100-Word Vocabulary

Soccer, or as it’s known outside of America, football, is an international game. It is watched and played around the world by fans, players and managers from all over. When the coach speaks a different language than the players, a team can run into communication issues.
Fabio Capello is the Italian manager of England’s soccer team. While one need not be particularly articulate to get by in directing a team, some language skills are certainly necessary. Yet Capello says he needs a maximum of only one hundred words to manage his players. He told BBC reporters that although he struggles when trying to speak about the economy or other issues, but he has all the vocabulary he needs to discuss tactics with his team. Capello does seem to know more than just a hundred words in English, however.
Peter Howarth, deputy director of the Language Center at Leeds University, believes that only about 1,500 words are required to communicate with the simplest, most basic English. Students of English find that while the vocabulary is not difficult to grasp, the grammar rules are quite a challenge. Susie Dent, lexicographer and dictionary expert, says that an average person has about 60,000 words in their lexicon and uses about 20,000 of them actively.
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