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How big is your Anki deck and how many leeches?


WestTexas
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Part of that slow down can be attributed to the previous book I read, which was in traditional characters (and hence took me longer to read), and was also quite boring and so I wasn't reading as much as I should have. The other reason is that 4,000,000 and 3,000,000 are not exact figures. It could well have been 4.2 million compared to 3.6 million or something but I haven't tallied up the precise count for this year yet, and didn't have the precise tally for last year on hand. Edit: actual figures were: 4.4 million last year and, 3.4 million for this year as of the day before yesterday.

I don't imagine my actual reading speed has changed except for it being slightly faster (when I time myself).

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Well yes, reading speed makes a big difference: I read much much much (!) more slowly in Chinese than I do in English: using our numbers above (which are back-of-the-envelope stuff of course), if I'm reading five or six times quicker in English, then I'm going to be seeing the equivalent to the Chinese words I listed only once a year, rather than once every two months. Imron, if I could read at your speed now, things would be different. But by the time I can read at your speed, if I ever can, I imagine I'll have a much larger vocabularly anyway! :clap

But this is all guesswork isn't it? And the comparisons are a bit daft because I'm certainly not suggesting doing SRS at the expense of reading. I imagine (no idea really) that lots olympic athletes lift weights in a gym occasionally, even if their discipline is running or throwing shot puts or whatever.

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Agreed, and likewise I'm not suggesting abandoning flashcards and SRSing completely (I still use them to help acquire new vocab), just that learners shouldn't let them dominate the learning process, and that regular reading can provide many of the same benefits.

Regarding reading speed, check the link I posted above. If you're reading at less than 200 cpm, you'll find you can make significant gains for a small effort, and if you're reading at around 100 cpm, you'll probably find you can double your reading speed in quite a short period of time. Regarding vocab, at 10,000+ words (based on your Anki deck mentioned above), you'll probably find that vocab is not the limiting factor. Improving reading speed is not just about vocab (although that does play a part), but also about practicing reading quickly and stopping habits that make you read slowly.

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Yes. I will try that suggestion for improving reading speed. What I also find really affects my ease/speed of reading is regularity: a few weeks of not doing regular reading and it seems so much more difficult to get back into it, especially now I'm no longer in China and not using Chinese at all.

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Still, I think that learning to write is mostly a matter of practise and I'm not sure I need a specific deck for that. I mean, if I can write the 4000 individual characters in my deck, I'm okay, I don't need to know how to write all the words. Knowing individual characters and then knowing which characters create a specific word is enough. Wouldn't it be quite convenient to just have a "write individual characters" deck and keep all the words in the recognition deck? What do you think?

I'm not putting any effort in learning to handwrite, but I used to feel that a deck for every type of learning was a good idea. Now I'm not so sure any more. I notice with my own studies that the separate decks are becoming a drag. At one hand I feel I need to keep up with the decks, on the other hand I feel that the decks are too time consuming. Actually they're not really that time consuming, but a few fairly short sessions with a long break in between feels as such. As a consequence I spend less time on more pleasurable ways to improve my Chinese such as reading and watching movies. I already dumped the deck with phrases and cut down on the number of new cards per day to bring it back to 1 or 2 short sessions a day.

I still see the benefits of several decks, but I also see the disadvantages.

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I'm going to study some Korean for a few months next year before visiting the country. But I don't want to be fluent, unless one can develop fluency in Korean with only 50 hours of studying.

Exactly what I mean. If you could be fluent in 50 hours you would go for fluency. It's only that you don't want to put in the effort needed to reach fluency.

In another thread I wrote that words like <consume / initially / lowlife / superstition / landlady / ghastly / calculate / uneasy> have a frequency in English of around two per million. So to do "SRS-by-just-reading-lots" an English learner would have to read War and Peace (which has over 500,000 words) just to see one of those words again once.

That's a lot of reading!

I think this is not a fair assesment. To start many words are related and don't need to be learned seperately. If you know easy you most likely know uneasy too. Then two per million is an average over a large amount of text. Words that are rare on average may be used very frequently in a more narrow context. E.g. the word rocket may not be low frequency, when reading about spaceexploration or warfare it may suddenly be high frequency. Words are mostly learned in such a high frequency environment and then remembered long term. The key to vocabulary expansion is not just reading a lot, it's reading a lot of different things. Different subjects, different writers, intended for different audiences, etc. Reading 20 books from the same writer about the same subject is far less advantageous than reading 10 books written by different people about completely different subjects.

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If you know easy you most likely know uneasy too.

Sorry but I really don't think this is the case! :nono:lol:

And I'm not sure words like "ghastly" or "lowlife" are necessarily going to come up several times in the same book.

Anyway, mustn't be distracted: only logged on to find Imron's link to the speedier-reading advice, time to get started on that.

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Maybe you don't think it's the case, but I would be really surprised if someone with more than a very basic level of English would know one and not the other. Un- de- pre- etc are prefixes that modify a word in a fairly standard way. Sure, there are exceptions, but I think everybody would think about the rule unless it makes no sense.

Some words of course are hard to learn through reading as they are mostly used in the spoken language. I'm fairly sure that words like ghastly and lowlife are high frequency words in some genre of books. I for sure have heard lowlife many times in criminal/ghetto/drugs style movies and I once had a colleague who used it a lot as a loanword. I've a hard time to tell where to find ghastly as high frequency word, but I'm pretty sure you should look for British material. I'ld guess somewhat older material about upperclass people. I think I learned the word from some British satire.

Off course high frequency is relative. Words like lowlife and ghastly won't become 1 in 100 words. It may however occur several times in a movie or a book. In some subcultures it's quite normal to speak about someone as 'that lowlife', or to say that one is aghasted by some-ones ghastly behaviour. Books and movies about those subcultures may reflect the lingo of that subculture.

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Uneasy does mean not easy! Yes, I agree that it has other meanings too. In most of those other meanings not easy is close enough to understand the intended meaning.

An uneasy relationship = a relation that is not easy

An uneasy feeling = a feeling that doesn't sit easy

An uneasy situation = a situation where one is not at ease

An uneasy laugh = a laugh that does not come easily

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No, Silent, uneasy means awkward, uncomfortable, or tense. It has nothing to do with difficulty or easiness

Uneasy relationship = awkward, uncomfortable, or tense relationship

Uneasy feeling = awkwardness, discomfort, or tension

uneasy situation = a situation where one is not at ease (ie, not comfortable or relaxed)

An uneasy laugh = an awkward, uncomfortable, or tense laugh (usually tense or unnatural)

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As I already wrote, it means not easy and has other meanings where not easy mostly fits well enough to know the intended meaning. See http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/uneasy Definition 2 clearly states not easy.

In the examples given not easy may be no exact equivalent, it's close enough to get the intended meaning. Granted, I made a little effort to use ease/easy in all definitions. However you didn't manage to leave the word ease out of the definitions. I guess that means the difference isn't that big after all.

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