Sometimes people ask me about the best German words to learn and memorize.
The answer, of course, is:
All of them.
One strategy, and a good one, is discussed in my book How to Learn and Memorize German Vocabulary. The technique allows you to prepare and predetermine a memory palace for words that begin with a specific letter and then follow the dictionary alphabetically. You simply place one word in each room or location you’ve selected for storing the words before moving on to the next.
The advantage of following this method is that you can revisit the words in alphabetical order as you follow the journey you’ve created in your mind.
But dictionaries often list a lot of tiny, fragmentary words that you’ll want to pick up eventually, but that won’t serve much purpose at the beginning of your journey.
So I suggest that people look at the world of English around them and make lists of words they think they might like to know in German. In other words, the world is your oyster, and the memory work is the shucking. (Auskernen, incidentally, is the German word for “to shuck.”)
Here are some suggestions for places to find words you might want to learn in German:
- objects in your bedroom, living room, kitchen, office, etc.
- headlines of newspapers and magazines
- trending topics on Twitter and elsewhere
- phrases found on dict.leo.org
- phone book advertising (if you still have a phone book!)
- instructional manuals
- birthday and holiday cards
- in books devoted to language quirks, such as Misused Pears:Fun Mistakes with Homonyms
- in the grocery store
- at the mall
- the library …
The list goes on and on.
Once you’ve determined a set of words you would like to learn, nothing can stop you from placing them into the palaces you’ve built in your 26-letter memory palace system. Assuming you know How to Learn and Memorize German Vocabulary that is …
Until next time, please remember that using memorization techniques is always exciting, fun and healthy. It sends oxygen rich blood to the brain and is the equivalent of jumping rope with your synapses and dendrites. This happens every time you deliberately remember something using memorization techniques.
And your brain loves it.