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Time to Play: Custom Vocabulary

Lesson 24 from: Become Fluent in Any Language

Gabriel Wyner

Time to Play: Custom Vocabulary

Lesson 24 from: Become Fluent in Any Language

Gabriel Wyner

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Lesson Info

24. Time to Play: Custom Vocabulary

Lesson Info

Time to Play: Custom Vocabulary

In terms of vocabulary, um, we're going to start customizing as we talked about in the first, I think, the very first segment in terms of making book the language work for you and fitting your specific needs, because not everyone needs the same language to start with. We're going to start with these whole frequency lists we talked about in the earlier segments. If you learn the top thousand words in your language, roughly this is going to differ from language to language and from study to study, because words are hard to count. This is why the numbers are a little different than they were in a few days ago is that if every study look at has a slightly different number because is, for instance, bear in english one word, two words three, four, five I mean, to bear a burden, a bear like a bear down, like, are these different words bared bearing are those also different words? There is a lot of different ways to count words, and so generally if you look at word families, you say okay, well...

, to be and were and are and being those air all kind of one thing, and you count them that way, then learning the top thousand of those, we'll give you around seventy five percent comprehension with reading you'll recognize three out of every four words and with listening because we speak with the very, very sort of small vocabulary. Honestly, we don't use lots of words which we'll talk about it you pick up about eighty five percent of what you hear, so the top thousand words is a slam dunk. There was no reason not to learn these words first they provide such a wonderful foundation and especially when you're learning them in this way where you're learning them in the context of sentences it's not just a thousand words, you're getting a lot more than that, so these air just do these mean this is where you should start, but then there starts becoming this question of well, should you learn the next thousand? What happens if you learn the top two thousand words? And so this is a new english paragraph with the top two thousand words filled in from english onda reads like this if current planting rates are blink with planting blank satisfied on each blank in the forest milled at the earliest opportunity the bank would supplies could further increased about thirty six million blank meters blank in the blank two thousand one to two thousand fifteen the blank blank would supply should greatly blank blank blank even if much is used for blank production it's not quite enough this is eighty percent comprehension and you kind of get some of the gist, you know, this is about wood, something woody, maybe forests, and something is happening with harvesting that would, but you don't quite get the hole just of it, and so this seems like, okay, we're spending an extra we're doubling our workload, we've added another thousand words, but we haven't quite gotten where we need to go, and so to kind of get where we need to go. What we talked about earlier was that you need to get something around. Six thousand words a twelve thousand words this becomes a lot of work, but what happens if you start specializing? What happens if instead of trying to learn the next ten thousand words or something, you pick five hundred academic words because this is an academic text you say I'm going to college, I need to read academic texts, but if I learned five hundred more specifically academic words and that suddenly gives you ten percent boost, current planning rates are maintained, with planting targets satisfied in each region enforced mills at the earliest opportunity the available would supplies could further increased about thirty six million blank meters blank in the period two thousand one to two thousand fifteen, the blank available would supply could greatly exceed domestic requirements, even if much has used for energy production. You're taking five hundred words and suddenly you understand basically everything and from context you can get most of it. I mean, this is thirty six million ends up being cubic meters annually in this period, I believe the currently available would supply should greatly exceed these requirements. This is a hard text like this for a foreign for foreign english learner toe understand this text with just this total vocabulary that this person has this is total, and this is not I mean, learning the way we have that we're going to be learning you're gonna have a lot more because you remember your thousand words, you've all these bonus words from context, but with just these twenty, five hundred words this english speakers picked up basically this entire text has everything they need to handle any kind of academic text really lit up to ninety percent comprehension of really hard stuff, so specialising works really, really well, it's just that we don't need to specialize on the same thing. Um and so we'll talk about actually and then we'll we'll jump in a few slides in terms of how you start finding these words, but in terms of strategy, what you're looking at is building a base you build a base of the most frequent words you choose the top thousand or of the top two thousand as you wish and then you start building sort of sad like vocabularies you say ok, I am going to seminary they need religious vocabulary I am going to italy you need food vocabulary I don't care you need it if you hate eating it doesn't matter you will love it um you know I'm going to france I need film vocabulary I'm interested in french film no animal has its own sort of language I one point I took I really wanted to read the harry potter books in italian and I I brought the books and then I found the texts elsewhere and I stuck the text into a program that shows that basically generates frequency lists and I got the harry potter vocabulary there's like two hundred words that are used in harry potter books that are not used really elsewhere they're just sort of like things like which and magic and things like this and broomstick that you never needed anything else but you do need if you're going to read harry potter and so I have this list of like the harry potter italian vocabulary and I wouldn't recommend that everyone sort of take their texts and forced frequency list out of them I mean generally you can kind of get the idea as you start really good chap you like they keep using this word but it probably means broomstick uh but each genre has its own vocabulary and you don't need them all I mean, in english, I need to be able to handle myself at a pharmacy at a drugstore speaking about shakespeare reading random dumb magazines, reading comic books, reading nonfiction, reading fiction. I need to be able to handle myself everywhere. What do I need to do it in my french? I need to be able to sing. I need to be able to function on a french stage, so I need to know sort of stage vocabulary. Uh, I need to be able to order food. Always. I need to be able to handle myself in travel situations. I need to be able to sort of talk about my life. I need my own vocabulary. But what what do I do? What are my hobbies? I need to talk about language learning. I need to know language, learning vocabulary. And you know the word for continent and vowel and, you know, fanatics lunatic. So everyone has their own vocabulary. And the strategy is you feel the base and you pick your satellites. In terms of that base, you have a few options. In terms of where to get that information. There are frequency dictionaries and fix the lists. The dictionary's cost money. Somewhere between thirty bucks and a hundred bucks the russian one is a hundred bucks I don't know why it's lovely it's a wonderful book but it's hundred bucks most number thirty thirty five bucks on the list of free the list looked like this they come from witch inari and I believe that should be linked in the syllabus again if you don't have the course syllabus click the r s v p but you'll get it for free um and they just give you a list was just this raw list of stuff they don't give you translations though if you click there it will send you to dictionary entries one by one but they give you a list there handy but they're kind of a pain to use it's not that comfortable too I mean I if you don't know what these words are trying to learn them, then you have to look up each word and find the thing and all that um I much much prefer the frequency dictionaries because look at this it's amazing we have fair it tells you this is a noun that it's masculine it's said gives you a one translation this his brother and then it gives you an example sentence, which is exactly how we're learning our words we're learning everything anyway at this stage you're learning everything with example sentences and it just gives it to you gemma flat is your damn you're my brother and I love you are like why not just use this it's like prepackaged language you can go through this one word by one word will take you no time at all and you will be able to learn aton of words and a ton of grammar all at once these books are like our gold in terms of anything in terms of ah money investment this is probably some of the best money you will ever spend I wish there was one in hungarian there's not like these are these don't exist in every language inside I'm learning hungarian and I have to basically create this for myself I have to search google images for sentences I've to write those sentences myself if they don't exist which is a which is valuable which is a good use of my time but if this was pre packaged for me I would have I would be fast learning hungarian a lot faster if it's just a wonderful, wonderful tool so as recommended as I can recommend like just get these things they're all linked on my web site they're all in the syllabus like just go get them are wonderful when they exist you know if you're using if your learning welsh if your learning hungarian like me uh they don't always exist, they exist in in languages that supported in terms of the market uh and so when they exist get them I mean they're they're cold I'm pretty sure I'm almost positive there's one for japanese and I'm like so excited to start learning japanese because of that in part so um in terms of the specialization part uh you have a few options um and basically just have phrase books and thematic vocabulary books um phrase books are handy because they give you really practical stuff here's one excerpt lonely planet in italian which is over here this guy um you just got all this good stuff that you were never going to find in a dictionary you know I want to contact my embassy can I have a lawyer? You know, I didn't realize I was doing anything wrong like these they're just perfect sentences for situations that you probably shouldn't encounter, but no, I mean it's a book of, like of practical things what do I do at the post office? You're not going to be able to say, can I mail this to the u s you know, priority mail in your dictionary your dictionaries not gonna have that you're gonna be able to look up priority mail in the dictionary having example sentence of like, what did I actually say? So they understand me? I remember going austrian tryingto trying to get hydrogen peroxide and not knowing the words for hydrogen peroxide in german and just not knowing what to do and just being like I have ah cut I mean, well, actually I want to like gargle with it but like it's used for cuts and they don't use it for cuts in germany in austria on dso just we had this five minute just non comprehension thing where if I just had picked up a phrase book, it would have told me some of the sort of cues of saying, you know, this is how you order things in a pharmacy it wouldn't necessarily fix the hydrogen peroxide thing that was just a mess. Um but these things are great. The nice thing about them is that they give you translated example sentences, which you can use in exactly the way that we used yesterday. You know, I have a prescription for this drug. This is again always at the police station. I love this page one already checked that request. Amanda gina and so if you need to learn the word for prescription owner blank request immediate gina and then a picture of whatever police person you know, person in handcuffs are depending on you r picture of drugs, whatever, um and you can also learn grammar from this stuff there's no reason why you can't use that kind of sentence to learn bad for I have a prescription for this medicine or for this I mean, this is this could be or this this could be all sorts of things. So this is a wonderful source of just tons and tons of example sentence. Um the somatic vocabulary book uh is kind of interesting. It's it's a strange thing not many people know about it it's a book that basically takes five thousand words or so in a language and breaks them up into themes. So it says, here are parts of the body here are things that you would say it a doctor's office here are, you know, ah, religious vocabulary they have that they say, here is science for cavaliere here's automobile vocabulary and you can go through and basically checkoff words as you wish and you do this by looking at their list, you'll see that they have all these they have a lot of example sentences it's not entirely example sentences down there you know capello hair so ferruccio eyebrow they're not giving you sentence is saying, you know, the eyebrows of the most beautiful part of the whatever you know they're just giving you translations the translations they're good enough they're quality translations um and they do give you some nice example sentences respiratory respiratory aria poor little far benny I pour money breathing clean air is good for the lungs um so you get all this stuff what you do is you go through and you check things off you say what am I actually going to use practically you put yourself in italy in your head and you go through and you say okay lagoon by leg yeah, I could probably use leg I mean that's kind of a handy weird to have so you put a check mark next to uh gino ko ni uh I mean, how often do I talk about my knees depends if I'm a dancer check it if I'm just going to italy I'm probably not gonna be like oh, I don't mind you know like you know you probably don't need it uh be a foot foot is a good thing to have quarter yes palimony long not if you don't if you're not a singer, you know you just go through it at speed audio probably you probably need to know how to breathe at a speedo is the same sort of worried you might as well. So forcados suffocate probably not. I mean for most people uh liver you don't need stomach you don't need necessarily although actually in italy you do uh and you kind of go through and you just put checks you say just imagine yourself there and say, what do I need? And this is how you specialize when someone has not given you this is the academic vocabulary list this is the religious vocabulary list when you just have a list of religious words you can decide what am I actually gonna need or film or enemy or sound so that is that uh one thing actually about the phrase books I'm they're getting better in terms of formality but often they tend to be very very sort of stunted language the language is good but it assumes that you are trying to be as polite as possible because they don't want someone using a phrase book and then getting slapped in the face uh and so they will nowadays actually many of the phrase books are telling you okay here's how you do it if you're four if you want to be formal and here's how you do it if you want to be informal but you will occasionally find sentences in there that you'll say to someone they'll be like dude just chill out you know you don't need to be so uptight and so that just so you know that you that may show up but it's fine it's good language the next thing we're gonna talk about our what do you do with these words you know we talked yesterday about how to learn grammar and how to learn in sort of new words in context but there's more you can kind of do so let's look at some of this here's google images again. And as we talked about yesterday, you can use it to learn a word in context in a really awesome way. This is our example for daphne, where you got all of these awesome phrases at the same time, your example for last. And so at the same time as your learning last year. Also learning things like, please ally past patriots for life imprisonment like these wonderful french things. The nice thing about google images that you can do now as you start heating an intermediate level heating no hitting in the intermediate level um, is that you can start jumping from word to word to work. You can use google images to explore vocabulary. What I mean by that is this yesterday we looked at an example for dog we said kay cannon for saving your amica del warm a lost temple that that man was men's. The dog was man's best friend was known for some time, and so we can use this to learn a word like connie like dog. But you can look at this sentence and say, huh jod that temple already for a long time that temple for for, you know for some time that sample that's a really interesting phrase, I wonder how else that's used and so you can search google images again and say, what is that temple when is that used in other context that aren't just this sentence and you will find twenty actually twenty million more sentences with the temple and in this case also say it was a person the mayor city bowl japanese it turns to the country that time for for some time we reach evil may not share the modern day I've been receiving death threats cool sentence I mean bad news for this guy but you know, cool sentence and so now you have that tempo in a new in a new context you ve learned you've used the first sentence to learn the word dog which has that temple in it you're going to use this sentence to learn that temple which has all this cool stuff the mayor you seem to go seen darko uh turns to the country cd of all j which is a wee like this you know, in italian he rotates himself but it's this is how you come to the your country and say, hey, like stop threatening my life please stop trying to kill me uh, so you get all this good stuff at the same time, but you're just learning using this to learn that sample but what if all this stuff is relatively old to you? You know all this stuff but me not shay that's new idea of a menace a death threat I'm menacing you with death so you search up you search for me not or because you're the intermediate level you know that me not she's the plural and that single is probably me natche so you search from the nansha you find some quote from obama's victory cyber terrorism sarah obama moonshot nueva novia miso cyber terrorism is a is a real threat and obama's announcing new measures and so you use this to learn something else and nyasha or missouri measures new measures