Does memorization of a text depend on the language in which it is written? For example, can I remember English less well if I have no problems understanding it?

Does memorization of a text depend on the language in which it is written? For example, can I remember English less well if I have no problems understanding it?

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answers (3)

Answer 1
July, 2021

In my own experience, it does not, with a sufficient level of language proficiency, of course. A situation that I encounter very often: some time after reading a text or watching a video, I perfectly remember the content and, for example, the semantic accents of the author, but I cannot immediately remember which language I read / watched. I remember the speaker's appearance and voice, but the brain in the memory somehow automatically translates his speech into his native (Russian) language. It doesn’t literally translate, but the text just sounds like it’s in the native language, it is completely understandable and does not need any explanation. That is, in principle, it does not matter what language the information is presented in.

Answer 2
July, 2021

It's even strange that you have such a question. Of course, it’s not a matter of understanding the text.

Even for a layman, the memorization process is obviously associated with associations, images and other words that are hooks for memorization. You do not possess all this wealth of words, analogies and images for a foreign language, and it is difficult for the brain to associate a foreign language with "native", Russian elements.

For example, such a funny test works for me: While knowing all the basic digits of the English language, the task is to listen to the conditions of the example, perform the simplest mathematical operation (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) and give the answer in English 10 or more times longer than in my native language.

Answer 3
July, 2021

I find it difficult to assert something about intentional memorization. But in the case of Russian oral speech, if necessary, I can recall the last couple of phrases, even if I passed out and did not listen. That is, the brain unconsciously continues to process information and load the result into short-term memory. But in German there is no such effect: if I do not listen, then speech is not perceived at all and cannot be retrieved retrospectively from memory, if it suddenly became necessary.

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