Quickest way to increase vocabulary?

If anybody has any ideas then I’m all ears. I seem to have the grammar down but my vocabulary is really lacking. I’d guess I know around 500 words.

July 12, 2019


Apart from continuing with the Duolingo course (you'll know at least 1,000 but probably 2,000 words by the end of the course), start reading. There's a book called Gerda Malaperis which starts out simple and gets more complicated with each chapter. It's a bit repetitive, but otherwise enjoyable.

There are plenty of short articles in easy to understand language at

And make flashcards for any words you find hard to remember.

Feliĉan lernadon!

July 12, 2019

Dankegon sinjoro.

July 13, 2019

The best way to increase vocabulary in any language is abundant reading.

July 13, 2019

Apart from the excellent suggestion of reading in Esperanto, I've been using the app Drops to learn some vocab. It's good because it has some very relevant words (up to date internet terms, mathematics and science, etc) that you don't get in simple readers and the like.

July 13, 2019

I agree with everything carbsrule just said ( and i never thought I would type that sentance! ;-) ) Reading is best because you get context and examples... very important in for example trying to remember if a verb is transitive or intransitive... The sources he has given are ideal for beginners and of course try looking up words in the dictionary and try to understand the explinations.. then use them in constructing your own simple sentances. Words you write down stick so much better than ones you only engage with passively.

I do notice your profile is not showing esperanto as an active tree at the moment ... are you doing the course here or using some other method of learning?

July 13, 2019

I completed the course in the past (I reset my progress occasionally) but it’s been awhile so I forgot a lot of the words. I do, however, remember very well the grammar rules.

July 13, 2019

Start here. This is LL Zamenhof (the guy who made Esperanto)'s original list of words, prefixes, and suffixes. Hope it helps!

July 14, 2019

I am one of those people who does not like flash cards at all. They are fine when first beginning with a language, but over the long haul, forget it! I would have to maintain shoe boxes full of the things. Flashcards seem like an albatross that hang around my neck and when I decide I no longer need those flashcards, it is always a joyous occasion when I toss them into the trash. I like flashcards in theory, but in practice -- boring!! Doesn't matter if they're paper or computerized. I have used both extensively. So is there something besides flashcards?

Yes! There is the Goldlist Method and it fits with my learning style way better than flashcards. Maybe you will find it of interest:

The Goldlist Method

The Goldlist Method in a Nutshell

July 15, 2019

I should have specified that when I say flash cards, I mean using an SRS such as Anki. And again, I would only use it for words that one finds hard to remember, definitely not for all words you come across.

July 15, 2019

Thanks for inspiring me to do a bit of research. I found a good blog that talks about SRS apps and their shortcomings, thanks to searching for the Goldlist method. Spoiler: They are not a fan of this one.

The author of this blog, who is an expert and makes lots of reference to the peer-reviewed literature, has a bit to say about SRS apps. It's worth a read. (SRS apps are a waste, but SRS is good science.) here:

July 15, 2019

Thanks for the links. Interesting information. You know, in the end, I think reading and listening are hands down, the best ways to learn new words and remember them.

Given the links you provided, it looks to me that flashcards are not worth the time or effort for learning vocabulary. Guess I'll get back to that book I was reading.

July 16, 2019

You're right, although a careful reading of the information might lead to the conclusion that "Flash cards are all right, because spaced repetition does work, but only if you make the words meaningful to you and create links by actively putting them in sentences." Reading, writing and speaking would seem to be the best way to go.

Thanks for inspiring me to go searching.

July 17, 2019

I have found reading a book and also listening to it as an audio book an excellent way to pick up vocabulary. I have enjoyed reading the fables of Hans Christian Andersen. The fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm are also available. You can purchase an audio version of these stories from Universala Esperanto Asocio (UEA).

Fables and Fairy Tales

Audio version of Hans Christian Andersen Fables

Audio version of the Brother Grimm's Fairy Tales

Lernu! also has audio and reading materials available at no cost.

July 15, 2019

Check out it has several sources of information, the 1000 most common Esperanto words among them.

July 23, 2019
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