The 1000-Word List:
Behold, the 1000-Word list, as a PDF, DOC or XLS, ready for download:
or as simple links:
I started with basics (numbers, colours, days, months) and began adding more interesting topics such as food, clothing, jobs, hobbies, rooms, and other objects. Finally I added a few verbs and adjectives, but the primary aim was to have objects which can easily be represented as a picture. I chose words which didn’t meet this requirements and the result is by no means the “1000 most frequently used” word list. (Words cut include “the”, “in”, “after”, “go”, “his”.. and we’ll deal with those words in the next challenge.)
I’ve had to make other decisions about which words to use for my list and which not to use, the form those words should take and so on.
On the topic of gender equality relating to different professions, I’ve tried to make the distribution of feminine and masculine job titles fairly random and non-sexist and would invite everyone who takes the 1000-word challenge to simply choose either the feminine or masculine versions of each job for themselves, as needed. This list includes no particular preferences of political views, religious beliefs or ethics of any kind.
How to learn 1000 words in 3 months:
I will post more about this later, but as a quick summary: My first ally is the Anki freeware, with which I’ll memorize all the words over the 3 month period. After manually adding all of the words, sounds and pictures into Anki, beginning with the hardest words first, I’ll be carefully managing my time to learn 12 – 13 new words per day, leaving a few spare days towards the end of the challenge to practise.
The Rules of the Challenge:
Simple: There aren’t any! In other words, feel free to do whatever it takes to learn these words in your chosen language. At the end, those who wish to challenge me need to be able to recognize a random picture of any of the 1000 things on the list, say the word perfectly (and provide its gender if there is one). Use dictionaries, apps, courses, and even tandem partners to learn your words. I provide the basic list (in English and German only) and it’s up to you to create your own list for your chosen language. So far, we have participants interested in learning both English and German, as well as other languages not on the list, including Spanish, Italian, Russian and Hungarian.
How to participate:
There are many things you can do with this 1000-word challenge –
1) Nothing – observe how we go through the process and read about the things we learn along the way.
2) Reference only – Use this list for language-learning, at your own pace, whenever you feel like it.
3) Casual Challenge – Take part in the challenge, but only in a casual way, completing all or most of the words in the 3 months, and testing your skills at the end. If you begin the challenge and have to break it off half-way through – don’t worry!
4) Full Challenge – Anyone who wants to learn the list in any language is welcome to get in touch with me (either via email, FB or contact form) to challenge me directly. If you already know some or most of the words, that’s fine – it’s all about perfecting all 1000 words, regardless of what level you begin with.
I aim to complete the 1000-word list in 3 months, and be able to say all the words in perfect Spanish. Anyone challenging me directly can do the same in their chosen language. I will produce the list of 1000 words in Spanish, and publish this here, in DOC and XLS formats, as well as my new Anki deck and other language-learning resources that I create along the way. Please feel free to do the same, and if you send them to me, I can share them with everyone else at the end of the challenge. For those challengers who live in Berlin, we can test each other directly, and for those who don’t, there’s always Skype!
The important thing is to have fun and learn a lot of new words!