Fluent Forever App And Book Promise To Help You Learn A Language

12/27/13 12:29PM EST

Fluent Forever App And Book Promise To Help You Learn A Language1 Fluent Forever App And Book Promise To Help You Learn A Language
Necessity is the mother of invention. At least that was the case for Gabriel Wyner, an opera singer who needed to know different languages in order to advance his career. After years of trial and error, he found a learning method that works for him, and now he wants to share it with others.

His new book and a series of apps, both titled Fluent Forever, promise to help their readers and users to master new languages and remember them forever. The app series is currently being promoted on Kickstarter and has reached $54,000 in backing, more than five times Wyner’s original goal.

Learning A Language: All About Pronunciation

Wyner initially tried all different methods to learn languages, and he found each time that the words weren’t sticking in his mind. Finally, he came across research about pronunciation and learning the differences between similar-sounding words. This, he says, is the key to learning a new language.

Language learning is a memory game, and the first obstacle to playing is pronunciation,” he says on Kickstarter. “If you can’t pronounce a word, you’re going to have a hard time remembering it.”

The native English speaker made a quick program for himself. It allowed him to hear one of two similar-sounding words at random, guess which one he heard, and find out immediately if he was correct. This “immediate feedback” system helped Wyner become the polyglot he is today; He’s currently fluent in almost six languages.

I like to say 5.5: German, Italian, French, Russian, English and I’m halfway through Hungarian,” he told Wall Street Insanity. “I’m not quite sure where I’ll stop; I’m definitely going to pick up Japanese next, and I might then move on to Hebrew.” In terms of his singing career, he predominantly uses English, Italian, German and French.

The Fluent Forever System And Actually Becoming Fluent

Wyner is now making his program available for others in hopes that it will help more people master second (or fifth) languages. “So many people want to learn languages and don’t believe they can,” he said. “It’s tremendously fulfilling to show people the tools they need to actually start speaking in a new language.”

His book on the subject will be released Aug. 5, and he hopes to have apps done for more than 10 languages by then. The first two apps, for French and German, should be available by mid- to late February. Other languages will follow periodically.

The apps are add-ons for Anki, a general flashcard program that helps users memorize a lot of information very quickly. Wyner himself uses Anki for every aspect of learning a new language, “pronunciation, vocab, syntax, morphology, word order, everything.” Anki and the Fluent Forever add-ons will help anyone get the basics down, but apps can only go so far.

Wyner said the rest of his learning technique involves practice  and application. Once he’s comfortable with the basics, he starts writing in the new language and getting feedback from native speakers. He suggests joining language exchange communities like Lang-8.com. After that, he really starts to immerse himself in the new language by reading books and watching television shows in the language, and by speaking the new language whenever possible.

The technique is outlined in full in his book, which comes out Aug. 5.

After the book and app launches, Wyner wants to do more to help people in language studies. “I’ll be spending the next couple of years developing pronunciation trainers and word lists in additional languages, putting on workshops and seminars, and hopefully getting a TED talk,” he told Wall Street Insanity in an email, adding a smiley face.

Anyone interested in the book or apps should consider backing the Kickstarter. A pledge of $30 or more gets you the basic set: a pronunciation trainer app in the language of your choice, as well as a quick start guide to learning a language, early excerpts from the book, and an ebook copy of Fluent Forever after its release.

For those who don’t back the Kickstarter, the app will cost about $12 per language.

 
 
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