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Long term memory tips?

Does anybody have any good tips for storing words in your long term memory? I've had a lot of trouble trying to remember specific conjugations that are all so similar!

March 4, 2013



For conjugations... listen listen listen... At least, that worked for me with Japanese. Find some "boring" course where they repeat all the time sentences of the same kind, one day or another the sound will stick to your mind. :D

(And I am a visual learner... if you are an audio learner it would work even faster than for me.)


I'm another visual learner, and I agree. I've been reading, listening, writing and saying. I always try to study within context, so I avoid just saying the pronoun and conjugated verb. I would rather experience the conjugations in a sentence, and conjugations fairly soon just started to sound right.

Duolingo does this really well.

For myself, I was properly conjugating long before I was confident about it. Indeed, my husband who does not have my auditory issues is able to correct my pronunciation and other stuff just because he occasionally listens to my practicing, and the only Spanish he knows is from my studying. Frustrating, but I am pretty impressed with how much Spanish i've already learned.

So, my advice is to just keep practicing. The cool thing about Duolingo (from what I can tell) is that the algorithms choose words and such based on your prior performance and they intentionally review words based on your familiarity with each word. Indeed, I believe that the number of squares shown with each vocabulary word in the vocabulary section indicate whether duolingo thinks that particular word is in your long term memory, ie more squares the more likely the word is in your long term memory.


Conjugations are usually not an issue of memory but a matter of practice. Find out the pattern(s) of conjugating regular verbs, than take some popular regular verbs - 20, 30, 40... and write their conjugations until you are fluent with the endings. I did that for French verbs, it helps a lot.

Very often there are patterns for irregular (or not-so-regular) verbs, too. Prendre - comprendre - apprendre. Venir - prevenir - intervenir...

The most irregular verbs are usually the most popular, too. The verb "to be" is mostly irregular in many languages. If you have problems with that, make up sentences and phrases and write them down too.

Practice makes perfect!

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