed process, but there should be a limit to stop the laziness that is in human nature from making it ground to a halt. By 2 weeks a really enthusiastic learner may have already put all 2,500 words in their headlist but not have memorised them, resulting in words being repeated by accident, but that is really of no importance in this process.
The 2 months is just a pace setter and I regret even mentioning it. You can come back to lists much later in fact. The single most important thing not up for amendment is the minimum of 14 days. Change that, and you don’t have the GLM any more.
- What you then do with the words in the vocab book headlist that are more than 14 days old, but less than 60 days old is that you “distil” them. And this is what I call a “distillation”: Hermann Ebbinghaus’ experiments and the knowledge about the sampling habit of the long-term memory means that some of these words will already have been learned, despite the fact (actually because of the fact, but this is of course counter-intuitive) that all you did was try to enjoy them, not memorise them. In fact the prediction is that up to 30% of the words will be retained. You are looking to distil out the “hard to learn” expressions and obtain a concentrated, whisky-like list of distilled words that are an absolute bugger for you to learn (by which time you will, of course, actally have learned them, because they will have gone through this distilation process ten times with two weeks’ break in between each time). I call that the “gold list”. On the way to the gold list you will use up the first hard back book and a thinner second one.
If you intend learning, say three or four languages to fluency (over 10,000 words) then you’ll need three or four first books per language (with the head list and the first three distillations) I call these the bronze books or the bronze lists. Then you will find that as the 4th time you distil there are only about a quarter of the words left that you started with, you only need one second level book, or “silver” book, as I call it, per language. And likewise when you come to the final distillations in the gold book, you’ll find you only need one gold book for several languages to fluency, as by those higher level distillations there is less than 10% of what was in the first head list in the bronze books.
You should be thinking (subject to being able to get sufficiently thick and large writing books) about 3-6 Bronze books and one, max two Silver books per language, and one Gold Book for all your GLM activity. Please make that one a particularly high-quality writing book. The amount left to write in Gold Level means it is unlikely to be worth making a Gold Book per language, so I do the stats per language only up to the end of Silver Book, which is D7.
- The first “distillation” therefore takes the first 25 words from the top left hand side of your A4 hard-back writing book and you pick from them 70% of the words which you least remembered, and write them again on the right hand side. You can test yourself by covering over the English, but that is not the best way. The best is to say “I know that I must now discard 8 of these 25 words which are on the top of the left page and write 17 of them on the top of the right page. Which do I think I have remembered best? These you ignore, and list 1-17 the least remembered of 1-25 from the headlist. If you cannot bring yourself to drop out a full eight words, then instead in one or two places you can conjoin words to make a phrase, and then learn them together in the system from then on. When writing the words of the first distillation, you take it nice and slow and keep to all the princliples of the writing of the headlist, namely easy, confortable work, not more than 20 minutes work at once, and read the side aloud when you are finished.
The act of discarding words from the distillation by the way is the final stimulus to learning them, by the way. Psychologists have discovered that, just as in physics for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, for every conscious action there is a subconscious reaction. Note that we tend to lose and spend time looking for things which we intended to keep and often put in a special hiding place, but we rarely forget the things that we have thrown away or given away. We don’t usually think we still have them and look around for them. So the very conscious act of discarding tricks the subconscious memory, namely the long-term memory, into being sure it jolly well has got those discarded bits. So if in doubt, discard rather than merge, when distilling.
This is an application of Newton’s Third Law of Motion to the mind. It is interesting how often physics concepts are reflected and to a degree refracted in the realm of psychology. It is quite reasonable to expect this, of course as they both have the same Creator. You will find that this “learning by conscious rejection” idea also works better than you think, and is as counterintuitive as a number of other things in the GLM.
- Again, you do nothing with the words of the first distillation for a period of at least two weeks (this is why you always date when you do the distillations also) and not more than two months (same reasons as given above) and then, when that time comes, you go back to the first distillations on the top of the right side page, and make from them the second distillation on the bottom of the right hand page. From those 17 words you will be looking at keeping 12 and discarding or merging 5. Again, first plan and ask yourself “which 5 of these seventeen words did I remember best?” and put a cross next to them, don’t write them out again. It is a game with by our brain, an exploration of how our own memory worked – in some ways a discovery of ourselves and can be very interesting as an exercise in its own right – actually it is a lot less boring than cramming the vocab for a Callan lesson. Some users of the system have found it an interesting voyage of self discovery – why did they find this word so easy to remember and some other word harder? And for each learner it would be different, which means that group learning of languages is intrinsically wasteful of time as each person in the group has their own individual things they remembered automatically. The only common thing is that for each person, if they had allowed their long-term memory to function not just the short-term, it would be in the order of 30%, as Ebbinghaus found.
It will come as no surprise when I mention that you put the third distillation on the left side under the head list at the bottom, and that it has the best remembered 9 words of the 12 on the bottom right, and that you need to leave between the two a space of no less than 14 and no more than 60 days.
A person can structure this so that they are working on the later parts of their headlist while bringing the early parts already into the second or third distillation, or do the whole of the headlist, then the whole of the first distillation, etc. That depends on the learner, their time available, and the number of words they plan to cover in their language learning. For really big projects, learners will be working on different distillation levels for the earlier and later parts of their vocab stock. As long as all the above rules are kept, this won’t matter at all.
