Thanks, exactly what I was looking for!
Thanks. This is on my to do list too!
Sorry for reviving this thread after 5 years, but since “learning all of the countries” is such a common goal and one of the first things to use the newly-acquired memory skills for, I thought I’d bring this back to the front page of this forum for more people to see.
Anyway, I had a hard time finding such a list, so I went ahead and made my own. Thought others here might find it useful.
This is where the printable list definitely comes in handy, so thank you for that!
I sing the continents in geographical order - a song for Africa, for example, goes anti-clockwise around the continent. The sing is made up of puns to make a story. Sort of. But all other information is kept in the memory palace because each location has so much scope to add more stuff. I use large landscape memory palaces, so each country is a location with lots of room around it to attach further information.
thank you for your reply! I have two more questions:
Do you also have some of your countries indoors, or just around your house/garden?
If yes, even multiple per room?
I can imagine that a room might be "too small"to add constant information to a country and I would love to “do it right” from the very start when learning all of the countries moves to the top of my to-do list.
We should seriously do a collab on this, getting a mnemonic image for all the world’s capitals and countries.
Do you have something like that already, Lynne? If so, please do share. It’s been on my to do list for years.
Monti - I have ten locations per room for my studio and the main rooms in my house. I wish I had done fewer to allow for more space. But most of my locations are quite large - a garden bed with wall and plants, an outdoor sitting area, or entire houses and shops along the streets I walk to get groceries. I also use handheld devices and can attach an entire bird family to a single bead glued to a piece of wood using story and a speck on the bead. So I use physical locations and stories and mix them up depending on what I am memorising. I don’t use an identical method for every location because sometimes a country capital name will suggest something immediately and sometime the name relates more to some physical item.
You can always find a new physical item at any location. Just start - it will go from there and you will find your own way. You don’t need all the rules in advance.
LikeARollingStone: My list wouldn’t be of use for mnemonic images. They work so much better when personal or vulgar or violent or … so I am not letting anyone see what goes on in my head! For example, my Namibia location is memorised because I see a friend called Nam entering the doctor there. And that gives me the story linking all my Namibia information - Nam and the medical visit. So that’s simply not transferable. I also don’t have the mnemonics written down, so nothing to share there. Sorry!
I see! And I agree! One thing is privacy, you’re here under your full name, and another thing which may be a bit off topic is I dunno what Josh and the other people behind these forums actually think of violent and/or sexual mnemonics? They are, beyond a shadow of a doubt, more effective for making information stick. For sure. But I’ve for the most part avoided them on these boards as I dunno whether or not the stuff here is supposed to be children friendly.
But for the president Lyndon B. Johnson, I couldn’t find any other simple effective mnemonic image than a [****], so that’s what I suggested. So, @Josh, how does that fly when making a public journey in your software? Sharing is caring, so if I were to put all the presidents into the Art of Memory software, I’d like everyone to have access.
Sure, I could use a [****], but usually the more graphic an image is, the more effective it tends to be, so what’s your policy on graphic images?
The forum content has to be child-friendly, because we’ve had requests for that from parents who are learning the techniques with their kids. (Sorry, I removed the specific examples in your post for that reason. )
In the software, you can use whatever images you want in private memosets. For now, all shared (public) memosets have to be suitable for children. There will be a warning message when you click the “share” button.
It feels like we’re back in 1584.
It’s fine, really. Some journeys can be private then. Though I wouldn’t take offence at other’s bawdy associations, I guess there are just too few sets to be bothered with creating some 18+ labeling and stuff. At least for the next few years.
Though I doubt I’ll ever get round to memorising all this information, it’s clearly a great resource and I’ve downloaded it, so - very late in the day - thank you, joeltagert
I will certainly try to memorise all the European material - and see where it takes me after that.
Ladies and gentlemen, what do you say we get together and make a mnemonic journey for all the countries?
We’ve got Team History working over here, we could have Team Geography here, creating a journey for the geography of the world, with countries, capitals and key info for each one. Using universal mnemonics.
It would be fairly easy if we all contribute. We could begin with Asia, and work our way down alphabetically.
