How do you go about memorising words in a language you are learning?
What methods have you tried and found useful or more or less useful than others?
listening to Calon Lan - a song in Welsh - on the radio, a little girl
came up to her mother and asked "why are they singing about
Well she was baffled, until the girl sang the song in her own words - imagine a thick yorkshire accent:
Gallon lamb, a clown die only,
teck ash eww a lily dross (teck=take)
toys on't gallon lamb Afghani (on't=on the)
canny teeth and candyfloss
The original Welsh words were:
Calon lân yn llawn daioni
Tecach yw na'r lili dlos
Does ond calon lân all ganu
Canu'r dydd a chanu'r nos.
the kid's song was gibberish, but she memorised all the words - as they
sounded to her at least - very quickly, because she associated them
with words in her native language that she understood.
heard people using something similar to memorise words; imagining a
picture of something that sounds like the foreign word in your own
language and superimpose the actual meaning on the original picture so
that the two are now associated in your mind. I would have thought that
this kind of word association would work best when learning a language
that has similarities to your own, so another Indo-European language
for those whose mother tongue comes under that catagory already,
because then the images and the actual meanings of a word are close or
For example the Italian word Caldo = hot. So imagine
someone SCALDING their hands under hot water. (bit vicious, but also a
vivid mental picture).
Would it work as easily with languages
that have nothing, or little in common? I mean how do you associate the
Chinese 'Fang' with the English 'House'? A house with fangs? Perhaps
that's not so difficult, but that's because the chinese sound is
similar to an english word. What about something that has no English
equivalent like, 'Hua Duo' = 'flower'?
Are there other methods for learning words/phrases that work better in widely differing languages?
What methods do you use?