Do you have difficulty remembering vocabulary?  I know I do.   Here is a little trick that I have been using recently.  I take the new word and pretend it is a word from my native language.  I think of it as a synonym to the word from my native language.  Then, for practice, I make phrases with my native language using the new word.

So, throughout my day, as I am thinking and talking in my native language I insert the new word.  This helps me build a strong association between the new word and a word that I know very well from my native language.


Here is an example:

I am studying Japanese.  My friend used a word that I want to learn.  The word is: 練習 (renshu – practice).

So, now throughout my day I use this word while speaking to myself.  I say phrases like:

  • I will renshu Japanese for 30 minutes after work.
  • My band will renshu our new song for our concert next week.
  • Renshu makes perfect!

Now, I have a connection to the word in my native language.  And, I have many chances to review the word throughout my day. 


Here is an example for Japanese students studying English:

Let’s learn the word “overcast”.  “Overcast” describes a grey, cloudy sky.   So, here are some phrases that you might say throughout your day:

  • 今日はovercast です。
  • 今日は overcast だから海に行くのにはいい天気じゃない。
  • 今日は overcast だけど雨は降っていない。


Hopefully, this technique will help you build associations with words and create a crossover in your language lexicon. 

Let us know how it works for you!


Leave a Reply