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“Linkword” mnemonic for learning languages

This is essentially the keyword technique discussed in our previous articles, but simplified by the fact that someone else has done all the hard work. 

The strategy aims to quickly teach you a few hundred words of your chosen language, by giving you a linking image to use. Thus, for “Raupe” (German for “caterpillar”), you are told to imagine a caterpillar with a rope attached to its middle, thus, this technique is designed with an eye to fundamental memory principles.


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Words are grouped according to category; only ten words are given at a time; words are reviewed, etc. Simple grammar points are also included. It’s supposed to be well organized, and it’s an excellent way for a beginner to get a quick introduction to the language.

The caveat here is the difficulty in forming the visual images. 

For example, for “Hummer” (German for “lobster”), we are told to imagine a lobster with a sense of humor. 

Similarly, for “Motte” (German for moth), we are told to imagine that our personal motto is “I like moths”. 

It’s not particularly easy to visualize these “images”. 

The difficulty is experienced by anyone trying to find images to express verbal connections; some words just don’t lend themselves to being images. But of course, verbal mnemonics are just as memorable as visual mnemonics, and infinitely more flexible. 

In the case with this technique, by “image” you should imagine something more movie-like, with a soundtrack.

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