How to Learn Vocabulary Fast: The Power of Zipf’s Law

Zipf's law is a very powerful tool for people who want to know how to learn vocabulary fast

The human brain is wired to look for shortcuts. In language learning, such a shortcut is figuring out how to learn vocabulary fast. As I found out, you can get by very well despite a frightening Russian accent and no knowledge of grammar – but, alas, not without words. So every time I attack a … Read moreHow to Learn Vocabulary Fast: The Power of Zipf’s Law

Incidental Learning: How to learn vocabulary automatically

Incidental learning is something you do everyday. Learn how to use it for vocabulary learning. Photo by Jelleke Vanooteghem

Imagine that you’re reading a novel – in French – say, Citadelle by A. de Saint-Excupéry. As time passes, you slowly crawl your way through a forest of unfamiliar French words, conjugations, and expressions. You can say that you’ve read more of your French-English dictionary than of the novel, but I bet that was Exupéry’s … Read moreIncidental Learning: How to learn vocabulary automatically

How to Learn More Vocabulary with Narrow Reading

Narrow reading and language learning: winning combo

You have probably heard that in order to expand your vocabulary in a foreign language you have to read a lot. You might have even tried reading stuff in your target language… just to realize that your vocabulary is not very expandable this way. Yup. Reading random things doesn’t really work. But, hey, don’t get … Read moreHow to Learn More Vocabulary with Narrow Reading

Why Beelinguapp is better than flashcards?

Beelinguapp can be more effective for vocabulary learning than your favorite flashcards

The more time I spend learning languages online, the more I’m getting convinced that software created by language learners for language learners work the best. For whatever reason. And this is exactly the story of Beelinguapp: an atypical language learning app for language hackers and bookworms in one person. The story of Beelinguapp: 2017 “kickstart” … Read moreWhy Beelinguapp is better than flashcards?

21 century: Is it still possible to learn a language by reading?

There’s a link between reading and language skills. And this link is so strong that many 20th century polyglots were able to learn a language by reading books, whether they had previous knowledge of their target language or started from the zero. The problem is that this technique, perfectly working for our kind a hundred … Read more21 century: Is it still possible to learn a language by reading?

How to learn vocabulary effectively: the power of context

Mastering the context is the simple answer on how to learn vocabulary effectively

Average adult knows 60 000 words but only 10% of them is a result of deliberate teaching. The rest 90% of words we know and understand comes from oral or written context. Master this technique (incoded in the scientific world as Context Vocabulary Acquisition) and you will find the answer on how to learn vocabulary effectively. And, … Read moreHow to learn vocabulary effectively: the power of context

How many words you need to learn to speak a language?

Do you know how many words you need to speak a language with ease?

Learning a language (at least in its initial phase) all comes to learning new vocabulary. And one of the first questions you want to ask yourself to downsize this overwhelming task is how many words you need (really need) to learn in order to understand and speak a foreign language. The answer may be not … Read moreHow many words you need to learn to speak a language?

How to memorize vocabulary fast: 7 everyday strategies

So here’s the magic equation. If you learn how to memorize vocabulary fast, your speed of learning a foreign language will skyrocket automatically. How is that? Because language learning is 80% of memorizing, forgetting and relearning vocabulary. I know, we both want the second word has never existed. And yet, it’s there. And like a … Read moreHow to memorize vocabulary fast: 7 everyday strategies