I received these questions in one comments area, but I decided to answer as a full article so that more people see it. The questions are ones in this case that I have tried to answer in other articles, but there’s no harm in answering them again as they are important and sometimes these important details get lost in the amount there is here and need to be reiterated, so that’s perfectly fine.
Good morning! I have dived into videos and your print post and am now almost two weeks into using the goldlist method (I hope it helps, other forms of vocubulary memorization haven’t been that effective for me). I have a couple of questions I hope you will answer:
I hope so too.
– when you talk about “including all the grammar”, i am wondering how this applies to verbs. do you suggest including the verb root and the different tense forms on one line? for example, in tibetan, chye pa is the root form, followed by chyas chye chyos. all on one line?
There’s more than one way of doing this, and it really depends on whether in the language you choose there are a lot of irregularities or not.
You say that you are learning Tibetan, which I take to mean Modern Standard Tibetan and not one of over 200 other alternative languages spoken in that place. Your biggest issue will be to get your head around the fact that the language is ergative. There are not many ergative languages left and I don’t know any. I have know idea how big a challenge it will be for you to get around that whole underlying aspect of Tibetan grammar.
You ask specifically about verbs, and so what you need to know when you head list a verb is at least the following, and if I were you I’d either include this in the head list or make space for it:
1) whether it is a volitional or a non volitional verb
2) whether it’s transitive or intransitive
3) the root and the present-future, past and imperative stems
4) any irregularities in the way that the inflecting suffixes are added to these stems (in as much as they are regular and predictable from basic paradigms, you don’t need a separate line in the headlist for every possible form.
5) differences between the spoken form and the written form. Often there’s one spoken form, but spelled two or three different ways. You need to probably note most of these at Headlist stage and only the odd ones as you distill will go forward. Ones which become predictable from general rules you would not need to write over again.
– when still adding vocabulary and distilling simultaneously, does it matter how one numbers the mix of lists? my first list will have approximately 1000 words on it before i begin distilling. does the distilled list start at 1001. what if i keep going, adding new head lists? does it matter?
OK, I get asked this a lot and it’s one of the hardest things to just explain without showing it, and then it’s a toughy to film as well. Let me try and explain it this way. take this a paragraph at a time and let each one sink in before the next paragraph. (Sorry, I’m not being patronising, this really can be tricky to envisage, I’m trying a new way now to help envisage it) Read the rest of this entry
They can function both as checklists to ensure that our courses (whether we are users or compilers of courses) contain a complete coverage of the most frequent words. I do think that a course which claims to give 2,000 words lets its users down if a noticeable percentage of say the top 1000 words are still missing, whereas students are expected to learn words for wainscotting, walruses and woodpeckers.
One big problem with frequency dictionary analysis and word count – especially when comparing between languages or methods – is what does it mean? If we are talking about uninflected languages then the number of individual words is shorter. The original poster referred to Italian, and here it is a problem, because every single verb has umpteen forms, so is that one word or is that umpteen words?
If you use a machine to collate the frequency, then “has”, “have” and “had” will all show up as different words. Should it be three or one? In those cases where a noun has 12 separate declined forms in Czech or Polish, is that 12 words or one word? Or is it something in between, with the forms guessable out of usual paradigms being counted as the same, but the irregular parts being considered separate?
And are words like “jack” or “rose” which have so many individual meanings counted as one word or as ten or so words? If a machine does it the count is objective, but again not true to the substance of the matter. If a human intervenes, then subjectivity enters the frame and the way one person collates it may have very different outputs to the way another person would do it.
That’s why I take statements like “80% of the words used are in 10,000 words” with a pinch of salt. Assuming the same rules for collation of word variation under headwords apply through the list, it is probably proper to parrot Pareto and say that 20% of the vocabulary gives 80% of the effect, but that is comparing relative numbers to relative numbers, which is probably wiser, and more likely to hold good when comparing different languages together, than comparing absolute numbers to relative numbers
And then another problem is the way word frequency changes over time. Even more subtle markers of how languages change over time than the incursion of new words (which obviously don’t show up at all in the old frequency lists) is the change not even so much in meaning but in fashionability of words which are there in the language the whole time. Some of these are glaringly obvious – nobody uses “comrade” in Russia as much as it was used 30 years ago. But in fact it applies to a greater or lesser degree to every word we use.
Frequency studies, then, ironically, need to be carried out far more frequently! I answered a question the other day on frequency lists for what used to be Serbo-Croat. Quite a lot of change has entered that language, especially as emerging ex-Yugoslav states have sought to distinguish their language from other similarly speaking states, including new letters in their languages and emphasising either regional words or regional pronunciations. There is of course a degree of artificiality about all that, but it cannot fail to influence the language really spoken by people.
