Thursday, 25 October 2007

Mnemonic Musings

Cute books & charts make studying fun!

Most of us will have used these when we learnt something new, wether at school or outside. According to Wikipedia, Mnemonics are "memory aids that generally serve an educational purpose". They can be verbal such as using the first letter of a list of words to form a sentence that you can remember in order to remember the list. For example, in biology to remember the order of evolutionary relationships which are:
  • Kingdom
  • Phylum
  • Class
  • Order
  • Family
  • Genus
  • Species
A verbal mnemonic would be "Kings Play Chess On Funny Green Squares". Mnemonics work best if they are weird or funny because you remmeber them easier. Theres also visual mnemonics which is what im mainly going to rant about ;)

When learning a new alphabet, all the shapes look weird and foreign. So, to remember them most people use mnemonics. When learning hiragana and katakana, i used mnemonics extensively! Almost every letter out of the 94 or so that I've learnt, i have learnt using mnemonics! And i havn't forgotten any of the mnemonics (even thought i've forgotten some of the letters LOL), the trick is having them be funny or stupid, that way you WILL remember them! Some of the ones i made up were obvious but others you just couldn't see even after i told you what it was. My little sis used to help me study them and she sometimes just couldn't make out what i saw in the letters' shape! you probably didn't understand half of what i said, so let me give you examples:
ん N- this is an obvious one coz it actually looks like a lowercase "n"
と  to-this is a toe with a needle sticking in it.
ni (pronounced like knee)-this is a knee with one line missing, can you see it? the creases like a knee and the incomplete leg? My sis could never see what i was talking about here but to me it looks exactly like a knee.
ne-looks like an n and a little e on the end of the n. Do you see it?
hi- a smiley face (minus the eyes) laughing/smiling (pronounced hee not, so hes saying hehehe)
fu- a nose surrounded by smells, saying "fuuu, what a horrid smell"
mu-this is a cow, can you see it? a head with that nose ring thing? saying "muuuu"
shi (pronounced she)- this is a smiley face-obviously- sating "sheesh, aren't i happy today?"
so- this one is related to shi, its the same guy from shi except hes saying "SOrry but i think i lost an eye"

LOL you see what i mean? some are so stupid that i just can't forget them =) but some of the letters' shapes are so meaningless that you can't find anything to relate them to!

Don't know about you but I'm more of a visual learner so this helps. Do you use mnemonics (even thought you might not know what they're called)? Do you use verbal or visual mnemonics? I'm interesting in knowing so please leave a comment.

Thats it for now. Will post later, hopefully!


Reemy-chan said...

Hi Ima-chan ^^..

Nice post dear… I used to be a visual mnemonics, especially when I studied history lol… I used to draw stories so that I can remember the inf :P ..
Now am a verbal mnemonics .. No time to draw lol :P ..

FeFe said...

very nice post!! its very interesting to read really..i liked mnemonics and stories that you made..all of them made sense to me except the ne part.. i read over n over again but fails everytime LOL..

Thanx for the japanese-related post! it will definitly help learn hiragana n katakana better..

continue the nice job =)