Mnemonics Course (Part 4) – Word Substitution Technique
In the last three days, we’ve learned how to create images and to place them in distinct locations.
It’s time to step it up!
Today we’ll cover (arguably) the best technique for vocabulary acquisition.
WORD SUBSTITUTION TECHNIQUE
The main problem which we all face when we want to learn a new language is that the vocabulary looks strange.
You KNOW that these words convey meaning but one glance at them and you start feeling discouraged.
But it doesn’t have to be hard.
As I’ve written before, the best way to learn new things is to use your current existing knowledge as foundations.
We all have our own, internal database: names, nicknames, names of actors, vocabulary from our native language.
it means that we never start from scratch!
How does it work?
Every time when you stumble across a new word spend some time to “deconstruct” it.
I bet that when you pay enough attention you’ll notice familiar sounds or even words inside the words.
Let’s use the Swedish word “deppa” as an example.
It means “to feel depressed”.
Can you see it?
Exactly! There is “depp” in it.
And everybody knows how Johny Depp looks like!
When we deconstruct a word we need to create two groups of images.
One will remind us of the meaning of the given word.
The second one will contain familiar words or associations from a deconstructed word.
Once we have these two groups, we mix them together to get the final image (or scene) representing a given word.
In our case, it looks like this:
1st group (meaning) – being depressed can be pictured as having a sad facial expression or maybe sobbing.
2nd group (our associations) – this time we need only one image – Johny Depp
Final result: place an image of veeeeery sad Johny Depp in one of your locations and start deconstructing another word!
This method works great because it makes us pay attention and look for associations.
What’s more, it engages your vision as well as other senses!
I’ve prepared a list of 15 words from three different languages to show you this process once again.
die Frau (wife, woman) – she is always FRAUning
der Mann (man, husband) – where are my MANNers?!
das Kind (child) – Kind der garten (garden of children)
die Eltern (parents) – like Elders
die Erde (earth) – die AIR DEr is good
el ajeno (alien)- I have no ears , i HEAH NO sounds
andar (walk) – AN DAR you are – walking again!
callarse (shut up) – if you CALL sb ARSE – you want them to shut up
charlar (chat) – CHARLAtan talks a lot
decir (say) – say it in DIS EAR
comer (eat) COMEr to eat
saber (know) – I know how to fight with SABER
ler (read) – if read you will LER(n)
trabalhar (work) – don’t TRABAL HAR when she works!
sair (leave) – SIGH – R u leaving?
It’s not necessary for associations to include all the letters of the given word.
It’s enough to remember the beginning of words. Usually, your brain will fill in the rest.
You probably have experienced it yourself when you couldn’t recall something but your friend started saying the beginning of it and it came back to you!
Once you deconstruct a certain number of words, link them together using techniques I’ve described earlier and enjoy your improved recall!
That’s it for today.
In 2 days we will get to know how to memorize abstract words and how to use a mnemonic link system.