Common Sense Advice on Language Learning

chico pensando palabras en inglés
How many words do I need to know in English?
This is a question people often ask. Sorry, there is no magic number. It’s like asking how many colours a painter needs to paint a picture, or how many pages you need to write a book. The number of words you need depends on what you want to be able to do with the language.
As a guideline, some linguists consider that with 3000 words you can deal with unsimplified texts. Of course, it depends on what words, not just any 3000 words.
If you are a person who uses a lot of words in your own language, you will probably use a lot of words in English. If you don’t use so many words in your language, you won’t need so many in English.
So if you are learning English for a specific reason, say because you travel a lot or you work in an international environment, then you should learn the words you need for that. Maybe you don’t need to know how to say “cat” or “dog” but you do need to be able to participate in a meeting.
And if you are learning English for general purposes, then learn what you like. If you like it, you will keep with it. The important thing is to build on what you know, step by step.


It’s common sense.

Cómo aprender inglés–¿Cuántas palabras tengo que aprender en inglés?
Esta es una pregunta de la gente hace muchas veces. Lo siento, no hay un número mágico. Es como preguntar a un pintor cuantos colores necesita para pintar un cuadro, o cuántas páginas necesitas para escribir un libro. El número de palabras que necesitas depende de qué quieres saber hacer con el idioma.

Como pauta, algunos lingüistas opinan que con 3000 palabras puedes manejar textos no simplificados. Claro, depende de qué palabras, no vale cualquier conjunto de 3000 palabras. Lo mejor es que aprendas lo que realmente necesitas o lo que te gusta.

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