“A brilliant and thoroughly modern guide to learning new languages.”—Gary Marcus, cognitive psychologist and author of the New York Times bestseller Guitar Zero
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—and here he wants to show others what he’s discovered.
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 language. And with the help of sophisticated spaced-repetition techniques, you’ll be able to memorize hundreds of words a month in minutes every day.
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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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Excerpted from "Fluent Forever"
Copyright © 2014 Gabriel Wyner.
Excerpted by permission of Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
1 Introduction: Stab, Stab, Stab 1
Cheaters Occasionally Prosper: The Three Keys to Language Learning 3
The Game Plan 6
How Long Does Fluency Take? 8
Do This Now: The Path Forward 10
2 Upload: Five Principles to End Forgetting 17
Principle 1 Make Memories More Memorable 18
Principle 2 Maximize Laziness 27
Principle 3 Don't Review. Recall. 29
Principle 4 Wait, Wait! Don't Tell Me! 33
Principle 5 Rewrite the Past 36
Timing Is Everything: The End of Forgetting 39
Do This Now: Learn to Use a Spaced Repetition System 48
3 Sound Play 54
Train Your Ears, Rewire Your Brain 57
Train Your Mouth, Get the Girl 64
Train Your Eyes, See the Patterns 71
Do This Now: Learn Your Language's Sound System 77
4 Word Play and the Symphony of a Word 83
Where to Begin: We Don't Talk Much About Apricots 86
Games with Words 89
The Gender of a Turnip 94
Do This Now: Learn Your First 625 Words, Music and All 99
5 Sentence Play 108
The Power of Input: Your Language Machine 109
Simplify, Simplify: Turning Mountains into Molehills 118
Story Time: Making Patterns Memorable 122
On Arnold Schwarzenegger and Exploding Dogs: Mnemonics for Grammar 126
The Power of Output: Your Custom Language Class 130
Do This Now: Learn Your First Sentences 132
6 The Language Game 143
Setting Goals: Your Custom Vocabulary 144
Words About Words 147
Reading for Pleasure and Profit 151
Listening Comprehension for Couch Potatoes 154
Speech and the Game of Taboo 158
Do This Now: Explore Your Language 164
7 Epilogue: The Benefits and Pleasures of Learning a Language 170
The Gallery: A Guide to the flash Cards That Will Teach You Your Language 177
The Art of Flash Cards 183
The First Gallery: Do-It-Yourself Pronunciation Trainers 191
The Second Gallery: Your First Words 199
The Third Gallery: Using and Learning Your First Sentences 215
The Fourth Gallery: One Last Set of Vocabulary Cards 235
A Glossary of Terms and Tools 243
Appendix 1 Specific Language Resources 261
Appendix 2 Language Difficulty Estimates 267
Appendix 3 Spaced Repetition System Resources 271
Appendix 4 The international Phonetic Alphabet Decoder 277
Appendix 5 Your First 625 Words 293
Appendix 6 How to Use This Book with Your Classroom Language Course 307
One Last Note (About Technology) 311