The Pareto principle in language learning

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O princípio de pareto é um princípio criado por Vilfredo Pareto presente em diversos campos de nossa vida. Ele também é conhecido como the 80-20 rule, ABC distribution, law of the vital few and principle of scarcity of the factor.

Pareto came to this principle by studying the people in his society. He came to the conclusion that 20% of the population has 80% of things, while 80% of the population has 20% of things.

Pareto studied land ownership in Italy and what he found was that 20% of the owners owned 80% of the land, while the remaining 20% ​​of the land belonged to 80% of the remaining population.

It really is so, the rich have most things and are few. While the poor are many, they have almost nothing. But how can the 80-20 rule be applied to language learning?

Applying Pareto to learning

Basically, this principle applied in languages ​​says that 20% of the vocabulary and structures of a language, correspond to 80% of communication. And also that 80% of the use made by the language covers only 20% of its vocabulary. 

That is, if you learn the main words of a language, you can expand your vocabulary much faster.

The lesson of the Pareto principle in management is to stay focused on the 20% that really matter. If you focus on learning 20% ​​of what really matters in a language, your productivity will be much higher.

In addition, we all know that to learn words that are not widely used, we must know how to speak the language and immerse ourselves in it, if we apply the 80-20 or 20-80 rule we will automatically learn the rest that is not so important.

So here's the tip for you to focus on what really matters! Is grammar more important than speaking? Isn't it more practical for you to absorb and learn to speak the language than to study grammar rules that you will rarely need to remember when speaking fluently?