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200 Words a Day! Update. Lessons Gratis -Tips -Memory Newzine6 26Mar04
March 26, 2004

Newzine # 6 - 200 Words a Day! Update on Language Learning
1. Fre*e Spanish Lessons on the 200 Words a Day site.
2. Have you put together a Language Learning Plan?
3. New Year's Resolution.
4. The Three Memory Principles
5. The 12 Memory Techniques
6. Spanish Tip: How an ‘s’ is the difference between how much and how many.
7. French Tip: When feminine uses a masculine…
8. German Tip: Making 1, 2, 3 first, second and third.
9. La Palabra del Día - Useful email Spanish Word of the Day
10. More Useful Language Learners’ sites
11. Checking out Czech?
12. Russian and Japanese? Welsh?
13. Education Exhibition 11-13 March
14. Competition Winner from Exhibition
15. Sample PICS from 200 Words a Day courses*

Fr*ee Spanish Lessons on the 200 Words a Day site.

We have added a number of fr*ee Spanish lessons to the 200 Words a Day website.

You just need to go onsite and sign up for as many as you like. Just enter your email address and first name, and 3 short, byte sized lessons will be emailed to your inbox every 3 days, each for 7 days.

These are ‘traditional’ type lessons, (without our cartoons, and memory triggers – artists are too busy on making new courses!), but are great as courses to complement your 200 Words a Day! learning. There 7 lesson e-Courses on Past Tenses – Preterite and Imperfect, on Prefixes and Suffixes, etc.

We will put up more lessons as we can get the right people to write them….(or should that be the Write People?) Click here to check them out and sign up for any of the free courses, and keep an eye open for more.

At present there are just Spanish courses but we’ll get some free French e-Courses up soon, then German.

Have you put together a Language Learning Plan?

Have you formulated a language learning plan? You do need several elements, and there is now so much to choose from but here are some things you can consider:

1. Vocab, verbs, words and common phrases. Build a solid vocab base first and fast with the 200 Words a Day system. This allows you a foundation from which to build and add.

2. Take a course with a live teacher. This will build your grammar, conversation, and give you direction. The more hours of training, the quicker the learning. If you can only manage an hour a week, so be it, but do it. An hour is much better than nothing. Most cities have night classes at the local college which are very helpful, and usually very cheap in terms of price.

3. Adopt a Spanish name if you are learning Spanish. If you are Edward become Eduardo. If Mary become María! If learning French become Jean-Pierre or Marie-France. What about Gunter or Fritz for German. This makes you mentally switch into that mode!

4. Adopt a Spanish-French-German speaking country as appropriate and adopt a local football team (or other sports team), following their results and progress via the web.

5. Adopt one of the biggest companies in that country and follow its progress. Check out its share prices and web-pages.

6. From this country find an online newspaper and bookmark it as your homepage. Read the news in the language – before you read it in English.

7. Write down exactly some of your normal day to day conversations in English. Or you can record your normal daily English conversations into a dictaphone. Translate them – initially by yourself. Do as much with what Spanish-French-German etc you know and with one of the many free translation software websites online.

Then get your teacher, or a fluent speaker to check it. They will usually give you other ways of saying the same thing, as well as native slang, colloquialisms, sayings and idiomatic expressions that can be used to say the same thing.

This way you will get tools to say in the new language what you would normally say in English.

8. Enrol for our fr*ee e-Courses of 7 lessons emailed to you every 3 days for 7 lessons. Click here for more info. Enrol for them as many times as you like!

9. At some point it is great to get some Total Immersion learning in to your Learn a Language. Live, study and speak Spanish somewhere Spanish…. or French somewhere French. This is probably best achieved when you have a basic grammar and vocab base. If you dive in cold, then it is best to take a course at the same time.

The beauty of Total Immersion is that you hear sentences and phrases in action and these embed in the memory the more you hear and use them.

10. If you do go Total Immersion it is important to avoid speaking your native tongue. After a few weeks you will be surprised that things just start to ‘click’ in place – words, phrases, expressions and phrases.

11. Another way to practise your language skills is available for those who work with foreign speakers. So for example if you work with Hispanic speakers, you should tell them, “I am learning Spanish, it would be great to practise with you.”

