Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The researchers at TestYourVocab.com are gathering data on how many words people know. Take a short test, and the site will tell you approximately how many words you know.

According to the researchers' blog, average 30-year-old native speaker of English knows approximately 27,808 words. The Korean's vocab size was estimated to be 30,400. Not too shabby for a guy who picked up most of these vocabs by rote memorization, right?

24 comments:

  1. 26,400 @ age 19. Not too shabby. I couldn't believe how many I didn't know on the second portion. Wow!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Really interesting, here's mine:

    http://testyourvocab.com/?r=276431

    A good 1000 above the expected 2,500–9,000 for foreign learners, I was expecting more though.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I got 27900, but I took Latin.
    http://testyourvocab.com/?r=277938

    Speaking of which, do you know what's the best way to memorize Hanja? I keep on getting asked that. I learned it through rote memorization during 국민학교 (when it was still called that), writing each character a 100 times every morning, and I don't recommend others doing that.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Why not? Rote memorization is the only way to learn new words.

    ReplyDelete
  5. How are you at Chinese characters? My Korean girlfriend's nephew does better in school with Chinese characters than Korean.

    ReplyDelete
  6. 本人의 漢字 實力은 上當히 優秀합니다.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 본인의 한자 실력은 상당히 우수합니다.

      Delete
  7. http://testyourvocab.com/?r=279716 Age 22, with a degree in Linguistics and an incessant love of the dictionary as a child.

    ReplyDelete
  8. @The Korean Hundred times is a bit much. Maybe 20.

    @Becky I'm glad Koreans of younger generation have taken an interest in it again. Just a few weekends ago, I taught one of our Korean family friends' kid, who took the Hanja proficiency test when he still lived in Korea and is now learning Mandarin, Chinese poetry.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Dang! I recognized so many words but for the life of me couldn't remember the meanings of many of them. T.T Looks like I need to start reading more...

    ReplyDelete
  10. To be fair, the authors note that the averages posted on their blog are greatly inflated due to the fact that reported SAT scores are much higher than the median in the country (~700 compared to 500), and that's not even including people who didn't take the SAT. At first I was pretty disappointed to find myself just slightly above average for my age, but that made me feel better. :P And of course, that just makes The Korean's achievements all the more impressive.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks, but apparently the Korean has nothing mouselinguist!

    ReplyDelete
  12. But The Mouse thinks that The Korean's total was rather impressive, especially since she has read how The Korean acquired English. She respects The Korean's discipline and sees it has obviously paid off. She is currently trying to acquire Korean in the same way, since she will be going to teach English in Korea.

    ReplyDelete
  13. 30,700 @ age 20. So maybe some words I knew more the concept behind, but would find a little difficult to give a precise definition.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm around the same vicinity, but since I'm a writer, I'm likely woefully short for my profession. Practically, that's never posed a problem for me. The test was interesting though as many of the words that appeared instantly reminded me of learning SAT words by taking flashcards, picking a bunch at random and trying to write a story with them.

    ReplyDelete
  15. 39,400 at age 42. Some I didn't know I thought I could guess e.g. I think estivation is something to do with harvests or seeding. Some, like 'sparge' I had no idea about.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I don't think rote memorization is the *only* way to learn new words - encountering them in context repeatedly is another way. Rote memorization when learning a second language is probably the fastest way to get ahead, although, even so, it's easy to have a simplified or distorted idea of what they mean, especially if you memorize only the nearest first language equivalent in your own language. Also, many - even most - words have multiple meanings so the process of learning never ends.

    First language is different. Some research indicates that children understand the meaning of a new word instantly on one exposure. It's almost as if language is already there preformed and listening merely activates it.

    ReplyDelete
  17. 29900@ age 21. Native speaker, but doing college in Japanese. Then again I'm learning French and Italian simultaneously so.....

    ReplyDelete
  18. 29,700, on the low side for 30yo/740 verbal. Maybe the 1-2 dozen Korean words I add per day are pushing out some English words. Or perhaps, living in Seoul, I just read less (and less complex) English language material.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Nice one, Korean!

    I got 34,000 words, age 20. Could count as either ESL or native speaker.
    http://testyourvocab.com/?r=371593

    I find that rote memorization + use is the only way to learn languages. Neither really works without the other.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I think it's an interesting/entertaining tool to potentially get a rough estimate of one's knowledge of vocabulary words. However, I must say that the margin of error is going to be very large, which I'm sure most of you have considered (although I don't really see that anyone has addressed that here in the comments section). For example, there is no empirical way to actually test for cheating through this 'test'--this is a subjective test, not an objective one. I just wanted to mention that here, not as a means to bash anyone's purported vocab knowledge but to put some perspective into it. And no, I didn't take the test (I am too lazy to sit there and check all of those boxes :-) ). What can I say--I can't help but not bring up this matter (I do cognitive psychology/neuroscience research...I have extensive training in doing research on humans--testing humans is what I do :-) ).

    By the way, great blog you have here, Hanguk-in! Thought I should say 'hi' since I've just recently starting posting comments of my own to your blog--don't want to continuously be a lurker

    ReplyDelete
  21. BACK TO THE VOCAB CARDS I GO, GRRRR.

    ReplyDelete
  22. 26,300 at age 15. so many of the words I couldn't remember for the life of me, even though I recognized them from those vocabulary exercises our teachers make us do for SAT prep. Looks like I have to study some more...

    ReplyDelete
  23. By the way, to improve your vocabulary try great website: http://WordSteps.com
    And after a few mounths check your vocabulary again

    ReplyDelete

To prevent spam comments, comments left on posts older than 60 days are subject to moderation and will not appear immediately.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...