Realistically learning how many words a day?
Well, it happens - but if we mean - learning them such that I can instantly remember them in conversation, then not me. Maybe at the beginning when you are learning the most common words, but I need to see and use them a few times. Otherwise, it's that nagging "It's on the tip of my tongue - I remember learning it, what is it again?". As for recognizing it in speech when listening -  that takes even longer.

So I think even studying 3 hours a day (which I don't lately), I don't have instant recall on more than a couple of words. It'll take a few days.

If learning just means exposure and remembering them after using Memrise or Anki and passing for the day, then I am sure I can handle more than 20.

Also note - I am learning Mandarin, which is a little more difficult. Not a lot of cognates and the writing system is of course non-alphabetic.

What is the verdict? I don't think I am particularly stupid or have a memory problem. Just that I am critical of some claims.
May 30, 2018 1:54 AM
Comments · 2
My target language is less challenging than Chinese, but my experience is that it takes more repetitions and more use to create words that I can comfortably speak and use in conversation (active vocabulary) than words that I can recognize when I hear them or see them (passive vocabulary.)  I think adding 20 passive vocabulary words a day is reasonable.  However, those words usually need to be seen and heard repeatedly and used, at least in my mind if not with a teacher or partner, before they become more than ¨on the tip of my tongue.¨ I think it is very hard to guess how many words a day I convert from passive vocabulary to active vocabulary, but it feels like a much slower process.  Fortunately, when I think of the difference in my native language between how many words I recognize and how many I actually use on a routine basis, I am reassured that my active vocabulary does not NEED to be nearly as big as my passive vocabulary.  I read a lot of books and watch a lot of movies, so there is just no way to estimate the rate at which the repetition becomes enough that they are so familiar to me that I use them easily.  I think I have to learn them really well and then also ¨get my mouth around them¨ actually using them awkwardly and tentatively a few times become they become at all natural and easy for me to use. 
May 30, 2018

20 a day on average for Anki. 100 in a good week. 

After a few months it does add up, but practice in class and writing them in sentences (homework) really makes them stick. 

May 30, 2018