The head list and three distillations will cover the full space available on the ‘bronze” excercise book, and so after that you take a fresh book, the silver book, for distillation number 4, etc. Now distillation number 4 will have numbers 1-25 of that distillation on the top left hand corner of the first page but they will be taken from the first 36 of the third distillation which was the toughest to remember of the first 48 of the second distillation which was the toughest to remember of the first 68 of the first distillation which was the toughest to remember of the first 100 of the head list and therefore will be taken from the first four double pages of your old book. The gold list system in full f/x, used here on basic Spanish. This illustration shows a mature vocab book with the head list and the first three distillations finished.
- An actual GoldList mature bronze book for Spanish
So the second book (‘silver’) will only need to be a quarter of the thickness of the first one (‘bronze’) or there will be one silver book while there are three or four bronze books, getting your headlist up past 16,000 words, which is a degree level knowledge, if you want, and will be worked through on the same principles as the first one, but in a quarter of the time. Always taking 20 minutes and taking your time and sticking to the same principles throughout.
The second vocab book then takes you to the seventh distillation. That would be enough for most people, but if you want to take it further then you probably don’t need a book for the last bit, as the 2500 words in the headlist have become 150 words identified in this process as the toughest to rmember words. by this time you already know them better than most people anyway, but of out of interest you wanted to continue than in little time engaged you could keep going on and distill this away to nothing. If you get to the seventh distillation you cannot be less than three and a half months from the beginning of learning even if you learned it to the max, as two weeks should be rested in between, or the short-term memory will deceive you.
Because you are in for the long haul with the long-term memory system, use the fact that you have numbered the words to motivate yourself. You will know that you are 40% through your target of 2500 words when you have 40 pages of headwords. As the number of repetitions on average that are needed in order to learn the words to the end is 3.3 (some are learned after one but some will only be learned on the tenth reiteration or ‘distillation’) then we know that having 40 percent of one’s head list in place is equivalent to 13 percent of the whole work. Use these numbers and statistics to motivate yourself, and note that even a small learning session can represent a small but irreversible advance on the road to learning the language. The s/t memory method makes huge advances at the beginning which are forgotten and the learner goes backwards, despairs, and drops out of class. The l/t method means that you are only ever going forwards, so the method is a more effective use of time, and much more motivating once the student understands memory in language learning and understands what is going on.
Need to activate – language learners using the long term memory will obtain a large passive knowledge of the language. They will quickly move towards being able to read newspapers and novels in the language. But they may have difficulty and be discouraged when placed in a situation where they have to “activate” their knowledge and start talking. They will feel tongue tied, and not be able to find words that, when someone tells them, they know they knew. The activation of a language learned well in my method by means of immersion in the environment of the language takes a maximum of three days. In this time, the person who has spend the hours with his vocab book doing what I suggested above, and doing grammatical exercises, suddenly starts speaking the language with fluency, and the experience of this “activating” can be very exhilirating, actually. The person who thinks that they will learn by immersion and have not put the hours in beforehand will not have this, and will learn to the short-term memory, and forget it all on his return out of the milieu, and not achieve the results of the learner to l/t memory, who is able to reactivate his language every time he goes into the milieu for a few days, for the rest of his life. He appears to be someone who has learned thousands of words in a few days – a claim which not even the boldest short term system would make – but of course he knows them, he is only bringing them “to the front of his mind”, which is a different matter to putting them there in the first place. Some people, witnessing the remarkable effect of immersion on activating the language ability of the long-term memory optimising student, and not giving full credit to the work this student did in his own time beforehand, think that the immersion method is a great way to “learn languages”. So you get people trying to combine Callan and immersion, then doing more Callan and more immersion, and then more of the same, and never getting off the ground with it. One Callan victim I knew had done the callan-immersion mix three years running, and when her boss came from England the first thing she said was “would Meester like the cup off tea?” and we’re talking about an otherwise educated person whose knowledge of her mother tongue is nothing short of eloquent in both speech and in writing.
Any questions? Please contact me, but questions are MOST appreciated from those who have seen the available videos which are all here in the same “goldlist methodogy” section here on www.huliganov.tv and still have queries about things I may have overlooked to talk about so far.
Also your feedback is appreciated. The more people come back and tell me that they had success with the method the more I am motivated to keep sharing it on and developing it. Also please tell your friends about it, and anyone who thinks they cannot learn a foreign language, like that was somehow more difficult than learning his or her own.
Teachers – consider teaching this method to your students so as not to waste their time – they will thank you. Lydia was the first to do this and has amazing results on languagementoring.com Spend lesson time showing how it works and working on their lists with them until they get the hang of it. You will not only have liberated them for the learning of the language you were teaching them, but also put a tool in their hand which they can use throughout life to learn many languages.
331 thoughts on “Goldlist Method – Original Explanation with supplementary corrections/explanations”
good evening Dr. Huliganov.
I would like to know if it is mandatory to wait two weeks (14 days) before I carry out the respective distillations, both for the main lists and for the distillations already carried out.
What happens if I better wait 7 days? Where do those two weeks (14 days) come from to speed up the process and make it much faster. Why do you have to wait so long?
Thank you very much in advance.
If you wait only one week, then you will believe you have remembered things which you have actually encoded to remember for two weeks.
That means later you will discover that things you thought you had remembered are lost after all.
Now this can happen sometimes even after the two week wait, bit it is far less common.
If you find Ebbinghaus actual graph on line and see where his forgetting curve is after one week and where it is after two weeks, you will hopefully see what I mean.
Muchas Gracias DR. Huliganov Por Su amabilidad y extraordinaria respuesta. lo mejor es seguir las instrucciones que tu nos das.
DIOS lo Bendiga Mucho!
Bear in mind you can keep adding to the head list in that time. You don’t need to wait inactively.
