In this episode of the Magnetic Memory Method Podcast, we talk about how to use Memory Palaces to memorize foreign language vocabulary.
In fact, one of the most important questions around memorizing vocabulary without struggle is raised and answered in-depth.
Today’s question involves your language of focus. When memorizing foreign language vocabulary using a Memory Palace it can be hard to settle on which language to feature along your journeys. These considerations combine a location you’re familiar with and the Method of Loci.
The inspiration for the podcast came from a reader of my book on how to learn Spanish vocabulary and memorize it. Focusing on Spanish words first and then finding the English definitions confused him, so I answer the issue in this episode. In brief, you should always focus on the target language and use images to memorize both the sound and the meaning.
How To Remember What You Learn
This is important because you want to train your mind to think in the target language by using imagery. Although you are connecting the images to your mother tongue in a real way, the stronger the images, the faster the meaning will come to mind. This effectively skips thinking about the meaning your mother tongue and drives you directly to the concept.
As I talk about in the podcast, you want to think about memory techniques as being a kind of bicycle. They involve universal principles that touch everyone the same way, but we still need to adjust them to our own uses. The Method of Loci and the Memory Palace you use for this or that language learning project will need to be adjusted to your needs and learning style.
As ever, the most important thing is to get started. Build a Memory Palace using all the tools provided by the Magnetic Memory Method. Then get started memorizing the foreign language vocabulary you’ve selected with care.
Choice Is The Ultimate Language Learning Memory Enhancer
There are lots of different ideas about how to focus on the right vocabulary. Some of the different opinions can be downright controversial. But there are also good discussions about word frequency lists and how to compile them using existing resources. Or you can create your own.
Luca Lampariello is one of my favorite polyglot teachers who focuses on what it really takes to master the art of language learning. And the good news is that he has been a guest on the Magnetic Memory Method Podcast twice before! These episodes are called:
Speaking of Luca, I’m looking forward to meeting with him soon for his birthday and some discussions about language learning. He also gave a great suggestion for the translation of my book, The Ultimate Language Learning Secret.
Originally my translator gave me the following choices:
Il Segreto Ultimo Per Imparare Le Lingue
Imparare Le Lingue: Il Segreto Ultimo
Imparare Le Lingue: Il Segreto Svelato
The first two are more or less literal translations. The third is roughly “Learning Languages : The Secret Revealed” in English.
However, part of the trickiness of the situation involves the structure of the book. I can’t discuss more about why here, but it’s likely that each of these titles will be misleading in the end.
That’s why I’m so grateful for Luca’s suggestion, which is (drum roll, please) …
Il vero segreto di imparare le lingue
This translates more or less to: “The Real Secret To Learning Languages.” Due to the nature of how the book discusses the secret, this truly is the best title.
Further Memory and Language Learning Resources
How to Memorize Concepts (with video)