Memory magic (MAMA) secrets
We believe that the most important part of mastering a language is learning vocabulary. Our MAMA method, which has been registered in the Japan Patent Office as a utility model, makes the process of memorizing a large amount of vocabulary in a very short time an enjoyable one.
You Can Convey Your Intentions Using Only Simple Words
Almost all Japanese language texts start by teaching sentence structures and grammar. As it is boring memorizing so many rules, you may find this discouraging. In fact, if you know some simple words you can convey your intentions.
Infants communicate with their parents using a single word such as, “juice.” After some time, they can be more specific about the way they express themselves, adding another word such as “orange,” to make “orange juice.” In this way they can build sentences by adding other words, as in “more orange juice.” In these lessons we will begin with the memorization of words needed for daily life.
Even if you omit some words in your sentences, you can still communicate with Japanese people.
Excuse me. Do you speak Japanese?
(1) Sumimasen. Anata ha Eigo wo hanashi masu ka.
すみません。 あなた は えいご を はなし ます か。
(2) Anata ha Eigo wo hanashi masu ka.
あなた は えいご を はなし ます か。
In this case you don’t need to remember the Japanese phrase “sumimasenn,” you can simply omit it.
(3) Eigo wo hanashi masu ka.
えいご を はなし ます か。
You might say “Eigo wo hanashi masu ka,” omitting “anata.”
(4) Eigo ?
Even if you simply say “Eigo?” he/she will understand that you want to speak in English.
In short, the only word you need to communicate is “Eigo.”
If you don’t remember the word, you don’t have to worry. You can simply say “English?” Almost all Japanese understand the word “English.”
Studying Vocabulary and our Memorization Method
The Most Important Thing is Knowledge of Vocabulary
As long as you know a lot of words, you will be able to communicate with people, even if you don’t have any knowledge of grammar. Compared to other languages, Japanese is thought to have more flexible rules governing word order. So, you can communicate with Japanese, using only words. The majority of respondents to Hiragana Times’ questionnaire commented that they considered vocabulary to be the most important aspect of mastering Japanese.
Most language lessons focus on teaching Japanese grammar and script. Because it is believed that learners will naturally pick up vocabulary on their own, there are almost no lessons focusing on memorization techniques.
Because of this, many people become bored of repetitive memorization of vocabulary and give up studying the language.
Our Memorization Technique Uses Unforgettably Bizarre Scenarios
In this lesson, you can memorize vocabulary in a fun easy way; once you’ve learned a word, you will never forget it with our “memory magic” study method.
Look back on your past from your childhood onwards. What events do you remember? These will be something out of the ordinary, like a first date, an unexpected incident in a foreign country, or the death of a family member. We never forget unusual events that fall outside our daily routine. Memory magic is a method of memorizing words by associating them with unusual events.
The MAMA List will help you memorize the vocabulary.
By reading words written with the Roman alphabet, you can practice Japanese by imagining the animals, people and products depicted in the MAMA list.
An example of Memory Magic: How to memorize “eki ” (station)
- Before memorizing, read the word “eki” repeatedly, saying it out loud to make sure you pronounce it correctly.
- Eki is composed of the characters “e” and “ki.” The pronunciation of “e” is represented by an elephant and “ki” with king. See: MAMA-con list.
3. Imagine an elephant having a dance with a king at a station.
- The elephant is represented by the phonetic character e, and king ki. Together, they represent eki.
- So, if you think about a station, you will automatically associate it with an elephant and a king, or the word eki.
The Point of Using Memory Magic
- Picture small things being bigger. This makes them easier to remember. The more you picture an unusual scene, the more it becomes fixed in your memory.
- When you use the images on the MAMA list, imagine actual animals, humans, or products as vividly as possible.
- Some are abstract terms; for instance, “travel.” In these cases, picture something related to the word, such as “travel bag.”
- If you switch images later, you may become confused, so take care to associate a single image with each object.
- Many words are formed from four or fewer characters. If you know the first two phonetic characters, you can easily remember the rest of the characters. Memory Magic basically uses images for the first two phonetic characters in the target word. If these aren’t enough to remind you, add more images from the subsequent characters.
- In the case of a compound word, memorize the first character of each respective word. Example: vending machine (jidou’hannbaiki).*
- When imagining things with MAMA, in order not to become confused, picture the first character (sound) of the word above, on, or to the left of the second character MAMA.
The apostrophe is not typed when inputing Glomaji.