Muchas Gracias DR. Huliganov Por Su amabilidad y extraordinaria respuesta. lo mejor es seguir las instrucciones que tu nos das.
DIOS lo Bendiga Mucho!
Greetings to your Dear Sir. I hope you’re doing well in these trying times we find ourselves in. I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you how grateful I am for the work you have done, helping people learn and what not. I really wish to emulate your desire for thorough, long-term, relentless and never-ceasing learning. I hope to be as amazing a learner as you are. You work on you career, you take care of you family, you take out time to learn languages & you take out time to spread your knowledge to authors, not to mention what all I might be missing in the aforementioned list. Words aren’t enough to describe the immense respect I have for you (or maybe I am limited by my vocabulary). Either way, I wish the very best for you and for your family. I send my best wishes to Elena, Tatiana, and George.
Here’s hoping I get the opportunity to meet you one day!
You work on you career, you take care of you family, you take out time to learn languages & you take out time to spread your knowledge to others ; not to mention the numerous other constructive activities I might have missed in the aforementioned list.
Thank you for your very kind words, my friend.
May I just ask you for your advice please. I wish I can say that I read it all, but I would be lying. Unfortunately, since a young age for no reasons I am not capable to read whole articles. I can remember everything from my classes and videos that I watch, (even things from 10 years ago). But I read one or two sentences and my brain stops, and I move to the next page. Can you give me advice how to make some baby steps and hopefully I would be capable to read the whole thing?? I am struggling to learn anything at all, especially languages because of this.
It sounds like you may have a non-typical neurological profile, and I am not sure I would be equipped to deal with this. If you are comfortable giving more details please give me an idea of your country and how you managed in school and any discussions you had there about learning difficulties. Anything like ADHD, dyslexia, etc.
If I can get a handle on whether there is a neurological issue, then I might be able to get some information on the best way for you to go about the language learning process.
It is possible that you may be beat served by something like the Michel Thomas method, Pimsleur or Paul Noble. Have you tried any of these?
On the other hand I do think that the structure provided by GLM might really help you work through written material. Let’s explore this further.
Hello Dr. David, I appreciate your explanation and brilliant work teaching us how to apply this method. I’d like to know if I can collect the expressions/phrases within one or two days of study or even those that I previously have studied long time ago and I have jotted it down in my old notebook, then write it down in the headlist. Thanks in advance. Tatiana.
You certainly can do that. It’s a good idea
It’s such a great fortune for me to find you and your learning method.
When I read your ”3 days immersion” idea, I know I would believe and try whatever you said. 5 years ago I was in Paris, involving in the intensive French course. The professor was only allowed to speak French and so did we. With zero experience in learning French, I was totally unaware of what’s happening in class. Until the 4th day, I sat stunned for a while because finally I can hear something. I can find the words on textbook while she is reading. I can tell where the sentence start and end.
I started to adapt GLM into my esperanto learning since July this year, and I gradually “feel” how this improves my learning. I want to become a good blogger so I post everything I know about language learning online.
You could not believe the response online I received on an article I wrote about you. There are 30,000 views and over 2000 ups and 200 likes. Chinese people are curious about your method and it seems nobody ever talk about it before.
Here is the link if you want to check:https://www.zhihu.com/question/297800810/answer/509828737
For the limited reading access to your blog, many of Chinese cannot get full contents of your GLM. I am asking permission if I could translate your 6 articles and post it online, and also I want to make a series video on how I use it. Do you think it’s ok?
I am truly touched by your message. A while ago I noticed a sudden increase in views coming from China which was very exciting for me, and now I know whom I have to thank for it. Xiexie ni. I would be honoured if you would translate into Chinese the explanations, best of all the new explanations. In fact if you like I can send you the word file containing all the book. It is not quite finished, though.
I hope many Chinese people will get the benefit, via your help, of the Method. As you know I am giving this as a gift to humanity and China is the largest group within humanity. It means an awful lo to me that the Chinese people will have access to the Method.
I will be very interested to follow your success in getting the word out in China about this, and hope that one day we will see a huge movement of GoldListing people in your country.
At one point I considered giving the GoldList the Chinese name “Liudao” or “way of distillation” – do you think this sounds good in Chinese or should it be given a very different name?
All my love to your fantastic nation.
I cannot be too happy on reading your words.
The original post I wrote about you and GLM was folded due to violating some Internet rules. I delated some “sensitive words” and finally it went through at the fourth time. So maybe at the first stage, the post will be mainly and only focus on the method.
Here is What I will do to firstly:
1. translate your 6 main articles firstly.
2. make a Q&A list for very beginning user
3. upload a already-made video
Since I am still learning and reading all related materials and sources of your method, I don’t think I am able to answer the question with full confidence and independence to those Chinese learners. So I will redirect their questions to your post, your social media or to my translation post. We will se what’s coming next (I predict that post will hit very big views).
For the name of GLM. I have two propositions. One is the direct translation,黄金清单法.Since the GOLD has very rich meaning in Chinese and one can finds lots of old sayings，黄金 itself can brings lots of imagination. Another translation is combining the the”distillation” and “gold “, I call it 炼金。The ancient empires never giving on find the medicines of longevity and they call the method 炼金术。Also, from the book written by PAULO COELHO, the alchemist (炼金术师）is on the journey of finding golds of life, which is close at hand. The process of find the gold is the gold, which matches your idea also.
I would love to receive your book to read more about it. My email is : velynne(at)outlook.com.
All the best and thanks for your great heart.
