How to create images

I’ve been trying to use memory palace to increase my vocabulary in English, but sometimes it’s just too difficult for me to create images for the words I learn.

I try following the instructions given by Alex Mullen in one of his videos, I ask myself “what does this word make me think of?” And sometimes it works, but it’s still very difficult for me to come up with something. And because of that, I often settle for an image that’s not very effective and end up having trouble recalling it later. I also try asking myself “what does this word sound like?” and “what it looks like?” But it doesn’t help.

Consequently, I take a very long time to create a palace. It takes at least 30 - 40 minutes for me to memorize a list with 20 words.

What should I do? Are there any exercises I could try that could help me come up with images more easily?

Thank you.

I think that practice helps a lot. If you post a list of words that you’re having trouble with, we could brainstorm some ideas on how to create images from them.

I am not very experienced but Im doing that for a few weeks with german gonna pass the little I learned.

When the word doesn’t ring a bell I try to divide it in 2 parts or even 3, sometimes an idea come when I decide to move one letter between the parts splitting the word differently. And for making images that work I have set a rule that the image(or short story) must have the sound of the foreign word and the meaning, just making a funny story like “sein or not sein” imagining hamlet would make me remember hamlet and the meaning but the sound would disappear.
Sometimes I use 2 objects or even 3 on a spot to make the word and meaning, sometimes you can use sounds like maybe including a noisy mosquito(zzzzzzzz) somewhere if the word have a strong “z” sound for example.

Right now, I’m trying to learn the words that I don’t know from the poem Tulips by Sylvia Plath. Which are the following:
to daze
to snag
to eddy

Did you have trouble creating good images in the beginning too? Were they images that you had trouble recalling later?

It got a lot easier with practice. If something isn’t sticking in memory, try reviewing it more frequently right after you learn it. It might also help to review the list one last time before bed.

A few examples:

I’d break “sheet-cuff” into two words, because “cuff” is its own word. It’s the same word that is found in “handcuffs”, so one possible image could be an image of handcuffs along with a sheet.

“Gull” is a bird – a word that sounds similar is “call”, like a phone call. Maybe an image of a gull making a phone call would work.

“Swab” sounds like “suave” and might have similar roots. Swab is commonly used to refer to cotton swabs or “swabbing the deck” of a ship. You could combine those into an image.

“To daze” sounds like “todays” or “toddy” (a drink).

“Trinket” sounds like “drink it” – you could picture drinking a glass of some kind of trinket (a small low-value item).

It definitely gets easier with practice.

Thank you. That helps a lot.

And Dio, I’ve tried that and it didn’t work, but thank you for answering.

Then I guess I’m just gonna keep practicing. I hope with time it will get easier for me too.