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Bad memory

I've always been able to memorize speeches, or poems, and stuff like that, but never single words, and because of that lately in practice I've run into the problem of remember the basics but forgetting everything else. Any tips for memory?

January 28, 2018



If your problem (quite legitimate if you ask me) is with single words, why not imagine meaningful (to you) sentences or mini-stories to better remember them? I actually group vocabulary by topics (as well as by families, but that's a different thing entirely, although particularly useful with German, as seing "Ausgabe" near "Aufgabe", "Angabe" or "Eingabe" both reinforce each word, and help me differentiate them).

You are probably more likely to remember that some girl plays with this and that toy, in such and such place, in such manner, etc, than a long dry, boring list of vocabulary. This can apply to a journey (incorporating words about transport, direction, distance, places, and so on); a day (hours, activities, places you go, people you meet…) and many things alike. Perhaps add pictures, as another user suggested in a post not long ago https://www.duolingo.com/comment/26057127

My main advice: have fun! I also memorized a handful of useful words by reading the lyrics of German songs I like to listen, learning the song and singing it repeatedly. So many benefits: it's a reward after a good work session, I train my ear, I learn new words and phrases, and end up practicing memory and vocal ability too.

You have to find what works for you, but I hope my two cent will be of some value. Viel Glück!


Set a daily schedule; it can be anything involving your language of choice. Every morning I go through 100 flashcards of words and phrases from English to Spanish, and at night I do 100 from Spanish to English. Such a quantity is hardly necessary, but it is what I do to memorize vocabulary that I have trouble with. Find something that works for you, whether it be a website like Memrise or Tinycards, simply using Duolingo more, or creating your own cards for use. Just takes time and practice.


If you are good at memorising speeches or poems then perhaps you can try putting the words you are having problems with into phrases, rhymes, poems etc and remembering that way. Sometimes the context provided by a sentence, line from a song or poem can help you remember a word.

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