against cyber terrorism and so you can keep sort of touring the language from word toward you jump from word to word and every flash car that you make reinforces the next one because it always uses a word from the previous one thes source of chains are a ton of fun because you get it's not just you know, just seeing one of them you're seeing twenty example sentences with all these crazy pictures and it's usually internet means and they're usually hilarious because you're like what you what some of the hungarian ones are brutal uh I can't say them online on air but anyway you just tour you explore the your language with google images and you see what people are actually saying I mean this is the real language in in the wild this is what people are actually writing now it's it's really neat with pictures like his pictures so that it is one thing you get to do with your words you could to take a word and just go with it do you get to write about it? It's just one thing I really like about writing is that it's portable I mean when you make flashcards you're at your computer you're sitting there at your laptop or your desktop at home you can't make flash cards on your phone but when you can do is get a list of words you get just your normal frequency list or your list way had all these lists we have tons of words to learn that we can learn it we should learn all this stuff um and what you can do is you have a translated list let's say you're using a frequency dictionary let's say you have one of these thematic vocabulary books that says this is this word this is this where this is this word and gives you just translations you have so ferruccio your eyebrow and you write your own example and your own definition and you say the eyebrow is above the eye just some stupid sentence but you have now practice the word above you've practiced the word I have practiced the idea of forming a sentence er and you say you know her eyebrows were very, very big and black and sort of bushy like you tried like you tried to stumble through your your sentence and you give an example sentence you give, you give a definition, you submit all this stuff to laying eight you get back all this wonderful content, but the nice thing about the writing things that you could do it anywhere you don't actually need a computer to write out example sentences because those example sentences will have mistakes which you want you want your mistakes, you are aiming to having the stakes, your amy to make the natural mistake that you're going to make that's going to turn into really good flashcards. Um and so you could do this anywhere and that's one thing I really like doing with with when I was learning russian was I'd had my big frequency list and I was on the bus all the time. I think at that time we were rehearsing some operetta and I was just on the bus constantly and going back and forth from rehearsals house and I had so much commuting to do, and I couldn't make my flash cards, and so I would just right I just have this list night, right? Every day I'd write like ten, twenty examples and then I'd submit them you can even actually laying it has a really nice web app, so if you want you can actually be writing on your phone and just submit them, you don't have to rewrite them uh and then the next day or actually within a few hours, because with russian, I'd have five people, uh, get a ton of corrections. I'd stick them on my flash cards. Getting corrections into flash cards is the fastest thing in the world because you know exactly what you want. Because someone's highlighted in red, you know, learn this learned that learn that, um and so I would generate my flash cards really, really quickly because of this. Because writing a supportable, the other nice thing about writing is that keeps you motivated. We talked about yesterday. How? The more personal your flashcards get, the more interesting they are for you. So this I find not only really handy, but kind of essential. Think, think there we go modeling with dictionaries we talked about in the very beginning, actually, the second segment about the tools of language learning. Now, these are descriptions of your words in your target language. So if I was learning english, I could go to aa dictionary and see success. You know, something that brings about a good result or the bringing about a good result. Um, the nice thing about modeling with dictionaries is that they give you all these subtle distinctions between your words. You get the difference between eating, devour, for instance, and they give you a ton of passive vocabulary. I want to show you some, uh, dictionary examples pictionary is the wikipedia of dictionaries it's by the same company and, um it's wonderful. I let me show you bones rule here's what we'll do this in chrome actually cause we haven't done much in chrome um chrome does this neat thing where on the top, when you encounter a french page or any other language page it will be nice and say, hey, this is in french do you want that? And I generally just sort of clicked the always translate french page button uh, when I'm learning languages, I'll turn that off later if I want to read a website or something but it's so easy to turn off I mean, I could just click the show original button and it will come back to english. I mean, come back to french, but it gives me all of this mouse over stuff where I can go and I can see this terrible sentence, you know? Hello, mr president. Well, jule, monsieur president, I've heard in twenty for the tv serious so many times that tv series is awesome in french, so you have all these example sentences, you know, both you of my friend bosom one I mean, you know all these wonderful examples and you have the mouse over thing when in chrome samos, samos we had in google translate, um, it's just part of the browser, which is nice, but let's, look at what this dictionary lets you do let's say, I want to make a flash card which will do in a little bit. Actually, we'll show you some of these flash that you use with with, with definitions and I stick all of this stuff, not all of it, but I stick by stick the definition and example on my flash cards. And so at this point, I have let stamina choose beaujolais monsieur president, because that's an awesome sense, it's not just high president it's high, mr the president's, which is just cool formation in french. And so I use this to