Friday, October 31, 2008

More Easy Techniques for Memorizing Names in Spanish

Memorizing Names in Spanish

In the previous, part two segment of this three-part series entitled, "Quick Tricks for Memorizing Names in Spanish", we began with examples of easy ways to memorize last names in Spanish. Remember that these techniques can also be easily applied to memorizing first names or last names in ANY language based on their sounds. Here, in this final article post segment, are more examples of memorization techniques for common last names in Spanish.

The name Ocampo makes me picture “camping”. Señor Ocampo with his big nose (or other prominent feature) goes camping and his nose is sticking out of the tent because it’s so big.

Palacios is the same as “palace”. If you can picture the person or their prominent features associated with a palace, you’re home free with remembering their last name.

Rojas sounds much like “rojo”, the Spanish Word for the color “red”. Paint the person’s face a really bright red (in your mind!) and when you “see” them you’ll always picture the bright red color for their name – Rojas.

Quesada is an easy one for me to remember because it sounds very close to “queso”, the Spanish Word for “cheese” (also a cheese called cuajada). What kind of association could you make knowing that? Mine is really funny. Humor is an excellent tool for using as a memory aid. Nope, I won’t tell you mine. You’ll have to make up your own. It’ll be much better if you do.

The last name Toro is also the Spanish Word for “bull”. Knowing that, you should have little trouble picturing the person and associating their most prominent features with their name.

Torres, a name which is also the word “tower” in Spanish, is another fairly easy association to produce. If you play chess, the person might be the rook.

Uribe is the name of the current President of Colombia. I picture President Alvaro Uribe Velez with his arm around the person’s shoulder, make the person’s prominent features even more prominent and my association is well under way.

Valdez You’ve almost certainly heard of Juan Valdez, (pictured above) the arriero who symbolizes Colombian coffee, haven’t you? Well just associate him and his mules with the person whose name you want to remember and you’ll have a powerful, visual memory aid to recalling their name instantly at a glance.

Vélez is a last name similar in sound to “vela”, the Word for “candle” in Spanish. Picture the person with their head decorated with candles or completely covered with candles. Accentuate some of the person’s facial features. See the little flames burning on each candle? Now you won’t ever forget their last name, now will you?

The common last name of Zapata is very close to the word “zapato” which in Spanish means “shoe”. Imagine the person wearing a very large shoe for a hat, perhaps or getting hit in the head by a big floppy shoe. How about getting hit by the shoe, picking it up, and then putting it on their head as a hat? The funnier, more graphic, sillier and outrageous your image is, the better it will ultimately act as a memory aid for you. You might likewise consider an association to the famous Mexican freedom fighter Emiliano Zapata.

These examples of keys to aid in memorizing some of the 85 more common last names in Spanish are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. As you begin to memorize first and last names by associating images with prominent physical or personality characteristics of the people you meet with those names, the process will become increasingly easier and faster.

Memorizing Names in Spanish and Other Foreign Languages

Remember, we said before that you can use images of famous people or their occupations to help you associate people whose names you want to recall. The process will effectively operate no matter what types of names you’ll need to recall. You just need to be as imaginative (and outrageous) as possible in forming your name to face associations to make them more effective.

Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an EFL Teacher Trainer, Intellectual Development Specialist, author and speaker. He has written ESP, foreign language learning, English language teaching texts and hundreds of articles used in more than 125 countries worldwide. Get your FREE, pdf format report on CD or via e-mail, "Creative, Dynamic Ways to Motivate and Teach English as a Foreign Language to Diverse Groups of Reluctant Learners" by requesting the title at:

No comments: