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Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget It

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  9,426 ratings  ·  1,034 reviews
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, ...more
ebook, 336 pages
Published August 5th 2014 by Harmony
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Saeid Mohammadpour Dear Suzanne,
I'm an English teacher. I'm also interested in learning new languages. I already knew some of the strategies and technique of learning an…more
Dear Suzanne,
I'm an English teacher. I'm also interested in learning new languages. I already knew some of the strategies and technique of learning and improving a new language(of course, either after a long time of reading different strategies from different resources or in a period of trial/error). But some of the advice and strategies proposed by Wyner were completely new for me. For example, starting the learn the vocabularies from the most frequent words down to the less frequent ones was of so much interest for me. So I started testing that for myself(in learning German as my new language) and I also recommended a list of 625 most frequent English words(which were on Appendix 5 of Wyner's book), and the results were very impressive. Also there were some suggested resources and materials(books, websites, ...) presented on different chapters which can be of so much help for the language learners. As another example of this book's strategies or suggestions that I've used myself was Flash card making instructions( I mean proposing Google Images as the best resource of finding the associated images of the words on the given language).
I believe that most of the language learning and improving methods proposed by Wyner are the results of real-life experience and long term scientific studies. So I definitely invite all the language learners to test them.(less)
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Average rating 4.11  · 
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 ·  9,426 ratings  ·  1,034 reviews


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☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣
I am amazed that so much first-hand insight into language acquisition got packed into this tiny book!
There is a lot on the author's tools he developed. And while I get the why's, I simply don't like other people's tools. Besides, I am not a fan of flashcards, they don't work for me and they bore me and, as a result, I hate them passionately! Still, there are lots of other things to internalise and take out. Overall this is a pretty amazing book for polyglots and language buffs alike.
Q:
Language l
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shanghao
Mar 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've never given much thought to language learning even though I took up some foreign languages as a hobby.

Gabriel breaks down the technicalities of effective language learning and shares some tips on what's needed to achieve long-lasting fluency:

(A) Learn pronunciation first
I wholeheartedly agree with this. Proper pronunciation and accent is the difference in being ripped off and getting a nice bargain at the local markets; this also applies to relationships with the locals.

(B) Study less, revi
...more
Grace (BURTSBOOKS)
Fluent forever? More like the Holy Bible of language learning.

@Anyone who has been struggling to learn a new language: READ THIS BOOK. IT IS SO INFORMATIVE AND EASILY COMPREHENSIBLE AND HELPFUL.

Everything you need to know is packed into this short little book. Backed with Wyner's real-life experiences and scientific experiments; this book provides you with all the tools and strategies you need to begin learning a new language. IT HAS HELPED ME SO MUCH.

UPDATE: IT'S EVEN BETTER THE SECOND TIME A
...more
David Rubenstein
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
This is an excellent book about learning a foreign language as efficiently as possible. The author, Gabriel Wyner, has learned six languages to help himself in his career as an opera singer. The book is geared toward learning how to think in the target language. It is jam-packed with practical advice, on all aspects of learning a language, starting with pronunciation, then learning grammar, memorizing words, listening skills, and writing.

Wyner has excellent advice about making flash cards, and a
...more
Christian
Just like Gabriel Wyner, I'm a self-directed language learner and sometimes lacking in modesty: I didn't learn much reading this book.

About half the content is about SRS, so if you already know & use it, this might serve as a ...review, at best. Now I'll admit most people don't know Anki, so it's definitely a good thing to write about it. There wasn't really a need to duplicate Wikipedia's article about SRS though. Same goes for the IPA. We get his condescendence:

The IPA is usually full of nast
...more
saïd
First, my credentials: I was raised in a multilingual household and spoke 3-4 languages regularly at home; I studied linguistics and language acquisition, with a focus in translation studies, which is the field in which I currently work; I consider myself CEFR level C2 (fluent) in 3 languages, C1 in 2, and B1-2 in at least 6 more. Most of these I was not formally taught; in fact the only languages I've specifically studied in a professional context are those which are considered "dead" languages ...more
Paquita Maria Sanchez
Essentially the book boils down to "neurons that fire together, wire together." He takes something I have always noticed when attempting to learn languages--the fact that any "in the wild" spotting of a foreign word I've been trying to memorize (meaning outside of the context of studying, whether in a book or a show or just some random thing on the internet) makes it stick in my long-term memory like magic.

