To quickly learn common Vietnamese words, there is nothing more effective than Mnemonics. A mnemonic is any learning technique that aids information retention in the human memory. Mnemonics aim to translate information into a form that the brain’s memory can store more effectively, by associating it with other known information. Adopting some simple techniques like mnemonics can significantly improve your Vietnamese learning.
Here are some tips on using mnemonics to remember words when learning Vietnamese:
1. Use the first letter of each syllable of a word or phrase as your cue to recall it.
For example, to help you remember that the word for ‘to go’ is ” đi ” you could picture a man going to work along a road and carrying an umbrella to shield him from the rain.
Similarly, if you wanted to remember that ” giá” means ‘price’, you might picture a big giant holding up a price tag at the supermarket.
2. Make Vietnamese mnemonics as visual as possible.
If you can use some particular aspect of a word, phrase or sentence that sticks in your mind for some reason as the clue to recall it, do so. For example, if you hear someone telling their children not to drink water from the fish bowl, next time you want to remember this sentence you could imagine a giant drinking from a fish bowl and getting scales all over his face .
3. Create situational mnemonics linking words with real life experiences.
An effective way of remembering new Vietnamese vocabulary is to create vivid mental images linking them with familiar objects or events in your own life. For example ‘ khoanh’ means ‘to lock’, when I first heard this word I imagined my house locked with an arrow shape key sticking out of the door just like in cartoons.
4. Create mnemonics that are funny or rude to help you remember difficult Vietnamese words .
This technique is especially useful for remembering negative words and phrases. For example, if someone said they were ‘dạng chó’ (stupid) I might picture them walking around with a dog holding up their trousers with both hands! It’s not nice but it certainly would make me laugh every time I hear the word – which is what you want when trying to remember something !
5. Remembering lists is easier if you use rhyme or rhythm when making your mnemonics ,
For instance in Vietnamese, to tell someone to ‘ go away, don’t come near me ‘, you could use the following mnemonic: ” đứng giữa lòng đường, chẳng qua là cái quán bar “.
6. Make your own mnemonics when learning Vietnamese using the phonetic spelling .
Most Vietnamese dictionaries list words in English alphabetical order which can be very confusing when trying to find a word. However, if you make up your own mnemonics for each syllable/word you will always know how to spell out difficult words properly even if they are not listed in any dictionary or phrasebook!
7. Practice saying mnemonics out loud .
You’ll be surprised how many of the words you can remember just by making sentences using your new Vietnamese vocabulary and practicing them out loud . For example, if you wanted to remember that ‘ nha quốc’ means ‘hotel’, imagine yourself talking on the phone to someone about where they are staying for their holiday – “at the hotel, I’m at the hotel!”
8. Use your imagination when learning Vietnamese with mnemonics.
Try to make each of your mnemonics as original as possible so that you will only ever use one or two of them containing common words like people, places objects etc which might appear in another person’s mnemonics. This way you can be sure that your mnemonic is something unique to you and will help increase the speed with which you learn Vietnamese language.
9. Try not to overuse mnemonics when learning a new word .
You should always try to remember a word without using a mnemonic method first – it’s best if words are learned naturally through conversation and reading instead of being learned artificially by making use of memory aids too early in the learning process . However, once you feel familiar enough with the word/phrase, make up a mnemonic based on what you know about it already and this should help fix it in your long-term memory .
10. Combine all these ideas together when studying Vietnamese with mnemonics.
Feel free to combine all of the above ideas together when using mnemonics to help learn Vietnamese . For example, if you want to remember how to say ‘I apologize’ in Vietnamese, imagine holding a hoe (which looks rather like an upside down ‘i’) over your head and apologizing profusely !
11. Try creating your own phrases/proverbs that contain new words .
This is particularly good for remembering verbs, adjectives and adverbs which are usually the most difficult words to remember when learning any foreign language . For example 「 chầm chậm làm việc, chẳng có kết quả gì 」, which means ‘to work slowly with no result’. The phrase contains the verb “làm” (to do) and the adverb “chẳng có kết quả gì”.
12. Remind yourself of how difficult learning Vietnamese would be without mnemonics by trying to learn some Vietnamese vocabulary without using them .
After a few weeks of studying, re-read this article and really appreciate how much difference mnemonics make in your ability to remember new words ! I hope you find these hints and tips for remembering Vietnamese useful – let me know if they work for you !
(Source: http://vietnamtravel.info/language.html )