Tell me any method to learn 3,000 new words

I have done a question with the same topic before, I am learning german, luckily i know to read almost perfect german, and i know grammar almost well I have no difficulty in it but the main problem lies in memorizing new words, I read japanese manga they are similar to comic book, and every new word i underline have vocabulary translated into my language and i write them in notebook do you know any other technician how to teach besides illustrated pictures because she in a few words does not work, for example in names it is easier to use photos to remember, but in adjectives and verbs that are most important to understand a language does not work for me, I used memrise , but it is very boring. boring to repeat every time and again when i forget any word I also lose the motive, do you know of any method that makes it fun and easier to memorize the words lest i forget, I aim to learn at least and 3,000 new words

Phew, took a while to read that dense posting. Spaces and paragraphs are nice tools.

Only way to learn 3000 words is to spend time learning them.

1 Like

Hi @NBK_Agario40

As an alternative to using Memrise, you could try out the Gold List method - which is explained in this three minute video:

Good sources of basic German vocabulary are:

Hi, I am using Duolingo together with Memrise. Of course, taking any chance to immerse yourself hwill help you much better. Native speakers are currently spending quite a lot of time online, thanks to Corona-chans worshippers, so you may find some discord servers.

Another point is that IMHO learning 3000 words only makes you a walking dictionary but not a fluent speaker/listener. Approach this more from the angle of learning a video game, you make mistakes and you correct yourself and this way you get more fluent. You could get by with less than 500 words if you just now how to express yourself or hear what the native speaker is saying with simple and direct statements.

Hi @Namdrol-Sengekhx333,

I think that 500 words would be a massive overkill - for example, fluent communication with a German Shepherd (Alsatian) would likely require a 50 word vocabulary at most.

1 Like

Yes that’s why I said less than 500 where it’s anything from a few to a decent amount for some kind of communication expressing daily life.

Do you have a dictionary for the German Altasian language? :-).

Yes! There’s a very useful 15-word list here:

Make a Memrise class!

1 Like

Memrise is using the same system as gold list method, it is a spaced repetition system, which is what the gold list method is, gold list method just being a manually written way of doing it, as far as I think at least, I like your thoughts and links.

1 Like

Hi, I’ve tried both methods and, at least for me, using Memrise has been generally more effective. But the Goldlist method may be better for learning short phrases.

One key difference is that the Goldlist method requires the student to periodically make a personal judgement about which third of items in the current list are now in long-term memory, and those items then get discarded from the learning process forever.

Memrise appears to use a more sophisticated algorithm that automatically and continually retests previous items, even those that show recent perfect recall - which results in retests of each item every ~180 days, at most.

1 Like

Hey Ian,

For me spaced repetition is the best system for retention, before memrise I knew a little(very small amount of) French, could count to 49 and know a few words but then having got to level 3 Spanish and retained it here, I believe Memrise to be the best in the world!! I didn’t know what spaced repetition systems were, I used duolingo first, ended up on memrise, duolingo did not enable me to retain words like memrise, I learned about gold list method, never tried it and learned about anki and found that the method for retaining words that works best is spaced repetition system, I have no idea why anyone would not gel with this system because it works so well for me. If we didn’t have computers then I would use gold list method, I would like to try it but adding in own vocab and the official courses here on memrise are so good and I don’t live in the amazon jungle yet :slight_smile: so having a computer to learn is simpler and as you say, anki, memrise these systems know what you are weak on, making the decision for yourself is harder I think.

Why do you think that goldlist would be better for short phrases, is it just personal preference or something identifiable? I look forward to your thoughts!

As for the op, I believe that if you wanna aquire 5000 words but think memrise is boring, I would struggle to suggest any method other than, get a list by frequency of verbs, nouns, adjectives etc, categorising however you feel suits your memory best, build a memrise vocab or use goldlist method and drill, there is no other way to aquire 5000 words than to make lists and read, write, repeat, in my hot and steamy opinion.

Billy, I agree with everything you just said. My story is similar in that I tried for a few years to learn (or somehow pick up) Spanish vocabulary pretty unsuccessfully.

Around 2012 I bought 1000 flashcards (physical cards), tried using them in random order and the process worked very well. Soon after, I stumbled across Memrise which was similar but even better.

I’ve briefly tried a few Spanish phrase courses on Memrise, but the process of typing responses took too long. There are now some excellent multi-choice-only community Spanish phrase courses available, and I might try these out at some point.

I’ve applied the Goldlist method to the vocabulary and short phrases contained in a rather old (but excellent) cassette-based intermediate conversational course: “Harrap’s Drive-in Spanish Part 1 (1986)”, with moderate success.

