It will suffice that you learn 100 most commonly used words to be able to understand around 50% of texts in a foreign language. If you master up to 1000 such words you'll be able to understand over 70% of what you can hear. These numbers have been calculated by mathematicians on the basis of word databases. The aforementioned numbers refer to English, but in the case of other languages it's quite the same. How quickly are you able to master 1000 words?
You can find on the Internet special lists containing 1000 most commonly used words of a given language. You can set yourself an aim and try to translate these words and learn them - it's a great way of learning a language. Of course you'll need also a grammar, however, in order to effectively communicate with native speakers from other countries you'll need only its basics, which can be mastered within a few days.
Links to websites where you'll find most frequent 1000 words of a given language:
All the words from links below have their pronunciation recorded in an mp 3 file. Just click on a given word.
Every single word like in the case of English has a recorded pronunciation. Moreover, all the words have their translations into Polish.
Words together with the pronunciation. There are as many as 2000 words on this website, but you'll find further links to even more of them.
Translation is also a learning process.
If you don't feel like translating all words you can go to the bookstore and buy one of the books containing 1000 most frequently used words of a given language. Their price usually doesn't exceed 20 zloty. However, it would be much better for you if you translated every single word on your own. And even better, if you wrote it down on the sheet of paper or a flashcard. Why? Your brain also learns kinaesthetically . It means that it remembers the sequence of your movements when you write a given word. In this way, learning every vocabulary item should become much faster for you.
Quick vocabulary learning
To learn vocabulary items permanently and quickly I recommend forming associations which next you'll have to vividly visualize. I've accurately described in this article how to memorize new words in this way. As soon as you've mastered this technique, you'll be able to learn every word in less than a minute.
At the beginning, however, let's assume that it will take you exactly a minute to learn one word. In this case, by devoting an hour a day for memorizing vocabulary (f.e. an hour for vocab, 15 min for the repetition) you'll master 1000 most commonly used words within 17 days! It's quite fast. This article has the following title "master a foreign language within 30 days", so there are still 13 days left :) You can devote this time for quick repetition and for learning the rudiments of grammar. It's also worth listening to recordings, speeches and lectures delivered in a foreign language or watch TV programs.
This way you'll learn a language within 30 days. Of course it's going to be at the beginner level and will mainly encompass understanding the language and not its active use. In order to speak a foreign language you'll have to devote much more time on learning grammar. However, after 30 days you should be able to comprehend over 70% of what you can hear and you'll have laid the solid foundations for further study. It's a great way for learning a few foreign languages if you aim at getting them at the elementary level. Having gone through such a course of study you could easily go abroad and communicate with every native speaker :)
Leave a comment on what you think about this kind of learning and whether you're going to start mastering one of the 1000 most frequently used wordlists.