Gedächtnistraining, Teil 2

Im ersten Teil letzten Monat haben Sie erfahren, wie Sie sich lange Listen von Wörtern merken können, egal ob Einkaufslisten oder Aufgaben. Dafür stellen wir Ihnen jetzt noch eine weitere Methode vor. Zudem geht es darum, wie Sie sich Namen und Zahlen jeder Art auf Dauer einprägen können.

Drei wichtige Tipps vorab, die für alle Gedächtnistechniken hilfreich sind:

1. Nehmen Sie sich Zeit, um sich mit dem, was Sie sich merken wollen, zu beschäftigen.

2. Wenn Sie sich etwas merken oder einprägen wollen, machen Sie das am besten im Gehen – Bewegung fördert das Lernen.

3. Wenn möglich, sprechen Sie laut, während Sie sich etwas einprägen. Das Hören verankert die Information noch einmal auf andere Weise.

Die Loci-Methode

Der „Lokus“ ist bei uns ein spezielles Örtchen – im Lateinischen bedeutet „locus“ einfach „Ort“. Die Loci- Methode basiert auf Orten, die an einer Route liegen. Der große Vorteil ist hier – wie bei der Geschichten-Methode auch –, das man sich nicht nur sehr viele Dinge merken kann, sondern sie auch gleich in der richtigen Reihenfolge parat hat.


California is a fine place to live – if you happen to be an orange.

Fred Allen, US-American actor and comedian (1894–1956)

Mögliche Orte

Routes and places you can use for this technique can be found everywhere. Every route you are familiar with would do, e.g.:

  • a route through your living room (door, flower tub, sofa, magazine rack, standard lamp (BE)/floor lamp (AE), coffee table, armchair, TV set …),
  • a route through your office,
  • a route along your body (right foot, knee, hip, … left foot),
  • the route from your house to the supermarket, your office or the hairdresser (including buildings, traffic lights, trees etc.).

If you want to use a route, don’t just walk it mentally but physically! Even if the route runs along your body, you can still touch every part when you are placing an item there.

Ein Beispiel: Wie Sie die Routen verwenden können

You can learn almost everything by using routes and places, e.g. the planets of the solar system, US-American presidents or the order of arguments for your next speech.

As a sample, let’s assume that you want to learn the order of the planets of our solar system – Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune – by using a route along your body.

First, you imagine stepping into a silver liquid with your right foot (Mercury also means „Quecksilber“!). On your knee there’s a voluptuous woman posing (Venus). Your hip is covered with earth, because you fell down in the garden recently. Your waist isn’t as narrow as it used to be – must have been the Mars bars … In your armpit there’s a little red ball, revolving very fast: Jupiter! There’s a ring of small stones around your neck, reminding you of Saturn. You’re hair is glowing terrifyingly, because it came in contact with uranium (Uranus). And on your left shoulder there’s a little man, prickling you with his trident.

As you see in our example, it’s crucial to use your imagination, your senses and your knowledge when trying to memorise (BE)/ memorize (AE) something!

Wenden Sie die Loci-Methode an

Now it’s your turn: Find a list like the one above you want to memorise, choose a route, and use your imagination!

Zahlen merken

You can only registrate seven chunks of information at a time. That’s a fact. But you can make those chunks consist of more than one item. E.g., a number like 471122103112 as such is hard to remember – but for me it’s quite easy, because for me it consists of three chunks only: 4711 (Kölnisch Wasser), my birthday, and New Year’s Eve.

Jede Zahl ein Gegenstand

The most common way to remember long numbers is to connect every single number with a thing or an animal. You should build up your own system. Look at a number and figure out what it resembles, e.g.:

  • 0: ball, ring, toilet seat, egg,
  • 1: pencil, paintbrush, candle,
  • 2: swan, duck,
  • 3: hill, normal curve,
  • 4: sailing boat (BE)/ sailboat (AE),
  • 5: hook,
  • 6: whistle, note,
  • 7: axe,
  • 8: pretzel, snowman,
  • 9: monocle, tennis racket.

Exercise: Zahlen merken

Now think about an image or a story that helps you to memorise the year of birth of Rudolf Hell, inventor of the fax machine: 1901. Remember to make it exceptional, entertaining, exciting, and maybe even funny!

Drei Tipps zu Zahlen

  • Type the number you want to remember on a key panel. It might form a pattern.
  • Transform numbers into words by assigning a letter to every number (e.g., 1 = A, 2 = B …).
  • Play the number on a musical instrument if possible (after having replaced every number with a letter from the alphabet).

So merken Sie sich jeden Namen

When you want to remember something, the first step always is to put attention to the information you want to remember. So if you’re introduced to someone, think about their name for a moment.

  • Does it evoke an image right away like „Steel“ or „London“? Build a picture in your mind including the person standing in front of you and the picture his or her name evokes. Maybe you can even find a trait that corresponds with the name, e.g. Mr London’s continuous eyebrow which spans his nose like the tower bridge spans the River Thames …
  • Some names can even be divided into pictorial parts, if you use your imagination, e.g. „Winterbottom“. Use your knowledge of English and German as well to find something meaningful in almost every name. E.g., „Dieboldt“ can be remembered by building an image around „Dieb“ and „old“.
  • Are you sure how to write the name? If not, ask the person to spell it. Imagine the written name in your mind.
  • Is it an unusual name?

Ask the person about its meaning and/or origin. And even if you don’t find any picture – you’ll still remember the name because you fiddled with it for quite a while!

Now go ahead and use the name now and then during the conversation. Your conversational partner will like that, and it helps you remember it.

Buchtipp: Stefanie Schneider, Petra Hitzig: „Das Business- Gedächtnistraining“, humboldt 2011, 14,95 Euro

Vocabulary Box

fiddle with                                            – sich mit etwas beschäftigen

flower tub                                                     – Blumenkübel

key panel                                                     – Tastenfeld

mnemonic                                                   – Merkspruch, Eselsbrücke

normal curve                                               – Normalverteilungskurve

sneaky                                                          – hinterlistig

standard lamp (BE)/ floor lamp (AE)      – Stehlampe 

trident                                                           – Dreizack

voluptuous                                                   – üppig (Frau)


Answer key exercise: Zahlen merken

For example: A sneaky candle (1) is burning a hole into a tennis racket (9). Nevertheless the tennisplayer manages to save his racket and hits a ball (0) with it. Touché! The ball hits the candle (1), and shatters it into pieces.

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