For example in our small office Albin, our young Frenchman is only permitted to speak French with me, unless there are others that need to be involved in the conversation. You can impose similar ‘rules’ if you are working with people who speak the language you wish to learn.

With that person have a discussion every time you see them. Write down some English phrases you might, translate them and use them. Keep a notebook and/or a pocket Dictaphone.

New Year's Resolution.

Still sticking to your New Year's Resolution? Did you resolve to polish up any language skills? Remember you only need to allocate 3 minutes a day to just learn a new something or do a quick revise.

The Three Memory Principles

Tony Buzan, also known as Mr Brain in his book ‘Master your Memory’ explains the The Three Memory Principles, as documented by the ancient Greeks:
1. Association: linking things together.
2. Image: to remember something it needs a wonderful and multi-sensory image.
3. Location: you best remember something if you can remember it in a special location.

The 12 Memory Techniques

He then explains 12 special techniques to assist in using association, image and location. He uses the mnemonic ‘SMASHIN’ SCOPE’ to remember it.
1. Synaesthesia/Sensuality: this is the blending of the senses, using as many of the modes and senses – vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch, kinaesthesia.
2. Movement - moving images are more memorable.
3. Association – to remember something needs to be linked or associated to something else.
4. Sexuality – these images can be powerful for the memory.
5. Humor – the funnier, the more stupid, the more zany, and crazy the mental image the more memorable.
6. Imagination – the more the imagination, the better the memory.
7. Numbering – things in a sequence adds memorability.
8. Symbolism – this is the substitution of a more vivid image for one less memorable.
9. Color – the more colorful – the more memorable.
10. Order and Sequencing – similar to number 7.
11. Positive Images - are better for the brain, because the brain prefers positive
12. Exaggeration – the greater the exaggeration, the easier it is to remember something.

A very interesting book, available from any major book supplier. Worth a read.

Spanish Tip: How an ‘s’ is the difference between how much and how many.

What is difference between how much and how many in Spanish? Just an ‘s’ is the difference.
How much? is ¿Cuánto?
How many? is ¿Cuántos?

French Tip: When feminine uses a masculine…
Mon, ton and son are the words for my, your and his and relate to masculine nouns. However they are used for singular feminine nouns where the word starts with a vowel or a silent ‘h’.

C’est mon orange – it’s my orange. Despite orange being a feminine word we use mon instead of ma.


The French for e-mail is e-mail but not pronounced with a French ‘e’ (euh) but pronounced as per English from which it is borrowed, as in ee-mail.

The ‘correct translation’ is message electronique but very few people use this.

A mobile/handheld phone (depending on which country you speak your English) is called un téléphone portable or just un portable.
A laptop computer is also called un portable.

A text message is un texto, or un SMS.

German Tip: Making 1, 2, 3 first, second and third.

The word ‘first’ in German is erste, or das erste.

To make the numbers from 2 to 19 just, take the number and add the letters ‘te’ so that 2 – zwei becomes zwei + te = zweite. (or das zweite). [They are all das, neuter].

3 – drei becomes dritte (OK, OK it is slightly different in that it drops the ‘e’ to become dritte instead of dreitte)…. (das dritte)
4 – vier becomes vierte, or das vierte.
5 - fünf becomes fünfte, or das fünfte.
6 – sechs becomes sechste………
7 – sieben becomes siebte (the other slight exception).
8 – acht becomes achste.
9 – neun becomes neunte.
10 – zehnte etc

From 20 and thereafter just add ‘ste’ to the German number

La Palabra del Día - Useful email Spanish Word of the Day

This is a useful f*ree service provided by Fernando Pérez Cos. Every day he emails a Spanish word, and gives two or three sentences with the word in use.

The website is and the service is called ‘Palabra del Día’ – ‘Word of the Day’.

Here is a cut and paste sample from a recent email from Fernando. He also has little quips about happenings in Spain and keeps you up to date with the progress of this favourite football (soccer football) team el Racing de Santander.

comenzar, v.
to begin

Remember that this verb begin to the group that changes "e" into "ie" (for example: I begin > comienzo)
Mañana comienzo las clases a las nueve.
I start the lessons at nine tomorrow.

