Wednesday, June 29, 2016

How many words do you need to speak a language fluently?

My take on this:

The short and absolutely correct answer is "no-one knows".
But - because I myself am asking this question, I know it's not about what people usually think it is.

Let me quote from an earlier post on this blog:

"...there are thousands of words in every language. About 200.000-300.000 is about normal... (well, frankly I don't know how many. People say English has somewhere between 500.000 and 5.000.000 words. Considering that if you know the 2000 most commonly used words of English, you master 75-80% of the language... and almost all with mere 15.000. I would say half a million is closer than five million. But - I don't know. It's a lot of words.)

Another juicy little piece of statistics, and I don't know anything about the veracity of this:
age 2 - 200 words
age 3 - 1000 words
age 6 - 4.000-20.000 words
age 14 - 10.000-25.000 words
adult - 30.000-60.000 words
A typical toddler learns 10-100 words a day... 100 words a day doesn't sound possible. (but I can do that in two hours, so I suppose it is possible :-D)
Considering that a 6 years old is some 2000 days old, that would make it 5 words a day since birth to reach 10.000 words, which is a good vocabulary for a 6 years old. It's not so that the kids don't learn words before they start using them... some theories even claim they learn words and sounds already before they are born.
Anyway, the point with this is that this is the rate children - those "natural sponges" learn languages... so if you get fluent in three months... that means you'll learn some 2000-10.000 words in 3 months... 22-100 words a day. Adults do NOT have it harder to learn than kids. It's all in one's attitude."

This is basically what people asking this question want to know.

other relevant facts:
At they have these statistics:
Most adult native test-takers range from 20,000–35,000 words, most foreing test-takers have about 4,500 words vocabulary, foreigners living in an English-speaking country reach 10.000 words.
"the Reading Teachers Book of Lists claims that the first 25 words are used in 33% of everyday writing, the first 100 words appear in 50% of adult and student writing, and the first 1,000 words are used in 89% of every day writing! has been said that a vocabulary of just 3000 words provides coverage for around 95% of common texts (such as news items, blogs, etc.)"
- How many words do I need to know? The 95/5 rule in language learning, Part 2/2
Now, I don't count singular and plural forms different words. Neither do I count any other form of a word as a new word. (See the definition of lexeme: How Many Words Do You Need to Know in Spanish (or any other foreign language)? And WHICH Words Should You Be Learning?)

There is also a "hierarchy" in words. It's more important to know the word "red" than "armadillo".

Common European Languages Framework (CEFR) and Vocabulary Size

CEFR level     Vocabulary size: English
A1                   <1500
A2          1500 – 2500
B1         2750 – 3250
B2         3250 – 3750
C1         3750 – 4500
C2         4500 – 5000

But - shortly put, if you learn by heart the 3000 most common words in your target language and their different forms and other necessary details, like gender and so on, you will be in a great spot to acquire a good language by reading books.

Now, Benny Lewis spits on people learning languages by reading books, I myself am in the Kati Lomb camp, and my goal is being able to read books and blogs in many languages. I also know that I am pretty good at catching up the pronunciation, and totally confident in that if I could read books in a language, I would be fluently communicating and expressing myself in the language very quickly if I needed to.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Korean again (and some general language learning tips)

I really like this girl :-) Pretty and intelligent

Here's an interesting "How to speak Korean"at WikiHow

Some other things:
30 things you can do in 5 minutes or less to learn languages
and another list from Eurolinguiste: 60+ ways to learn a language

I also like Lindsay's instagram challenge 

here's some language learning tips from
#1, #2 and #3, some more, and the television method / movie method
This is the original post from Keith Lucas' Voice on Extreme Language Learning

Learning a language without lessons

Thursday, June 16, 2016

I think I love you...

Now, don't go transcribing anything... just follow the song in Hangul, read the English text TO GET AN IDEA OF WHAT SHE SINGS, don't memorize it, and try to create the sounds yourself.

그럴리 없다고 아닐 꺼 라고 믿 었죠~ um~
내가 그댈 사랑한 단 이말도  안 되죠 ~ um~
괜한 질투 일 꺼라고
내가 외로운가보다고
자신을 속여봤지만 이제 더는
난 감출 수 가 없 는 걸요

I Think I Love You~ 그 런 가 봐요
Cause I Miss You~ 그대만없으면
난아무것도못 하
고 자꾸 생각 나
고이런걸 보면 아무래도

I’m Falling For You~ 난 몰랐지만
Now I Need You~  어느샌가내맘 
깊 은곳에아
주 크게 자리잡
은 그대의 모습을 이젠 보아요

우린 안 어울린 다고 친구 그게 딱 좋다고~ um~
하나 부터 열개 도대체 뭐 한개라도 맞는게 없는 데 ~
어떻게사귈 수있냐고
말하며 둘러 댔지만 
이제더는 난 그러기 가싫은걸요 ~

I Think I Love You~ 그 런 가 봐요
Cause I Miss You~ 그대만없으면
난아무것도못 하
고 자꾸 생각 나
고이런걸 보면 아무래도

I’m Falling For You~ 난 몰랐지만
Now I Need You~  어느샌가내맘 
깊 은곳에아
주 크게 자리잡
은 그대의 모습을 이젠 보아요

왜 몰랐죠 그대라는걸 Woo~
왜 못봤죠 바로 앞 인 데~~ Hoo~ Ye~
그 동안 이렇게 바로 내곁에 있었는데
왜 이제서야 사랑이 보이는건지~~ Hoo~

I Think I Love You~ 그 런 가 봐요
Cause I Miss You~ 그대만없으면
난아무것도못 하
고 자꾸 생각 나
고이런걸 보면 아무래도

I’m Falling For You~ 난 몰랐지만
Now I Need You~  어느샌가내맘 
깊 은곳에아
주 크게 자리잡
은 그대의 모습을 이젠 보아요

I believed it couldn’t be (oh)
That I loved you, it doesn’t make sense (oh)
That it was idle jealousy, That I was lonely
I tried to lie to myself, but I cannot hide it no longer

I think I love you, I think that’s what it is
’Cause I miss you, whenever you’re not around
I cannot do anything
And I keep thinking of you
Whenever I realize this, I think
I`m Falling For You~
I’m falling for you
I didn’t know, but now I need you
Suddenly, deep in my heart
I can see where you’ve settled

We’re an odd couple, being friends is the best (oh)
Nothing about us matches
How can we date, it’s crazy talk
So I said and contrived, but I don’t want to do that no more


Why didn’t I know, that it was you (oh)
Why didn’t I know, you were right in front of me (oh)
All this time you were right by me
Why do I only see the love now (oh)


Korean is such a strange language for me... I find it hard to HEAR the different sounds... I would not be able to transcribe what I hear into Korean, because I JUST CAN'T HEAR THE DIFFERENT LETTERS!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Three bears

곰 세 마리가 한집에 있어
아빠곰 엄마곰 애기곰
아빠곰은 뚱뚱해
엄마곰은 날씬해
애기곰은 너무 귀여워
으쓱 으쓱 잘한다

I saw this in the K-drama Full House and - of course - was charmed :-D
There is a translation there, too :-D