How did/do you learn vocabulary?

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I don't think I would lose ground if I learned lists* (and I did it a little in the beginning, that is when I was following a Latin course but didn't read real Latin on my own yet), and maybe if I did I would memorize even faster, possible, I don't know; but I just find it more pleasant to learn words little by little while reading; and even if I must look up a same word several times, I progressively memorize the major part (that is words that come up relatively often in what I read - and less common ones if they strike me). I just don't feel like reading lists, I prefer reading texts; and as it works, why bother my lazy self with something else... But yes, as you say, I suppose some methods will work better for some people, others for others (even if after all, there are not so many different methods, there would just be some "personal preferences" for one of the main ones). (And thank you for such comments about me...)

*Edit: Providing that learning lists would be in addition to all my reading, and not to replace part of it of course - to spend hours that I would have spent really reading, reading or writing down lists instead, would maybe make me lose a little ground - or rather progress slowlier, "lose ground" might be an overstatement. But on the other hand, if I did like you said, Socratidion, writing down words I encounter along with their definitions while I am reading, and making a quick review of those lists now and then, just having a look at them when I'm there doing nothing and see the sheets on my desk, maybe it would help me memorizing faster (but I don't really feel the need to, I'm happy as it is. I prefer it to be a little slowlier and agreeable, than a little faster and a little more boring...).

Edit 2: And anyway I'm learning by myself for my pleasure, it's not as if I were a student with vocabulary tests to pass; so when I don't understand or need to remember one meaning of a word, it's not that catastrophic; my dear dictionaries are always there to help me... :D And it progresses by itself with time and reading, at ease.
 

Kosmokrator

Active Member
Deam Durgam adorando latinam, graecam, sanscriticamque linguam docemur
 

socratidion

Civis Illustris
Maybe it's the language equivalent of practising scales in music. You could just play pieces -- and an amateur with no exams to face might decide to do just that. Or not.
 

truks

Member
As a very new member here, I was just wondering how long you've been studying Latin, Pacis puella?
 

truks

Member
Wow, very inspirational. :)

I studied it at university in conjunction with Old French, but that was over twenty years ago. :( Having forgotten practically everything, I decided to go back to it about two months ago.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
When you've learned a language in the past, even if you forget it, I believe it's never completely lost - it's just buried deep in your brain - so I think some memories will rapidly come back to the surface (it has probably already started, hasn't it?) and you should re-learn more quickly than someone who has never learnt it at all before. ;)
 

truks

Member
Let's hope so! Actually, I was surprised how fast the first three declensions and the active indicative forms came back to me. It doesn't feel quite as hard this time around. ;) En tout cas merci pour tes mots d'encouragement. :)
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Well, it's hard to say. These last few months I've spent much time on this forum, doing little translations and helping in the Latin beginners' forum, and reading what others say and learning from it. But I suppose that the time I spend on the forum can't really all be considered as "practice" time (it's not always Latin practice; right now when I'm writing this post I'm not practising Latin). Now these last times I've read a few hours a day in general, but I haven't counted either, and it depends on the days. Two, three, four, five... some days zero.

Edit: But between 45 and 1.5 hours a day seems very honest an amount of time. (Especially when you also have other things to do...!)
 

truks

Member
Others have mentioned flashcards in this thread. I've found that Anki (flashcard software that's based on active recall testing and spaced repetition) can be a powerful tool for learning large amounts of vocabulary. Plus it's free, which is kind of insane. :)

http://ankisrs.net/index.html

The user can add cards in both directions in one go (Latin-translation and translation-Latin), and even add primary and secondary information to cards, which is useful for things like verbs that have multiple meanings and possible translations.

Anki is great for learning single words and expressions (and drilling declensions and conjugations), but I've found I get the best results when I add full sentences to it which illustrate the points of grammar I'm learning.
 
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