Word Count in Romance Languages

So I am very close to reaching 50k known words here on Lingq in Spanish, and I was wondering if anybody else had similar or even higher word counts in Spanish or other romance languages.

I suspect native speakers have a passive vocabulary of at least 70k or 80k (using Lingq’s counting system). Anyway, I am having trouble finding any texts with more than 5% unknown words, and I’m wondering if anyone has a similar word count and is still increasing at a decent rate.

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Well done! I’m curious, how is your reading comprehension at this point? It has to be pretty good!

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Thanks! Ye,s I feel very comfortable reading almost any text, whether it be novels or news stories, unless it is written in antiquated language like Don Quijote or about a very esoteric topic. I still like to use Lingq because its convenient to import ebooks and for the odd word or phrase I still don’t know.

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And I’ll add that the reading has had a huge impact on my speaking, even having done very little speaking. So read read read

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Do you think that all that reading helps significantly with your listening comprehension?

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I don’t know if it did help him. But reading definitely did help mine listening comprehension for sure!

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Yes, I think it helped a ton. Although not enough to completely omit listening because I think listening comprehension is a slightly different skill.

I think the reading gives you the vocabulary you need for good listening comprehension, but then the extensive listening conditions your brain to connect the sounds to meaning simultaneously, as the native speaker generally speaks faster than you can read.

Just my thoughts, I don’t have any studies to cite or anything.

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If you click on the Community tab in the desktop version of LingQ, on the right hand side it shows the rank of all users of your selected language. There you can see how many people have 50k+.

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I have a French word list and their frequency per million, which I often search to see if a word is worth making a flashcard out of or not. It goes up to 128,915. It’s abaissât, which at my 23.5K word count I guessed as being some conjugation of abaisser. I was right, and it means “to lower” so it’s not an obscure verb. Just a rare conjugation.

So even a very low frequency word can be attached to a very important verb. There are plenty of words to learn!! At least 128,915 in French, if not many more!

I’m sure there are probably programs out there that could iterate through such a list and provide you articles online that contain those words, or example sentences that you could load as lessons. And if not, there should be! Maybe a programmer reading this could whip something up in python?

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Thanks! I didn’t know about this feature. It turns out there are 12 people here on Lingq with word counts above 50k in Spanish, that is very encouraging to me.

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Hmm that is very interesting, thanks for sharing. I’m realizing that the ceiling is higher than I previously thought and that 100k known words in a Romance language is pretty achievable if you read enough (10 million+ words)

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And yeah, since every verb has a subjunctive form in romance languages there are so many different unique words. I have read about 2.3 million words here on Lingq and I still come across words in blue that are subjunctive forms of fairly common verbs, so that says a lot

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yes, I agree with you

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Do you read aloud or just in your head? I have been wondering if I should be reading aloud or not and whether or not that will help with my speaking

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I like to read aloud sometimes, but it’s much slower and takes more energy. Most of the time im lazy though so I’ll just read in my head. I would imagine though that reading aloud is good for memorization as well as improving speaking.

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I read mostly in my head, but I do like to read aloud if I’m alone. Probably 80% silent, 20% aloud. I think it probably helps with pronunciation once you get the chance to speak, but not as much as simply listening does.

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10M would take some serious consistent dedication. My goal is 3M+ on LingQ but I might push it higher when I get there. Congrats on getting to 2.3M. That’s some solid work.

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What kind of texts are you reading? I would suggest going for good novels. Try Mario Vargas Llosa, Alejo Carpentier, Juan Rulfo, Álvaro Mutis, Gabriel García Márquez, …
On my list is also “Patria” by Fernando Aramburu, although I haven’t got around to reading it yet because my main focus is reading Russian.

Thank you. Yeah, I can’t imagine 10M words read. I’ve been shooting towards reading 10k words a day and over the last 7-8 months it has really added up. Rest assured that once you reach 3M in whatever language you are learning you will feel extremely comfortable reading, even away from Lingq

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Oh, and you may also enjoy Almudena Grandes.
Believe or not, his novel is actually based on the memories of one of my co-workers: