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Do you use mnemonics (memory tricks)?

Wanda Kaishin

Do you use mnemonics (memory tricks)?  

2 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you use mnemonics (memory tricks)?

    • yes
    • no

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I'm curious to see how many of you use mnemonics to learn vocabulary, sentences, etc. 

I went through a phase where I relied heavily on them. Before I started studying Japanese (2005), I enjoyed a strong visual connection with vocabulary. I mean, I could often remember what the word looked like, or how it was spelled, which really helped my recollection. But learning Japanese meant starting with a completely different script, kana, because I was convinced romaji was counterproductive. So in the beginning I had a very weak visual connection to vocabulary, and I needed help.

Mnemonics are memory tricks. I could remember a few of the words without any help, but for all others I used memory tricks. There are many different kinds of memory tricks. The ones that worked best for me used a “sound alike” component. For example, the Japanese word for rock is pronounced ishi (いしin kana). Is she really going out with him is a famous rock song. This is only one example of the many possibilities. They might seem far fetched, but they work really well. They disappear from your memory when you get comfortable with the word, after they have served their purpose. This method isn’t nearly as fast as having a strong visual connection, but with practice, it’s sufficient. The more reading I did, the more comfortable I got with the script, and the stronger the visual aid became in helping me remember the word. So the more I read, the less I had to rely on mnemonics. These days I avoid them when they aren’t needed, but don’t hesitate to use them when they can be of help.

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Does using mnemonics for other purposes count? :) Thanks a lot for a great post, somehow it never came to my mind that you could apply those tricks to languages! I rely on mnemonics a lot in my daily life, mostly to remember important phone numbers or pin card codes, and whenever paper/phone is unavailable (like in the shower or when I'm trying to sleep) and some ideas or errands come to mind that must be done the next day.

For numbers I use associations (1 - someone is alone, 4 - harmony and balance, 5 - my friend's birthday month etc) and to remember what to buy or what to do the next day I use stupid images. For example, if I must remember to reply an email, buy tomatoes, take my cat to vet and read an article about farming, I imagine something absurd, like a big tomato with a cat's tail trying to send an email on a farm :)

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Yes!  This is how I remember new words.  I try to somehow link them to something so that I can memorize better.  Sometimes I just can't find a link and then I have some difficulty, but usually I can come up with something.  My kids have been using Duolingo and were having troubles, so I told them this little trick and it seems to be helping them as well

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