They study for five hours each weekday and seven hours on weekends. It is not about rote memorization. Saul wants Elly to understand these words: their origins, their roots, their prefixes and suffixes. He presents the dictionary as a book worthy of commentary and discussion, a Torah of language.
When Eliza studies, she travels through space and time. In COUSCOUS, she can sense desert and sand-smoothed stone. In CYPRESS, she tastes salt and wind. She visits Africa, Greece, and France. Each word has a story: a Viking birth, a journey across the sea, the exchange from mouth to mouth, from border to border, until æpli is apfel is appel is APPLE, crisp and sweet on Eliza's tongue. When it is night and their studying complete, these are the words she rides into sleep. The voice of the dictionary is the voice of her dreams.
They're turning this into a movie, and I hope they do it justice.