The Secret to Remembering Vocabulary
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Hello. My name is Emma, and in today's video, I will teach you a trick on how to remember
vocabulary. So English has the largest vocabulary out of any language. I think it's close to
600,000 words in English. So how are you going to remember so much vocabulary? Well, when
I was in China, I created a little trick -- and other people use this trick, too -- that really
helped me to remember all the new words I was learning. So in this video, I will teach
you this trick. So what you do -- I have a bunch of interesting
pictures on the board -- is any time you come up across a new word and you're learning a
new word, you need to make a picture in your head of this word. A good idea is to try to
think of other words that sound like this word and imagine funny situations in your
mind. So what do I mean by that? Well, let me show you.
The first word I'm going to teach you today is "bald", "bald", b-a-l-d. What does it mean
to be "bald"? It means to have no hair, okay? So if you have no hair, you are "bald". How
do you remember this word? Well, if you use my trick, you can imagine a word that sounds
like "bald" -- maybe "ball", basketball, soccer ball. So in your mind, I want you to imagine
a ball. It can be a basketball, a soccer ball -- any type of ball. Now, imagine the ball
with a face. Imagine the ball with no hair on top, maybe a little hair on the side, a
little hair here, but no hair on the top. Because "ball" and "bald" sound alike, if
you imagine this picture for maybe ten seconds, it will help you to remember it in the future,
okay? Think "ball with no hair". Okay. Let's try our second word: "beard". What's
a beard? It's the hair that comes off a man's chin -- usually, women don't have beards.
So it's the hair that comes down like this. How are we going to remember this word? Well,
imagine a man with a beard, and inside the beard is a bird, a little bird, tweet tweet!
And what's it doing in the beard? Why, it's drinking beer. Okay? So this little picture
is -- don't know if you can see that, but that is beer. So imagine a bird drinking beer.
Those two words together -- beer. This isn't beer; this one is. Imagine "bird" and "beer".
Together, if you put the words together, they make "beard". A bird drinking beer in a beard.
Can you say that fast? "Bird drinking beer in a beard." So maybe, if you picture this
for ten seconds, you will remember this word. Okay.
Next word I want to teach you today: "creamed". So what does it mean to be "creamed"? "We
creamed you guys." "You guys got creamed." It means someone lost a game very badly. If
our team creamed your basketball team, your basketball team lost; our team won. So you
don't want to be "creamed". If you get "creamed", it's bad. It means you lost, you lose. So
how can you remember this? Well, imagine someone -- maybe somebody you don't like, somebody
you play basketball against or some sport. Imagine throwing a bunch of ice cream and
it hits their face -- because the keyword "cream", "ice cream". So if you can imagine
ice cream on someone's face, it will help you to remember the word "creamed". So imagine
that for ten seconds. So think "ice cream on face", "creamed".
Next one: "hammered". What is a "hammer"? A "hammer" is -- you put a nail in
[makes thumping sound]. This is the "hammer". What does it mean to be "hammered"? It means you
drink too much alcohol. You drink too much beer, too much wine, so it's not good to be
"hammered". You're too drunk. If you're "hammered", it's another word for very, very drunk. So
how can you remember the word "hammered"? Well, I told you this is a "hammer" -- imagine
someone drunk, maybe holding a beer in their hand and a hammer hitting their head. So that's
the way to remember "hammered". And, again, maybe you have a word in your own language
that sounds like one of these words. Any mental picture will do. I think the funnier the mental
image, the easier it is to remember. But this will really help create an association -- it
will help you to remember the words. Finally, last one: "condo". What is a "condo"?
A "condo" is like an apartment building -- so if you live in a house, that's not a condo
-- but it's an apartment building that people buy -- it's similar to an apartment, but you
own it. You don't pay rent; it's yours. It's your condo. So it's an apartment building
-- or an apartment you own. That's a "condo". How can you remember this word? I'm going
to give you a second. Try to think of a word like "condo", maybe in your own language,
maybe you know someone with the last name "Khan". How can you remember this word? I'll
tell you my trick. "Condo" sounds sort of like "window". So a "window" is something
you can see out of. "I looked out my window." So that can help me remember the "dow" part,
"window". How do I remember "con"? Well, I have some friends whose last name is "Khan".
I have a friend whose last name is "Khan". So I can imagine him looking out the window.
Maybe if I don't know a "Khan", I know of a person from history -- from a long, long
time ago -- named Genghis Khan. Although in different languages, the name is a little
different. But he was from Mongolia, and he was a warrior who took over all of China,
all of -- most of Asia, some of Europe, some of the Middle East, so a very famous warrior.
His name was "Genghis Khan". I can think, "Oh, Khan." And I can imagine Genghis Khan
in a window in a condo with a sword. And if I imagine where he's living, he's living in
a condo. So I think "Khan", "window", "condo". So imagine this in your mind for ten seconds.
Close your eyes and just think "Genghis Khan", "window", "condo". Okay.
So this trick works really well, especially using your own language and coming up with
your own associations. Think of your friends' names. Do your friends' names have anything
in common with this word? Maybe a famous person does. You can think historical figures. You
can think -- other English words might help or words from your own language. But I found
this trick to -- it worked incredibly for me. I know a lot more Chinese words as a result
of this trick, and so I hope you try it. I also hope you come and visit our website at
www.engvid.com to do more practice with examples like these. Until next time, take care.