Día 5

Two buckets that will boost your Spanish (Yes, I said buckets!)

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Understand the difference between the recognition bucket and the create bucket and make sure you put the necessary effort into each new word you learn. No more no less effort than needed.

These two buckets will help you learn spanish more effectively and quickly. Obviously, i’m talking about some metaphorical buckets, not these buckets. I’m talking about the difference between recognizing a language and creating a language.

You see, the spanish language has approximately 93,000 words. Question time! Do You need to know how to use those 93,000 words to be able to speak spanish fluently? Obviously not. English has 171,000 words in the dictionary. Do you think i had to memorize all those words to record this video? Of course not.

This is where the two buckets come into action.

You have to understand that there are two parts of your brain that process the information of a language. One part is responsible for recognizing the language and the other part is dedicated to creating sentences in the language. Let’s call them the recognize bucket and the create bucket.

If i tell you “esto es una espatula”. You can understand the word “espatula” even if you have never heard it before. Why? Because many factors help to recognize the language, for example, the context. But if I now ask you to tell me a sentence with the word espátula… ahhh… that is much more difficult.

To be able to use the word spatula you need to know that it is a noun, that it is feminine, that it is singular, what object it is, and what it is used for… that is why it is always much easier to recognize than to create. How many times have you said, “i can understand more than i can speak”? Now you know why.

But, why it is important to remember the “recognize bucket” and the “create bucket” when learning spanish. Because adding a word to the recognize bucket is very easy. In fact, we can even recognize words that we have never heard before. But adding a word to the create bucket is much more difficult and requires much more effort.

Then it is completely absurd to try to put all the spanish words in the create bucket. It would be a titanic effort and it would take thousands of years to start speaking a language. Therefore, every time you learn a new word, a new expression, or a grammar rule, you have to decide in which bucket you are going to put it.

For example, if i am reading a spanish book and i find the word “condominio”, in which bucket should i put it? It is clear that in the recognize bucket. Why? On one hand because the word “condominium” is very rare and i may need to use it once or twice in my life. But also, in the hypothetical case that you need to use the word condominium, i already know many other words that are synonyms and i can use, such as “house” “building” “apartment” and “home”…

Therefore, the recognize bucket and the create bucket will allow you to put just enough effort into each of the words you learn in spanish. You’ll spend more time on the words you need to use in the language and less effort on all the words you just need to recognize.

I have prepared a very fun exercise in the worksheet below so you practice this new skill. Download it and practice as much as you can!

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