"known" words and your avatar

First and foremost I want to say I’m new here and don’t want to be ripped to shreds by seasoned blogger’s, administrators etc. Secondly, I want to say I really like the site and agree with pretty much everything Steve Kaufmann says on language learning, I’ve seen and enjoyed many of his videos. Forgive me if the subject has been brought up many times before. But the idea of the “know” words kind of bugs me as I know I could have several thousands of beginner 1 words and maybe achieve an advance level avatar never leaving a beginner 1 level, reading children stories, learning about animals etc. Is there some kind of disclaimer of here on what the know words really means, because from “knowing” 20.000 words for example and having an advanced avatar may not mean too much as to what level your actually at, what is the best way to determine this? And again, I’m new and do like the site so be gentle on me.

Hi Nathaneal. I think the avatar levels are just meant to be a guide and a form of encouragement so I wouldn’t think too deeply into it. That said, what exactly is a beginner word? I think the words we learn about early on are sometimes the hardest to master. In English, I would guess that some examples would include: is, are, it, a, the. I’m not sure how I would define those words and I’m a native speaker. Yet you will see those words in even children’s books.

I see your point. I’m studying German, and I’m obviously at the beginner 1 level and am confused like hell at how some of the words come together, like how 4 or 5 words mean 2, I just experienced it. I agree with you that at the beginning stage it can be the most frustrating trying to make sense of some phrase that means nothing like what the individual words mean. Like Steve said in the tutorial, after understanding approx. 70-80 percent to try another lessen. I think I’m too much of a perfectionist and have a hard time moving on until I really understand almost all of it. Idioms and such, kill the poor beginner and can be in the most simple text, I guess I’ll just have to deal with it.