Choosing Words to Learn

Choosing Words to Learn

When you learn a new language, there seems to be a countless number of words you could be learning. Every time you pick up a book, read an article or talk with someone, you encounter new words worth learning.

Clearly, there is a limit on your time and what your mind can reasonably absorb in a day, so which words should you learn first? How to pick words from the vast quantity we could be learning? We attempt to answer these important questions in this guide.

Where to Find New Words?

There’s so many sources for encountering new vocabulary and you most likely already use many of them. The more diverse the sources you use, the better you’ll progress in a language. Here is a list of sources for potential words. Or course, there are plenty more:

How many words should I add to Obstino per day?

This depends on how much time you have to study each day. You should be targeting 5-10 words per day to learn. More than that and you’re risking burning out unless you know what you’re doing. Less than that and it will take too long to make real progress.

Which words to choose?

A general rule is this:

Learn words you see most often in your environment.

It really is that simple. This way you can ensure you get the best ‘bang for your buck’. You don’t want to study words you rarely encounter, before you study those that you see regularly. This is not strictly based on the frequency with which a word occurs in a given language. In your personal environment, it’s likely some words show up more often than others.

For example, when you are a beginner and come across a sentence of interest, first try to learn a simple word like “open” before you add to the list a word like “exhausted.” The first one is more important. If you’re already more advanced and you like to read books about design, learning the word ‘hue’ is more important than learning the word “fossil.” You get the idea.

By reading text in a foreign language you’re also learning many words unconsciously. But what we talk about here is purposeful learning: catching words that are most interesting and adding them to Obstino so you definitely don’t forget them

Next: Adding Words to Obstino

Discover two methods you can use to quickly add words to the app.
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