I begin learning the words that are most important, useful in communications then I try to create sentence. The greater the number of known words speech sounds better, so I agree with you @ Andrea that:
,,It is better to learn 100 words to say everything, than to study everything not to be able to say nothing".
This is an interesting point of view and I think I agree to some extend, in a way that I myself when I think of how to become even more fluent I tell myself that I should know more words that can express less. How to be succinct. This is a good example actually - How can I be more succinct? VS How can I express myself better with less words?
And being succinct is the new sexy, or so it seems. The more you convey in a nicely sounding punchline the more sighs you get from the audience.
Hi Wâfââ ; it is not just about "memorizing words" -- and less of all about sharing a "magic list". The real challenge is to "start from scratch" instead than from a bulk of ready-made's, which are always something "alien" we learn and use, perhaps, at 10% (a part from greetings and introductions)
The authentic sense of this work is to "abstract" those words you can express all the others with. OK, 100 words will never be enough, but just consider that the purpose is to make one's OWN personal vocabulary, the student will be HIGHLY CONFIDENT with, such way, that he might be even able to express any need if put in the duty.
For example, Volcano can be "Mount of Fire", to Run is "to Go fast", He Went is "He Go Before" ... but when 1 word needs 4, it is better to learn it (which by the way, is hopely the aim of the student!)
This might look "primitive", stupid, but it is so effective than Chinese language itself witnesses this very fact, eg. Train is "Vehicle-Fire".
Even, why learning lists of "atoms" when you can learn "molecules" ?
-- Yesterday I went to the City because you needed food
Hence, you would have learnt much more than single pieces: The whole is not the sum of its parts.
And if you work it on your own, your primeval soup will taste unique. Thanks