Learning Spanish Words Through Etymology and Mnemonics
A New Approach to Vocabulary Study
Learning Spanish Words Through Etymology and Mnemonics is the first book in the Learning Words Through Etymology and Mnemonics series (the second being Learning French Words Through Etymology and Mnemonics). It makes use of etymology to help you remember Spanish words, and failing that, suggests a mnemonic. Combination of these two approaches in one book separates it from other books on the market. The amount and depth of etymology is carefully chosen to be practical and not overwhelm an average reader. The suggested mnemonics aim to help an educated English-speaking person. An adult or young adult who likes learning vocabulary with some word analysis instead of rote memory will find this book to be helpful and a joy to read. With about 3000 words selected from 15000 in the Real Academia Española corpus sorted in frequency order, this booklet can be used either as a dictionary or for leisure reading. The hint provided for each word is particularly helpful for short-term memory needed in taking an exam, while the etymological and cultural information will serve you for years to come.
"Yong Huang offers in the introduction a clear and detailed explanation of the methodology employed throughout the work, which presents a practical balance between scholarly research and light reading... Yong’s work is an important addition to the field of language study, and will be a welcome supplement to anyone’s vocabulary-building tools."
Edward A. Roberts
Professor Emeritus of Central Michigan University, author of A Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the Spanish Language
"(Yong Huang's book) filled a niche on my language-learning bookshelf I hadn't even thought of before... the system works as an efficient road map to boosting vocabulary by steering readers directly to the most effective words for building understanding and fluency fast, while pointing out shortcuts and possible pitfalls along the way. It's especially useful for well-read adults and polyglots."
Spanish Teacher at District of Columbia Public Schools, polyglot, volunteer admin of Facebook Polyglots group
All proceeds from the sale of this book are donated to Wikimedia Foundation and OneSky.org.
Different Study Methods
⎢ ⎡ Etymology ⎤
⎡ Word analysis <-⎢ ⎥-> this book
⎢ ⎣ Mnemonics ⎦
Study method <-⎢
⎣ Rote memory (e.g. flash cards)
Sample Chapters and Pages
Major: Amazon Kindle edition if read on its online cloudreader loses all bold font style; all headwords are in plain font. And the book is not searchable. Reading it offline with Kindle reading app solves both problems. Specifically, go to www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201245960 to download and install the Kindle reader. (I installed version 1.17.1 on my PC.) Open it. Logon to Amazon if prompted. Then in Downloaded, you'll see this book. Open it. Click the magnifying glass to the left of the app window to do word search.
► Minor (ignore page numbers if using an e-book)
► Suggestions and Updates (ignore page numbers if using an e-book)
Author Biography and Contact
I have a Ph.D. in Chemistry and M.A. in Philosophy. I have taught myself linguistics with an emphasis on morphological and phonological changes in the history of Romance languages, and have learned to read in multiple European languages. Please contact me by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by filling the form with comments or corrections.
Amazon (where most readers' reviews are)
Goodreads (reader Marina wrote an excellent and well-balanced review: "It may be more useful to a first-time language learner who has no experience with Latin, French or Italian... I'm finding this book fun enough that I'm reluctant to skip anything")
Barnes and Noble
Learning French Words Through Etymology and Mnemonics (to be published)
Q & AWhy are the words not ordered alphabetically? The e-book does not have page numbers nor the index.
2020-01 Update It's been four years since this book was published. I've had many thoughts on revising it, such as adding more words, correcting loose usage of the terms "cognate" and "doublet", expanding etymological info for certain words too brief to be really helpful, and improving mnemonic hints for some words, an idea partially triggered by Harry Lorayne et al.'s The Memory Book and Dominic O’Brien's How to Pass Exams. Their mnemonic tricks generously make use of absurd and unrealistic imageries, probably working well for some people on a handful of difficult words. Last but not the least, I'm re-considering the frequency-based word ordering. In spite of its benefit (see the first item in Q&A above), and the fact that some words ordered later have more elaborate, possibly more technical descriptions, and sometimes rely on earlier words, this ordering is a major complaint from the readers. In the revision, I may choose to order the words alphabetically, and attach the frequency table in small font at the end of the book. All these ideas would be realized if I could have a revised publication free of charge. Sadly, that's not the case with the publisher. This is one reason I'm holding on my second book (Learning French Words), privately modifying it almost on a daily basis to my heart's content!
Jan 2015 — April 2018