That sounds really excellent. We will follow your ideas, they sound very well thought-out and highly culturally aware. I will send you the word version today.
Thanks for leaving this up and for enhancing it. I value the clarity and organization of a reworked presentation, but I’m fascinated by the organic, historical accretion of your presentation and its reception, use, and testing.
Is is ok to mix tongues in a list or in a day ?Given 5 =ABCDE tongues and 10 daily lists the lists will be aa these : BA CA DA EA BC DC BD CD ED EC If I am learning/keeping 4 tongues and A is my native.
Yes, that’s all fine. Because GLM done properly is not about activation and not trying to activate, you can do this sort of thing. Clearly the more different projects you do, the lest time you have for each project (eg language) and so the less progress you make that day towards your goals on each. You need to be aware of the overall goal, in such cases, in order to maintain motivation.
Language learners who concern themselves with activation and who try to work towards a fluency of speech even before they have a very sizeable passive knowledge will have difficulty working with many languages at once as the brain is not content to keep a large number of languages active at once. One of the great advantages of a lerning syhste which works with passive retention is that we don’t have such restrictions.
What are the best material for make my gold list? Thank you so much!
It depends where you are in your acquisition of the langauge. Usually we start with a simple teach yourself course, and then move to grammars, small dictionaries or specialist dictionaries and phraseological books, and then we can move on to literature. A very effective way is to use a good comprehensive grammar and a good frequency dictionary.
In the main, it need to be material you like and which you want to commit to long-term memory. The method will work on poor material just as it does on good material, but poor material will not be fulfilling and might leave a lot of confusion to clear up later.
Read the comments on Amazon before buying anything.
Natalia, it depends what you already speak, what you want to learn and how much of that language you already know. Please answer about that and I will try and give a selection of possible materials as an illustration.
Sir, I have just started learning a new language and I recently had tchance of coming across your GoldList method. I have read most of your articles as well as the replies you have given to GoldList users, and watched the videos you have made .I beg your pardon if the question I have, has already been asked and answered. But I haven’t come across any such blog and/or video covering my question. So i have to post it here.I respect your valuable time but I really want to use GoldList method for new language learning and am really confused, so pelase reply.
I have to learn grammar as well as vocabulary, How can I use GoldList method for grammar learning? I read in some of the posts that we can use GoldList method for grammar learning as well but how would we make list? as unlike vocabulary, any grammar rule cannot be fit in single line. A single rule or grammar-item may have various definitions depending on situation, how to put them in goldList method?
Also, How many rules should be written in books(Bronze, Silver, Gold) at a time? and what are their distillation methods?
Just One more thing, what methods would you suggest to use with GoldList method to expedite Language learning?
You can spread a grammar rule over more than one line of headlist. Write the headlist nice and comfortably, spread out, so that you can make it more compact when distilling it, and so that you have all you need from the materials in there, including the Grammar.
Goldlist is for grammar, vocabulary, expressions, even cultural notes about the language – anything you want to learn to the long-term memory. It is only necessary to follow a one-word-one-line rule if you you want the GL to be an accurate arket of your developing vocabulary, but there are other ways of testing that.
Other methods? Prior to GL I would use audio-only courses such as Michel Thomas and Pimsleur in that order, where available. There is rarely a huge amount of that available. For standard earning coursebooks and grammar books, books of phraseologisms and small dictionaries GLM will take you all the way. Finally when you have the required amount of grammar and vocab coverage to be able to read I suggest you switch to reading, maybe using the Triple Drill I have explained in some articles here, but that comes only after some years of using GLM with a variety of materials you should select with care.
Sir, Thank you very much for your detail response. Just one more thing, For Vocabulary 25 words per page threshold is defined in GLM , what should be the threshold for grammar?
25 lines is a very practical headlist number whether you are doing vocabulary, grammar, phrases, even conceptual work or historical/cultural notes. It fits with the available book sizes and gives a work to break time which is not likely to wear out the unconscious memory, while giving enough material per double page of writing book to combine from.
I am a 65 yr old woman who has lived in the Philippines several times (a total of 38 months) and I always wondered why I couldn’t speak the language at least as well as a 3 year old. I am headed back to live there again for 20 months & this time I have worked hard at studying the language. Yesterday I came across your method. It addresses my biggest problem: retaining what I study. Today I went out & bought myself a blank book and I will try your method. I will let you know how it goes. Thanks.
Nice to hear that. Good luck, and if you are on Facebook look out for the Goldlist Methd Users Group where you can get support from other people who already have been using the Method for some time.
Wonderful, please let me know how you get on.
Do you have any specific tips for someone who has just started learning gaeilge and has no exposure to Celtic languages ?
By the way, love your goldlist method and your blog. All the best, huge fan.
Interesting concept, if only I could read my own writing– I should have become a doctor.
Any suggestions for learning mandarin, as there is the pronunciation problem and then compounded by the Chinese characters as well. Do I concentrate on understanding the Chinese character first, followed by the word, and then the pronunciation? Many written pinyin words (in “English) have multiple meanings, some purely depending on the tone used, so my best guess is the Chinese character first.
There is also the “traditional” versus the “simplified” character, but that is another matter.
My word list would need to have many columns, but I need to concentrate on the filters I should use.
I look forward to your guidance.
If you don’t know any characters already, I suggest asking yourself if you are OK with not knowing them for a while. You could learn a few thousand words in Pinyin only, and then learn how to write them in characters later. You could start learning characters at the same time, but you’d make slower progress in other areas. Although there are many homophones even after accounting for different tones, it’s not actually true that the characters are “crucial” to distinguish the words. Most Chinese before the republican era would have been illiterate, and they understood Chinese just fine. The characters do help reading comprehension a great deal, though.
