Medieval "Memory Palaces" for Modern Languages

Mar 08, 2016, 08:54 ET from Linguisticator Limited

CAMBRIDGE, England, March 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --

Cambridge-based startup Linguisticator merges old and new technologies to teach foreign languages. 

Inspired by medieval monks, Dr Aaron Ralby began building "memory palaces" to learn new languages in the way monks used to learn scripture. He's now developed this technique into an online service, Linguisticator, which already serves diplomats, academics, and military personnel.

In the Middle Ages, before the arrival of the printing press, books were scarce and precious, and monks had to develop creative ways of memorizing huge amounts of text. By using their spatial and visual knowledge, these monks could "store" textual information inside memories of places they had been.

Monastic memory techniques were so powerful that monks routinely memorized all 150 Psalms in sequence and by line number. Thomas Aquinas, the 13th century Dominican friar, is reported to have dictated multiple books to multiple scribes at the same time, accessing each book mentally from its separate memory palace.

Linguisticator uses the same principles to teach modern languages. Through the company's online video courses, students can learn the entire grammar of a new language - as well as core vocabulary - in just weeks.

"As human beings, we're very good at remembering places we've been and things we've seen. We're generally not so good at remembering text," says Dr Ralby, Linguisticator's founder and CEO. "We teach students how to use memories of places and images to organize and store the textual material on our language maps. Through the use of spatial memory, what normally takes years to accomplish imperfectly can be achieved in a matter of weeks with full accuracy. Building a memory palace is also a lot of fun. It allows us to take the hardest and most important part of language learning and make it simultaneously accessible and enjoyable."

In order to build a memory palace for a language, you first need a blueprint. Linguisticator's team of linguists, led by Dr Ralby, puts tremendous effort and expertise into creating each language "map," which contains every pattern, variation, and exception in the grammar of each language. In other words, a Linguisticator map provides everything you need to know in order to be able to say whatever you want and create any construction.

These maps contain a vast amount of material; the maps, however, are not to be confused with the journey, which takes place in your imagination. Linguisticator's online courses guide learners step-by-step through the process of building a memory palace to learn the material on each language map. Free sample lessons, as well as a completely free course in Time Management for Language Learning, are available on the website. Support and private tuition are also available to users.

For more information, please visit: Photos available on request.

About Linguisticator 

Linguisticator Ltd is a language training program development company based in Cambridge, UK. Linguisticator began producing programs for specific languages in 2013 when the Ministry of Defence contracted it to develop a scalable means of English language training for North Africa. The resulting program, ELT Tiger, was trialed successfully in Tripoli, Libya, with the Libyan military in 2013-2014. Over the last year and a half, Linguisticator has completed five foreign language programs (Arabic, French, German, Italian, and Spanish) as well as courses in memory and a free course in Time Management for Language Learning (

Aaron Ralby, PhD - Founder and CEO
Linguisticator Ltd

SOURCE Linguisticator Limited