The art of vocabulary is a lot like practicing mathematics. Till you practice, practice, and practice some more, it will be impossible for you to retain words and make them a part of your everyday usage. But trying to retain it without using proper techniques will be like shooting arrows in the dark- it may hit the bull’s eye, it may not!
So here are the five techniques that will make memorizing vocabulary fun:
Whether you are memorizing English words or any foreign word, ‘association’ is a fun and efficient way to retain them. Associate English words with words from your native language, Hindi, for instance. The more absurd and ridiculous the associations are, the higher the chances of you remembering them.
For instance, the word ‘exacerbate’ means to make something worse. So, you may associate this word by saying ex kare irritate! Such association will immediately remind you of the word. It is important that you create associations with things that you can easily relate to. For example, if you’re a fan of films, our app Build my vocab app lets you remember new words by associating them with scenes from some of the most popular films.
Use that genius mind of yours and come up with some absurd associations!
2) Memory Palace
Once upon a time, a Greek poet attended a banquet, but after a while went outside for fresh air. At that moment, the building crashed, and all the attendees died. But, this Greek poet, identified the attendees’ bodies, by remembering where they were sitting.
Memory Palace is your own imaginary palace in your mind with different locations where you can store information. For instance, if you want to retain the word abdication meaning to leave the duty or throne, you may imagine a throne that is empty and instantly know that it has been abdicated! Go ahead! build your very own unique palace where you can store as many words as you want.
Do you count the number of days a month has by counting your knuckles? If yes, then you practice “Knuckle mnemonics’. Mnemonics is a proven scientific memory assisting device. Our brain finds it easier to memorize patterns, letters, and images.
For example, the word Mélange means a mixture. So, think of the word as melon and orange, a mixture of two fruits that will remind you of both, the word and its meaning.
Making up your own stories that are bizarre and weird can help you remember the words and their meanings faster. If you have to memorize words like curmudgeon (a grumpy, grouchy person), seraphim (angel like) and picturesque (charming place or image), you may spin a story like this.
There once lived a curmudgeon giant who had a picturesque garden, but he would not let anybody enter the garden. One day, an old woman came to the garden begging for the oranges, that were on the tree since she was hungry. The old woman reminded the giant of his mother, and he gave her an orange. As soon as she ate the fruit, the old woman changed into a seraphim girl sent from the heaven…
Go ahead and spin your own yarn of imagination!
Along with learning new words, start contextualizing them. Contextualization means to provide an appropriate context or reference for the word. Thus, providing value and meaningful function to the word. Making sentences while learning a new word and its meaning it very useful.
For example, the word conundrum means, a difficult and confusing problem. So, you may contextualize it as “I find choosing a food item from the menu card, a conundrum I can never solve.”
So, we gave you our secret formula of AM (Association and Memory Palace) and MSC (Mnemonics, Storytelling, and Contextualization). You noticed, right? We used a mnemonic here: AM, like when you say the time and MSC-like the Masters Of Science.
So, pick up one of these methods, practice, and slay at being a vocabulary pro! Happy Learning 🙂