However, from my research the last available frequency studies for Serbo-Croat were from the 1960s. They are not available online for free you have to pay to get them, which I did not do. I can only therefore imagine how erroneous they must be by now. The half life of usefulness of such a study is probably ten years, and these were done 50 years ago, in a different country constellation, a different political regime, with a different world going on around it with different things to do than now and different ways to live. High time for new frequency studies to be made in that language, but also in many other languages. I just wonder how old by now the frequency studies are which Ladybird books admirably used to create the Key Words Reading Scheme so known and loved by children in the English speaking world? Can anybody tell me that?
- New research demonstrates language learners’ creativity (eurekalert.org)
- Top 30 Languages to learn for 2050 (huliganov.tv)
- Question on lexical sufficiency (huliganov.tv)
- We Are the Words (technologyreview.in)
The following review can still be read for Derek Offord’s “Using Russian – A Guide to Contemporary Usage” on Amazon.co.uk (not the American Amazon and I really don’t understand why they don’t carry these reviews over, when I want to write for only the UK or only the US I shall forget about the internet altogether!) As it was way back in 2001 I seem to have lost the accreditation for the review along the way. At first it was under my name, but at some stage they must have had a technical blip and the older reviews became “A Customer”. but it’s mine, well enough. I don’t know if my style has changed much in ten years.
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars
This is essential reading for those doing a Russian degree.
28 Sep 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Using Russian: A Guide to Contemporary Usage (Paperback)
I bought Using Russian when I was browsing in a bookshop for another language, as I already speak Russian, but when I looked at a few pages it immediately appealed as an excellent update to the way the language has developed since I did my degree. Sections in the book refer to different problems that face the English speaker in particular, such as faux amis. There are also sections on homonyms and other confusing aspects and they act rather like a checklist of what you need to have got right in your head in order not to make too many ‘howlers’ in translations or in conversation.
One particular plus in this book and as I found out in the whole series of ‘Using’ books that this is part of is the focus on register. If there is one thing that separates the wheat from the chaff among language students. it is the understanding and application of the idea of register, and this applies to Russian perhaps more than most European languages, as this is a language in which not only the vocabulary, but also the syntax, grammar and phonetics are all subject to complex nuances. This book was not available when I needed it. Now that it is I urge you to make use of it. It is the book about Russian that I would have liked to have written myself. If I thought there was demand for it, I’d offer to do a sister volume for Polish.
In any event it made me go out and by the sister volumes already in existence for French, German and Spanish. They are of a similar quality to this volume, the weakest is probably the German one, the Spanish one I would put as second favorite. It can be read cover to cover, or simply dipped into as a work of reference.
It is not material for learning the language from scratch, but would be a very useful second step after completing any of the standard self-instruction books such as the Colloquial series, the Teach yourself series or the Linguaphone course.
Either A-level or degree level students of the Language will profit from it and find it enjoyable because of its good presentation and readable style.
- What to make of illiterate “romaji” Russian courses, or audio only courses? (huliganov.tv)
- Still Fighting Russia, This Time With Words (nytimes.com)
- Foreign languages ‘the preserve of private school pupils’ (telegraph.co.uk)
- How should I get started with programming? (daryn.net)
- You: Russians told to mind their English (guardian.co.uk)
I understand that the download from DocsStocs made by Claude Cartaginese has now reached into over 5,000 downloads, with also many other sources of this document appearing also on the web as people share it freely as intended, so that the full number of downloads may be as high as 10,000 or more.
Set against that, though is the fact that not nearly so many paper copies have been ordered. The only place they can be ordered is Amazon in America, not the UK Amazon as yet, and the link to the product is embedded on the thumbnail.
If you would like a book worth in fact over 50 USD if it had not be gifted by over 40 volunteers each telling how they managed to learn multiple languages for less than 17 dollars, and also support Uncle Claude who had to fork out some of his private lolly on making the first bunch of paper books that are not selling, even though people have been eager to take the free version, then either click on the link here (which gives you the same price and I think I’m on 6% without costing you any more) or if you don’t want to give me 6% but still pay the same, then find the link just by going normally to Amazon.com and searching for it.
If you read the e-version and liked it, why not buy the paper version as a gift for someone else? It will always be possible to get a free version of this booki, but the printed one is very nice too and a good use of seventeen dollars, so please let’s be having a few more purchases of it.
- Buy “The Polyglot Project” on Amazon via my aStore, or download e-book (huliganov.tv)
- Answer to Question comparing Goldlist and Mnemosyne Methods. (huliganov.tv)
- Windows Phone 7 App Showcase: Polyglot (pocketnow.com)
- Just a Few Days Away… (via SYZYGY ON LANGUAGES) (huliganov.tv)
- Docs.com update brings speed, stability, and support for additional languages (downloadsquad.switched.com)
W dniu dzisiejszym odchylam się od zwyczaju pisania w języku angielskim, ze względu na otrzymanie dwóch pytań od widzów względnie czytelnikow moich klipów i postów. Najpierw na facebooku otrzymałem ten zestaw pytań od Pani Agnieszka F.
