This week we looked at Fluent Forever – a project that was born as a Masters’ Thesis, turned into a six-month Kickstarter campaign, and is potentially evolving into Gabriel Wyner’s life’s work.
With over 1.5 million international readers and multiple high-profile endorsements, it is safe to say that Fluent Forever made noticeable waves among language enthusiasts.
One of the great things about Fluent Forever is that it is not tailored around a single language! It is a system which you apply to almost every language that you would like to learn – be it for business or personal reasons. On top of that, the book is available in English, Russian, Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean, Dutch, Italian, Thai and Chinese.
What Makes Fluent Forever Special?
The book promises to offer a novel approach to language learning – using tested techniques which can be applied to almost every language. Gabriel came up with three keys to language learning that are designed to improve language retention as well as the learning process itself.
The First Key – No Translation
According to Gabriel, it was not only possible for a beginning student to skip translating, but it was essential to learning how to think in a foreign language. Translating everything into your native language will eventually get you to think in your mother tongue when speaking a foreign language. In a professional context especially, your business English needs to have the same structure a native would come up with.
The easiest way to overcome this is not to translate it! Instead, use definitions or visual representations to explain (to yourself) the word/phrase.
The Second Key – Learn Accurate Pronunciation First
Gabriel believes that getting your mind attuned to the correct pronunciation of a new language will make vocabulary acquisition, listening and speaking come to you much quicker.
The Third Key – Make Use Of Productivity Tools
The language blogs and software developers are the inspiration for this last key. There is a wealth of productivity tools out there designed to improve memory retention and streamline the learning process. Some may work better than others for your own proclivities and learning techniques.
One thing is certain though – the more senses you engage at one time the more likely you are to remember something. Similarly, consistent repetition will also improve retention rates. Make the most out of your learning by using a combination of both, with a tool that appeals to your learning style.