1,000 most used words, what now? and if so, continue with memrise

It is fairly obvious that learning 1,000 words in Spanish will only get you so far. What stage should one move to next?

Aside from using memrise to keep these words fresh my plan is to make my way through an audio course and grammar book and whenever I find a word or phrase particularly troublesome i'm going to add it to memrise and keep at it like the 1,000 most used words. The mems and constant use of the site make me feel like these problems will go away quicker than any other method.

In addition I am going to practice speaking with a few Spanish friends but wondered if anyone had used memrise and then undertook further study and if so, how has it helped, what did you do, and what would you recommend.

Posted by memrise_ 10/3/11, last update 3/13/12 (2 years ago)
  • I feel the same way, though I haven't gotten through the list yet. But I was hoping to see a Spanish level that had phrases instead of just words. I am familiar with many of the words in the Spanish word list. My weakness is putting the words together to form sentences. It would be great to have a Spanish list that consisted of phrases.As far as what you do to get more practice, peddiegeneral, speaking with friends is the best thing you could do. 

    Posted by monica67 10/4/11 (3 years ago)
  • I feel the same way, though I haven't gotten through the list yet. But I was hoping to see a Spanish level that had phrases instead of just words. I am familiar with many of the words in the Spanish word list. My weakness is putting the words together to form sentences. It would be great to have a Spanish list that consisted of phrases.As far as what you do to get more practice, peddiegeneral, speaking with friends is the best thing you could do. 

    Posted by monica67 10/4/11 (3 years ago)
  • cheers monica, i am thinking the same with putting them together to form phrases, i am hoping that through other methods this will come organically, but i would love to upload them and stick them on memrise down the line so i can practice them over and over.one good way i have found is to use an xcel spreadsheet and update it then post it up. ill let you know how i get on down the road, also feel free to post up too would be great to here your progress

    Posted by peddiegeneral 10/16/11 (3 years ago)
  • cheers monica, i am thinking the same with putting them together to form phrases, i am hoping that through other methods this will come organically, but i would love to upload them and stick them on memrise down the line so i can practice them over and over.one good way i have found is to use an xcel spreadsheet and update it then post it up. ill let you know how i get on down the road, also feel free to post up too would be great to here your progress

    Posted by peddiegeneral 10/16/11 (3 years ago)
  • We are actually just working at the moment on building up the Spanish content in three ways - 1. to expand the Spanish dictionary on the site to around 5,000 words of checked and moderated content (with gender, parts of speech, alternative meanings etc). 2. to create more interesting and organised wordlists covering at least first 2,000 words by frequency, and  3. to start trying out full Spanish sentences. This third part requires some cleverness in regards to how the testing is done, as it will need to be different than for single words. It would be wonderful if you could help us out by trialling the sentences test sets when we put them together. Would that be ok?

    Posted by BenWhately Staff   10/17/11 (3 years ago)
  • We are actually just working at the moment on building up the Spanish content in three ways - 1. to expand the Spanish dictionary on the site to around 5,000 words of checked and moderated content (with gender, parts of speech, alternative meanings etc). 2. to create more interesting and organised wordlists covering at least first 2,000 words by frequency, and  3. to start trying out full Spanish sentences. This third part requires some cleverness in regards to how the testing is done, as it will need to be different than for single words. It would be wonderful if you could help us out by trialling the sentences test sets when we put them together. Would that be ok?

    Posted by BenWhately Staff   10/17/11 (3 years ago)
  • Looking forward to these improvements! If you need testers, let me know! (or help with the dictionary moderating!)

    Posted by seanlerner 10/23/11 (3 years ago)
  • Looking forward to these improvements! If you need testers, let me know! (or help with the dictionary moderating!)

    Posted by seanlerner 10/23/11 (3 years ago)
  • Dear all, Spanish is very easy to learn and now that you have your " garden" vocabulary learn the parts of the speech, and in no time  you will be able to speak with your Spanish friends. Congratulations and thanks for making learning languages a fun and relax experience.

