The Phonetic Number System

Converting everyday information into images, making stories and visualizing them in your most used journeys might seem easier when compared to encoding numbers into images and repeating the process. But converting numbers into images can also be as easy and fun with the help of a mnemonic technique called The Phonetic Number System or The Major System.

This system works by converting numbers into consonant sounds, then into words by adding vowels.

Simply put, Each number from 0 to 9 is assigned a letter or a sound, to later fill them with vowels ( A, E, I, O, U) to make them into sensible words and then convert them into images to memorize them!

It is important to memorize the phonetics of each number to make the process accurate and faster.

Here’s the key to the Major system!

  • 0  –  Z/S           ( Zero begins with a Z. S sounds similar )
  • 1  –  T/D           ( Because both T and D have one down stroke each while writing )
  • 2  –  n               ( N has two down strokes )
  • 3  –  m              ( m has three down strokes)
  • 4  –  R               ( fouR )
  • 5  –  L                ( L is the Roman Numeral for 50)
  • 6  –  J/Sh/Ch     ( J is the mirror image 6 , 6 in Hindi begins with Ch. Sh sounds similar)
  • 7  –  K/C            ( k has two inverted 7s )
  • 8  –  V/F            ( 8 has two Vs and Cursive f looks similar to 8)
  • 9  –  P/B            ( Mirror images of 9)

Now that we know the code to translate numbers into letters, here are some examples of how to make words for two digit numbers.

  • 32 = m & n = Moon, Man, Mane…
  • 52 = L & n = Lion, Lane, lawn…
  • 69 = J/Ch/Sh & p/b = Jeep, chip, ship…
  • 95 = p/b & L = Pill, Bill, Ball…

Preparing a list of your own concrete images for numbers from 00 to 99 will help with the speed and accuracy. More than 5 events in a memory championship involve the major system.

The images of the major system do not necessarily need to be a thing. They can also be a person, a place or an action. Having a good mix of images help with the associations. Try to learn the Phonetic codes as well as you can and I will be sharing a list of my 100 images in the next post!

Happy Neurons!!

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