How to best learn synonyms in a foreign language?

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How to learn synonyms in a foreign language?

I would like to know if somebody has a good strategy for learning synonyms. Let's take german synonyms of "stubborn" for example.

  • beharrlich, stur, hartnäckig, dickköpfig, eigensinnig. They can all have the same denotation in the same context (stubborn), but different connotations: "Hartnäckig" means "with a hard neck", dickköpfig "thick head", "eigensinnig" "with his own opinion". "stur" "who doesn't change his direction, "beharrlich" "persistent".

The problem is that choosing an active review of these words would make it difficult to make a univocal element. If the question is "stubborn in german?", than many possible answers would be correct. If the question is something like "the synonym of stubborn in german that has to do with a neck?" it becomes pretty easy because you get a clue that you wouldn't get in a real situation, making the element not very useful.

Passive review seems the solution, because at the end if you are the one speaking, you only need one word to achieve communication (unless you are developping writing skills), and you only need to recognize the others if used by someone else. This has three downsides. First, even wanting to learn only one of them actively creates some difficulty, because after some time you might not know which one of them you decided to use when you are speaking, and accidentally recalling one that is not in the answer may pollute the repetition process. Second, you give up altogether the possibility of being colorful when expressing yourself. Third, passive review of some of the example are way too easy, because the meaning can be deducted from the words composing the final word. Hartnäckig or dickköpfig being obvious examples.

Any suggestion?