Memorize German Vocabulary is devoted to sharing techniques for memorizing German words using the ancient concept of the memory palace.
Also known as the Method of Loci, memory palaces are wonderful devices that anyone can build simply by using their mind.
I first stumbled on memory palaces because I was depressed. While completing my first MA and for much of my PhD, I couldn’t concentrate on my books, let alone retain their meaning.
Not one to give up, I began reading aloud. This practice helped me concentrate, but did nothing for my memory.
An amateur magician of one trick since the age of 9, I found myself delving into legerdemain again twenty years later. I wound up advancing my skills quite a bit.
It was not long before I was memorizing entire decks of cards. At first it would take me a few days, then a few hours, until finally I could remember the order of all 52 cards in about 5-10 minutes.
The results were miraculous. Not only did my memory improve, but the methods could be readily applied to my studies. I not only found myself remembering the data that would be expected of me during my oral comprehensive exams, but I was often able to tell people the page number where the information could be found on.
More importantly, regular memory work helped lift the depression. I believe that memory work increases the flow of oxygen rich blood to brain, similar to solving puzzles or even meditation. I still benefit from the effects every day.
Then, in 2007, an opportunity to live in Germany arose.
For a long time, I struggled with remembering even the simplest German words. I’m not sure why, but it never occurred to me to use the memory skills that I had learned and that had ensured me success with my PhD even during the bleakest periods of my life.
I worked on memorizing German words by rote for about 6 months before I decided there must be a better way. I don’t remember exactly how, but eventually my mind returned me to the miraculous memory work that had saved my skin so many times before.
Yet, in looking through countless books, I could not find anything that really helped me with memorizing the vocabulary of a foreign language. Plenty of tips exist, but I could find no sure fire method.
I had to develop one for myself.
Using the ancient principles I had learned, I designed a 26-letter memory palace system to place the German vocabulary words. I’ve written about this system in my book, How to Learn and Memorize German Vocabulary. It was the book in which I introduced the world to the Magnetic Memory Method.
For more information, here in full is The Story Of How To Learn and Memorize German Vocabulary.