Sometimes I have a total mental block on a certain word. While I’m on Skype with my teacher, my dog has a habit of wanting to join in the conversation. As a result, I must have asked her the word for “bark” a dozen times in the past year and I was still failing to remember it.
Looking back through my notepad, I’ve written it down 8 times at least that I can quickly see. It sticks in my head as a word with “sz” and “k” in it, but the rest just fades, yet today for the 1st time I noticed something obvious and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it again.
It comes right back to my usual mechanism for remembering words, which is anchoring some aspect of them to another word or image and it reinforces for me just how important it is to hold that web of connections. This is a word, I’d just been keeping in isolation in my head. I hadn’t really looked at it and made the effort to decompose the word or link it.
So, the word in question is Szczekać (to bark). Take a second to sound that out a couple of times.. It’s just a series of shh and k sounds, which is where I fell down. There’s a lot of other shh and k words in my head already & I didn’t make the effort to figure out how this one was special. As a result, when I was searching my brain for it, I kept coming up with words like skręcić (to turn) or skakać (to jump). Similar sounds at some level, but totally unconnected words.
But today when I skimmed my word list for revision, this leaped out at me :
Szczekać = Sz + czekać
Czekać is a word I’ve known for ages. It means to wait.
So now, when my dog is barking and being impatient, I’ll just tell him “Shhhh! Wait!”