Vocabulary Progress

As many others have said, increasing vocabulary is probably the most important step towards fluency.  Maybe that’s not true for everyone, but I don’t think I really felt comfortable having conversations until I had around 4,000 words in my passive vocabulary.  I still need to move more of those over to my active vocabulary, but that is part of the reason I started this blog (to improve my speaking practice, which I really ought to do more of sometime soon…).

The journey to increase vocabulary is a long, slow, frustrating journey.  So I thought I could share my progress here.  I know it’s easy to feel like you are learning very little.  But when you look back, you’ll see you’ve come a long way.

I actually started learning Cantonese in August 2007, but I didn’t start keeping track until September 2008 when I started using Anki (http://ichi2.net/anki/).  So the first few months in the below table will show the previous year’s worth of words I sped through initially.  Most of those words came from:

Then also in the second half of 2009, I put in more effort than usual to really try and learn 10 words a day.  Most of the words in that period came from:

More recently, I’ve slowed down my vocabulary acquisition since I’ve been focused on other things as well.  Now most of the words are coming from TV shows I am watching:

 

    END OF
TOTAL REVIEWED ADDED LEARNED
Aug/2008 0 0 0 0
Sep/2008 1,330 949 1,330 949
Oct/2008 2,021 1,438 691 489
Nov/2008 2,371 1,944 350 506
Dec/2008 3,034 2,488 663 545
Jan/2009 3,172 2,574 138 86
Feb/2009 3,539 2,756 367 182
Mar/2009 3,543 2,924 4 168
Apr/2009 3,608 2,971 65 47
May/2009 3,739 2,971 131 0
Jun/2009 3,909 3,134 170 163
Jul/2009 4,243 3,372 334 238
Aug/2009 4,519 3,725 276 353
Sep/2009 4,576 4,109 57 384
Oct/2009 4,635 4,443 59 334
Nov/2009 4,884 4,756 249 313
Dec/2009 5,010 5,008 126 252
Jan/2010 5,232 5,232 222 224
Feb/2010 5,276 5,276 44 44
Mar/2010 5,377 5,377 101 101
Apr/2010 5,394 5,386 17 9
May/2010 5,431 5,431 37 45
Jun/2010 5,478 5,454 47 23
Jul/2010 5,531 5,531 53 77
Aug/2010 5,665 5,660 134 129
Sep/2010 5,777 5,777 112 117
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4 Responses to Vocabulary Progress

  1. MakMak says:

    Haha, wow you actually know… I don’t even know how much I know for any language I know to any degree. @.@

  2. darren says:

    I’ve used anki for awhile but i’m still not sure how people are tracking the number or words they know…do you have a deck just of words vs sentences vs mixed that you review to pull the stats? Does the number of vocab include characters and compounds or do you break that out at all? Would be really useful to know how you pull those stats out of anki to show progress etc.

    • Ben says:

      Good questions. That will take me a whole post to answer, too much to say for these little comment areas. But I won’t be able to get around to writing it for another 2 days.

  3. Pingback: Flashcard Setup | Ben's Cantonese Practice Journal

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