Words and vocabulary
Every language has its own vocabulary. This consists of a certain number of words. A word is an independent linguistic unit. Words always have a distinct meaning. This distinguishes them from sounds or syllables. The number of words is different in every language. English, for example, has many words. It's even known as the World Champion in the category of vocabulary. The English language supposedly has more than one million words today. The Oxford English Dictionary has more than 600,000 words in it. Chinese, Spanish and Russian have much fewer. The vocabulary of a language is also dependent on its history. English has been influenced by many other languages and cultures. As a result, the English vocabulary has increased considerably. But even today the English vocabulary continues to get larger. Experts estimate that 15 new words are added every day. These originate from new media more than anywhere else. Scientific terminology is not counted here. For chemical terminology alone contains thousands of words. Longer words are used less than shorter words in almost every language. And most speakers only use a few words. That is why we decide between active and passive vocabulary. Passive vocabulary contains words that we understand. But we use them seldom or not at all. Active vocabulary contains the words that we use on a regular basis. A few words suffice for simple conversations or texts. In English, you only need around 400 words and 40 verbs for that. So don't worry if your vocabulary is limited!
© Copyright Goethe Verlag GmbH 2019 . All rights reserved.