    Posted by Spanish4life 10/23/11 (3 years ago)
  • Dear all, Spanish is very easy to learn and now that you have your " garden" vocabulary learn the parts of the speech, and in no time  you will be able to speak with your Spanish friends. Congratulations and thanks for making learning languages a fun and relax experience.

    Posted by Spanish4life 10/23/11 (3 years ago)
  • i would love the sentence tests and would have no problem testing them and giving you feedback

    Posted by peddiegeneral 10/25/11 (3 years ago)
  • i would love the sentence tests and would have no problem testing them and giving you feedback

    Posted by peddiegeneral 10/25/11 (3 years ago)
  • I would be happy to test the sentence content as well.

    Posted by cledwith 10/29/11 (3 years ago)
  • I would be happy to test the sentence content as well.

    Posted by cledwith 10/29/11 (3 years ago)
  • I'm also looking forward to these improvements!  Let me know if you need any help!cheers

    Posted by vonmonkey 11/17/11 (2 years ago)
  • I'm also looking forward to these improvements!  Let me know if you need any help!cheers

    Posted by vonmonkey 11/17/11 (2 years ago)
  • Sí, yo estaría encantado de ayudar con los tests la sentencia.

    Posted by tortuga 12/12/11 (2 years ago)
  • Sí, yo estaría encantado de ayudar con los tests la sentencia.

    Posted by tortuga 12/12/11 (2 years ago)
  • Yo también!

    Posted by skitha 12/16/11 (2 years ago)
  • Yo también!

    Posted by skitha 12/16/11 (2 years ago)
  • The model you use for sentence test sets might also be helpful for developing tests for conjugations and, possibly, grammar. 

    Posted by amthompson 12/27/11 (2 years ago)
  • The model you use for sentence test sets might also be helpful for developing tests for conjugations and, possibly, grammar. 

    Posted by amthompson 12/27/11 (2 years ago)
  • Let me throw in one tidbit to everyone on this note: I was making a list for Biblical Greek (http://www.memrise.com/set/100....  There are 134,000 word-instances in the New Testament, comprised of 5393 unique words, but 25% of them are only 3 words (the, and, he.)  If you learned 25 words, you would know 50% of the words in the Bible; and with with 200 words, 75%.  It's the same in any other language: depending on which study you read, people have an active vocabulary of a few thousand words, and a passive vocabulary of another 20,000.  That still means the "top 1000 words" is almost everything the average person will say in a day!  All that being said, if someone wants to create a phrase list, just find one in spreadsheet form on google (https://www.google.com/search?..., clean it up a bit (so there aren't any definitions that are impossible to remember or type), and upload it here! ;)

    Posted by mrcolj 1/28/12 (2 years ago)
  • Let me throw in one tidbit to everyone on this note: I was making a list for Biblical Greek (http://www.memrise.com/set/100....  There are 134,000 word-instances in the New Testament, comprised of 5393 unique words, but 25% of them are only 3 words (the, and, he.)  If you learned 25 words, you would know 50% of the words in the Bible; and with with 200 words, 75%.  It's the same in any other language: depending on which study you read, people have an active vocabulary of a few thousand words, and a passive vocabulary of another 20,000.  That still means the "top 1000 words" is almost everything the average person will say in a day!  All that being said, if someone wants to create a phrase list, just find one in spreadsheet form on google (https://www.google.com/search?..., clean it up a bit (so there aren't any definitions that are impossible to remember or type), and upload it here! ;)

    Posted by mrcolj 1/28/12 (2 years ago)
  • Can't wait for the updated version. I'm happy to help.

    Posted by stevek102 2/19/12 (2 years ago)
  • Can't wait for the updated version. I'm happy to help.