He has systematized that approach and incorporated it into the Leitner System, which is b
...more
Shalini
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent book on effective language learning methods and resources that I would suggest every independent learner, regardless of their level of proficiency, to read at least once. It’s a comprehensive guide detailed about all the aspects of language learning - pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, listening and writing.

Few days ago, I was discussing this established “fact” with a colleague that how children are able to learn languages faster and better than adults. This is a popular my
...more
JDK1962
Aug 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rating this is a bit like rating a cookbook: how do you know it's a five star book until you've tried at least a statistically significant portion of the recipes? But even though I haven't tried learning a language using his approach (though I intend to), I've had enough experience with language learning to say that he seems to have the right attitude toward learning language, and has marshaled the right approach and the right tools. ...more
Mustakim
I'm a book lover. My main reason of learning new languages is to read books of different languages.
This book is about some tools to make language learning more efficient. The tools are useful but I already knew most of them. And almost half (or more) of the book is about just one tool ‘SRS’. Sometimes the same thing repeated over and over.

But as a whole the book is quite good. If you are a very beginner of language learning I'll recommended this to you.

Rating - 4/5
...more
Deanna
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: repeatable
Best book of its kind. Where was it when I was in school, or preparing for al those trips when I wanted to be able to ask for the bathroom without embarrassing myself?

This is not just a technique that works--I would call it a breakthrough, and I just contributed to the kickstarter for the app he is building to make it waiter for all of us who have been doing things the longer, harder way he describes in the book. But it's a really good book. Highly readable, smart, convincing without fluff and e
...more
Lost Planet Airman
Great for the motivated, self-directed learner. Also needs some time or one's own computer to be efficient. Overall, a good mix of theory and practice. Lighter than similar books on motivation. Now, onward to implement this! ...more
WhatIReallyRead
I recommend this book to anyone who is searching for effective tools, approaches and resources for learning languages.

I'm no stranger to learning languages, being native in Russian and Ukrainian (as most people in my country are), fluent in English and intermediate in Spanish and French. I even studied Japanese for a few years as kid, though most of it is now forgotten. So, as you might imagine, having started learning my third language (English) at the age of 5, over the years I have developed
...more
Leftbanker
I’ve got good news and bad news about learning languages. The good news is that anyone can do it—everyone already does learn at least one language. The bad news is that it takes a long time and there are no shortcuts, no easy methods, and there are no “Learn French in 7 Days” miracles. Most of the people I know speak several languages and among my friends there are no geniuses or whiz kids; they all learned the long, hard way. Be consistent, do something every day even if it’s just a little, and ...more
Jun Nguyễn
I intended to bought this book for my sister's graduation, but after reading its blurb, online review and some pages, I decided to keep it for myself. Sorry sis, but I felt no repentance :))))

Yet while reading this book, somehow the charm I felt back then just dissipated. Without any trace left. The author had a very good sense of humor indeed, yet it's still not enough to bring me back to the temptation of that day. Why? I don't know. It's not the first time such event has happened for me. Mayb
...more
Radiantflux
Nov 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: languages, ebook
63rd book for 2017.

About five years ago I made the decision that I finally had to learn German after several failed attempts at German courses over the previous seven years. Perhaps because I had a psychology background I delved into the scientific literature, and looked at different learning techniques online, to come up with my own set of techniques for self learning. And it worked! In a fairly effortless way I systematically picked up the language, and now five years later I watch movies with
...more
My Tran
"At times, a foreign language can feel like a mask. It's a game of make-believe... In these moments, you occasionally catch yourself saying things you never would have said in *your native language*. You're more open. You speak more freely. After all, it's not really you, it's just a game.

But that's not quite true. It is you.
And you can only meet that side of yourself in a foreign language."
----
"Đôi khi, một ngoại ngữ có thể cảm thấy như là một chiếc mặt nạ. Đó là một trò chơi giả vờ... Trong n
...more
Netta
Sep 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
If this is your first (and only) book on language learning, it might be very useful. It’ll definitely help you to put in order diffrenet technics that you can use to learn language without pain and desperation. If you have your own successful experience in learning any foreign language, you may pass this book with no regrets. Though as a foreign language teacher by training I still prefer the method I was taught at university. Wyner wittily calls it "an uncontrollable torrent of grammatical desp ...more
Walt  Bristow
Oct 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you’ve ever struggled to learn another language, Fluent Forever by Gabriel Wyner should be the next book on your reading list. Wyner, an opera singer, learned the techniques of successfully learning another language by learning a number of languages. He now shares the secrets he learned along the way.

