Intermediate Spanish Memory Book

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Intermediate Spanish Memory Book

A New Approach to Vocabulary Building

By William F. Harrison and Dorothy Winters Welker

The Intermediate Spanish Memory Book makes use of a series of mnemonic jingles that are by turns playful, sardonic, touching, and heroic to help both students and independent learners acquire and remember Spanish vocabulary.



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6 x 9 | 110 pp.

ISBN: 978-0-292-73111-0

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Mnemonics is an age-old device for remembering names, numbers, and many other things. As in the authors' previous Memory Books, the Intermediate Spanish Memory Book makes use of this reliable memory help in a series of mnemonic jingles that are by turns playful, sardonic, touching, and heroic to help both students and independent learners acquire and remember Spanish vocabulary. The 500-plus words in this book represent a more advanced vocabulary than those in the Spanish Memory Book (1990) and the Spanish Memory Book, Junior Edition (1993).

The mnemonic jingles present both the sound of the Spanish word (indicated by syllables in italic type) and its English meaning (given by a word or phrase in boldface type):

merienda: picnic, afternoon tea

Mary, end a boring picnic.
Just say, "I'm going home. I'm sick, Nick."

This innovative approach to vocabulary building is simple, effective, and entertaining.

  • To the Reader
  • How to Use the Intermediate Spanish Memory Book
  • Conventions Used in This Book
  • Pronunciation Guide
  • Vocabulary
  • Final Exam
  • Answers for Final Exam
  • Glossary

The book in your hands is the sequel to the Spanish Memory Book. The main difference between that book and the Intermediate Spanish Memory Book is that the vocabulary of this book is slightly more advanced than that of the first Spanish Memory Book. You can begin with either book and then pass to the other without difficulty.

As with the first Spanish Memory Book, your goal will be to increase your store of Spanish words. When you have completed both books you will have a vocabulary of some 1,250 useful words for speaking, reading, and writing Spanish. All of the Spanish Memory Books are designed to help you learn Spanish words easily and rapidly and to recall them at will. They will enable you to recognize Spanish words when you see or hear them (passive vocabulary), and to recall these words when you speak or write Spanish (active vocabulary).

As in the first Spanish Memory Book, this is accomplished by means of mnemonic devices (memory helps). Mnemonic devices are not new, of course; they have been used for centuries. We still call upon them every day to remember names, numbers, and many other things. In the Memory Books, each mnemonic device sets up an association between a new word and one or more familiar words that enables us to recall the new word. The mnemonic devices used in these books are rhymes that help you to remember both the pronunciation of the Spanish words and their English meanings. They fairly jingle the new words into your memory.

Research has shown that the more far-fetched, even absurd, a mnemonic device is, the better it helps you remember. You will probably agree that many of the jingles in the Spanish Memory Books qualify for high marks in absurdity! You will have a good time learning and applying them.

amplio, -a: wide, ample
Though Tom spoke forcefully at our convention,
The calm plea Owen made got wide attention.

anca: rump, buttock (of an animal)
Don, capitulate! Your wife's a
Give her a friendly pat upon rump!

anhelo: longing
Impatient Sara, nail old boards together,
And soothe your longing for some sailing weather
By building model boats amid the heather.

anoche: last night
Ah! No chaste maiden would think right
The things you said to me last night.

ansiar: to long for
Phronsie, argue as you will:
Joe longs for you, you long for Bill.

ante: before (place)
Don, take up a civic task—some zestful occupation
Like beating up a thug before the now indignant nation.

antes (de): before (time)
Don, taste Ella's skill in ballroom dancing
Before you try your own in rough romancing!

antojo: whim
Impelled by some obscure, heroic whim,
We clung on toe-holds to the crater's rim.

William F. Harrison is Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese at Northern Illinois University. The late Dorothy Winters Welker was retired from the University of Illinois, Chicago.

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