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https://www.duolingo.com/MattMcalear

Ways to learn more vocabulary beyond the 1586 (in Spanish) words you learn from Duolingo.

I'd love to see other ways people increase their vocabulary in a particular language. I don't live in a Spanish speaking country so unfortunately I do not have the luxury to completely emerse myself in the language. However, I do speak to my fiancé in Spanish every day along with converting my phone and computer to Spanish. I also, use the app SpanishDict, read books, and watch movies to learn new vocabulary but I'm still looking for other ways to excellerate my learning process. Any other tips out there would fantastic! Also, if nothing else, it'd be a great feature in Duolino for new vocabulary.

Thanks in advance!

3 years ago

15 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/mbalavi
mbalavi
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Looks like you're doing a lot; a few other suggestions:

  1. Watching movies is good, I think watching TV shows is even better. It gives you many more hours to get used to the particular style of each actors speech and you get an extended time of playing around with similar topics/vocabulary/etc. Are you focusing on any particular Spanish speaking region? There are a lot of resources for Mexico, Colombia and Spain (those seem to be the major producers of entertainment content from what I've seen).

  2. I haven't used SpanishDict is that an English to Spanish dictionary? One thing I've tried that worked really well was to try to use a Spanish to Spanish dictionary first. The "Royal Spanish Academy" puts out a decent one (called the DRAE, they have an app, I think it stands for Diccionario de la Real Academia Espanola). Reading the explanation of a word in Spanish helped me reinforce that vocabulary with other Spanish vocabulary; if I really still can't make out the meaning or if I'm in a rush then I still resort to bilingual dictionaries.

  3. Spaced Repetition Software; there are a lot of options out there, this is the next step if you really want to get systematic about building a vocabulary. Memrise is a good one that has a lot of pre-made decks if you want to get a taste of how this kind of tool works. Then Anki and a few others are good for making your own decks, which you probably will want to do at some point. Basically these are like super smart decks of flashcards that use an algorithm to (ideally) get you to review the vocabulary right before you would have forgotten it. (Short story is that vocabulary that you know well will come up less and less- I have some stuff that will only be called up again in several years- while vocabulary that you are struggling with will be scheduled for review more often; as often as daily for the stuff that you're really struggling with).

Best of Luck!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MattMcalear

Thanks mbalavi! Just downloaded Memrise and it seems to be working out very well so far!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/knotrune

Thanks for the tip on Memrise - wow that's addictive! Which Spanish course would you recommend? I tried their basic one and it wants me to learn different stuff than Duolingo - not a huge problem, but not the revision I had been hoping for :)

I do like the no typing one because some times the cat sits on me and I have to type one handed which is a drag and slows me down ;) Then of course I got sucked into learning flags and trees and the history of photography and clouds...

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mbalavi
mbalavi
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There are many many courses for Spanish, try them out and keep the ones you like. I like the ones that you learn whole phrases, because individual words out of context don't do as much for me. I never tried the no typing ones, I should check those out!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EdgarEchegaray

Hello there, I am a Spanish teacher and can tell you that you are doing a great job in order to learn Spanish. I have read all what others recommended. There are very smart things. In addition, I would like you to consider using WordReference.com because there are very good dictionaries such as Collins Spanish Dictionary and DRAE. WordReference can save all the words you have looked up, which represent your "history". Then you can print out and review them if you want it. No other dictionary can do that.
Moreover, you might use also Quizlet.com to build your own sets of flashcards or to look those others did. It is not only a software to do that, but also to test all what you have learned. Finally, try to watch TV series (including "telenovelas") in Spanish (Netflix is adding more and more Spanish series), read good Spanish books, and organize "tertulias" with some latino folks. Estoy seguro que aprenderás más español que los mismos hispanos. ¡Buena suerte y felicitaciones!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sandeepa2
sandeepa2
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Hola EdgarEchegaray. Muchas gracias por la información! Es muy útil

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vcel10
vcel10
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Do whatever you like in Spanish. What or how do I go about this?

