The Treatise on Western Mnemonic Arts 西 国 记 法 by Matteo Ricci: its importance in Chinese language learning process Chiara Piccinini (Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milano) Studies in the use of memory as part of the learning process of a language have always been an important subject since ancient times, both for Western and for Chinese intellectuals. The “art of memory” for Western intellectuals was part of rhetoric, and it helped the orator to think how to organise a speech. Chinese mnemonic tradition was based on repetition of schemes in order to remember names. The contacts established by Western missionaries with Chinese scholars allowed the differences between two ways of memorisation to emerge, but at the same both Chinese and Western intellectuals learned from each other. This was evident in Matteo Ricci’s compilation, “Treatise on the Western art of memory”, where he explained the method for memorisation used in the West, but he elaborated his explanations using Chinese language elements and the construction of images that could be easily associated to characters in their graphic representation through the use of metaphors; these last ones were classified following the classical way of representation used for Chinese characters. Recently, this method of memorization has been discovered again by sinologists because of its importance as a new way of approaching Chinese language learning: in fact, mnemonics is a sort of ‘multi- dimensional’ way of learning, involving different levels of the structure of language: the spoken level, the written level and the semantic level at the same time. This method can thus be modified and adopted in the acquisition of modern Chinese language.