learn ball, jules, I'll put blank mr look crazy doll, and I'll have someone like shaking the president's hand or something, and then I will also use the definition here here is a terrible english translation of a really wonderful french definition, a formula friendly of all actually translated thing for this's, a a formula, a way of saying something off of politeness that is either friendly, chemical or formal and is often savant removed, including sana eyes, often a word of introduction at the time of a meeting this is a thing you say that is either for friends or for former formality that you often say as a means of introduction whenever you meet someone. And so you see this sort of english translation, which will help you at an intermediate level right now. It's a little clunky formula friendly or formal politeness and often word of introduction at a meeting it's fumbling around at the beginning the ends just fine, but if you use this at the same time as you learn a word like jules, well, now you're learning a word like following you formulation, a way of saying things for community, the politesse, a way of saying things of politeness, that with the way that you formulate polite things to say, politeness and mick, are you learning how to say things that are friendly or formal? Often, I mean, these are all words that you may or may not know in the beginning at this stage, often you probably do know, but fucking anybody test, probably not, and so you're reinforcing the things you know, and you're learning new things at the same time. And all of this is coming from learning a single word, the easiest word in the book about you. And so you get all of this and you can keep going you can do this sort of cycle thing where you say okay formally body tess I don't quite know what all this is I don't know what loss is it says over here at a meeting last january contra iran contra so what if I search for loss I'm gonna put it right here I can I can search for it here I'll do it in search box locks it shows it right there actually is love I'm wrong yes it's not pronounced I just did the desk artist thing um and it says love is this time there is their translation suit or law it's actually kind of that time there and it works on lian composition the on ly in connection with the phrases below and you can look at all these phrases I'm going to switch to show original the pillow deal of pool also on since then sort of up till then for that time it's it's at that time so starla and so now I can learn this from that word I was not going to switch back to french well yeah there goes back to english and so I can use this to crap another word and then I could go to another word and another word I can use a dictionary in in a chain also in the same way that we use google images in a chain or we found example sentences that include the previous word an example senses include the previous word you can use dictionaries to form a chain of definitions often with example sentences that will teach you all about a series of words that are all related are all easier to remember it's really kind of neat it's a really fun process of exploring your language dictionaries are great for exploring a language come back to prison so let me show you the last type of flash cars we're going to deal with, which is just a tiny tiny modification on the first we have these are just words with definitions basically and they look like our added words with just one more line added, if you want to learn the word honest for instance, then you can have an example like he was an honest man, which is a great example for you know what? What is honesty look like um except that he was a blank man is not a very doesn't tell you much about what's going on, you know he could be a terrible man, a great man, he could be a truthful man and a man of integrity you know he was a blank man doesn't tell you very much he was a blank man with you don't lie, cheat or steal not many words that fit that category that's honest especially if you made this flash card yourself that's big, big sit perfectly clear what that is and you've also chosen your your abraham lincoln and all that so it becomes really you know clear that this means exactly what I wanted to meet this means honest and at the same time I am learning the word lie or cheat and steal if I did know them ready or I'm reinforcing those words so I'm getting a lot out of this one flash card I'm getting a lot more bonus material last yesterday we talked about bonus material from getting stuff from context this doubles it if twice as many words coming into your vocabulary every time you learnt a word the second card looks just like what we would expect it to look like it has honest without any context and then on the back you're spoke your job is to come up with any example of honest you know pinocchio wasn't honest fine great jiminy cricket cricket was honest sort of was wasn't his role to be honest was it I guess it sort of was you could think about anyone who was honest that's fine and then if on the backside you say he was a black man that that fits with honesty you think okay yeah that works too and again you have your definition um if you have new meanings than you just change the definition changes now it was a blank mistake it was an honest mistake, a stake made in good faith without malice. Now you're learning the word malice. What an awesome word to learn in good faith, this phrase in good faith. He were learning english. This would be so great that you would understand the word malice when you're trying to learn something simple, like honesty, that you would understand a fixed phrase, like in good faith, because what does that mean in good is it is in the faith of god, like there's, a fixed prays that basically means honest in good faith. And so now we're connecting all of these different words. The malice is sort of the opposite of honest in good faith, that isn't actually opposite. But get all this stuff. Um, and then, if you're learning japanese or chinese, then you're gonna want to have a spelling card. As always, you need to learn the country or the sea.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Fluent Forever Quickstart Guide
English-Intl Phonetic Alphabet Deck
3 Q&A Videos
Italki Bonus Voucher
35 Example Words in 13 Languages
Analog Flashcard Schedule
Hungarian Spelling Demo
Model Decks
Anki Manual
Course Syllabus

