It is done!
I’ve finished the 1000-word challenge after almost two-and-a-half months of solid work, and everything went surprisingly smoothly!
Here are the statistics:
Number of hours spent finding words, pictures and sounds for study: 50 (that’s roughly 3 minutes of learning per word)
Number of hours spent memorizing words: 50 ( so the initial amount of learning vs. memorizing is equal)
Number of Anki reviews in total: 40,000 (around 420 reviews per day, roughly 33 minutes)
Here is the complete list, as a doc, in Spanish, English and German:
And here is the link to the completed Anki link for all 1000 words:
This was a great learning experience for me, and I found out some surprising things about language learning and memorization techniques along the way.
surprise 1: It was a lot easier and faster than planned. It really helped to have a paper calendar in front of me, so I could mark off the days and number of words as I went.
surprise 2: The IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) is the secret weapon to learning a new language and almost no one knows about it. Check it out on Wikipedia, and I will also post some additional articles about this topic later on.
surprise 3: The amount of words is irrelevant. I don’t think it would have made much of a difference if it had been 500 or 2000 words, the secret is establish a steady routine and get used to assimilating a certain amount of new stuff every day.
surprise 4: Physically typing out all of the words continuously really helped pronunciation, and the other way as well.
surprise 5: Mnemonics were very quick and effective to secure the more stubborn words, when the gender of each word became a bit mixed up. Any vocab learning campaign should include this ability to make it easier for you to remember funny or rude pictures.
surprise 6: Having a set list to work from removed the decision making process, therefore the learning process was faster. Learning the words in completely random order also eliminated any structure and forced me to learn each word as it was, not in relation to another word (eg. learning Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday… in order is not a good idea!)
So, what’s next? Well, probably another 1000 words, and then some collocations to connect them together. Then I might start the A1 Babbel course and actually start learning Spanish!