Jakiś czas temu w sieci trafiłąm na wywiad z Panem w TVN.
Przesyłam wyrazy uznania i podziwu dla Pańskiego talentu i pracy.
Z dużym zainteresowaniem obejrzałam Pańskie filmy w języku polskim na youtube. Od stycznia z dużą determinacją próbuję według Pana metody uczyć się języka hiszpańskiego. Poza tym, że przepisuję słówka to czas spędzany w komunikacji miejskiej spędzam na słuchaniu audiokursu. Chciałbym Pana prosić o odpowiedź na kilka pytań: 1. Czy jest limit słów, jaki danego dnia mogę przepisać? Jeśli mam czas to danego dnia przepisuję nawet po 300 słów. 25 na stronie krótka przerwa i znów 25 na stronie itd. Czy jest tu jakieś ograniczenie. W wakacje planuję wyjazd do Hiszpanii i zależy mi na czasie.
Oprócz trzymaniu się reżymu regularnych przerw, tak jak Pani robi, jedynym innym limitem jest granica wytrzymałości Pani zainteresowania. Jeżeli zaczyna to być już nudnoscią lub utrapeniem, trzeba to już odstawić na inny czas. Ja też nie przerabiam więcej niż 300 słów/linii dziennie.
2. Wstyd się przyznać, ale jesli chodzi o język angielski mam bardzo słabą i to bierną znajomość, tzn. potrafię coś zrozumieć, ale mam blokadę jeśli chodzi o mówienie. Teraz jeśli będę dalej chciała kontynuować naukę tak jak sobie wszystko zaplanowałam do września powinnam mieć angielski komunikatywny, a przez następny rok akademicki opanować go tak, by móc pozwolić sobie na czytanie książek biznesowych. Czy Pana zdaniem jest to w ogóle możliwe?
Pewnie. Jak by stosować goldlist w takim tempo jak 300 słów dziennie, 5 dni w tygodniu, to w ciągu jednego roku ma się pod pasem 300/3*5*50 czyli 25,000 słów. Tylko 15,000 słów jest potrzebnie, aby z pełnym komfortem podejść do czytania np kurs ACCA.
3.Czy można się uczyć jednocześnie dwóch języków przy użyciu opracowanej przez Pana metody? Jesli tak to czy mogę jednego dnia uczyć się trochę angielskiego, trochę hiszpańskiego czy lepiej jednego dnia angielskeigo drugiego hiszpańskiego? A może jest to w ogóle niemożliwe? Będę Panu bardzo wdzięczna za ewentualne odpowiedzi, a tym samym ogromną pomoc. Jeśli prowadzi Pan jakieś statystyki mogę również poinformować o swoich postępach. Z wyrazami podziwu, Agnieszka F
Można, ale odradzę od robienia dwóch językow naraz tej samej rodziny. Na przykład angielski z niemieckim, duńskim bądz niderlandzkim. Uważam wręcz, że nawet pomaga bardzo kiedy się uczy drugiego języka obcego używając materiały przygotowane dla mówców pierwszego języka obcego. W ten sposób mogła by pani zakupić kurs zaawansowanej angielszczyzny z hiszpańskiej księgarni internetowej, na przykład.
Mam nadzieję ze to pomoże, no i naturalnie zawsze jestem ciekaw usłyszeć o wynikach i postępach ludzi, którzy stosowali moje metody i porady, więc bardzo proszę!
Drugie pytanie jest od markam91 na forumie www.how-to-learn-any-language.com
— Previous Private Message —
[B]Sent by :[/B] markam91
[B]Sent :[/B] 14 January 2011 at 11:12pm
Czy mógłbym się dowiedzieć w jaki sposób nauczyłeś swoją córkę trzech języków? Jedyne, co przychodzi mi do głowy, to sposób mojego polonisty, który postanowił sobie, że żona będzie odzywała się do nowo narodzonego dziecka wyłącznie po polsku, a wspomniany polonista tylko po angielsku.
Jeden rodzic mówi w swoim języku, drugi w swoim języku, a środowisko ma jeszcze trzeci język.
Na przykład, w naszej rodzinie ja z córką mowiłem głownie po angielsku, żona po rosyjsku, a środowisko (czyli szkola, telewizja, przyjaciolki na osiedlu) jest polskojęzyczne. Od tego, że ja mowię do żony głównie po rosyjsku, i tez pracuję, więc często nie ma mnie w domu, trzeba bylo uzupełnić angielskie wpływy poprzez kupienie DVD ulubionych filmów dziecięcych z Anglii bez języka polskiego, i wiecej książek po angielsku, plus wakacji u moich rodziców, którzy tylko mówia po angielsku.
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