I've just finished reading Yearlyglot's post saying that one should not study a language, but rather learn it. To some extent I have to agree, but I just can't fathom doing this with vocabulary. He says he checks up words as he is reading a book, but isn't that just the same as studying the words?
How does this apply to Mandarin in any case? Can one really learn vocabulary and not study them? I have to differ. Mandarin sits in the area, where learning characters just has to be done by studying them. Writing them over and over. If one is reading a book, you'll just have to sit and search each character, which will take so much time that it is, in my opinion better rather to study the words of a text first, before diving into an unknown text. I think there is a balance between learning and studying which can be achieved.
Currently my vocabulary acquisition comes from the lessons have to do in class. Furthermore I'm reading Chinese websites and when a word comes up frequently it sort of solidifies the use, but mainly I learn by studying them. I have used Anki in the beginning of the year, but I just could not keep up with it. I think it is a great idea, but somehow it just gets way too boring.
Next year I'm not going to have formal Mandarin classes anymore. How do you guys learn vocabulary? I really need to know. Please leave a comment. Maybe you guys have an interesting method.
Also, do you agree with Yearlyglot's opinion that one should not study a language? I've been studying Mandarin for three years, and yes I agree, studying formally is not the most efficient method, but I think studying can definitely advance your learning by quite a bit.