Progress in various areas (Loci in image, memorizing verbatim, vocabulary, etc)

As I mentioned somewhere else, I had had many attempts in memorizing verbatim texts in Chinese. This week I began again. It is a short text of 107 characters, but it is slightly literary, not spoken, and that makes it a bit more difficult.

  1. I created this small loci mansion with 19 locus.
  1. I divided the text in 16 lines, with an average of less than 7 characters per line. Nevertheless some lines were longer and I should have avoided that.
  1. I wrote the first character of every line, and I assigned an alternative character with a similar pronunciation as to make it more memorable. (The word in Spanish is the name of each locus, I assign a name so as to make it easier to memorize the loci).
  1. 吁 corona1 先生
  2. 求 corona2 足
  3. 自frente 字
  4. 凡 ojos 饭
  5. 仰 nariz 很
  6. 或 boca 火
  7. 未 barbilla
  8. 今 mejilla 金
  9. 懷 pelo 壞
  10. 奔 velo
  11. 痛 cuellobroche 痛
  12. 侍 codo
  13. 懇 pañuelo
  14. 萬 mano1 碗
  15. 但 mano2 蛋
  16. 亞 pelo niño 牙
  1. I first memorize the loci. Automatically and unexpectedly I used my own body to memorize the places in the body of the image. It was easier than in other occasions in which I used more complicated paintings and pieces of art.
  1. Then I memorized the alternative character, while pointing at the various parts of my body. This was done in few minutes.
  1. Then I transformed the alternative character into the first one, two or three characters of the real text. The smallest meaningful part.
  1. After that I bit by bit added the rest of the text. In the longer parts (for instance, lines with more than 6 characters) I had to add more alternative characters.
  1. I practice few times until it was completely memorized. The entire process (excluding the creation of the image) took more than 2 hours. I suppose that if I do this more often the time will diminish.
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Happy with the success of the previous attempt, I just created a new loci mansion in a painting, this time by El Greco.
I put 38 loci on it. Touching the corridonding part in my own body helps for memorization.
I find learning or memorizing x loci here, faster than in a “house”.

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Here the original painting (self portrait). No distractions from the background.

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I don’t use often memory methods in a very explicit way in my lessons. In today’s class I had very few students and I tried something interesting. At the beginning they were surprised, and at the end convinced.

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How is this going? I love the idea of encoding information into a painting.

It works for me. Specifically it works much better if the elements of the painting are parts of the body because it helps for remembering the loci and for practicing, by relating to my own body. It requires less imagination than other loci mansions. At the same time, I wonder if I will get many ghost images as I do this with more paintings. Time will tell.

One of my problems in language learning is that I understand a lot of vocabulary but I never use it, and when I speak I use a very small range of words. This is relevant for me because it is related to my job. I have tried many things, lists, cards, etc. I am trying now to use a study diary. I use Onenote to put the words in a random position. I add an emoticon to make it memorable, and I will try to go back there from time to time to read aloud the words or expressions I want to use more.
Since I am also using the “loci in image” method to memorize things, I hope these two methods will not jeopardize each other. Let us see.

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I have chosen to use emoticons because they are fast and easy to type. After few minutes I can feel that there is already a connection between each emoticon and the word involved, even without practicing.

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It is so easy to abandon memory training for a while, and not so easy to begin again.

I use Onenote to store information about memory, loci, lists, etc. I added the icons of some Onenote pages to the main screen of my phone with the hope that I will be reminded to practice.