Vocabulary: Your Friends and Your Family

A thought from my sister site. Why do some words stick in your head and others not? Is there an easier way to learn vocabulary?


Let’s pretend, for a moment, that words are people.

I know, that’s an odd beginning, but bear with me.  If words are people, then the whole world can be divided into four groups:

  1. Family
  2. Friends
  3. Acquaintances
  4. Strangers

So, who are these people:
Family – These are the words that you are so familiar with, you don’t even translate them any more.  You don’t even feel the slightest inclination to do so.  They roll off the tip of your tongue, just as easy as thinking.  Not every word comes as naturally; some words in the sentence are likely to be..
Friends – Words that you know well enough to speak or to write, but that you sometimes think about in a way more similar to your mother tongue than to your target language.  Whether consciously or unconsciously, you’ll probably translate these words most of the time.  But still, you…

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