One of the nice things about a job as an aviator in the kind of company for whom I operate, is that you can learn bits and pieces of languages while you work around the world.
As we were cruising along at thirty-something thousand feet over the Arabian desert, one of the cabin crew came up to the flight-deck and asked where we were. I pointed out the window and said, "We are just coming up to the south of MUSCAT which you can see out there on the left on the coast."
I then added, "It's called MUSCAT because there were lots of MUSKETS there!"
Yeah, the weak joke went flat, but the Flight Engineer laughed politely.
The copilot was a Spaniard from Valencia so I said, "Hey Fran, what's the word in Spanish for musket?.
The word in Spanish for musket is
To make this memorable the 200 Words a Day! way is easy because it is similar to the English word. In these cases we just imagine a musket in the Spanish colours, and this reminds us of the word being similar to the English.
And to remind us of the fact that the word is male in gender we would add a male character to the visualisation, or the cartoon were we to draw one. So a perfect one would be to use D'Artagnan, one Alexander Dumas's Three Musketeers! A perfect blend. So we would come up with a picture of D'Artagnan with a musket in the Spanish colours.
After later checking the dictionary we came up with this one...
The Spanish word for shotgun is...
The Memory Trigger© makes it easy to remember and has memory hooks to firstly make the item easy to remember, and stand out, and secondly to make it easier to dig back out from your memory when you need it... when you recall it.
With European languages nouns have genders (e.g. male or female), so by adding a GENDER TRIGGER to the MEMORY TRIGGER© our recall is enhanced. The more triggers and hooks in the MEMORY TRIGGER©, the easier the later recall.
So for this, I came up with the following MEMORY TRIGGER© for la escopeta, the word in Spanish for shotgun.
Remember there are two parts:
Imagine with her enormous shotgun is ANNIE from the movie and theatre play, Annie Get your Gun (female character for feminine words), and on it is a large SCOPE and PET.
We can add the letter e to the SCOPE, to remind us of it being e-scopeta, and we could paste a large letter A on the PET to remind us that it is PET-A...
The more stuff we add to the MEMORY TRIGGER©, the more silly it is, the more vivid, the more colour, the more hooks and links... the easier is the recall.
Add sound, a native Spanish person voicing the word - for perfect pronunciation, and you have a powerful way of remembering any new word in a language.
Of course if you learn a new word during some significant event, or conversation you don't need a MEMORY TRIGGER, the memory gets implanted into your subconscious, along with the linguistic context, the nuances, the situation.
But much of our learning is not in those nice 'in-context' situations so things like MEMORY TRIGGERS© provide powerful and effective anchors and language learning tools.
The opportunities to learn more Spanish words - (like the Spanish for musket, or the Spanish for shotgun) - phrases and other skills can pop up at so many different times.
Whether it be in conversation, watching a TV programme, listening to a Spanish radio station, doing Spanish lessons, reading over material, skimming through a dictionary and stabbing randomly at a place on the page to find a new word!
Make sure you grab them yourself, and generate your own MEMORY TRIGGERS© and vocabulary GENDER TRIGGERS©. Keep them in a notebook, or in a document file on your computer. Add a sketch if you can draw. Stick figures are fine. Draw them freehand or on a computer. Freehand pictures can be scanned into your scanner and manipulated and coloured in. The whole process helps your ability to remember and recall the words.
If you can animate your drawings, using a graphics programme on your computer all the better still.
You can even send any new MEMORY TRIGGERS to us at www.200Words-a-Day.com, and they can be considered for inclusion in future courses.
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The word in Spanish for musket is el mosquete and the Spanish for shotgun ia la escopeta. Now REMEMBER it the easy way!
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What is the Spanish word for musket? What's the Spanish word for shotgun?