Will 12.000 words and phrases be enough for me to speak English like a native speaker?

Hi. So, I’ve got a dictionary that contains 12.000 words and phrases and my aim here is to reach the level of a native speaker. I really like this language and I wanna know it like a native speaker. I am studying 100 words per day. Just tell me the amount. Do we count the tense forms of the verbs also?

Interesting questionS.

12,000 individual words as an ACTIVE vocabulary – not passive – could potentially enable you to speak somewhat fluently, with a lot of practice. For your active vocab to be 12K, you would need to have a passive vocab, i.e.: words marked on LingQ as “known,” of probably 2 to 3 times that, so in the 30,000 + range. (My estimates.)

For “native level” fluency, you’d need years of practice and active vocab of min 20,000 words for English, other languages are probably higher. That would mean a LingQ word count of over 60,000 for English and exponentially higher for other languages.

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Firstly, you’re probably not going to speak ‘like a native speaker’ unless you learned the language when you were young (in terms of accent and pronunciation). I think the best thing to aim for as an adult is ‘native-like competency’ (which I see as different from ‘like a native speaker’), but I’d say the word count required would be much higher than 12,000.

In LingQ, every variation of a verb or other word is counted. My known word count here in Spanish is ~30,000 words, and I’m not close to native-like competency (lower advanced at best, probably more like upper intermediate). In Portuguese my known word count is almost 20,000 and I’m lower intermediate at best when conversing. But I’ve said here before that I often think my level in various languages might lag behind the level I ‘should’ have based on my known word count. I probably don’t do enough speaking.

Assuming you’re just talking native level fluency (as opposed to accent and pronunciation), someone with excellent English skills and a high word count here at LingQ is probably the best person to chime in, like Euvgeny or someone like that.

However, even though I don’t know what number is the right number, I’m pretty confident it’s not 12,000. Reason: I have heard Steve, Aruguelles, and many others say that 10-15,000 words is the passive/LingQ known word count you would need for “potential fluency” as Steve says, to be able to converse on many topics with an educated native speaker. To be able to have a native vocabulary level yourself, you would likely need an ACTIVE vocabulary several times that, and a passive count many times 10-15,000 figure.

Considering that the average native English speaker knows about 20,000 - 35,000 words, probably not. It’s almost impossible to reach native like fluency in another language as an adult. It takes lots of time to develop such a thing.

Hi, you must study the content or text listen and read several times , then reviewing the vocabulary every day to reach your goal. Good training.

I don’t agree that “it’s almost impossible to reach native-like fluency.” I think it’s totally doable, but it’s a complex process that deserves its own thread, so I’m gonna post something on it separately :slight_smile:

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