I took 2 years of Spanish in high school, but forgot 95% of it.
BUT, since I’ve discovered memory techniques, I’ve learned phrases in 9 different languages during my world travels.
Heres how I LEARN and RETAIN Foreign Languages:
Create a mental IMAGE that sounds like the word or phrase you want to learn.
Spanish (English) examples:
- Piscina (swimming pool) = “piss in a”
- Aquí (here) = a key
- Cuál (which) = koala bear
Create a mental IMAGE for the word/phrase in your native tongue.
- Swimming pool (piscina) = a swimming pool
- Here (aquí) = “where you’re standing”
- Which (cuál) = a witch
LINK Create a STORY by linking the two images together.
Imagine it as you pronounce the word.
- Piscina = pissing in a pool
- Aquí = a key is “right here”
- Cuál = koala bear witch
Trust the weird imagery your mind creates. It doesn’t have to “make sense” for your mind to remember it.
WEIRD = MEMORABLE
Review by “seeing” the story you created (do this a few times) and the connection will stick. Then, move on to the next word/phrase. You will retain these words/phrases for a long time.
My wife and I are “planning” on going to Peru in December, so we’re trying to learn “conversational” Spanish.
This is how we’re attempting it.
Disclaimer: My wife and I have already taken beginner Spanish classes, so we have a foundation. If you are brand spankin’ new to Spanish, you should take a beginner course first before trying something like this.
First, I found the 1,000 most common Spanish words (which make up 80%+ of the usable language).
We’ll be learning 20 words a day with Anki flashcards.
It’ll take 2 months to learn all 1,000.
Second, using Tim Ferriss’ advice, I’ll be learning sentence structure (subject-verb) from these 13 basic sentences.
Understanding 13 sentence structures, I’ll be able to substitute any words/verbs to communicate everything I need.
Third, my wife is learning too, so we made a fun rule:
- From 6-7pm every night, we are only allowed to speak to each other in Spanish. It’ll definitely be awkward at first.
Do you know a 2nd language?
Let me know what helped you learn it faster.
Read how I learned Vietnamese here: https://memoryjohn.com/how-im-learning-vietnamese-with-memory-techniques-part-1-of-2/
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