Memorizing Portuguese Verbs
I listed out about half of the 201 Portuguese verbs from my book in three columns on a pad of paper. I started memorizing the verbs that end with -ar, placing them in a field at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Here are some examples of how I’m doing it:
- acabar / to finish— a cab driver finishes washing his cab.
- assustar / to frighten — one reason that I made my number system strictly phonetic is because I can now use those images for anything phonetic. In my system 020 is the sound “SUS” and the image is Zeus. There is a strong association between “SUS” and Zeus. So assustar is Zeus jumping out of some bushes at the edge of the field yelling “boo!” with a lightning bolt in one hand and a leaking barrel of tar in the other. Ridiculous, but it works.
- aconselhar / to advise — I took an image of my college advisor, and made him a camp counselor.
- adivinhar / to guess — I took my soothsayer image (024) and gave him a divining rod. He is guessing where the water is.
- almoçar / to eat lunch — the image is Elmo with a lunchbox at an imaginary picnic table that I added to the scene.
- apagar / to put out, erase, extinguish — this is Elmo extinguishing a candle on the picnic table with a dollar bill.
- apanhar / to catch — I placed an imaginary stream through the middle of the park and someone is catching fish with a pan in the stream.
- barbear / to shave — first I made this an image of a barber shaving someone in a chair, but then I decided to reinforce the image by making it a giant Barbie doll shaving someone in a chair.
- alugar / to rent — this is someone with a luger firing at a “for rent” sign in front of a house. It’s easy to remember that it’s alugar and not aluger because of all the verbs in this park end with -ar.
- aproveitar-se / to take advantage of — I took the part the word that sounds like “approve,” which I associate with approving for a credit card. Then I attached that to an image of a con artist who kept trying to scam me in Athens last summer. The final image is the con artist trying to approve me for a credit card.
- appressar-se / to hurry — this is an image of a woman who is pressing sheets very quickly. I don’t have an image to indicate verbs ending in -se, but when I finish creating a more comprehensive memory system for phonetic sounds, I will have a specific image for the sound -se.
The list above contains just a few examples, but gives a general idea…