    Posted by stevek102 2/19/12 (2 years ago)
  • Cultivating a group of Spanish speaking friends is an excellent way to increase in your skills, especially if you otherwise don't speak it during the day or week.  I find quite a few differences in the way the language is used in my locale compared to Memrise definitions or even the dictionary.  That's one of the reasons I like having multiple definitions on my list as opposed to one-word definitions.  With friends if they say something I really want to learn & I don't have paper to write it down, I will ask them to text it to me.You can create your own list like I did.  I called mine Karen's Basics and it is in no particular order because it consists of words, idioms, phrases & even sentences I've encountered (hopefully, am learning) through actual usage in either reading or conversation.  (I tried Spanish TV too, but felt it was a waste time for me.)  My word list keeps growing as I hear or read new words.It's not hard to do a list, it just takes time.  I have also started two separate lists to help me learn verbs (haven't had time to get very far - only ser & estar present tense) using sentences.  My husband is using my lists also, although he has even less free time than I do and hasn't gotten very far.  Not having enough time to work on my Spanish is my main problem.The one huge negative to be aware of when making a list, is one I discovered the hard way -  I've added a lot of words that weren't originally in the Spanish wiki.  Memrise has since taken over some of "my" words and I can no longer edit them - which has been extremely frustrating and has meant that I have had to re-do a lot of my original work.  If I wanted to add or revise a definition, frequently I could no longer edit.  But it's apparently the price you have to pay to have your own list, and it's still worth that frustration to me to have my very own list.

    Posted by karenbarker 2/19/12 (2 years ago)
  • Cultivating a group of Spanish speaking friends is an excellent way to increase in your skills, especially if you otherwise don't speak it during the day or week.  I find quite a few differences in the way the language is used in my locale compared to Memrise definitions or even the dictionary.  That's one of the reasons I like having multiple definitions on my list as opposed to one-word definitions.  With friends if they say something I really want to learn & I don't have paper to write it down, I will ask them to text it to me.You can create your own list like I did.  I called mine Karen's Basics and it is in no particular order because it consists of words, idioms, phrases & even sentences I've encountered (hopefully, am learning) through actual usage in either reading or conversation.  (I tried Spanish TV too, but felt it was a waste time for me.)  My word list keeps growing as I hear or read new words.It's not hard to do a list, it just takes time.  I have also started two separate lists to help me learn verbs (haven't had time to get very far - only ser & estar present tense) using sentences.  My husband is using my lists also, although he has even less free time than I do and hasn't gotten very far.  Not having enough time to work on my Spanish is my main problem.The one huge negative to be aware of when making a list, is one I discovered the hard way -  I've added a lot of words that weren't originally in the Spanish wiki.  Memrise has since taken over some of "my" words and I can no longer edit them - which has been extremely frustrating and has meant that I have had to re-do a lot of my original work.  If I wanted to add or revise a definition, frequently I could no longer edit.  But it's apparently the price you have to pay to have your own list, and it's still worth that frustration to me to have my very own list.

    Posted by karenbarker 2/19/12 (2 years ago)
  • I'm happy to help with testing Spanish sentences.  I feel like I've learnt a lot of vocab and now need to start putting it together.

    Posted by NickB 2/25/12 (2 years ago)
  • I'm happy to help with testing Spanish sentences.  I feel like I've learnt a lot of vocab and now need to start putting it together.

    Posted by NickB 2/25/12 (2 years ago)
  • Hi -- I've been working my way through the 5,000 Spanish words list.  I have encountered numerous identical words in that list.  What I mean is words that have different Spanish meanings but identical English clues.  When I get the English clue, I don't know which Spanish word Memrise is looking for.  I've posted a few comments about this glitch on the general feedback page, but I  just discovered this forum.  Is this problem being addressed as part of the improvements you described above?  Should I keep trying to notify you or somebody else each time I find another one of these ambiguous clues?  Thanks!

    Posted by keller 2/26/12 (2 years ago)
  • Hi -- I've been working my way through the 5,000 Spanish words list.  I have encountered numerous identical words in that list.  What I mean is words that have different Spanish meanings but identical English clues.  When I get the English clue, I don't know which Spanish word Memrise is looking for.  I've posted a few comments about this glitch on the general feedback page, but I  just discovered this forum.  Is this problem being addressed as part of the improvements you described above?  Should I keep trying to notify you or somebody else each time I find another one of these ambiguous clues?  Thanks!

