I’m trying to learn Japanese, and I decided to use a variation of Dominic O’brien’s vocabulary town system to memorize vocabulary more efficiently. In his book, O’brien uses German, a language that shares many cognates with English, as the example for demonstrating the use of the vocabulary town. O’brien would connect each German word to an image by using an English pun. However, Japanese has a starkly different phonetic system, so finding Eng-Jpn puns is very difficult. Therefore, I decided to modify O’brien’s system by assigning a PAO to each kana to account for this issue.
I imagined a town split into four districts, one district for each part of speech. However, the challenge I have now is that even with the method of loci, I sometimes still completely forget the image I place at a certain location. For example, I once tried to memorize 擡げる (もたげる), meaning “to raise (usually one’s head).” I used the following PAO image:
も： Moana from Disney’s Moana
る： Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer
Moana tackles a giant gemstone, and Rudolph walks in front of Moana and flashes its nose at her, causing her to raise her head (the meaning represented here) to look at what Rudolph is trying to do. BTW, I happen to know Cantonese, so remembering the Kanji 擡 is not an issue for me.
However, when I revisited that location, I completely forgot what scene should unfold there, so I had to double-check my notes to remind myself. For a moment, I completely lost faith in the Method of Loci and was prepared to abandon it. However, this is my first time using the Method of Loci for memorizing anything, so it could be that I made a mistake somewhere or that I don’t have enough experience visualizing absurd scenes. Therefore, before abandoning the method of Loci, I decided to ask you folks for help. I’d appreciate any suggestions you may have! (^_^)