Friday, July 12, 2013

I'm such a Charlene or: Loving knowledge because I yearn for it

MARY JO: And why do you know all the capitols of every country, Charlene? 
CHARLENE: Because, Mary Jo, I love knowledge. As a matter of fact, I yearn for it. 


I have a new favorite thing! One night I was reading Hartwell a book. It was a Junie B. Jones book and it was in Spanish. Now, I can pronounce the crap out of Spanish, albeit with a terrible mid-western accent, but I don't know most of it. Whenever Hartwell would laugh, I would ask, "What happened?"

I wanted to learn a bit more Spanish, but I didn't want to do it in the car and I didn't want to spend $300+ dollars...

A few years ago, I read an article about how memory works and how to learn a great deal of information quickly. Hilariously, I can't find the original article, but I know it was about Ed Cooke, a memory champion. A few years after that, I stumbled upon an article about a guy who learned an entire language in 22 hours. The language was an obscure African language and it didn't have that many words, but still!

How I Learned a Language in 22 Hours

The article interesting because it covers a lot about how the brain works and how we store some information and lose others. Like my phone number from when I was 6.

The first article mentions the website Memrise, which is where I've been spending my days lately. I started with beginning Spanish and have moved on to 1500 Spanish Words.

The way Memrise works is they show you a word and present you with your choice of a mnemonic device. For example, "aunque" means "although," and one of the choices was, "Although aunque is A UNiQUE word..."

So now when I hear aunque, I picture that sentence in my head! And it helps with the spelling. Part of the quizzing involves typing the words, and spelling counts!

I also started refreshing my knowledge on painter's and their paintings with Who Painted Me?

But you can also learn:
Difficult Shakespeare Vocabulary
British and English Monarchs
Japanese
Country Capitals
Who Composed Me?
and even
Adventure Time Characters

There are so many more courses to take and it's a really fun way to learn.

Also, in my time trying to figure out how to learn more Spanish, I watched Benny's TedTalk. He talks about how the best way to learn a language is simply to start speaking it. Which, I actually could do, as the teachers at my kids' school speak only in Spanish!

So if you use Memrise and follow Benny's instructions, you are well on your way to being bilingual! Or Tri-lingual, or even Adventure Time-Lingual...

*totally a memrise user (cscrabeck) and not at all paid for my words.

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