Basic words in a new language
inge at lysator.liu.se
Sun Aug 11 17:27:16 UTC 2013
On Friday, August 09, 2013 22:38:51 Andreas Cord-Landwehr wrote:
> Hi Inge, I think that is a very good idea to start with a blueprint course
> that we can use to provide basic vocabulary courses for other languages.
> The current list really well fits to what I have in mind when thinking
> about the meaning of "basic course".
Ok, thanks. One thing that I don't remember if I emphasized in my first mail
is that this list was supposed to represent a useful subset for somebody who
wanted to study a language seriously and continue learning more after these
words are mastered.
I guess something that is also useful would be to put together a similar list
of words and phrases that you could use to prepare for a vacation trip
somewhere. LIke numbers, some "touristy" words like hotel, beach, bar,
restaurant, toilet, etc.
Something else that I didn't emphasize is that I tried to keep each lesson
between 10-15 words so that they could be reasonably learned in one session.
I have an app on my phone with a *lot* of words categorized slightly like this
one but those lessons are more like 30-40 words per package and it is very
difficult to remember the words the first times around.
> Some comments to the categories:
> * a category for relative pronouns ("this, that, those...) is missing
> * the current category "Pronouns" should better be called "Personal
Sure. It could be a sub category to "Pronouns"
> * In general there are very few adjectives and verbs, maybe add a
> categories for describing persons, describing a house, or describing
> activities (I was already thinking about verbs/adjectives needed in specific
> situations, but I think that goes beyond the scope of a "basic course") *
> for the Locations category, I cannot follow why you selected the current
> sub-categories :) IMO it would make more sense to use e.g. "buildings",
> "points of interests (tourism)", and add "Directions" (which is currently
> in category "others")
Yes, I noticed that near the end too but then it was too late to add them
without restructuring it totally. So I thought I'd just send it off to get
feedback. Adverbs are also missing, btw.
Regarding the word selection, as I said it's more designed to be a "starting
set" as it were, rather than a self-contained subset of a language that you
can use as a sort of mini-language.
Regarding categories, I'm very open to restructuring that. I have no
attachment to the current selection.
What I *am* attached to, though is the relatively fine-grained tree. So I
wouldn't want to increase the size of the lessons just because there are more
things that would fit. So, for example, rather than add more colors to the
"Colors" lesson, I would create a "Colors 2" lesson.
Another thing that I haven't thought so much about is if 500 basic words is a
good size. Maybe it should be just 400? Or perhaps 750? 500 felt like a
nice round number when I started out...
> For the second step, I think it also could be an interesting approach to
> define a set of scenarios and collect word lists for the vocabulary required
> in those situations. (at least my current work book for my French course is
> doing it that way ;) And as Bèrto pointed out, there are already some good
> Parley courses that could be reused/be good starting points for that.
I actually downloaded a few but most of the serious ones were massive lists of
words without much structure. What I'm after is something that you can use to
learn a set or words when you have some spare time, like on the bus or during
a break. That's how I use my app on my phone right now.
And rather than have one file with 4000 words, I'd prefer 8 with 500 each.
Thanks for the feedback. Would you care to suggest an improved structure?
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