I saw Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget It on Bloggingforbooks.org and new I wanted to read even though language learning isn’t a normal topic on my bloggerly. I really really enjoy language learning and linguistics, but haven’t been disciplined enough to continue after college. I would say I haven’t had enough time, but really I find time for reading billions of books and movies a year..so I’m pretty sure given the appropriate amount of discipline and passion for the subject matter I could find time to learn if even just slowly.
This book came along. I knew I had to read it. And now I’m tryng to figure out what language I would be motivated enough to start with.
My husband thinks japanese would be super useful. I’ve wondered about Farsi, Amharic, Italian, and Russian. For reasons unknown to man, except I think Farsi is cool, I know people who speak Amharic, I want to go to Italy, and Russian is just so unrelated to any language I’ve studied much.
But maybe start with just one.
And this book.
I would call this book the ultimate guide to learning languages outside of a classroom. It focuses on facts about memory and how to remember things well, learning vocaubary using a leitner system and flashcards (where you learn a word and reveiw it just before forgetting it to remember better), pronunciation and learning the sounds of a language, and the how to make good flashcards that actually help you remember.
Here are a few highlights in pictures:
The methodology presented in this book is obviously more involved than downloading the latest version of Duolingo and going for it. Which can be super fun. It’s a method that calls for much more work than the average person might attack learning a second language (we’re talking a lot of flashcards), but it seems like a method that will have much more longlasting results. Not to mention give you freedom from a billion introductory language classes geared toward people unfamiliar with the process of language learning.
I really appreciated the time the author spent discussing types of flashcards and how to go about creating a system that works for you. Personally, I know I remember things best when I have written it down with a pen or can handle it while studying, so digital formats are out for me. I’ll go with the pen, notecard, shoebox method. But the outline on how to create Anki flashcard decks and use them digitally could be fantastically useful for someone else.
I am definitely going to use this for my next language acquisition project and I’d recommend it to anyone looking to learn a language in a self-taught sort of way.
Now to choose a language!
What language would you learn next if you had the time and motivation?
((I received a complimentary copy of Fluent Forever from BloggingForBooks.org in exchange for my honest review.))