I did not study linguistic myself, but I got used to handle three languages (from separate language families) in everyday life since childhood. From my experience, the word-to-sound association is a very bad idea, and will eventually confuse your brain, especially when more than one non-native languages is involved. Of course, it depends from person to person, we all have different cognitive and learning skills or abilities. It will also depend on how fast you need to learn the target language.
Here is a method that I found a lot more effective to learn new words in new languages, especially if you have contact with native speakers every day (in particular for the emphasis/pronunciation):
- buy a dictionary in the language you want to learn - you can also get an e-book version, but I find this method more effective with the 3D solid paper book between your hands
- write a word per day on a small piece of blank paper and write the translation on the other side of the (in the language you're more comfortable with) - if you're a visual person you can also draw or attach an image of the corresponding item
- put all the pieces of paper in a jar
- dedicate some before-bed time to check the items in the jar and their translation
For more complicated words, or contextual dependent concepts, I suggest you really get a comprehensive dictionary and write the whole sentences instead of just words on the pieces of paper, e.g., the Italian word come in very different situations like:
- come sei carino! - EN: how cute you are!
- come arrivo alla stazione? - EN: how do I get to the train station?
- si è truccato come un pagliaccio - EN: he got his makeup done like a clown
- come arrivo a casa, ti chiamo - EN: as soon as I get home, I will call you
and, last but not least, non-literally translatable compound forms:
- come la mettiamo? EN: now what?
You can also learn some of these sentences by heart, then think of similar contexts to which the same word-to-concept idea can be applied.
And, it may sound weird (but this is basically how I learned to speak English with no evident Italian accent) but as soon as you feel comfortable with, start watching movies/TV series in original language (no EN subs, or IT subs if really needed) or get involved in multiplayer gaming sessions, and you'll learn so many context-dependent words! And google any word you hear and don't know and put it in the jar - never let an unknown word pass by your brain.
I hope this can help you improve your learning :) All the best!