Yesterday we were talking about how Queen Elizabeth translated out of and then back into the target languages she was learning.
I’ve got to take off in about an hour for the next leg of my current tour, but I wanted to follow up on Queen Elizabeth’s translation exercises with an interesting story my singer told me after he read yesterday’s message.
Back before everyone had the Internet and online translators, he was a young kid living in Germany with a love for board games.
But he had a problem: all of the games he wanted to play came with English instructions only.
What’s a poor kid to do?
Translate the instructions, of course. Get out a fat dictionary, a paper and some pen and work it out.
I’ve always thought that the singer in my band has such good English that he must have spent at least a year in an English-speaking country. As it turns out, however, he’s only spent a couple of weeks in England and the US.
Even though my singer didn’t have a dedicated memorization strategy back then, the secret to his advancement is something we can all use.
It boils down to focused attention. When we focus on something that engages us, the “work” tends to disappear.
All too often we read boring language books or listen to audio programs with uninteresting themes when we are trying to learn a language. That makes a job out of the language-learning process, and this can cause stress, tension and some of the other barriers I have suggested in past issues block our ability to memorize.
Don’t get me wrong. Pimsleur and other such language-learning products are fantastic and well worth spending time with. But I know from my Magnetic Memory coaching clients that they often struggle to find material in their target language that they are passionate about.
This is a problem that is so easily solved.
Let’s say that you like board games. In fact, you’re crazy about them.
All you have to do is figure out what words describe “board games” in your target language and then find out what a “discussion forum” is called.
From then on, let Google work some magic for you and dive in. You will find hundreds, if not thousands of people eager to engage with you.
If you’re not ready to start engaging people in your target language, you’ll find at the very least a tonne of material in your target language prepared by people who share your passion.
If board games aren’t your thing, trust me, you’ll find whatever you’re interested in. Gardening, martial arts, movies, nursing, helicopters … whatever.
And as they say:
When preparation meets opportunity, there is no ceiling.
In other words, if you’ve got all your Memory Palaces in order, you are set to make great advancements reading about something you love in your target language.
Give it a try and let me know how you do.
If you need help in the meantime, you can always check out the Magnetic Memory Method Training Product Suite.
Until I get back from the stage, make sure to teach someone what you have learned about memorization. It’s the best way to deepen your own understanding and to help make the world a better – and more memorable – place. The more we remember, the more we can remember, and the more we learn, the more we can learn.