Language learners should know the best ways to memorize new words faster. Having the right word on the tip of your tongue can be really frustrating! I know; I’ve been there. Today I’ve come up with a list of tried and tested 8 effective ways to learn Ukrainian vocabulary.
Associate. It means trying to find similarities between the words you already know and a new one. Those may include form, meaning, or even pronunciation.
A classic example of this method is remembering Я люблю вас (I love you) together with a yellow-blue bus. Get it? Nope? Then try pronouncing these: [jalubluvas] — [jeləʊblubʌs]
What was the last Ukrainian word you’ve come across? Let’s take пилосос (a vacuum cleaner) [pylosos] as an example. To create an association, imagine a little pilot inside a vacuum cleaner who wrote SOS on the shield:
PILOt + SOS = PILOSOS
You may think I can’t be seriously suggesting this. However, my experience proves the method to be the most useful. Unfortunately, it also requires a lot of effort. Some associations may come easily, while others could be really hard to make up. If you have trouble imagining stories, don’t worry, there are other ways to learn new words.
Practice. What do I mean by this? Use new words whenever you can, both in speech and writing. This way, you’ll remember its pronunciation, spelling, and, obviously, meaning.
Our friendly Facebook group is a nice place to start. If you are too shy to look for a Ukrainian buddy, don’t let that stop you. Talk to yourself (you can use the phone for a cover-up) or start keeping a journal in Ukrainian.
Practice, practice, practice — I can’t stress this enough. We all know that only practice makes perfect. To give it a go, make up a sentence with the word гребінець (a hairbrush). Leave it here in the comments!
Review. It is not enough to make an effort once. To remember a word, you have to forget it a few times. It’s beneficial to revise new words after a day, a week, and then a month. To make it easier, keep a word list at hand. Whenever you need to kill time — on a bus, waiting in line, in the bathroom even — open it and get to work.
Working from home has given a great opportunity to language learners to dedicate more time to their passion. Here is a great article with tips on learning languages from home on porch.com.
Immerse. First, switch all of your technology to Ukrainian. Yes, even Netflix. Second, watch and listen to all the available content.
Third, put stickers with target vocabulary on the furniture at home. Make Ukrainian a part of your everyday life, and you’ll be able to memorize new words faster.
5. Make mind maps
Make mind maps. Mind maps are basically colorful schemes of words / concepts that are interconnected. They can be used for both grammar and vocabulary.
Write just one word or topic and start brainstorming. Add all the words that come to mind. If you don’t know anything, do a little research first and then arrange your findings like this:
There is a whole article about mind maps on our blog. Go ahead and check it out!
6. Use Anki flashcards
Anki app is a program where you can create and download flashcards. This application analyzes how well you remember a word and then gives you only the material you’re about to forget.
Anki app is free for Windows, Android, Mac, and online use. It is for sale for iOS devices.
If you are a beginner in learning Ukrainian, start with the 100 most common Ukrainian words. Boost your Ukrainian vocabulary with our free resource, which includes a word list with examples, paper flashcards, and digital flashcards with audio and pictures!
If you find interactive Anki flashcards useful and effective way to learn Ukrainian vocabulary, continue learning with our 1000 most useful Ukrainian words. It is an ebook and a set of flashcards.
7. Go online
Go online. Remember: this tip is for people who are able to stay focused even with full access to Snapchat and Instagram. There are plenty of applications that help you memorize new words faster.
My all-time favorite is Quizlet. It allows you to create sets of words. Type in the word, and the app will suggest a definition / translation. When you’ve got everything you need, you can benefit from interactive flashcards, learning programs, and even test yourself. Here, try this 😉
If you’re using Chrome, you should try out the Burning Vocabulary extension. It allows you to save unknown words in one click. In this way, you can read in Ukrainian and enrich your vocabulary faster and easier.
8. Team up
Team up. Find a study buddy who will help, motivate and challenge you. I’m not talking about a teacher; it can be anyone.
When we were studying French, my roommate (Anna Ohoiko — you might know her) and I used to wake up an hour earlier to have lessons with each other. We took turns preparing them. It was one of my favorite learning experiences! They say to learn something well; you have to explain it to someone else. This kind of sharing is really encouraging!
The main point is to be creative. Just like with anything, staying interested is important. Try using these tools to find out what works best for you in learning Ukrainian vocabulary. Whenever you get bored just by looking at your vocabulary notebook, turn on Anki.
If it gets dull, start coming up with some associations. Keep it fun, and you will master Ukrainian. 🙂
Let’s move from theory to action! Make Ukrainian vocabulary stickers using our Vocabulary section.
Learning Ukrainian and looking for great resources? Check out our list of the 1000 most common words in Ukrainian with interactive flashcards. You can also learn Ukrainian step by step wherever you are with our free Ukrainian Lessons Podcast.