    Posted by keller 2/26/12 (2 years ago)
  • Thanks for this - the best thing to do is to leave a comment on the word itself. You can do this by clicking "edit" from the menu at the top of the page during a learning session, or by clicking on a plant in the garden. Then a topic curator will be able to take a look at it. The best thing would be if you do happen to know of any shade to the definition that might help to distinguish the different words. That will make the editing process faster; but if you are just learning, then you might not be able to do this of course! In that case just a comment pointing it out should be enough.Thanks and best wishesBen

    Posted by BenWhately Staff   2/27/12 (2 years ago)
  • Thanks for this - the best thing to do is to leave a comment on the word itself. You can do this by clicking "edit" from the menu at the top of the page during a learning session, or by clicking on a plant in the garden. Then a topic curator will be able to take a look at it. The best thing would be if you do happen to know of any shade to the definition that might help to distinguish the different words. That will make the editing process faster; but if you are just learning, then you might not be able to do this of course! In that case just a comment pointing it out should be enough.Thanks and best wishesBen

    Posted by BenWhately Staff   2/27/12 (2 years ago)
  • Hi.  Thanks for the advice.  I've tried your recommendation.  For example, I left the explanatory note (paragraph below) under the appropriate words on the list.  However, I haven't seen any changes.  Do you know what the usual turnaround time is for making corrections to the list?  Also, I would be willing to make these sorts of minor edits to the list to improve it for other users.  If you're looking for another curator, let me know.  It has been just frustrating enough dealing with all the little ambiguities on the list to make it worth my while to help curate it.  Thanks!"There are four words here that are not labelled well:  (1) "conseguir" means "to get", (2) "conseguir" means "to achieve", (3) "lograr" means "to achieve", and (4) "obtener" means "to get."  To help distinguish these, I suggest adding a (g) after the first "conseguir", an (a) after the second "conseguir", an (a) after the first "lograr", and a (g) after the second "lograr".  Also, to solve the problem on the flip side, add a (c) after the first "to get", and an (o) after the second "to get".  Likewise, add a (c) after the first "to achieve" and a (l) after the second "to achieve."

    Posted by keller 2/29/12 (2 years ago)
  • Hi.  Thanks for the advice.  I've tried your recommendation.  For example, I left the explanatory note (paragraph below) under the appropriate words on the list.  However, I haven't seen any changes.  Do you know what the usual turnaround time is for making corrections to the list?  Also, I would be willing to make these sorts of minor edits to the list to improve it for other users.  If you're looking for another curator, let me know.  It has been just frustrating enough dealing with all the little ambiguities on the list to make it worth my while to help curate it.  Thanks!"There are four words here that are not labelled well:  (1) "conseguir" means "to get", (2) "conseguir" means "to achieve", (3) "lograr" means "to achieve", and (4) "obtener" means "to get."  To help distinguish these, I suggest adding a (g) after the first "conseguir", an (a) after the second "conseguir", an (a) after the first "lograr", and a (g) after the second "lograr".  Also, to solve the problem on the flip side, add a (c) after the first "to get", and an (o) after the second "to get".  Likewise, add a (c) after the first "to achieve" and a (l) after the second "to achieve."

    Posted by keller 2/29/12 (2 years ago)
  • Hi, sorry to be slow in replying to this. It would be great to have your help as a curator - I have set you up as one!I have been thinking over whether we want to start adding clues like this into the tests. The problem is that once we start adding in clues in order to disambiguate words, it is hard to know where to draw the line; also having clues can force you to rely on the clue - like you might actually just start to recognise which words have clues associated with them... it sets up all sorts of opportunity for creating false cues to remember the words. This is what has made me reluctant to implement these changes.Instead I would like the system to accept either answer as correct during a test on a single word (this should already happen, but there is an issue with that sometimes. It would be excellent to add the other meanings as "alternative english" to make certain that they will be accepted), and to test the different meanings of the same spanish word by testing using sample sentences: fill in the blank questions, or translations of full sentences using the spanish word in a certain sense. That should reinforce the different meanings of the same words, while at the same time moving on to using the words in context, and not creating reliance on false cues. We are building this right now.How does that sound? - please let me know if you have any questions about topic curation, and please do take a look at the "conventions" - www.memrise.com/faq/spanishThanks!Ben