Pinyin is very easy to learn if you know basic phonetics; you’ll find everything you need to know in the Wikipedia article. Watch out for the shortcuts it takes, though. Pinyin tries to save time and space by cutting out a letter in certain combinations. For example, adding ‘-you’ to any initial would yield e.g. ‘liou’ (because ‘y’ only appears in the initial position and is otherwise written ‘i’), but it’s written ‘liu’ instead. Similarly, any initial plus ‘wen’ should be e.g. ‘cuen’ (initially ‘w’, elsewhere ‘u’), but it’s written ‘cun’ instead. This is only orthographical, though, the pronunciation doesn’t change.
When you want to learn characters, pay attention to the components that make them up. There are about 400 different components that make up every single character in modern use, so if you learn those, you will know how to write any new character you encounter. As for the choice of character style, I recommend learning the full traditional characters rather than their handwritten shortcut forms first. Simplified characters may be easier to write, but it’s easier to see what components they contain, and they look much more beautiful. It’s easy to learn simplified later when you know traditional already, but if you go the other way, you’ll have to learn to split familiar characters in two or even three sometimes (both 發 ‘send out’ and 髮 ‘hair’ are simplified into 发 and 乾 ‘dry’, 幹 ‘do’, and 干 ‘to concern somebody’ are all merged into 干, for example).
I suggest not learning individual characters for too long, although it’s necessary at first. When you can recognize around 1000 (even if you can’t remember how to read them), you’re better off learning characters with the words they appear in. There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, many characters have many meanings and/or readings, but may only have one or two in modern use, so you’ll be doing extra work for little gain. Secondly, the isolated characters won’t let you do anything but read things out loud and/or have a vague idea of what a text is about, but words are very useful. I would know, because I spent an entire year studying nothing but characters.
Finally, some advice on your goldlist format. Try to put only one new piece of information on each line, and don’t use several columns. For example, separate meanings and readings, and at first even stroke orders. I always write the left side in Chinese characters and put readings and meanings on the right, e.g.:
345. 中華 — zhong1 hua2
346. 中華 — (one of the names of China)
Sorry for the long post! I hope it was helpful! 🙂
Very helpful, especially from someone who has been there and done that. I am grateful for your advice and will use your suggestions. Thanks
I’m starting this method of learning Spanish, and am enjoying making the lists. (To decide which vocabulary, I think about my day and telling the story of what I did and saw, as if telling a friend.)
However I am confused on how to handle verbs and verb congigation. Do you write one verb form per line? Or put all them together into one? Or only include the “to see” form?
I am also confused about how to include sentences or phrases? Is that necessary?
thank you very much for your goldlist method. I use it for learning Thai, and find it very helpful. I use it for grammar rules and for words, in both cases for 25 words or rules. I found out. So I simply make a break after 20 minutes and complete the 25 item section during the next 20 minutes phase. My bronze book has about 2500 items. For my silver book I checked all the items I had learned and had to redo 1000 words. At the moment I am in the 3rd compression of my silver book and expect a total of about 300 words as result. Besides I started to refresh other languages I had already learned by that method and find it very helpful. By the way I started the method at the age of 65 and it helped me to real progress in the language. So thank you again. And I wish you and your family the very best.
Thank you for your videos and inspiration. I have been using pimsleur’s method to learn German and am currently half-way through level 4. How can I utilize both the goldlist and pimsleur at the same time? Do you recommend I attempt this?
Also, at the rate of distilling 25 words this many times with two week intervals, it would take several years to reach 10,000 words. Can I write down more than 25 words in the headlist to expedite the time needed to reach 10,000 words?
I think my answer to your other question will cover this point. You don’t just write 25 words as I think you now know. You write 25 words, take a ten minute break, and then turn the page and keep going.
So in short. Your saying any revision i do should be after 2 weeks? I have noticed when i learn new vocab i get a huge headache or “el dolor de cabeza” and i hit a wall where i must stop. Then i sleep and the day after i seem much better. So just to claryify that is my short term memory? I should wait 2weeks before going back over what i learnt?
Could i not do both? Revise constantly but have the book idea you explaoned seperately?
Also i started writting stories in spanish because i’m not quite good enough to understand there tv programs but enjoy thinking in spanish. I check my grammar and spelling on google translate after i write it. I do rough first obviously dew to mistakes etc.
Last question! I am enjoying learning a new langauge v.much and feel like i am doing well. But i have noticed it has made my spelling in english worse. I get mixed up with spanish and english spelling. I am dslysxeic. Is this a problem for people like me or common? Also do i need to worry about it or how do i combat it??
Thank you v.much if you read my message. I enjoyed your article.
If you are getting a headache you are trying too hard. You must stop trying. You must simply relax and follow the algorithm. God gave you a faculty to learn without such pain. Let go and let God, as we say.
God gave you a faculty to learn without such pain. Let go and let God, as we say.
Come on now, lets stick to reality instead of invoking a pretend man in the sky for help. Otherwise, good work, interesting reading.. but don’t ruin with superstitious carry on.
Your ability to learn and develop is your own good work, don’t give anyone else the credit, including a man in the sky.
That’s what it’s all about, Jimbo. Not meaningless repetition, not beating yourself up to try to memorise on the spot, but to do in one day what is the portion for that day, and over many days have the return. “Cast thy bread upon the waters” as it says “and it shall return to thee after many days”.
I try to be as Bible-compliant as possible in the Method, and as you say, God gave it me which is why I freely give it onwards.