Espero comenzar el curso online este verano.
I hope to begin the online course this summer.
¿Cuándo comienzan las vacaciones de Semana Santa? Dentro de poco.
When Easter Holidays begin? Soon.

The beauty of this service is that, besides being free, there are no adverts on the page.

More Useful Language Learners’ sites

The websites also have a similar service, although you have to go online to their site, as opposed to having it emailed free and direct into your inbox. You also then have to wade through numerous adverts which interrupt all the copy, but that is the price of a comprehensive free service.

About Spanish –

About French

About German

All these sites have a ton of free articles and information, and hundreds and of free lessons on all things to do with the language learning (and hundreds and hundreds of ads).

These are musts for the language learner.

Checking out Czech?

Three weeks ago we spent the weekend, in Prague, Czech Republic. Our New Zealand David friend, whose wife is Czech, has lived there 15 years. Last time we went was 1990 and the ‘Wall’ had not long been torn down, and they were then casting off the shackles of communism.

What a transformation! Way back then in 1990 there was virtually nothing that you would be interested in buying, other than crystal if you could stand queueing for some hours while a bunch of expressionless vacant-faced staff trudged sloth-like about the ‘store’. The few shops had so little product and so little variety, and the people were like the walking dead, completely devoid of expression and life.

Today it is a modern, bustling city with all shops packed with things for sale. And no longer very cheap. And there is life and spark in the faces of the people.

We studied our Czech phrase-book and discussed the logistics of putting together a course in Czech as one of the next projects. There are many interesting new characters that we would have to programme, but hey our Tom White just loves doing things like that. …. And David is able to get us plenty of expert help on Czech language. But there seems more demand for…..

Welsh begins…

We are starting work on our Learn Welsh 200 Words a Day course. This is a language for which there is some demand in the UK. The product will launch in mid 2004. We are teaming up with the people at a Welsh Training institution based in Denbigh, Wales called Welsh Unlimited.

Education Exhibition 11-13 March 2004

We took a booth at the National Education Show in Birmingham to display our various 200 Words a Day! products, and have sold the first of our courses in to school. Our new Marketing Executive Albin Vidal, who is a young Masters Graduate from the South of France led the charge there.

Competition Winner – from the Education Exhibition

Welcome to all the new subscribers who attended the show. Congratulations go to April Holland from Chalfonts Community College who won the competition for a free 200 Words a Day! CD of their choice.

Language World Exhibition - University of Oxford 2-3 April 2004

We will be at the Language World Conference and Exhibtion at the University of Oxford, England on 2-3 April which is affiliated to the Association for Language Learning. There will be many language teachers there. If you are passing by Oxford why not pop in?

Curriculum Online Accreditation

Our company has recently received approval to sell to UK schools under the Curriculum Online using their e-Learning Credits system. e-Learning Credits are funds made available by the UK government for schools to equip themselves with electronic IT training materials. The current e-Learning credits expire 31 August 2004. If you are involved in a school that teaches languages and want to talk about a Site Licence just drop us a line.

Sample pics from 200 Words a Day!

Here are some sample pics from .

Spanish for plumber is el fontanero. So we have a plumber fixing the FOUNTAIN of NERO - Emperor Nero.


But how do we know the gender?

Male characters in the pic mean the word is a masculine word!

Here’s a French Memory Trigger

Mosquito in French is le moustique.

So we have a Mexican male mosquito who is MOUSE STICKing, that is, sticking his needle into a mouse!

That’s it for this newzine.

Happy vocab-building and language learning.

Kevin Crocombe

School Site Licences are available for schools worldwide. Words in our courses cover the syllabus in most English-speaking countries.

UK Schools qualify for e-Learning Credits - these expire 31 August 2004. -----------------------------------------------

Trade enquiries are welcome.


200 Words a Day!
32 Alverton, Great Linford, Milton Keynes, Bucks, MK14 5EF, United Kingdom.
Tel: (+44) 1908 676 873
Language Learning 200 Words a Day!
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