learning vocabulary words

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I just wanted to find out how other people learned (and remembered) new vocabulary words.I use flash cards,audio lessons and write them on sheets of paper but still have a tough time remembering after being away from a word for a while. What do you guys do ? Thanks.

2234 views
updated NOV 8, 2010
posted by James-Schneider

13 Answers

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Well, it depends on what kind of learner you are - auditory, visual or kinetics. We all have a mixture of all three but one or two might dominate. Personally, I am very visual and auditory. So I have to say the word out loud to myself and also write sentences. I find learning new vocab in context much easier. Learning endless list of words is a waste of time and easily the most boing. Don't try to cramp in too many at once, the brain needs time to assimilate. Keep going back to the cards/note books often. Eventually by process of diffusion, the words will start to stick. I have used this method for all the other languages I have learned and it works for me.

updated NOV 8, 2010
posted by Pibosan
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Compinche is a friend or a mate. It can also be a partner in a crime or an accomplice.

updated ABR 14, 2008
posted by Eddy
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hey i have some word to you. What is Compinche" is not the bad word.

updated ABR 14, 2008
posted by ana6
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This is in actual fact very true. The human mind is something similar to a computer. We have a long term memory and a short term memory. A computer has a hard drive (long term memory) and RAM (short term memory). If you do not transfer from RAM to hard drive, when you turn off the computer, you lose the RAM. As you get older your short term memory diminishes. You have to transfer any new information you have learnt to the long term memory. What better method than to associate the new information with a similar sound already in the long term memory.
As an example of this loss, I play golf. On the first tee I am introduced to some strangers with whom I will be playing. Before we reach the first green, I have forgotten their names, however, I can still remember the formula for the generated EMF of a DC machine or the formula for a quadratic equation, both from first principles and which I learnt 50 years ago.

updated ABR 14, 2008
posted by Eddy
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I use mnemonic tools where possible...word association, if you like. Usually there's some way you can link a spanish word to its english equivalent - you can make the association as complicated or as tenuous as you like generally, because once you've made the link between the two words., it sticks in the mind.

For example (bearing in mind, it probably seems stupid to other people, but as long as it sticks in your mind for you then it works..!) - for the word 'wall', the spanish is El Pared. I remembered this simply by visualising that if you threw a ball against a wall, it will have 'parried' it. Therefore Pared = parried = wall .

I made that association, and i've never forgotten the spanish word for wall.

The beauty of it is, it can be very personalised, and as stupid as you like, because nobody else need know about it, and if it works for you then so much the better !

updated ABR 14, 2008
posted by elguapo
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Uno de mi gatos es Maine Coon, tiene casi doce años. ÿl pesa más que veintidós libres. Es de color anaranjado.

I saw this somewhere & thought it was cute

Mi gato es bilingue. Si le digo "Minino ven aquí" me ignora, y si le digo "Kitty come here" me ignora igual.

updated ABR 14, 2008
posted by motley
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thanks for your help...and you're right the saguaro is in Tucson near my home

updated ABR 14, 2008
posted by James-Schneider
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this is so funny. my wife keeps telling to leave the cat alone. he is becoming very fluent in spanish, él es una bonito gato. Muy grande. Es peso es nueve kilos. Es Maine Coon. ÿl tiene once años.

updated ABR 13, 2008
posted by jamesgv0r
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I think it's a great idea to speak out loud, I talk to my cats. I carry the flash cards with me when I walk in the morning & say everything out loud.

updated ABR 13, 2008
posted by motley
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I use note cards too, but it is definitely frustrating when you forget a word you used to know. I get so frustrated when I realized I've looked up a word for the second (third, forth...)time. Just keep at it. One thing I do (I know it's weird) is talk to myself. It's really different thinking about how to say something in your head than it is to actually say it. For example, (if I'm alone) doing house chores or diriving...whatever...I'll describe what I am doing outloud.

updated ABR 13, 2008
posted by Amanacer
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I usually remember them pretty well by just reading them in different contexts a couple of times, but in order to make it really "stick" I have to remember something vivid about it, have it be very common, or have it be a unique word (like, say orgullo, I just like the way it sounds).

updated ABR 13, 2008
posted by manutd
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I have a small walkman thing. It records my voice for hours. I read outloud and record what I am reading. Then i play it back. I find that way I can hear myself speak the words, but also I can start to remember them because i will actually go over the book as I play back what I have read. You have to totally commit yourself in any way you can. I have found a friend as well who speaks spanish in my community and we are going to get together a few times a week for coffee and exclusively converse in spanish.

By the way I think I recognize that sagaro cactus in your photo. Its in Arizon!

updated ABR 13, 2008
posted by jamesgv0r
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I do the same things that you do and I know what you mean. I think I know a word & later when I see or hear it in context, it completely slips my mind. I guess the only answer is keep on keeping on & it will eventually stick. The thing we need most is conversation.

updated ABR 13, 2008
posted by motley