  • Read newspaper articles that interests me. I find something new daily.
  • Currently reading/listening to "Cuando Era Puertorriqueña" por Esmeralda Santiago. So many words.
  • Listen to a bunch of songs, encounter new words.
  • Play video games with subtitles.
  • Watch telenovelas as much as possible.
  • Finca - (ranch) f. Propiedad inmueble en el campo o en la ciudad. USE a MONOlingual dictionary and go on and endless journey of words, words and more words. What does inmueble mean? Well thanks to the song "Ligia Elena" I know what mueble means. (See lyric: Se han mudado a un cuarto chiquito con muy pocos muebles) By the way, I recently heard finca repeated in two different telenovelas then came across it in the aforementioned book.

So in the end the songs support the reading which supports the video and the telenovelas really helps when someone asks me a question en español. ;-)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sandeepa2
sandeepa2
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Gracias!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KatriceBee
KatriceBee
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I found through comments on duolingo a flash based website www.babadum.com I think it has about 3000 words. I'm not sure if they have a spaced repetition algorithm.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BrookeLorren
BrookeLorren
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I would say... do what you like in Spanish. It looks like you're already doing that. :-)

I would suggest an SRS program like Anki. Use it conjunction with what you already do.

As an example, I'll just say what I did. I got a subscription to National Geographic en Español. As I read an article, I put all of the words that I don't know into Anki. I had to write down a lot of words at first, but now I end up with about two or three per article that I don't know. I also read the Divergente series, and did the same thing.

Practice your words with Anki, and before you know it, you have built up a pretty good Spanish vocabulary :-)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Therapon
Therapon
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This what I have been doing now, and you may want to try these ideas. First, I studied "Figuras literarias" to get myself to enjoy the literature. Second, from the following list of books in Spanish, I picked one and read it with the idea of getting new words, seeing the tenses and how they are used, and enjoying the Spanish language, its structures and all its other nuances. I made a list of new words and tried to use them which ever way I could. You have a wonderful, beautiful resource, your "Novia".

The following is a list of books that I am trying to read now: 1. Pedro Páramo por Juan Rulfo 2. La fuerza del destino por Josefina R. Aldecoa 3. Niebla por Miguel de Unamuno 4. Del Sentimiento trágico de la vida por Miguel de Unamuno 5. El arco y la lira por Octavio Paz 6. Del amor y otros demonios por Gabriel Garcia Marquez 7. Don Quixote por Miguel de cervantes I would suggest that you use the computer to see if you can get snippets of these books to read the summaries and see which one you like and then see if you can get a free download, or borrow from the library.

La practica ( de todas las maneras) hace al maestro.

¡ Diviértase!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elagui
Elagui
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Not long ago I found my Spanish binder and I've been uploading the vocabulary I learned to my blog - http://stararan.tumblr.com/ - I noticed that I was taught a fair number of synonyms (I had said syllables) - miedo, temer, asustar - all relating to fear; so I'd suggest taking the words you do know and looking for synonyms that mean something similar and learning them as well. Sometimes I find it helpful to name things throughout the day. It was then that I realized that I didn't know the word for 'bat' which is murciélago

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vcel10
vcel10
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so I'd suggest taking the words you do know and looking for syllables that mean something similar

Synonyms, not syllables or better yet sinónimos.

I just checked out your Tumblr. Here's some advice. The best way to learn/memorize and use words is to learn them in context. Just add some sentences to your list.

alquilar: to rent - alquilar una casa, un coche.

asistir: to attend - al ver el accidente corrieron a asistir a los heridos.

basta ya: enough already - ¡Basta ya! No quiero oírlos más gritándose el uno al otro.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elagui
Elagui
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Thanks for catching that - the more languages I have in my head, the more errors like that I tend to make. I guess I'll have to slow down and double-check everything. For my blog, I decided to prioritize making the vocabulary available through the internet; writing out sentence or stories will be the next phase. Hopefully by then my writer's block will be gone.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vcel10
vcel10
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I go through the same thing from time to time. How do you spell continuación en inglés . . . as I continue to learn more Spanish words.

3 years ago