Solution to the Language Learning / Memory Palace Problem

Hey Everyone,

So I have most of this info in the video linked below as I have pretty bad tendinitis so I can’t do a lot of typing. Many people on this website may have run into the same problem that I have that the mind palace is great for remembering a translation of a word but can be terrible for actually acquiring the language and understanding words when they are said to us in a sentence. Well, I seem to have found the reason for why this is happening and it all comes down to Krashen’s theory of comprehensible input. He says that it is impossible to learn a language through learning all the words and then learning the grammar and putting these two things together. From what he has read nobody has ever successfully done this without comprehensible input. So I attempted to adapt the mind palace for his theory and I’m getting amazing results. All I’m doing is reading content and instead of just letting my brain create the images it naturally makes when it reads, I’m mind palacing, therefore creating incredibly detailed and fully constructed images in my head. Here’s the video of me talking about this, any criticism or knowledge of others trying this would be v appreciated!

(The video freezes at the start btw, it’ll stop)


Good points that could not be stressed enough.

Your technique is used by me and many others that have grown to understand all that can be put into a palace.

But focus on the target s language in context and minimizing the presence of first language as much as possible.

Also, as I keep on saying to anyone just accumulating words : "

Find ways to use given info out of loci as soon as possible. Ideally in a real life situation. For language s, that’s easy. Find a partner or tutor, italki is good polyglotclub also. And if not possible early enough, speaking to imaginary friends, speaking a mixture of native language/target language to whom ever loves you enough to let you speak to them and find ing it fun."

Good job on your video, thank you! You could give us a couple of your real life experiences with this in writing here would be very appreciated!


Actually what I do is try to never use my original language and only the target language and to learn new words only through context, I’ll make a guess about what the word is and imagine the situation in the same level of detail as when mind palacing (but not in real life locations or locations I plan to revise or remember necessarily) this is actually just a method to transfer words in the target language into images, movements and emotions like in our first language instead of using translation. It’s just attempting to amplify the images in your head when you read and make them more defined and concrete than when you simply read. [quote=“cameri, post:2, topic:41450”]
But focus on the target s language in context and minimizing the presence of first language as much as possible.

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I’ve heard the case for and against starting with vocab and I’ve decided to focus on vocab first. I have an Anki file with 5000 spoken words. I’m working through it and also using memory palaces for the hardest 1200 words and so far it’s great.

I have another Anki file with 10,000 spoken sentences but I’m not trying to memorise them. I’m using this deck to attune my ear so I can pick out words and syllables and just have some general exposure. It’s working very well. When I’ve learnt the 5000 words then I’ll dive into speaking scripted sentences and then conversation.

I’ve taken this route because I like it and I have good compliance. It’s improving my confidence and laying a foundation. It seems to me that some people are more narrative oriented and conversation is more suited to them. I’m not one of those people. I’ll get to conversation in my own time.

‘Better the plan you implement than the perfect plan you don’t.’ - Tim Ferriss

(I haven’t watched your video yet but I will get to it today.)


Thanks for sharing this video. I came to know Stephen Krashen through this post, and saw his first video mentioned by you. Now I will also search and see more of his talks. He says logical concepts which make sense to my ears.

I will also try to implement some of his concepts in my Japanese learning.

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It was nice experience when I started with German short stories and It was good to learn sentence structure and new words too but never tried using mind palace to remember that story can you please elaborate your method with some examples as I am also thinking to get started with this method.

Nice Quote I guess I heard it many times before but can’t remember maybe I could start mnemonics for remembering amazing quotes.

About your method I must say I can resemble you with myself though I am at initial stage, started with German vocab learning and sentences comes next