Except I didn’t say that at all, David.
The childish reliance on a mythical figure, ‘God’, belittles your work and demeans our OWN intelligence and evolution into beings that can compare learning methodologies.
If your pretend man in the sky was so good why didnt he give us that ability thousands of years ago?
And what was the plan with the dinosaurs?
I know it belittles me and us, Jimmy. That’s why natural man would never choose such a faith. No myth exists which belittles man, you see. The gods of myths are always elevating man and sometimes even fearing that man will become great and surpass them. The God of the Bible is not at all like the gods of myths.
“Evolving into beings that can compare learning methodologies” sounds good, Jimmy. How about “Evolving into beings who can contemplate and develop an appetite for the things of eternity, even that which is outside of time and space”? Everything else we evolved to want is a real need and has both real and counterfeit responses to that need. For example, we evolved to feel a need for food, hunger, or a need for water, thirst, a need for sex and a need for rest, tiredness. All of these things have their real answer in the food, drink, sexual activity leading to reproduction and sleep that we engage in. Beyond this, we as humans evolved, if evolution were true, into beings needing to be seen as having an identity, having a name. If we are not named and known as individuals, then why this need? For all we know it does not exist in animals, even though they can respond to the calling of a name that humans give them. Penguin chicks recognise the call of their own mother in a press of thousands of birds returning from the ocean, but is it the same as the calling of a name? We are unique in seeing ourselves as “Jimmy This” as “David That”, etc. And why would such a thing ever need to evolve? It hardly helps the species onwards, that individuals in a social species become overly aware of self. The contemplation of eternity, the thirst for God, dreams of flying, all these things, what purpose have they if there were only illusory solutions to the need? They would have been abandoned as we abandoned a long coccyx, or a long caecum with cellulose digesting bacteria, or the ability to make our own Vitamin C. They would not need to have a tiny and dwindling minority of atheists shouting and trying to persuade others that these things are not needed, that religion is an opium and a hurdle to our further advancement.
Face it, despite having now hundreds of years in which atheists and so-called free-thinkers have been free to make their case to society that all religion sucks, the current dialogue is not really between whether religions are true or atheism is true. The vast majority of people on the planet are now concerned with whether Islam is true given its aggressive spread or if it’s just a counterfeit, and if it’s a counterfeit then what is the real thing that it’s a counterfeit of? Islam pretty much defines the latter question for itself, however, since the Qur’aan gives a preponderance of paragraphs to debunking the Trinitarian view of Jesus, even to the point where they have their own Jesus character coming along and saying how stupid all the Christians are. It pretty much defines for itself at that moment what it is a counterfeit of and a reaction to, by aggressively stating that it is a correction to Christianity, that we got our own religion wrong and that our understanding of what the old Jewish religion was preparing to deliver to the world, namely salvation in Christ Jesus, was all just a foreshadowing of another legal based system, one which encompasses all the state and everyone in it, but this time not of Israel only but of the entire world.
This is the main philosophical dialogue of the human race, while there continues to be the atheist side-show and people like Dawkins with his rhetoric trying to appeal to and give fasle comfort to thise who want to take Evolution literally rather than see it as a simple Creation model carried out in the mind of God, which it would not hurt anyone to believe. They do not want to believe it because they don’t want God, not because anything is actually proven or disproven, given that the whole discussion is beyond science and firmly in the domain of philosophy.
For the sake of completeness I will also address your question as to why God did not give Goldlist Methodology to people even thousands of years ago, and all I can really say is I have no idea whether people used similar methods thousands of years ago. I do know from the Biblical account, however, that people weren’t stupid thousands of years ago and tended to know rather more than we modern people like to give them credit for. There’s no reason to think that something ike what I am talking about was not perfectly obvious to them, despite being counterintuitive to us.
As far as dinosaurs are concerned, they notionally lived for notional millions and millions of years prior to when the Earth was physically placed together. They are to us as the grapes were to the water turned to old wine at the Wedding of Cana. If it’s interesting to you to study dinosaurs, go ahead, but what you are looking at is a glimpse into the mind of an amazing Creator rather than something which ever lived in actual time with actual mass and energy. Sorry if this disappoints you. Even if they could be “revived” from DNA still readable from an ice-entombed specimen, as for mammoths, and got to live somehow by the use of in vitro technology, it would be the first time that a dinosaur had actually really lived in a physical and conscious way. Other than that, they are the backstory to our human experience, I believe you will find.
Hello David. Your response to Jimmy’s, obviously atheistic, line of reasoning is an interesting, and well-reasoned argument. I don’t know the answers to either of your
convictions (no human being can know the answer to the current arguments, except perhaps after death, by which time it is too late to accept or change any argument).
However, for what it is worth, I think Dawkins’ arguments ought to be accurately reported. Surely it is incumbent on all of us to report the opinions of others as correctly as possible, particularly those whose views differ from our own.
As far as I’m aware, Dawkins has never tried to offer comfort through atheism. Quite the contrary, he has often said (in response to a lady reporting that she was comforted by Christianity) that he is not interested in beliefs that offer comfort ; he’s interested in what is demonstrably true. I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with Dawkins here, merely correcting the idea that he is trying to offer comfort to anybody with atheism. I’m not particularly pro-Dawkins, though I do have a great deal of respect for him as a human being. Unfortunately, I do see a lot of misrepresentation of his statements and his arguments. Incidentally, he has often made very complimentary comments about Christianity as a faith and as part of cultural tradition even though he doesn’t accept it’s tenets.
