Mnemonics Course (Part 7) – Final Pieces of Advice

It’s funny how time flies!
We’re actually coming to an end of the course…

I hope that this course awoke the intellectual Hulk inside you!

Today, I’ll leave you with some final thoughts.

 

1. MNEMONICS ARE NOT THE SKELETON KEY

I used to believe that this technique would help me to memorize everything my brain and heart desires. Can you imagine the bitter disappointment?

I tried to memorize all trivia which I could lay my brain on.
To no avail.

The thing I didn’t know back then is that mnemonics should be integrated with elaborative encoding to strengthen memory.
You need to convince yourself (and your mind) that what you learn is necessary for your survival.

Your brain has to know that it’s useful! Like it or not we’re still driven by primal instincts.

Of course, due to the strength of spatial memory, simply mentally placing objects in real or imagined locations without further elaboration can be effective for simple associations.

 

2. IT TAKES TIME TO BE GREAT

 

It takes time to learn to use these techniques properly. But, believe me, the effort you put into it will pay off in the future.

So don’t be discouraged by your first failures. Fast-forward 2 years from now and you’ll be laughing how silly these issues were.

 

 

3. REPEAT (as often as it is possible)

Try to repeat as often as you can within the first 72 hours. This way a lot of words (or pieces of information) will get stuck in your mind for good.

To make it easier to use spaced repetition programs (they are listed in my e-book). Treat this curve as a constant reminder of the importance of repetition.

 

The forgetting Curve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. USE YOUR CREATIVITY

Do you know what’s the best by-product of using mnemonics?
Creativity.

It’s said that creativity is nothing more than connecting two (or more) previously unassociated elements. And that’s precisely what you do on a daily basis!

I still remember how shocked I was when I started being flooded with all kinds of ideas.
Use them, sell them, shape the world!

You can even come up with your own mnemonics if you believe that the ones you know don’t work that well.

 

5. TALK IF YOU LEARN LANGUAGES

If you use mnemonics to learn languages I can offer you this piece of advice.
Talk. Talk a lot.

Remember that communication is the sole purpose of languages.
The more you talk the bigger your active vocabulary, and the more difficult it is to forget what you’ve learned so far.

If you don’t know any native speakers – that’s ok.
Talk to yourself then. It makes little difference to your brain.

 

6. TRACK YOUR PROGRESS

If you can’t measure something it’s hard to say whether you move forward.
People often complain that they hit the plateau in their learning.

That’s normal. Our progress in the later stages of learning is slower than at the beginning.
The problem arrives when this subjective feeling hinders your learning capabilities.

It hasn’t happened to me for a long time. Every time, when I started doubting myself, I checked stats (in spaced repetition programs) and I could see the progress.

 

7. GO KICK SOME BUTT

I have no more advice for you.
Go and do something with all the things you’ve learned.

Knowledge is useless unless it changes lives for the better.

If you’ve enjoyed this course, share it with your friends, so they (and I) can benefit from it.

Also, I always appreciate feedback!

Good luck!
Bartosz Czekala

20 comments

  • Linda Soderquist

    I started learning Korean vocabulary in earnest a month ago. (I have studied for two years). I do it to keep my mind sharp. I wanted to learn 1000 words in a month with the idea that I would try to learn 1200 and hope that 1000 of them stick. I find that some words are really sticky and some aren’t. The ones that are sticky are ones that I can associate with something that is already in my long term memory. Thanks for your course I am going to try to be more creative and use your techniques on the more challenging words. What frustrates me the most is that I have a hard time remembering verbs. I think a visual image of an object or person doing an action or expressing a quality I.e. “to be kind” should really help. Didn’t I read on your website that the memory for verbs is in a different location than for nouns?

    Thanks for the course. I took notes! Linda.

    • Bartosz Czekala

      My pleasure! I think you should try “overlearning” verbs, i.e., using them ad nauseam in sentences. That should help! Yes, nouns are memorized differently than verbs. What’s more, they are usually remembered the best by most.

  • Thank you so much for all the advise, Bartosz! Thanks to this course, I was able to memorize the 100 Russian words where I am fighting with for a week or two already in just one hour! It is fun to do and, most important, it works! Thank you very much!

  • Thanks for the little course, some great tips here. I began using spaced repetition cards 10 weeks ago and have got more languge into long term memory in ten weeks than I have in the last 3 years of weekly lessons! My teacher says I should be able to pass the A2 or B1 level in my Portuguese language citizenship exam in a couple of months. Wow. The visualization techniques for encoding have really helped with some of the difficult stuff that seems counter-intuitive when you learn a roman language and all the sentence parts seem reversed. Thanks again and best wishes.

  • Thank you Bartosz. I’m using this course to learn Japanese and seeing better results. I also enjoyed the ease of your course. It held my attention and added great value to my life.

  • Forgetting is no longer my thing… I’ve improved a lot.
    Good concept. .. continue uplifting and empower people

  • Thank you tons for your great advice ! it’s being a great journey 😉

  • Thanks Bartosz, this site has helped me a lot. It has reignited and really accelerated my learning of Portuguese and German. I’m always reading your website or reviewing language on my 45 minute subway ride to and from work. Thanks a lot man!

  • Congratulations! Your course is very useful. How do you use the journey method if you study more than one foreign language at once. Can I use the same route later for different language or new vocab?

    • Thank you! You can definitely use the same route later but ONLY after you put the words you wanted to learn in your long-term memory. Typically, I use separate routes for each language 🙂

  • Eli Ben-Joseph

    I found your course very helpful. Here’s a sample of what I did to remember Greek vocabulary for a portion of Lucian’s Dialogues of the Dead:

    Mr. Porthmeis is a “ferryman.” He has to ferry Mr. Kataratos, who he believes is “accursed.” He has to collect the “passage monies,” which he playfully calls his “Porthmeia.” Suddenly, Mrs. Boao “calls out” to get under way. Mrs. Hedion, who is “sweeter,” is patting the ferryman’s dog Diaporthmeuo, which the ferryman “carries across” with him every voyage. Mr. Angcho would like to “strangle” the dog as he doesn’t like animals, but Mr. Paio “strikes” the dog first for the same reason. Mrs. Maten “vainly” complains Mr. Paio is violent. Mr. Eisemi doesn’t know if he is “coming or going.”

    The “law” drawn up by Themis and Themistos says that dog-beaters can be prosecuted. Mr. Charieis decides to be “graceful” about objecting to Mr. Paio “striking” the dog and asks if it was necessary. At this, Mr. Plege, who likes dogs even less, delivers a “blow” to Mr. Charieis for all his being “graceful.” Finally, the ferryman’s helper Mr. Enochleo “troubles” everyone to pay. Mr. Pera takes out his “wallet” and so then do the others. Mrs. Laleo starts to “twitter” that so and so do not want to pay. Mr. Epibates, another “passenger,” also does not want to pay. Mr. Oimozo has to “lament” the high cost of travel.

    Thank you very much!

  • Thank you a lot for your pieces of advice!!!

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