Help, I forgot the words

May 11, 2015

 

Some people say that learning a new #language requires talent, which is then often immediately turned into an excuse as to why they don’t bother making the effort because supposedly they don’t have that ‘feeling for languages’.  I don’t buy that.

 

 I think anyone can learn a new language, as long as they put in the hours.  As boring as it sounds, it’s not a super-brain that gets you there, it’s cramming in vocabulary and grammar rules and after covering the basics, exercise, exercise, exercise and then repeat.

 

What does help a little bit is a good memory. One of the most frustrating situations I’ve personally experienced when learning a new language is finding myself in a conversation with a native speaker, and then blanking out on the most basic words. But, as an optimist would have it, there’s a solution to every problem. As a language graduate with unfortunately not the best memory in the world, I have resorted to all kinds of little tricks to make the words stick.

 

Some of my fellow students would just read a vocabulary chapter a couple of times, and that would suffice. Others needed to speak the words out loud to remember. I’ve personally always had the need to write them down. Since I still had trouble remembering sometimes, I wrote them down on little flash cards, so I could pull them out later and repeat. It sounds a bit silly, and it’s a lot of work, but it did pay off in the end. Of course these days there are also a lot of apps you can download that can help you practice your #vocabulary, like #Memrise or #Duolingo, so no need to do it the old fashioned way like I did.

 

If all else fails, apparently some foods can actually boost your #memory, like salmon and walnuts. I have no idea if it actually works, but it’s worth the try, right?

 

 

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