https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NicolasHIk

Exercise to estimate the number of words you know

Hello Duolingers,

Here's an exercise that takes less than an hour to give you an estimation of the number of words that you know in a language. I did this exercise for my Spanish.

  1. Go to https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Wiktionary:Frequency_lists and select your language.

  2. For the words #450 to 550, count the number of words (out of 100) that you know and write down the results. If it takes more than one sec to recognize the word, you simply do not know it. [while you're at it, you might as well add the unknown words in Quizlet]

  3. Repeat Step 2 for words #1450-1550, #2450-2550, #3450-3550...up to 9450-9550 if it is available in your language. The number of words you are counting will give you an estimation of the percentage of words you know for each rank category. Example for my Spanish:

Words #450-550: 100%

Words #1450-1550: 98%

Words #2450-2550: 99%

Words #3450-3550: 93%

Words #4450-4550: 95%

Words #5450-5550: 86%

Words #6450-6550: 89%

Words #7450-7550: 81%

Words #8450-8550: 77%

Words #9450-9550: 74%

4- Now that you have the percentage of known words of each 1000 words category, sum everything up. Again, here's an example with my Spanish:

100%1000+98%1000+99%1000+93%/1000+95%1000+86%1000+89%1000+81%1000+77%1000+74%1000=7920 known words.

5- Analyze your results. Do you think that the number of words you know is limiting your comprehension skills in your language?

November 3, 2017

6 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OmegaGmaster

I seem to have a great comprehension of Chinese. Nice! I need to practice writing again though, due to my Chinese proficiency exam next week.

November 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/varigby

你作什麼考試?

你的中文程度應該比我好多了。 拜託你可以幫我翻譯下面的句子嗎?

班門弄斧對牛彈琴鳥不生蛋的地方

November 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OmegaGmaster

我的学校提供一个中文流利考试。你可以用别的语言来写这个考试,例如西班牙语,印地语,越南语,等等。我觉得我是我学校第一个写中文流利考试的玻利维亚人。我的中国朋友们说我写的中文比他们的好,所以我觉得我准备好了。我觉得我还应该练习写中文。

你的句子很难了解。你从那里获得这个句子?

November 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iFail

It's good to mention that this is the amount of words of which you know or can guess the meaning rather than the amount of words which you're able to translate to the language you're learning.

Which means that by this count you "know" words you've never seen before even in languages you've never studied. Thus rather comprehension instead of knowing, plus it's a rather rosy view on the width of your vocabulary.

November 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NicolasHIk

Good point.

Also, guessing the meaning of a word on paper is one thing, but guessing its meaning in a listening context is something else. When listening, you have to first identify the word, which can be hard if you never heard it before, and then guess its meaning instantly.

November 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dcarl1

I would agree with that, but in some ways it doesn’t matter. Often when I am reading Italian I come across an unknown word that I guess from roots and context, and when I look it up, it is exactly that. In some ways if comprehension is achieved it doesnt matter if it is repeatable.

November 4, 2017
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