How to Learn Words


This handbook explains how to learn vocabulary quickly and reliably by using Obstino. It is for anyone who is learning a foreign language, or who wants to improve their vocabulary in their native language.

Whichever method you use to learn a language, be it with a teacher, following a language book, learning via an app, doing online courses or watching YouTube videos, having a good strategy for learning words can significantly boost your understanding of the language.

We’ll cover the following:

Currently Obstino supports English and Spanish.

Who should read this

Learners of a foreign language and also anyone who wants to improve their vocabulary in their native language.

What is Obstino?

Obstino is an app for iPhone, iPad and Mac that helps you learn vocabulary. You can store and practice new words you encounter as you learn a language.

Obstino is NOT a full-fledged app for language learning. It works well with any other language learning method.

How is Obstino different?

The main difference between Obstino and other apps is that Obstino has been designed from the ground up to teach words through context. 

Instead of reviewing definitions, you review example sentences of a word that convey real emotions, objects, or feelings. This makes it easier to remember and understand words. 


There are two ways to encounter new words in a language:

Learning words out-of-context is not effective for the human brain. We explain why in the context section, later.

That’s why Obstino’s learning strategy is based on in-context words. This simply means you find words that are in-context, before adding them to the Obstino library for study.

In practice, you add words you find in stories, articles, news sites, books, or conversations. You save the sentence in which the word appears and then you use that to study it. Additionally, the app provides ways to collect more example sentences, through which your understanding of the word increases.

Now the outline of strategy looks like this:

Learning words in Obstino boils down to:

Learning words = Context + Repetition

That’s the strategy, now let’s dive into details.

Next: Choosing Words to Learn

There is a limit on your time and how much your mind can effectively absorb in a day. Which words should you learn first?
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