So I’m retaking an old course in Floristic/Botany, and needed a way to memorize ~350 names in Latin such as “Carex ovalis” for example. I used 3 methods for this which I describe bellow.
- 1 name took me 2-5 minutes to memorize, and the first day I memorized ~ 30 names in ~3 hours, I quickly went through them a couple of times in the evening (with no need for my physical list), and today (one week later) I still remember those first 30.
Method 1 : memory palace with large loci.
First I created a big memory palace, using my own apartment, the national museum of natural history (where I happen to have a part-time job), the small lake just outside (which is rectangular and with an obelisk in the middle), my families vacation-house and some buildings from my university. I then separated several complexes into specific areas. The vacation-house I used for trees and shrubs, the lake for water or water-related plants, flowering herbs etc. I put inside the museum, and grasses in the university-buildings as well as some ferns. I made it bigger perhaps than needed to with 6 apartments, 2 houses, 4 buildings from my university, the museum and the outdoor lake.
Method 2: every word (such as “Carex ovalis”) I divided into as few parts as possible, every part sounding like something else. “Carex ovalis” would then be Car with the registration-plate XXX standing next to an oval table made out of ice(in swedish is=ice) in the cafeteria of the university-complex. If I had several names begining with “Carex” I placed them inside the same building.
Method 3: Some words end in the same way in latin, such as “Galium verum” with the ending “um”. This I created a specific object for, in this case an “Ute Mössa” wich means “outdoor hat” in Swedish. This hat I then put in a specific place inside the palace together with other objects with the same purpose. All these objects I the tossed into the loci whenever I needed them.
Example: Cynoglossum officinale, here I imagined an ice-cream (ice-cream = glass[swedish], which is similar to gloss) with glasses (Cyn sounds like Syn[swedish] = sight, which I relate to glasses) and an outdoor hat which tells me that I should add the ending with “UM” every time I visit this loci.
- This is an herblike plant so I placed the ice-cream scenario inside the museum in a glass display case in one of the rooms.
-This method proved to be very powerful for learning these names, BUT to also remember how the actual plant looks of each individual loci proved very hard. To do this I’m using flash-cards with the plant on one side and name on the other.
-It may be possible to also create small details around each loci and use them to describe the specific plant, but this would be very tedious as 1 name takes me 2-5 minutes to remember. To also add events for the description of the plant could easily double the time it takes to learn or more, and would not be perfect as many plants look the same, and bigger loci starts degenerating faster (for me at least).
If you use this method and find it useful please tell me about it here, and if someone have a better way to do this I would love to hear your take on this.