How to Learn a Foreign Language

Language tapes are better than nothing to learn how to memorize a foreign language, and many people try this way, but it has a hit and miss chance of succeeding. We stick a CD into a player and go about our routine while repeating after the voice on the tape. Kind of boring, and it is much more difficult to retain what you have learned this way.

We have to remind ourselves that our brains work like a computer. We can utilize this information to our benefit when trying to memorize and retain information.

Here are some foreign words we will use to show you how to memorize:

  • Sire
  • Morangu
  • Jontar
  • Nosh
  • Pesagu
  • Bosa
  • Payne
  • Puegas
  • Pie
  • Pastage

These are 10 non-English words, however if we use the memory training method, when we put these words into pictures, we can easily learn how to memorize them and file them away in our memory bank. We are going to file these pictures according to their definitions, not into any of our organized file lists.

Continue with me and you will see what I mean.

The first word is “Sire,” which in Portuguese means a woman’s skirt.   Visualize a woman’s skirt sighing.   It is a sire (sigh-er). You’ll never forget that.   The word is sire and the definition is a woman’s skirt.

The next word, “Morangu” is Portuguese for strawberry, so visualize a huge strawberry eating a meringue pie.

Next is the word “Jontar,” Portuguese for dinner.   Make a file of a picture of a man named John and he is eating tar for dinner — John-tar=jontar.

The next word is the Portuguese word “Nosh,” meaning walnut.   Put into your mind the picture of you eating a giant walnut, and it makes you nauseous.

“Pesagu” is a peach in Portuguese.   Picture  a giant peach asking you to pass the goo.   That’s right.   A giant peach asking you to, ‘Pass the goo.’

A “Bosa” is a woman’s purse in Portuguese.   Wouldn’t a picture of a giant piece of balsa wood carrying a purse be something you would remember?

The French word for bread is “Payne.” Picture a pan with a handle made of bread.

In Portuguese “Puegas” are socks. Visualize some really stinky socks and say, “Piew, that smells like gas!”

“Pie” is Portuguese for father.   Picture yourself throwing a pie in your father’s face.   Pie=father, throw a pie at father. Funny!

The final word, “Pastage” is the French word for watermelon.   Form a picture of a watermelon passing a deck of cards to you.

Now, as you can see, learning a foreign language is very simple. You can learn how to improve your memory by just taking the word and turning it into a picture, then file it to its definition.   You can use any picture association that you want to adapt to the word (I am just giving you an idea to work with).

Can you believe you have just learned a little bit of French and Portuguese!   Pretty painless, wasn’t it?

Let’s see how many definitions that you can recall now.

Fill in the blanks below with the definitions:

  1. Saia
  2. Morangoo
  3. Jantar
  4. Noz
  5. Passego
  6. Bolsa
  7. Payne
  8. Peugas
  9. Pai
  10. Pasteque

Well, how well did you do?   Were you able to you get all of them?   If not, ask yourself why.   Did you make a clear enough picture?   In order for the memory training to work the pictures must be very strong.

It doesn’t have to be a foreign language. This concept can be used for English too.  There are a lot of strange sounding and new words in the English language you can also apply this memory training.

Using the same memory training concept we used for foreign languages, take the English word “neophyte,” which means “beginner.”   Picture a boxing match where the contestants were on their knees. This would be a knee fight, wouldn’t it?   Turn the word “beginner” into a picture where the audience as a bunch of gin-drinking bees. You have a knee fight with bees drinking gin.   That is a picture you can’t forget, right?

You should try to make it a goal to learn a foreign language, or at least get to know about the language you do speak. Get out the dictionary and find words you never heard of before and practice this memory training technique with them. You will be amazed at how much you have expanded your vocabulary if you just use the lessons I have just shown you to learn how to improve your memory.

This lesson was shared by Two Time USA Memory Champion and Memory Speaker Ron White.

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