Friday, 20 August 2010

Fancy learning 100 or more words a day??

Today, I will show YOU how one can learn, with enough creativity, ten's or hundred's of words a week!

I will outline to you many methods that have worked for many:

The sagacious Hungarian polyglot Kató Lomb was THE great advocator of context to deduce the meaning of words; the famous Lectoglot was thus named aptly "Kati Kontext" by her friends. Kató was a vociferous reader, and indulged in swallowing as many enjoyable works of foreign literature as she could to learn her languages.

In her book "Polyglot, How I Learn Languages" chapter 14, Kató suggests using First Language dictionaries to provide the meaning of the word, and an example of the word being used in a sentence. She suggests learning words that share the same root to draw connections and improve the connectivity and relationship of words, synonyms and antonyms can also be called upon. The autistic savant Daniel Tammet, speaker of over 10 languages, (having learnt Icelandic in a week), also advocates such "hyper-connectivity" highly when learning vocab. Her, is one such demonstration with French found in Kató's book:

abolition (manumission)
affected (maniéré)
begging (manche)
crank (manivelle)
cuff (manchette)
demonstration (manifestation)
demonstrator (manifestant)
to emancipate (émanciper)
handcuffs (menottes)
handle (manche)
to handle (manier)
handling (manutention)
horse training (manège)
to maintain (maintenir)
mandate (mandat)
manifesto (manifeste)
manipulation (manipulation)
manual (manuel)
manual labor/er (main-d’œuvre)
manufacture (manufacture)
manuscript (manuscrit)
muff (manchon)
now (maintenant)
one-armed man (manchot)
operator (manipulant)

Logic, thus far has been the tool used to build your vocabulary... Here comes the best bit... creativity!

The mind has a tendency to remember things better if say they are funny, scary or bizarre. In fact, any method that evokes the reaction of any or all of the senses proves to be worth while.
Have you ever suddenly when met by a smell been flooded with memories associated with your prior smelling of it?

This is where creativity rears its head.

Many people have over the years when revising for their exams, tried the technique of listening to a specific song when revising a certain subject matter. The theory being that when you are sitting your exam that all you'd have to do is recall the song, and along with it would be the connected facts. This, is an example that has proved useful for many... but we can do one better.


HOMES : Maybe you have seen this mnemonic phrase before, if not, HOMES, an easy to remember acronym... is a common example of how mnemonics can speed up memorisation.

Huron Ontario Michigan Eerie and Superior. Or, the 5 great lakes.

Here is another example:

This time using an entire sentence, to memorise the order of the colours' of the rainbow.

Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain :

Another such example is the use of RHYMES & CATCH PHRASES:

I before E, except after C...
Or when sounded like 'A' as in Neighbour and Weigh

Now, here is when it gets creative, sure it'll take effort and about 15 mins to create such a mnemonic, but, that same effort will make it stick in your mind.

Here is Stuart Jay Raj's creation from an interview in Tomisimo.
MingguYou’re mingling in church on Sunday.
SeninAnd then on Monday after church you go back to ’sinnin’.
SelasaThen like an Italian waving his hands in the air, you exclaim ‘Selasa’ (at last) Monday is over!
RabuThen you call the ‘rabi’ to come and cleanse your sins.
KamisThe rabi ‘comes’ (Kamis).
JumatThe rabi performs a weird ritual by ‘jumping on the mat’ (Jumat) to cleanse the sins from Monday.
SabtuAnd then it’s the Sabbath… ready to go and mingle again the next day on Sunday (Minggu).

The above are only examples... the rest is in your hands... remember think full of emotion, humour or logic (if you prefer)... such methods... will get you learning many, many words daily. Reading alone sometimes allows you to learn many by context.

No comments:

Post a Comment