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memorizing vocabulary

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memorizing vocabulary

Postby Lavrentivs » Thu Jun 21, 2012 7:36 pm

my working hypothesis is that there is no better way to memorize words than encountering them in context through reading, and that using memory cards &c. is comparatively inefficient. does anyone disagree?
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Re: memorizing vocabulary

Postby Damoetas » Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:23 pm

Different things may work for different people, but I do think that encountering them in context will generally be better than studying unconnected memory cards.

However, one thing that I think we should try more is studying them by semantic category. Modern language textbooks do this quite a lot: you see a picture of a room, and learn the words for all the types of furniture in it; or a city scene, and you learn words for street, cars, buses, trains, different types of shops and businesses. I don't know why this is hardly ever done for Greek and Latin. I've only really seen it in e.g. school commentaries on Caesar, where there are pictures of weapons and armor and camps and army formations. I think it would be a great way to learn more far-reaching vocabulary systematically.
Dic mihi, Damoeta, 'cuium pecus' anne Latinum?
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Re: memorizing vocabulary

Postby adrianus » Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:51 pm

Cum latinum cotidianè sonabatur, non rarus iste docendi modus. Sic facio per programmata mea ad linguas discendas.
It was more usual as a method when latin was an everyday language. I do that sort of thing in my software for language learning.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: memorizing vocabulary

Postby cb » Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:18 pm

hi, there are in fact a fair few dictionaries/glossaries with words grouped by semantic category rather than alphabetically. here in paris bookstores in the classics section i often see these, e.g. the latin one (there's also a grk one):
http://www.amazon.fr/Lexique-nouveau-la ... 2729835938 .

in english, there are the lists in the section "finished vocabulary" here:
http://hiberna-cr.wikidot.com/topical-vocabulary

i also remember that evan did lots of podcasts of vocab grouped by category on his latinum podcast.

cheers, chad
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Re: memorizing vocabulary

Postby ivanus » Thu Jun 28, 2012 7:29 pm

There are other ways to play with learning vocabulary by integrating it with other activities. I've been wanting to learn to draw so I picked up some children's colouring books because they have simple line drawings. So, I colour them in and then look up the latin nouns and write the definitions into the pictures.

It's been interesting in its own right to consider, for example, 'hara' (pen or coop for domestic animal, in particular a pig-sty) as opposed to 'horreum' (a barn storehouse or granary) or the collection 'porcus, porca' porcellus, perna.'
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Re: memorizing vocabulary

Postby Aluarus » Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:49 pm

But different methods of learning do not exclude each other. For instance, one can learn vocabulary from a given context (say reading Athénaze) the writing down variations out of a given example, jot down the obscure words in a paper and read it while commuting, even write the new vocabulary (learnt from context) into flashcards just to practice whenever you want. It's easier to carry with you flashcards you excerpted from a book than the book itself, and you don't have to read the whole book again or check page by page the vocabulary you highlighted; thus you can concentrate on the difficult words you actually found.
“Captivæ Graeciæ lingua in paucorum Eruditorum memoria hodie vivit; laborandum est, ne omnino intereat linguarum pulcherrima” Balbinus, Verisimilia Humaniorum Disciplinarum, XII, 3.

“In omni disciplina infirma est artis præceptio sine summa adsiduitate exercitations” R. ad Herennium, III, 40.
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Re: memorizing vocabulary

Postby cjt7158 » Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:08 am

Another option is to use something like the McGuffey Readers and translate them into Latin. I find memory card to be just fine, but I have more than one word on them. I generally have a sentence on it and then I run through the variations of that sentence.
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Re: memorizing vocabulary

Postby metrodorus » Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:06 am

I've never used flashcards as part of my language learning system - but I have found daily use of the language is the most important thing - and multiple revisions of texts I have learned to be very important.

I also made a lot of audio materials, and these helped a lot - almost all of my Latin has been learned through listening to audio - I find I have tolerance for repeated playbacks of audio material, but am less inclined to re-read a text in a book multiple times.

Comenius was also very important for building my vocabulary - his Vestibulum and Orbis Pictus built my foundation. Sara Coleridge's vocabulary poems also helped me at the very beginning.

I very seldom need to consult a dictionary nowadays. Hamiltonian readers are also a painless way to learn new vocabulary for the few texts that they exist for.
I run various Latin sites, including Schola and the Latinum YouTube channel - the main portal to these is http://latinum.org.uk
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Re: memorizing vocabulary

Postby Aluarus » Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:48 pm

I have myself used several Assimil methods in which everyday learning is encouraged, but I found using flashcards to remember particular/difficult words or to fix them to memory (just as a help device for learning, not just the only method of memorizing) very useful. Working out, drilling exercises, copying, jotting down, making variations on a given sentence and listening (if one's able to find recordings) are also very useful.
“Captivæ Graeciæ lingua in paucorum Eruditorum memoria hodie vivit; laborandum est, ne omnino intereat linguarum pulcherrima” Balbinus, Verisimilia Humaniorum Disciplinarum, XII, 3.

“In omni disciplina infirma est artis præceptio sine summa adsiduitate exercitations” R. ad Herennium, III, 40.
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Re: memorizing vocabulary

Postby ivanus » Sat Jul 21, 2012 3:53 pm

Metrodorus, What are Hamiltonian readers? I've not run across that term before.

I will say that I enjoy the Orbis Pictus as much for Comenius' world view as for the vocabulary.
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