The main problem is that I completed the entire Goldlisting process about five years ago, and a lot of what once seemed to be lodged in my long-term memory has since evaporated. Using Memrise, you automatically always have a refresher course available, and I may create an equivalent Memrise course for myself for that reason.

¡Muy bien hombre!

This is where the magic of computation comes into play but also so too does the notion of sustained practice. If you gave me a floor buffer, could I use it? Yes. Would it get away from me at first? Yes. I will ultimately be able to use it because I have in the past but I will be rusty. Same with everything, guitar, don’t play for a while, rust forms over time. With languages, although the spaced repetition system works, I am unsure how long it takes to retain everything forever, I did Spanish up to level 3 but have not done it for over a year. Could I do level 3 if I went back to review it now? I think so but I am learning Portuguese and there are many similarities but more than that for some reason, so much retained even without sustained practice for the last year, I can read much Spanish still having known zero before using Memrise. Compare that with Chinese level 1, that was awesome, I completed it, knew it well, the structure of the language began to reveal itself to me and surprisingly, I enjoyed it, which I didn’t expect but one year later, when I came back to start using Memrise again, reviewed Chinese 1 and just couldn’t get hardly any, maybe because of the distance between English and Chinese is more than English and Spanish or maybe I hadn’t learned enough. With Spanish, outside of Memrise, I studied grammar rules, verb conjugations etc, so I learned much about the language and learned up to level 3 in terms of vocabulary retained. I still have Spanish in me, not Chinese though. Except for mei-guanxi, my favourite phrase, it doesn’t matter, literal translation: no connection (I absolutely love this) So I think, based on my little experience the more you have learned the more you retain for life but as with all things, if you don’t keep up a steady practice, your skills will atrophy.


Sure, the Memrise algorithm will get you to review the entire course and you’d probably initially get more than half the answers wrong with items that you last looked at a year earlier. But the second time you see an item there’s a very good chance you’d get it right. Within a couple of weeks, you’d kick most items into the “review next in ~180 days” pile.

While you’re learning Portuguese, I would avoid doing this because of the similarities between the languages, as you’ve noted yourself. I think that if you are planning to learn a several languages, it would be better to avoid learning more than one at a time, and best to make switches between relatively unrelated languages each time you change target language.

I think Chinese is simply a massively greater challenge for a native English speaker than any Western European language, particularly for long-term vocab retention.

As a general, fairly obvious comment, after completing several courses, I don’t think it’s practical to continue actively reviewing all completed Memrise courses - particularly after learning, say, 10 or 20 thousand items in total. Better to focus on reviewing one course at a time.

1 Like

See when I began, I was of the opinion learn spanish and chinese together. Polyglot dreams! No problem because of the difference but then a year later… Let me back track. I learned Spanish because I would love to live in South America, so I learned Mexican Spanish, I don’t like the european spanish accent with the lisp was a major reason and also connection. Top 3 languages in the world, english, spanish and mandarin so I figure learn chinese and spanish and bam you can connect with billions you couldn’t before. I live in The U.K, it is more likely for me to got to Portugal because it costs £30 for a flight, america is much harder for me. I would not live in spain because of the bullfighting culture nonsense and Portugal is a gem and cheap. So obviously I didn’t start revising memrise spanish because I am doing portuguese. Someone, Benny Lewis said in a talk regarding similar languages you can retain spanish and portuguese together for example if yu have learned enough to build what he called the wall, once I reach a higher level in Portuguese I will review my Spanish but I can tell you that there is enough of a wall between my Spanish and Portuguese for me to not confuse portuguese with spanish and also they are similar but not similar at the same time. Also Lydia somone said learn one language then when you have a good command you can move onto another, with the chinese and spanish I heard lousho or something, he is this polyglot dude say learn two at the same time that are different so you can retain both, my view is learn one well then start next, I have my whole livfe to become a polyglot and connect with as many humans as possible in this realm so I don’t need to have all languages at once. We have all the time in the world.

I believe you’ve got the right philosophy.

The YouTube videos by Lýdia Machová are, I think, well worth watching, although you’ve probably already figured out some of her ideas yourself.

In case you’ve not heard of it, there’s a 15-hour audio-only European Portuguese course offered by the US company Simon & Schuster. I haven’t worked through this particular course myself but based on what I’ve seen of the Pimsleur Lat Am Spanish, French and German courses, it might be worth borrowing from the public library - that’s probably the best way to get it unless you are quite wealthy.

Right on brother, was nice talking to you, the forums seem to be getting a little busier lately, always good to connect. Best wishes to you and yours in the future and what a thoughtful recommendation.

I don’t have a library card, I don’t have £350 to spend on an audio course but I am a pirate of the seven seas which is why I am fortunate enough to already have this :wink:



1 Like