Perhaps we should all take account of Socrates wisdom in knowing that we know nothing. We should also note that he (Socrates) didn’t deny the plurality of Gods whose presence was believed to exist at that time. Perhaps his emphasis on examining ourselves and our opinions and morals to see if they are found wanting is as much as we can hope to achieve. But that is a whole other debate !
In the meantime, may free speech and free thought be encouraged for if the actions and opinions of individuals and governments will not withstand scrutiny and possible disagreement they must rest on weak foundations.
With best wishes,
When it comes to what to think of Richard Dawkins, I would say that we clearly differ. Dawkins is making a considerable income from his prolific books and talks on the topic of religion, and what he writes is not really aimed at proving that we are in the wrong but in giving (by the use of rhetoric and lengthy argument rather than any actual conclusive proof) the impression to those who wish to be unbelievers that they have scientific right on their side. In this way he does provide comfort to those who decided to be atheists and is well paid for providing them with the material that they will use to damn their own souls. I have little respect for someone who does that to people, I’m afraid.
I have also heard him being complimentary to Christianity as a cultural tradition mainly because he does have the sense to realise, if too late, that the alternative to a strong Christian tradition in Europe and America isn’t some golden age of rationalism but rather Islam rushing in to fill the void. He is likely to be up against a wall much more if the Muslims take over, which more and more seems to be a “when” rather than an “if” than he ever would be from us, given that we really are told to respect people’s freedom of free choice in matters of faith. The problem is though that being complimentary about something you’ve certainly done more of your fair share to dismantle isn’t going to cut much ice with anybody.
Sadly and terrifyingly, I fear that you like the late Christopher Hitchens (whom I know you would have profoundly disagreed with on most religious topics) are correct in the assertion that the fundamentalist Islamic threat is not to be under estimated.
The outcome is likely to lay waste all reasoned discussion and make all good works, altruism and culture accumulated over millennia count for nothing (including ancient islamic art and architecture). At least one could probably draw satirical cartoons of leading religious figures from any other religion without the fear of reprisal. Sorry, this thread has moved some distance from the Gold Llisting theme.
Firstly many thanks for sharing your method. I have been using it for a couple of months and it seems to be working very well indeed.
I wonder is it necessary to have a predetermined headlist? Seems like it would be possible to just continue the process indefinitely. Just adding more lists as older stuff is distilled into your long term memory.
I am also wondering if you do anything differently when using the method to memorise entire phrases/sentences. Specifically, if your list is in English and you’re trying to memorise the target language but you produce something which is identical or similar in meaning but uses different words does this mean you have memorised or not?
The headlist ios only 25 at a time, you just keep going as long as you like. All you do is take a small break so that you can recuperate your unconscious capacities after 25, then you do another 25, and take another break, for as long as you feel like. I never do more than a few hundred a day in any case.
hi i didn’t understand the meaning of the silver book. can you please explain me what do i need to do?
The silver book is the book you open when you have used up all four zones in the first book and want to carry on distilling. Don’t confuse it with the second and subsequent bronze books which you’ll have in a big language project. Bronze books contain the headlist you took from the material you want to commit to memory on the top left, the first distillation or D1 on the top right, the second distillation or D2 on the bottom rightt, and D3 on the bottom left. It goes round in a kind of circle, each time reducing from 25 down to something like 17 or 18, then 12 or 13, then maybe 8 or 9 (less if you are lucky) in D3. You want to keep the process going, and it is done by taking a fresh book called the silver book and the top left also has 25 lines at a time just like the Headlist, but it is the fourth distillation. You’ll be taking the unlearned lines of D3 forward in that space, and so the first page of the silver book is what’s left of typically the first four or five pages of the bronze books. It might be more or less, but that’s what it will be typically.
The same when you start the gold book, at D8. That one’s first page will be what’s left of the first four or five pages of the bronze book, ie maybe the first 25 pages of the bronze book’s headlist, if you care to look back at that point and compare it.
Hence heavy duty users of the Gold List Method find that they might need several bronze books per language, probably one one silver book per language assuming it is nice and thick, and only one gold book for all their language projects. That’s why you can mix languages in the gold book if you want to. I’d suggest to keep to one per page, though.
Yes, Doctor Huliganov, I am actually want to use the gold list to remember off by heart all my recipes. I already remember most of them if they are only single digit list of ingredients but can you answer my question if this gold list can remember my recipes or I must translate the ingredients to a foreign language first, and if so, what would be the easiest foreign language to remember for food items? Because I had a dream that was a very vivid dream mind you, and Marlon Brando came to my house and then he gave me his secret recipe for a potato salad. But actually because it has so many additional ingredients I can remember it on a gold list in another language first?
I thank you for your advise and too I have been oil pulling for over two months (I am supposed to every morning but because sometimes I don’t when I feel too lazy) but I am using sunflower oil is this okay or is some other oil better?
You should be able to use the Goldlist Method for long-term memorising of any info. There is no need to use foreign languages if they are not essential to the use of the information being learned.
I have no idea what oil-pulling is and therefore cannot advise on which oil is better for that task.
Dear Sir, I have been studying foreign languages for just a couple years and I recently had the wonderful fortune of coming across your utterly brilliant GoldList method. I have read much of what you have written about it via your articles as well as the posts between you and GoldList users. I have watched a good share of videos discussing it as well. I beg your pardon if the question I have has already been asked. If it has, I haven’t come across it. I have noticed that there are some questions that you receive over and over again and I hope that I am not doing the same. You have given so much and I respect your time greatly, the last thing I want to do is waste it.
