Learning Arabic will challenge you in many different ways and reward you with new abilities, skills, and other benefits. For many people, the biggest challenge when learning a new language centers on the need to memorize all new vocabulary, the new alphabets, and different pronunciations.
Memorizing all these new things takes time, and it isn’t always easy. Everyone learns differently, of course, but there’s no getting around the need to remember a whole set of new words and phrases.
A lot of people believe that you either have a good memory or you don’t, which can be frustrating if you don’t feel like you’re picking up the language as fast as others.
However, memorization is a skill that anyone can acquire. Sure, some people seem to have a naturally strong memory, but with a few tricks and techniques, you can build your skills and develop your own memory to make learning Arabic easier.
Try out a few of these tips the next time you start a new Arabic lesson.
Memorize Fun Things
Maybe you’re the kind of learner who gets no end of enjoyment out of memorizing lists of business-related terms. If that’s the case, more power to you. We can certainly provide all the business vocabulary lists you could ever need.
However, this kind of rote memorization doesn’t appeal to a lot of Arabic learners. This is just fine, too, because there’s no reason not to focus on memorizing fun things.
Do you have some favorite songs in Arabic? Try memorizing those. What about a fun video that shows two crazy characters interacting? You can memorize those lines and start to put some context to your words and phrases. Tongue twisters are also a great choice for memorization, because you get the words and a verbal workout.
Prioritize Relevance and Commonality
You can only memorize so many things at once, so it can be very helpful to prioritize the most commonly used words and phrases above the more obscure or technical ones. At the same time, you may find it even more helpful to put the words that are relevant to you at the top of the priority list, whether they are used regularly or not.
For example, medical words may not exactly be very common in everyday parlance, but if you’re a doctor or nurse, these are words that will be directly related to your everyday activities. So, by memorizing these vocabulary words first, you can start inserting them into your daily interactions and activities.
Engage Your Senses
Sometimes, you brain can remember things more effectively when it has something else to latch onto. If staring at the same words and repeating them in your head doesn’t seem to help your memorization, try adding some other senses and activities to the process.
Writing out the words by hand is a good example. This way, you actually begin to build some muscle memory around each word or phrase.
You could also work on memorizing descriptive words that apply to your favorite meals. Then as you eat or smell the food, you can create important associations.
Maybe you could put a list of vocabulary words on paper that has different textures. Business-related words could go on heavier paper while hobby-related words could go on smooth and glossy paper.
Whatever you choose, these simple things can engage your senses and help hold words in your memory.
Repeat, Repeat, and also… Repeat
Okay, this may not seem like much of a “trick” for memorization, but no matter what your personal learning style or what other techniques and tricks you do employ, there is simply no getting around this simple fact: if you want to learn Arabic, you are going to have to read, write, and speak it over and over again.
Now, this isn’t to suggest that in order to memorize the language you’ll have to spend hours upon hours reading the same dry vocabulary lists, reciting the Arabic alphabet, and parroting phrases back at someone without any respite (although, maybe that is your best learning style, in which case have at it).
We are, however, going to suggest that you will need to find ways to use the things you’ve learned as often as possible. You will have to find new ways to immerse yourself in the language in many different ways, so you’ll always have a new reason to put your new vocabulary words and phrases to good use.
There’s no way to get around this one simple fact: a language is learned by using it. And it’s learned well when you use it a lot.
Something to Remember
If there’s one thing you should take from all of this is that there are some simple things that anyone can do to improve their memorization skills. Learning Arabic can open a lot of doors for you, so don’t tell yourself you can’t do it because you’ve never been any good at memorizing new things.
A little work and a solid plan – along with some help from professional teachers, of course – and you can really enjoy the process of learning a new language.