So using the OP’s list, that’d be:
Asia (49 countries)
- Afghanistan - Kabul
- Armenia - Yerevan
- Azerbaijan - Baku
- Bahrain - Manama
- Bangladesh - Dhaka
- Bhutan - Thimphu
- Brunei - Bandar Seri Begawan
- Cambodia - Phnom Penh
- China - Beijing
- Cyprus - Nicosia
- Georgia - Tblisi
- India - New Delhi
- Indonesia - Jakarta
- Iran - Tehran
- Iraq - Baghdad
- Israel - Jerusalem
- Japan - Tokyo
- Jordan - Amman
- Kazakhstan - Astana
- Korea, North - Pyongyang
- Korea, South - Seoul
- Kuwait - Kuwait City
- Kyrgyzstan - Bishkek
- Laos - Vientiane
- Lebanon - Beirut
- Malaysia - Kuala Lumpur
- Maldives - Malé
- Mongolia - Ulaanbaatar
- Myanmar - Nay Pyi Taw
- Nepal - Kathmandu
- Oman - Muscat
- Pakistan - Islamabad
- Palestine - Jerusalem
- Philippines - Manila
- Qatar - Doha
- Russia - Moscow
- Saudi Arabia - Riyadh
- Singapore - Singapore
- Sri Lanka - Sri Jayawardendpura Kotte
- Syria - Damascus
- Tajikistan - Dushanbe
- Thailand - Bangkok
- Timor-Leste/East Timor - Dili
- Turkey - Ankara
- Turkmenistan - Ashgabat
- United Arab Emirates - Abu Dhabi
- Uzbekistan - Tashkent
- Vietnam - Hanoi
- Yemen - Sana’a
Ha! I found this older comment while searching to see if anyone had mentioned their images for the countries of the world—and Namibia was why! I was going along fine with no problem—even for Kyrgystan!—and then I hit “Namibia.” (It was actually easier for me to create an image for Lesotho than Namibia, for some reason.)
My solution, which seems to work but which feels incredibly lame (no pun intended), was to picture a man sticking pins into his “numb tibia.”
Just a few updates to the list.
Kazakhstan has changed the name of its capital from Astana to Nur-Sultan.
Burundi has changed its capital to Gitega.
Swaziland is now officially called Eswatini, although both names are still in use.
Macedonia has changed its name to North Macedonia.
And doesn’t your “incredibly lame” solution work well, for that very reason?
Glad I’m not also memorizing the capitals!
Glad to hear about these country name changes, since my own memory list is based on a 2017 UN list. Interestingly, though, “North Macedonia” appears on that 2017 list.
Here’s hoping, Lynne!
It’s a memorable image; I’m just hoping it will continue to lead me to the right country name. “Numb Tibia” is such an odd phrase, and one I really had to work hard to find in “Namibia.” It may not be what comes to mind in the future when I picture a man sticking pins into his leg. Time will tell.
P.S. By the way, I’m really enjoying your new book! Thank you so much for writing this one.
Neither Eswatini nor North Macedonia were in use in 2017 - they probably updated the site later.
It seems to be common to memorize the world’s countries using a memory palace, arranging them in some logical order. Harry Lorayne mentions another method in one of his books, where you use the shapes of the countries to link them directly to the world map. (This is the method that I guess most people use for remembering Italy.)
Personally I prefer the latter method since you get a much better overview of everything and can continue using the country shape images to add additional information such as where cities, mountains, rivers, etc. are located.
Here is my personal map of South America:
Argentina just happens to look like a guy with a chicken stick in his eye. To link it to the correct country I imagine that the guy is very angry about the chicken stick (angry = arg in Swedish). Chile looks like a chili pepper, Colombia like a cool cow, Peru like a climber with a small wig (= peruk in Swedish) etc.
Notice how easy it now is to add further info. For the capital of Peru, Lima, I visualise some Lima beans in a bag hanging from the climber’s belt (at the correct location of the actual city). Buenos Aires is located close to the bottom of the angry guy’s eye, so I visualize a small hole there where good air is coming out, etc.
It’s a piece of cake to add ducks (änder in Swedish) walking on the chili and upwards representing the Andes and letting one of them put an acorn behind the ear of Argentina for the highest peak, Aconcagua.
Finally I’d like to add that many countries have one “representative/official capital” as well as one “administrative”.
My take on this is to add the administrative image as an extra on the official one. E.g. for the capital of Bolivia, Sucre, I imagine the (bowl-like) pot in the middle of the map filled with sugar and then let a peace flag rise from that sugar pile (the administrative capital of Bolivia is La Paz, meaning the peace in Spanish).
This is awesome