I am just about to start a 3000 head word GoldList in Burmese. As luck would have it, I have a move planned to Myanmar for just a couple months after I am projected to finish the last distillation. Now to my question. I will be living in Myanmar for one year, during which time I am planning on starting and completing a 6000 word GoldList in French. My source material for my head list words will be coming from a ‘Mastering French Vocabulary’ volume that I have. Now there are CDs that came with the book that are simply audio tracks of the words being read. No sentences, just the words being spoken one after the other. I am wondering if you think it might be profitable (or at least not harmful) if during my year of distilling the 6000 words, I passively listen to the CDs. I want to stress that I don’t intend to ‘study’ the words that I’m hearing, just make it almost like background music. I realize that if I do listen to the CDs, I will be hearing some words that would have already been locked into my long-term memory, and some that haven’t. I will also be hearing many other words that aren’t part of the GoldList whatsoever (the book has over 12,000 words in all so I’m planning on doing another round of a 6000 word GoldList with the remaining words when I finish the first one) I also understand that you would normally advise to not worry about going into activation mode until the last distillation is finished but I am still curious as to what your thoughts would be for this particular scenario.
I am looking forward to any comments or suggestions you may have to offer.
Thank you for the work that you do, and God bless.
Many thanks for your kind remarks. I am in favour of front loading as far as practicable the audio aspects of language learning (eg doing Pimsleurs and MT courses, where available, ahead of even starting the Goldlist) and by the same token I think that listening a few times to the vocabulary from your CDs and marking up anything which surprises you is a valid precursor to Goldlisting. It could also help make your Headlist from the material shorter, which is not a bad thing. I would get the audio aspects out of the way first so that you have the advantage of a more accurate inner voice when going through the process of Goldlisting.
Ah yes, I do recall you recommending users to go through audio only material prior to starting the list. I should have mentioned too that I have been learning these two languages for a while so I will be going into these two GoldLists at an intermediate level.
One other thing I would like to ask: I would like to follow your batch model for working on a 6000 word list for 6 hours a week, over about 10 months. As I am not great at math, I was hoping you could confirm that I got the calculations right. I hope I am correct in thinking you would be able to tell just by looking at my first and last tasks: I came up with a schedule that has 80 task numbers, with task 1 – Batch A being a head list of 1500 words……and task 80 – Batch J being the 7th distillation of 8 words.
I am posting this question here as opposed to under your post on batching:
with the intent of pointing more people there to learn about it.
Again, thank you.
If you want to distill off a 6000 word head list you basically need to consider that the total number of lines will be something like 2.8 to 3 times the number in the head list but it might be a bit lower if you plan only to go to silver book and not go to gold book ( D 8 to D 11). I have to admit that I have not yet felt the need to take any of my lists past D7 but I probably will do one day for completeness’ sake – it is unlikely to be time consuming.
Allowing a ratio of 2.75 for your project, which is probably conservative, you will end up writing 16,500 lines. This at the rate of 50 lines an hour including breaks (also conservative if you have your material ready) this will not exceed 330 hours and is likely to be closer to three hundred.
If you take those hours and divide them by six a week you get about a year of work rather than six months. The fact that you want to do 8 headlist batches to d7 means that your minimum time will be 15 lots of two weeks, but what is more likely to happen is that you have some cycles which take over a month or even two, and at the end of the project you have some waiting to do before you can achieve a fermentation time of two weeks on the final batches going through the silver phase.
A smaller project, with batches of 1500, 1200, 1000 and 800 amounting to 4500 can more easily be done in the ten months at 6 hours a week, but at the same time your target, if you apply yourself to it, is a harder challenge but also not impossible.
I would like to ask you this question:
What is your opinion to do so called Platinum Book after Gold Book and so do 4 more destilations?
I don’t think it is necessary, drahy Mirku. Consider this, if your average rate of retention in the list is 70%, which is pretty much on the high end, then by the time you get to D11, the bottom left hand of the Gold book, will have 0.7^11 which is 1.98% In most cases I think it is really going to be closer to one percent than two percent, and it can even go under one percent of what you start off with if your average retention on distillation is 66%. So you’d start the Platinum book with only two thirds of a percent maybe of the initial headlists. To justify a book with even only 96 pages in it, which is one of the thinner sizes available on the market, and you wanted to at least use a little over half of it, say 50 pages, your headlists combined would need to have 187,500 words in it. That’s the equivalent by the time you have gone through the process for that much of 7500 man hours of work, not counting the breaks. Or in other words if you wanted to spend the very ambitious target of 20 hours a week on goldlisting, you’d need more than seven years of work at that tempo to really justify taking it to that level.
If that’s your appetite for goldlisting, then by all means you could do one, but even in this case you might also say to yourself “this is the one percent that my brain could not easily retain – I have tried twelve Times to retain it by writing it out and it has not been very effective for these particular words. now I will try another route”. This may be making a sound recording of them and playing it to yourself while driving the car at regular intervals, printing tchem on a mug, mouse-mat or other printable merchandise you can make for yourself in the internet and then just have those “goldlist survivor” words and phrases by you. You might make yourself a wall plaque in your most careful calligraphy. This is what I myself would be likely to do. I have no plans to make a Platinum book. If Goldlisting turns out to be an encouraged pastime in Heaven then sure, Platinum will be a great idea in those circumstances and even a Diamond book after that.
Should I continue writing more words along with destillation? For example 2 have passed by. Should I only destillate words or destillate and write new head list?
Another question: how in your opinion should I approach Mandarin? Only pinyin or characters and pinyin?