Simple Tips to Help You Memorize Foreign Language Vocabulary

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Simple Tips to Help You Memorize Foreign Language Vocabulary


  • Never learn a word by itself. Learn a phrase instead.
    • By doing this you will make it easier to have a conversation. Think of these phrases like prepackaged conversations.


  • Label everything.
    • Labelling everything will help you remember new words.


  • Learn new words in context.
    • Build a story around your vocabulary, the sillier the better.


  • Use mnemonics.
    • Make up an acronym or a story. Mnemonics can help you learn a list of vocabulary.


  • Learn with audio.
    • Using more than one of your senses helps with retaining new vocabulary.


  • Keep a notebook.
    • Hear a phrase in a song on the radio; write it down in your notebook to look up later. See a sign with a word you don’t know, write it down in your notebook to look up later.


  • Study a little every day.
    • It is better to study a little everyday then to cram. Studying a little every day exposes the vocabulary more often making it easier to learn. Try spaced repetition flashcards.


  • Learn the etymology of a word.
    • Learning the etymology of word helps with finding patterns. By learning patterns, like suffixes and prefixes you can begin to deduce what a word means.


  • Word association with pictures.
    • Using pictures creates an emotional reaction to the word. This in turn creates an attachment to the word making memorizing it easier.


  • Use target language dictionary.
    • Instead of running to a dictionary that translates one language into another, try a target language dictionary. Not only will you learn the meaning of the word you just looked up, but it will be used in a sentence, and will list synonyms and antonyms.


  • Use music to help remember vocabulary.
    • The beat of the song will help in remembering the new vocabulary. If you make up a song, remember, the sillier the better.


  • Read, Write, and SPEAK.
    • In order to become fluent it is paramount that each of these skills is practiced. These skills are the fundamental building blocks to language fluency.



There are many memorization techniques out in the world today. My suggestion to you is try several different types then choose what works best for you. Don’t be afraid to mix it up too. Remember, variety is the spice of life!


What is your favorite way to memorize new vocabulary?








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