There are three keys Wyner eventually picked up that will help you learn another language. Learn pronunciation first. Don’t translate. Use spaced repetition systems. Those keys probably don’t rep
...more
Sarah
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm having a bit of information overload. Now I'm going to go back and work through it one chapter at a time. It's an excellent system to learn as quickly as possible with as little effort as possible. There's a heavy emphasis on having fun, too. ...more
Ida Sani
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An amazing resource full of tips and tricks for people who are interested in learning languages. I learned a lot from it!
Tam
Jan 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fic
Quite interesting and makes me feel super motivated. Wyner offers a lot of useful resources for learners to take advantage of for many languages. He made so detailed guide on making flashcards, and compiled his own list of 625 words to start in any language, also found a bunch of books for some most popular languages. I'm very impressed. A little warning, again nothing magical and no shortcut here. You really have to work, and work hard, persistenly.

I totally agree with his approach, which is ro
...more
Terri
Jan 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book helped me with my Spanish and I think he has some terrific ideas. I still think a good teacher is the best way to learn a new language but this book has some good insights and knowledge.
Staci
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Somewhat flawed and ANNOYINGLY self-promotional, there are some good tidbits of advice:
--Make flashcards using images, not translations description
--Practice your flashcards according to the Leitner system or using an SRS (spaced repetition system) app; for physical flashcards, I simplify the Leitner system by only having five boxes/levels and basing my review schedule off the day of the month, practicing whatever levels would be a factor of that day's date (e.g. if it's the 18th, that would mean levels 1,
...more
Aleksandar
Dec 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, non-fiction
I've been a language lover, and an avid Anki user for years, so I feel like this book was made for me.

Many of my cards had translations, but it never occurred to me that using images, and personal connections, would improve memory retention. It totally makes sense, though. As the saying goes, "neurons that fire together, wire together." I've since started doing this, and a few weeks later, I've noticed a statistically significant improvement in my Anki lapses. Something around 10-20%, although i
...more
Adam Balshan
4.5 stars [Language Acquisition]
Writing: 4, Use: 5, Truth: 4.5.

This book surmounts, at last, Barry Farber's magnum opus of general language-learning. Farber still has the more fun and engaging book, but its datedness requires a 21st-century replacement. Wyner is now what I shall recommend for the determined language student.

Language acquisition books tend to have bombastic titles; Wyner actually delivers. He advocates a glorified flashcard system for learning living languages, but that methodol
...more
Théo M. (bookswiththeo)
A bit repetitive
Isabelle | Nine Tale Vixen
Having grown up bilingual and studied linguistics, I thought Wyner had a fantastic balance of practical tasks/suggestions and the science behind them — plus emphasis on efficiency over grinding (work smarter not harder), and some genuinely funny jokes too — even phonetics and IPA, which I've struggled with since my first Intro to Linguistics class, is presented in a really approachable way.

That makes this a really useful and (I'm anticipating) effective resource to customize your language learn
...more
A Purple Life
Mar 17, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wish this book had been released when I was in school. The author, Gabriel Wyner, explains how language is learned and how we can twist the things our brains are good at in our favor.

In every chapter he introduces tricks that have allowed him to learn so many languages and the shocking thing is: I have never heard of 90% of them. Never.

This book blew my fucking mind and I can't recommend it highly enough to anyone that's interested in learning another language.
...more
Anıl Özselgin
Jan 30, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Just a waste of time.

First of all just repeating flash cards takes 30 minutes daily but preparing them takes really a lot of time. I prepared 1500 flash cards, in the way he describes. On average I spend 5 minutes for each card. Finding a related image, finding a description in the target language or finding an example sentence takes really a lot of time. Each week I prepared 40-50 flash cards. Instead of studying other materials I spend time on that. It didn't really add much value.

Techniques
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from author's website:
Author and founder of Fluent Forever.

Over 1.5 million people have read my material to learn how to speak a foreign language and remember it forever. You may be searching for a way to successfully learn your first foreign language, or you may be looking for more efficient ways to learn your third or fourth language. I'm hoping to give you a set of tools to help accomplish eit
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