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Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget it [Paperback]

Gabriel Wyner
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
RRP: £12.99
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Book Description

18 Aug 2014
The ultimate rapid language-learning guide! For those who’ve despaired of ever learning a foreign language, here, finally, is a book that will make the words stick. At thirty years old, Gabriel Wyner speaks six languages fluently.  He didn’t learn them in school -- who does? -- rather, he learned them in the past few years, working on his own and practicing on the subway, using simple techniques and free online resources. In Fluent Forever Wyner reveals what he’s discovered. 
The greatest challenge to learning a foreign language is the challenge of memory; there are just too many words and too many rules. For every new word we learn, we seem to forget two old ones, and as a result, fluency can seem out of reach. Fluent Forever tackles this challenge head-on. With empathy for the language-challenged and abundant humor, Wyner deconstructs the learning process, revealing how to build a foreign language in your mind from the ground up. 
Starting with pronunciation, you’ll learn how to rewire your ears and turn foreign sounds into familiar sounds. You'll retrain your tongue to produce those sounds accurately, using tricks from opera singers and actors. Next, you'll begin to tackle words, and connect sounds and spellings to imagery, rather than translations, which will enable you to think in a foreign languageAnd with the help of sophisticated spaced-repetition techniques, you'll be able to memorize hundreds of words a month in minutes every day. Soon, you'll gain the ability to learn grammar and more difficult abstract words--without the tedious drills and exercises of language classes and grammar books.
This is brain hacking at its most exciting, taking what we know about neuroscience and linguistics and using it to create the most efficient and enjoyable way to learn a foreign language in the spare minutes of your day.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony Books (18 Aug 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385348118
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385348119
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,322 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressed 8 Sep 2014
By C-three
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Changed my view on my ability to learn languages, started with Spanish & am now rapidly learning words & their pronunciation using Anki flashcards.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wish I knew all this years ago. 12 Sep 2014
I am loving this book. The explanation on how the brain forms memories will help with subjects beyond languages and it is well written with good humour, gives useful resources, and is not preachy on what to do or not do. Can't wait to try out all the many different tips.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was slightly sceptical about this book prior to buying/reading as I thought it might not be that beneficial due it’s bias about learning and remembering “any” language rather than just the specific language I am studying, but wow – how wrong am I. This book is an invaluable resource that explains what happens in your mind when you learn a language, and how you can train your mind to be far more efficient, and therefore learn far more than you could without having read the book.

In a very simple style, and in places rather humorous text which makes this book fun to read, the author takes you through the processes of what happens in your mind when you learn a new language, and how you can overcome your minds “natural barriers” to learning. By explaining each process or learning stage in detail, and often with well researched (but not overly complicated) examples and charts, the author lays a strong and logical foundation which you can use to start efficiently learning your chosen language or subject.

The main methodology emphasises the creation and use of flashcards as the key aid to learning, which might sound tedious and a route that you might have attempted previously, but the author takes the time to explain the benefits and why this process is important. It also allows you to determine your individual learning speed as you can select the words or areas of interest that you want to study and focus on, and also takes you through the process of building the flashcards themselves (in either electronic or paper based format) – as ever, there are pros and cons with each, but again the book will highlight the drawbacks and advantages of each, and allow you to make an insightful decision about which media will be the most beneficial to your leaning style.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent 9 Sep 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I think the book is extremely well written. I have ordered the suggested titles for my target language and can't wait to try ou the techniques!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly informative 20 Aug 2014
By Angel
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Wow! What a brilliant read! This book is basically a flash card learning system, but not like any you think you know. The author's passion for both language and the system is extremely infectious and will have you learning like you never have before. I wish this book was out years ago, it is a system I shall be using from now on and I can't wait to add a few more languages to my brain. If you only read one language acquisition book, make it this one. It is packed with information, tips and links to really push you further. I can't rate this highly enough.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Fluent Forever is one of the best books I've read on language learning. Where many language books rely solely on the experiences of the author - "I learned 37 languages, so can you!" - Gabriel Wyner has clearly done a great deal of research into the scientific literature on memory, speech perception etc. The result is that you end up learning a great method for teaching yourself a foreign language, but you also gain a basic understanding why this method works.

Wyner's method is fun yet efficient. It revolves around using spaced repetition (flash card) software to learn pronunciation, spelling, word meanings and grammar. While he isn't against the use of translations altogether, Wyner argues against *memorising* translations, and provides a really clever method for memorising the meanings of words using pictures, and later monolingual definitions.

The best thing about this technique is that you create your own learning materials throughout, using sources such as dictionaries (both bilingual and monolingual), google images, grammar textbooks and your own writing (corrected by native speakers via online language learning communities such as lang8.com). This means that you are not reliant on the content of a particular language course, but can easily customise your practice to learn areas of vocabulary or grammatical forms that particularly interest you.

The book is supported by a fantastic set of resources and articles at Fluent-Forever.com. Gabriel Wyner has also recorded a great video seminar series for Creative Live, which is well worth buying if you have $99 to spare.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Certainly the best guide to learning a language (any language) written to date. It focuses on ingenious methods to remember information and - very importantly - making the process interesting and personal to you. It makes heavy use of the resources which modern technology and the internet makes available to us. Highly recommended to anybody seriously intent on learning a foreign language.

I'm still in the early stages, but can already say that the methods work. 7 days of using the SRS memory methods described and I've pretty much learnt 90% of the International Phonetic Alphabet by heart (a very useful tool for helping your pronunciation).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Absolutely a relevation, and if you would like to study a new language as the book describes it, try duolingo. Lots of language courses free of charge. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent
It's clear that a lot of research into how out minds work has gone into this book as well as the authors personal experiences. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Timmy
5.0 out of 5 stars A surprisingly good book about a tricky subject
This book contains a highly valuable contemporary view of language learning that is surprisingly well thought out. Read more
Published 19 days ago by gabeso
3.0 out of 5 stars ... did not help me with learning another language very disappointed.
I found this very confusing and did not help me with learning another language very disappointed.
Published 22 days ago by mrs noeline mayhew
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Brilliant....
If you're serious about learning a new language and quickly becoming fluent, then you need this book. Read more
Published 29 days ago by MR GMJ WILLIS
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a great book for language learning
Such a great book for language learning. Draws on tons of up to date and relevant psychological research and will point you towards some essential online resources.
Published 1 month ago by Nadeem Malik
3.0 out of 5 stars ok
Published 1 month ago by cccsh
5.0 out of 5 stars really excellent and effective primer on how the brain processes and...
...really excellent and effective primer on how the brain processes and retains foreign languages ...
Published 1 month ago by Tim Williams
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Useful concepts...
Published 1 month ago by Peter Hudson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by jooles
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