100 turns to 6

I think art can span in any direction you want it to. I think even language is art. I am turned on by it now. I mean it in a way that someone might ask you What Breaks the Sound Barrier for You? Right now I would say language does.

It really began with memory. For years I was training in the art of presence. Memory matters. When I came across memory athletics in Cambodia I thought wow I really like this, these 30 words I learned in ten minutes could be words in another language. Context matters. In memory athletics you attempt to learn words in less amounts of time. To do this you create templates of what the words, symbols, cards, and numbers you are to remember could be so that when you see them it becomes a story you are building. You are the architect in memory athletics. Folks build whole buildings and place the things they want to remember in the rooms and spaces of the house. What is wild is that here is the first lesson you learn in school, playing with you imagination, and it will help you learn large digits, foreign languages, speeches, poems, and games.

The next year after Cambodia I was walking around in Ecuador paying attention to the street I was on. The four trees near the house I was staying at, I still remember how they lined up and the flowers on the concrete. I still remember the blue of the house, the abandoned basketball court. The rusted swing, I remember that too. I remember how many houses to arrive to the gate of the place I was staying. All of this matters because all of these sites could be attached to a word and it’s definition. It helps me to remember lists of words, cards, and definitions. Whole conversations,body language, and the look in a persons eyes. These things elicit feelings in us that we can call upon and it will paint the whole scene for you to remember it.

For language, I like to take a word and break it down in a way I want it to be broken down to. I add actions or pictures and place these images at a location on a route I remember. Walking, looking around for purpose in a living room. All of these things that are so personal can also be helpful. Language and memory they go together now. If I was to pick up the newspaper and tally up the number of words in it more than likely it will be about 600. Most people have a larger vocabulary than 600 but the words we use everyday even if we were writing an essay would more than likely be 600. If you can remember 30 words in less than ten minutes imagine what you can do to 100 words, in a few days 200 words. A few days after that try to get to 400 words. 600 is not that far behind. Next learn at least 50 verbs. Give these verbs a person, a place, and an action. Then learn the conjugation rules. Find people willing to speak to you in the language you would like to learn. There are so many ways. I would love to share with you that if you turned it into a game, relaxed, put a smile on your face, and really dove right in you would learn more.

A few fun list of words to learn:
Swadesh List
Jakarta List
Your own 100 wishlist of words
55 verbs

Here is a chart I put together for Spanish and French.
Start with these 20 600 words most used in English – The First 20

Learning is so much fun, especially when you play with it!

Additional Resources:
Anki cards: you can put the app on your phone. Find decks of cards you would like to learn. Practice everyday your Anki cards

Listen to audio like Michel Thomas and other audio programs

Cartoons! I love cartoons for language learning. I have the whole set seasons 1 through 3 of my favorite cartoon Avatar the Last Air Bender in Spanish. I put on the captions and relax, watch, and listen.

Watching the news, listening to the radio, looking at comics

Chatting with people from different countries on skype or whatsapp. Trading a language your English for their ____.

Talking and not being ashamed to make a mistake. I am not a big fan of this but I know it is necessary. Speak the language you want to learn as much as you can. Whoever is talking to you will correct you, go for it.

Practice at least 30 minutes a day

TAKE A BREAK WHEN YOU NEED TO, let it marinate


Be good to yourself! ❤

Author: Sakari Sun

Sakari of all Trades

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