Learning a language one has to commit a lot of information to his memory, and there is no way around it. One can choose the long way and take his time reading thousands of pages over the years, slowly accumulating new words and patterns. Or one might opt for a faster approach and start reading monolingual dictionaries (of the kind specifically produced for foreign learners and teeming with examples of actual usage, among other things), thus beating what I call "the frequency conspiracy" against a foreign learner which a human language naturally puts up in his way.
Memorizing words should never be done in pairs consisting of the target word and its translation, never. Correct learning implies knowing the meaning, the pattern the target word imposes around itself, and the group or groups of words it can combine with in a given sense. E.g. "when you fire a gun, you (meaning; examples)", but "when you fire questions, you (....)"
So here comes the QUESTION: can mnemonics help us do it? Is it possible to acquire 50-100-even more senses and patterns in one session? ( Read more...Collapse )