1 year ago




CHINESE BLOCKBUSTER learn with something you already know. After a while, the connections tend to disappear and the new idea or word is transferred to the long-term memory. It has been shown that humans more easily remember surprising, humorous, silly and shocking stories. The more absurd, the better. Also, strong emotions help things stick. Most people remember where they were on September 11 or, for the older generation, when John F. Kennedy was shot. And you would probably remember better when your friend Joe decided to run naked in the street after having drunk too much than when he was average Joe on a typical day. STORIES The stories are the glue to help you remember all there is to know about each character. They may refer to historical facts and events, but most of them are totally fabricated. Some stories may also deal with harsh themes, as strong images are necessary for impressing our brain. Political correctness is not good to remember stuff. In fact, if we are shocked, we will remember the characters, their pronunciation and their building blocks better! You will also notice that the stories often use ‘I’ in the present tense. This usage of the first person is not about me but about you. I want you to imagine yourself at the center of the action. You become the main character in the story. Also, most stories are written with the masculine gender, only to lighten the text. Furthermore, if a German or Italian word is used as a sound word, the story may concern a German or an Italian person or it may place you somewhere in Germany or Italy, just to help you remember the proper sound word. The stories are only examples of what is possible to achieve with this method. I even encourage you to make your own stories with the building blocks I provide. If you have more personal stories you can relate to, use them. They would work even better. Think of this book as a box of Lego blocks, where you can build the model shown on the box cover or make your own toy. For some of you, my madness may suit you just fine and that’s alright! Finally, to make the stories work better, use as many senses as you can. When reading a story, close your eyes and see the building blocks with vivid colors (visual sense), odors (sense of smell) or as humongous objects when they are concrete things or as a struggling action when it is a verb, all the while hearing the sound word resonate or reverberate in your mind (audio). See the definitions as repeated, incessant actions when they concern verbs and adverbs, or as a swarm of objects when they represent concrete things. For example, let’s return to the story presented at the beginning of the book for the character 对 [ 對 ]. 10 十

A NEW APPROACH TO YOUR RESCUE Two friends are having a discussion: “You did what? You nailed the guy’s RIGHT HAND with your STAPLE GUN?” “That’s right! Here’s why… [“This presumed postgraduate in oenology owns the WINERY opposite my house. I had asked him many times not to park his delivery truck in front of my driveway, because it blocks my exit. He was always opposed to that idea and never replied. So, when I saw him park his truck at the same place once again, I ran out and nailed him to the dashboard, using only ONE STAPLE. Or maybe a couple…”] For the building blocks, you could visualize a huge, flashy yellow STAPLE GUN and a bloodied RIGHT HAND. The WINERY could be completely pink (they make rosés…) and you could smell the pungent fermentation odors coming out of the place. The ONE STAPLE that you hold between your fingers could be shiny gray. For the meaning That’s right, the friend could answer “That’s right! That’s right! That’s right!” when asked about what he did (repeated action). For the meanings opposite and opposed, you could imagine a surveyor knocking at your door to inform you that after precise measurements, he can attest that the WINERY is exactly opposite your house, while you see the WINERY owner rushing towards you, shouting, “Objection! I am opposed to that affirmation!” For the meaning to reply, after asking your neighbor not to park his delivery truck in front of your driveway, you could visualize him looking straight at you while he puts a duct tape over his mouth with the words ‘No reply’ written on it. As for a couple, you can imagine a married couple walking by in the street and watching in horror as you staple the guy to the dashboard. While all this action is going on, you hear the word postgraduate resonate in your mind: postgraduate… graduate… duate… duì …duì …duì… It takes much longer to explain the method than to process all these elements in your mind. But I assure you that if you spend the extra effort to make the stories as vivid as you can, the characters will be yours. 十 一 11

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