How to learn and memorize new words?

How do you learn new words? I sometimes compare the pronunciation of a new English word with that of another language I know looking for similarities. For example, the English word “dosh” sounds a bit like the Russian word “дождь” so I try to make a connection between both words. For instance, I might think of the idiom “save for a rainy day” which reminds me of the Russian word for “rain” (дождь).

Sometimes this also works with two English words such as “a lawyer should be loyal to their clients”. What kind of techniques do you apply to learn new words?


Not for Languages of human beings, but for Software Language I follow the same way you have told.

  1. Connect the new word to the ones that you have already learnt. (a synonym or an antonym)
  2. Try to apply the root (Latin or French) and confirm the meaning. (a derivative or an affix)
  3. See if it can be simple and stylish to use while speaking and writing. (orthographically and rhythmically)

The best way of learning new words is to compose meaningful sentences with these words. When I started learning German 13 years ago, our teacher gave us 5-7 new words and asked to make the sentences or small stories at home. It’s important to write them down with a pen and not to type and print them out. Then we learned the stories by heart and told them in the class.
Another way is less effective. It’s based on constant repetition of a word during one day.
Associations are good but if it comes to German words, e. g. der Antrag and der Auftrag, I have no any associations. In this case the context is important.