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Nephele Tempest

I really enjoyed this course. Gabe has a terrific, easy teaching style that's entertaining and absorbing to the point where I'm conscious of having gone through the course a little too fast. I am looking forward to going back through it a little more slowly to catch any tidbits I missed, but even without that I feel I have so many new tools to apply to language learning and I can't wait to get started. I really appreciate that he also went over how to tackle a language you've already learned in the past but have not retained to the level you'd like, as well as how to start a brand new language from scratch. I hope to do both with much greater success than my previous attempts.

a Creativelive Student

I really wasn't expecting to learn a whole lot of new things with this course but I feel like I have come away with so much more then just how to learn a language. The science on how our mind and memory work was really interesting and also very applicable to other parts of my life. Along with this course, I purchased Gabriel's pronunciation trainer which I also highly recommend. I never thought about the pronunciation of a language as a separate part and I feel like learning this first is already greatly improving my understanding of my goal language. I have tried to learn another language many times only to either give up from frustration or get bored with the program I'm using. This course and Gabriel's method of learning a language have me so excited that this time will be the time I succeed. I can't wait to start using the word list once that is available and to start creating my own. Thank you so much for such a great course.


Worth every penny. Despite the title, you'll learn far more than how to become fluent in a language -- you'll learn how to learn anything you want! Gabe is a great presentational speaker, articulate and captivating. The foundation of the course is about how to set a concrete and measurable goal, learn effectively, and set yourself up for success. This course addresses forming new habits within the constraints of your current life, making progress when you don't feel motivated, and how to recover from setbacks like getting off-track or when you just don't grasp a concept--these topics are often missing from other learning courses so students flounder as soon as they stray from the formula. Building on all these fundamentals, Gabe then offers specific techniques and tools for language learning. Excellent course!

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