    Posted by BenWhately Staff   2/29/12 (2 years ago)
  • Hi, sorry to be slow in replying to this. It would be great to have your help as a curator - I have set you up as one!I have been thinking over whether we want to start adding clues like this into the tests. The problem is that once we start adding in clues in order to disambiguate words, it is hard to know where to draw the line; also having clues can force you to rely on the clue - like you might actually just start to recognise which words have clues associated with them... it sets up all sorts of opportunity for creating false cues to remember the words. This is what has made me reluctant to implement these changes.Instead I would like the system to accept either answer as correct during a test on a single word (this should already happen, but there is an issue with that sometimes. It would be excellent to add the other meanings as "alternative english" to make certain that they will be accepted), and to test the different meanings of the same spanish word by testing using sample sentences: fill in the blank questions, or translations of full sentences using the spanish word in a certain sense. That should reinforce the different meanings of the same words, while at the same time moving on to using the words in context, and not creating reliance on false cues. We are building this right now.How does that sound? - please let me know if you have any questions about topic curation, and please do take a look at the "conventions" - www.memrise.com/faq/spanishThanks!Ben

    Posted by BenWhately Staff   2/29/12 (2 years ago)
  • yo también! :D 

    Posted by ciachen 2/29/12 (2 years ago)
  • yo también! :D 

    Posted by ciachen 2/29/12 (2 years ago)
  • Great!  Thanks much for the reply and I look forward to my new duties as curator.  I also agree that false cues are a crutch that should only be used as a last resort.  I have discovered, however, that the alternative you suggest (accepting either answer as correct) makes it very hard for me to learn both words.  Unconsciously, once I figured out that Memrise was accepting either answer as correct, I started to default to entering the first word that I already knew, instead of the second word that was harder to remember.  (It's like Memrise is giving you permission to cheat on the test!)  I like the ideas you suggest for new types of tests and I look forward to exploring those as you roll them out.  Cheers!

    Posted by keller 2/29/12 (2 years ago)
  • Great!  Thanks much for the reply and I look forward to my new duties as curator.  I also agree that false cues are a crutch that should only be used as a last resort.  I have discovered, however, that the alternative you suggest (accepting either answer as correct) makes it very hard for me to learn both words.  Unconsciously, once I figured out that Memrise was accepting either answer as correct, I started to default to entering the first word that I already knew, instead of the second word that was harder to remember.  (It's like Memrise is giving you permission to cheat on the test!)  I like the ideas you suggest for new types of tests and I look forward to exploring those as you roll them out.  Cheers!

    Posted by keller 2/29/12 (2 years ago)
  • OK.  I have my first question about curating.  I'm trying to be very sparing with the clues, using them only when there are identical matches for words with no grammatical distinction.  In the few cases where I am adding a letter to distinguish between two identical words, I am realizing that this creates a new problem.  When someone using Memrise is asked to type in the English word, won't they now be getting it wrong if they fail to type in the additional letter in parentheses?  Is there any way for me to add that parenthetical letter without making it part of the required answer?  (Until I hear back from you, I'll stop adding letters. I don't want to make a mess.)  Thanks!

    Posted by keller 2/29/12 (2 years ago)
  • OK.  I have my first question about curating.  I'm trying to be very sparing with the clues, using them only when there are identical matches for words with no grammatical distinction.  In the few cases where I am adding a letter to distinguish between two identical words, I am realizing that this creates a new problem.  When someone using Memrise is asked to type in the English word, won't they now be getting it wrong if they fail to type in the additional letter in parentheses?  Is there any way for me to add that parenthetical letter without making it part of the required answer?  (Until I hear back from you, I'll stop adding letters. I don't want to make a mess.)  Thanks!

    Posted by keller 2/29/12 (2 years ago)
  • You could try www.SpanishWizards.com for conversational Spanish. Also, and this is the best, find a Spanish speakers group on www.meetup.com.

    Posted by sfrenchie 3/13/12 (2 years ago)

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