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Notebook to keep words?

Hi everyone. I was just wondering, is it a good idea to keep a notebook with all the new words that come up in each lesson? Then I can go through my Scottish and German Vocab without having to go on a screen.

March 4, 2020


[deactivated user]

    I have to take notes for new things. Funny though, once I've written it down - I then tend to remember it and don't need to refer to it again.
    As Morag says, we all learn differently! :)


    Everyone learns differently and you'll probably find your own best method. However, there is a list of the words Duolingo thinks you've learned accessible to you in Duolingo. If you go to the "Learn" screen for the language you want, click on "More" (links at the top) and then click on "Words", you'll get it. You can order these words as you want, alphabetically or by type of word (although most of the Gaelic words don't seem to have that listed) or by when Duolingo thinks you last practised the word.

    I personally try to limit the amount of notes I take. The objective is to have these words in your memory, not on a piece of paper, and if you can get them there without the paper then I think that's the better way. Duolingo's repetition is designed to facilitate this. However I do take some notes.

    I have a page with the main grammatical things we have learned, summarised, for easy reference while I'm doing the lessons. This includes lists of numbers, days of the week and when lenition happens. I have a list of all the verbs (verbal nouns I think they call them) we've learned so far, in alphabetical order, again for revision and for ease of looking up during lessons. I have a word list, but it's not exhaustive. I add a word if I feel I'm not getting it, and in particular if I'm mixing up two similar words, to help me disentangle them. Things like uinneag and uinnean, dèideag and dèideadh, aodann and aodach, and so on. I have a list of "phrases" like "Cò ris a tha an t-sìde coltach?" and "Dè an uair a tha e?" although I don't need that so much now. And I have a list of names - personal, places, countries - because these are impossible to remember first time round.

    I do this on a word processor, not on paper, because it lets me edit it for reference - putting new verbs into their proper alphabetical place, for example, and putting new "similar" words beside their pair, again in alphabetical order. I do print some of it out though, so I can quickly glance at these pages while I'm doing a lesson. I print the grammar summary, the page of verbs, and the page of the insecure words I tend to get confused (actually that one is double-sided). I keep editing the word-processed verson and print a new hard copy every so often, as I think I need it. I try not to refer to the pages when I'm doing the lessons, but if I'm stuck I don't stress about it, just check my page and type the right word while trying to get it into my memory.

    As regards the names, I don't try too hard. I shamelessly copy and paste from the words page I have saved in the word processor, because life is too short to worry about being able to spell "Germany" in Gaelic without looking it up. Although I notice I can do at least half the countries without checking now.

    I find this works for me. My goal is to have as little paper as possible, but to have what I really need accessible when I want it. You may find something similar works for you, or you may find a different way.

    By the way, there's no language called "Scottish". You are learning "Gaelic" on Duolingo. They only put the word "Scottish" in there to avoid confusion with Irish. The language is always referred to as Gaelic, and you would only preface it with "Scottish" or "Scots" if there was a real risk someone might think you were talking about Irish.

    There is a language called "Scots", the third language spoken in Scotland, see this recent thread for an example. https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/36836709 If you refer to a language as "Scottish", 99.9% of the time people will think you're referring to Scots.


    the word list is useful but the translation would be helpful. i put them on a spread sheet with translation but i keep having to redo it with new words added :( The duolingo Dictionary is rubbish so translations would be great on the word list.


    I think many of us keep notes for quick reference until the material solidifies in our brains! Do what works for you. I use a three-column style notebook. I record the proper spelling in the first column, the translation to English in the second column, and anything else in the third column (phonetic notes, grammar notes, etc.) Good luck!


    Thanks guys, I think these replies will really help :)

    • 1456

    Maybe the word list isn't the wisest thing to keep. Vocabulary is important, but sentence structure, idioms, grammar, the general way of speaking etc. are even more important.

    Yes, sometimes it is important to write down words, but in a phrase or context. Let's take an example in Irish, the word is 'dóigh' – 'way', 'manner', 'state', 'condition', 'hope', 'expectation', 'trust', 'confidence', 'for', 'since', 'because', 'burn', 'sear', 'scorch', 'put out'. What would be most useful thing to write down? Expressions like 'ar dóigh', 'ar dhóigh' and 'ar ndóigh', of course.


    I try to create as many ways as I can to help me learn a word. I'll write it down. I'll say it out loud. I've also started a little sketch book where I will draw a dog and then above it I have the written word. It doesn't work for everything, but it does help for things to soak deeper into my sieve-like memory.

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