I’m currently learning to read and speak Chinese and Thai on memrise.
Both are extremely fascinating languages and I’m super interested in them, but I’m struggling with memorizing the Thai alphabet. As you can see, there are lots of similar characters that have different meanings.
Learning is fun, but struggling isn’t.
1. Memory palace hack
Memory palace is one of the methods that the memory champions use and it’s very effective.
Brain is very bad in memorizing lists, but very good in remembering the places you’ve been at.
You can use this to your advantage by imagining a place that you know very well, like your own house.
Then you associate whatever you have to remember to the places you know. Usage of humorous/weird events is advised as they stick to the memory exceptionally well.
If you don’t want to watch the whole video, watch the first couple of minutes where he gives an excellent example. The talk is interesting so I recommend you to watch it through.
2. How John Place memorized his Psychology textbook
John Place claims to have memorized an entire psychology textbook – over 23,000 words. This is the method that he used:
- Get something to type sentences with. (Pencil, computer)
- If you are reading for a test, type any fact or sentences that may appear on the test. Cut the sentences shorter if possible.
- Eliminate all distractions.
- Read the first sentence out loud, close your eyes and say the sentence without looking at it.
- Repeat, but this time with the first two sentences.
- Next, 3 sentences and so on.
- Take a nap. Sleep helps memories stick.
- After the nap repeat the technique for maximum effect.
3. Categorizing system for lists
Let’s say you have a list of different kinds of foods:
Categorize them however you see fit. For example:
- Drinks: Cola, Water, Milk
- Protein: Cheese, Beef, Eggs
- Carbohydrates: Rice, Bread, Potato
Much easier to remember. You also put them in small chunks, which makes it even more effective.
4. Teaching method
You learn a lot better when you have to teach.
What happens in teaching method is that you have to learn the basic principles behind the thing to be learned and channel the rest through that.
You should also use your own words.
You don’t necessarily have to teach anyone, but to just take the steps that it takes to get to the point where you are able to teach someone.
5. Use acronyms
Usually used for details.
For example, you have to remember to bring Fish, onions, coffee, kellogg’s, eggs and salad from the shop.
Fish, onions, coffee, kellogg’s, eggs and salad. FOCKERS
Easy to remember.
Tips and minor tricks
- Record yourself reading and listen to it. It will be awkward, but it works.
- Visualize it: that’s how brain remembers most efficiently. Use colors, smells, positive images, funny stuff and PROFANITIES.
- Don’t try to memorize too much at once, break your learning periods down to 30-60 minutes and then take a break.
- Use flashcards - memorize the key-points rather than several sentences.
- Make a story out of it. People can tell what happens in Harry Potter better than what’s in their old math book.
- Write it down – even if you don’t plan to read it again.
- Use spaced repetition – In some cases very powerful learning technique – Anki works pretty well for this.
- Combine several methods