Hello. By the time I worked as a translator, I learned a lot of words. And there are still some words I don’t know yet. This time, I will write about how to learn foreign language words efficiently.
How to choose a word book
First, prepare a vocabulary. As a book that you can get in Japan, we recommend “System English Words” and “Sequential Pass” for English. For Italian, we recommend “Italian 3700 that can be used”. You need to choose a vocabulary that suits your level. It is desirable that you browse at a bookstore and know 30% or more and 50% or less of the words. Too many words you don’t know means that the deck is too difficult for you. Conversely, knowing 80 percent of the words, for example, means that the deck is too easy for you. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you always look at the vocabulary at a bookstore and select it.
All you need is a vocabulary and notes
Prepare a vocabulary book and a notebook. You can use any notebook you like, such as a 5mm grid or a ruled line. Draw a half line on the notebook. You don’t have to actually draw the line, but you can just think that “about half here”. Write the foreign language word and Japanese translation on the left side of the line, and write another word and translation on the right side of the line. Anyway, it is ideal to be able to touch many words in a short time with the image of just writing instead of making polite notes. The writing instrument can be a mechanical pencil, a ballpoint pen, or a fountain pen. The one that is easy to write is good. To be honest, you don’t need to write the same word five times.
How to choose words to write in a notebook
To choose a foreign language word to write in your notebook, just follow simple rules. Hide the translation of the word, and if you can’t think of it within two seconds, write the word in your notebook. Then the notebook will have a list of “words that you didn’t immediately remember the meaning of”. You don’t have to write any words you know. It’s just a waste of space and time.
Do not write anything other than words and translations in your notebook
All you need is the information that the English word apple corresponds to the Japanese word apple and the Japanese word apple corresponds to the English word apple. If you want to find out the meaning of apple in English, you can look it up on the Internet etc. each time. For example, if the word apple has other meanings, you can check it by opening the word book each time. For example, when someone asks you to answer the meaning of apple, it is the most important task to be able to answer “It’s an apple” instead of saying “It’s a mandarin orange”. No other information is needed. Notes should be simple anyway.
Creatures that humans forget
You can see your complaint that you can’t remember it just by writing it once. But I’m not saying, “Open your notebook only once.” Once you have written all the necessary words in your notebook, you basically don’t need to use them. It is only used to see detailed examples, example sentences, and other meanings.
Review your notes at least three times a day, look only at the words in the foreign language, hide the translation, and ask yourself, “What does apple mean?” It’s perfect if you can answer “apple” within 2 seconds. We forget what is important and what is not. Otherwise, you will not be able to live. For example, if you remember what kind of cake you ate on your 5th birthday, your brain’s memory will fill up quickly. But if you remember the cake you need, you need to tell your brain that you need to remember it. The way to do this is to take notes and look back at them from time to time. This method can also be applied to memorize words.