Fluent Forever by Gabriel Wyner [Book Summary – Review]

What is the reason why getting another language is such a difficulty? It may be like a battle between remembering new vocabulary, learning grammar, and getting used to pronunciation.

This book intends to change those entire hindrances bottom up. By combining neuroscience with techniques of memorization and pronunciation, the author, Gabriel Wyner, turns to learn another language into a game rather than a battle. It gets fun to make use of his hints, the exact hints that made him learn the German language within fourteen weeks.

Following these book chapters, you are going to start with fresh languages as well – or defeat any difficulty regarding memory – with a very better opportunity of attaining your aims.

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Chapter 1 – Pictures and individual linkages allow remembering to be very easy for the mind.

Say you’ve ever attempted to learn another language, you are most likely conversant with the annoying sense of remembering fresh vocabulary, just to fail to remember it minutes after! Fortunately, there exist some methods to make fresh vocabulary stick, making linkages in mind is one of those methods.

Creating connections is vital to not forgetting; however, some linkages are more impactful than others.

The most effective one is linking new vocabulary to personal experience because it triggers various parts of your entire brain.

Our brain functions vocabulary on 4 various levels which are: Personal Connection, Concept, Sound, and Structure.

In a psychology experiment that was conducted in the 1970s, the asked the students inquiries according to these levels, like, For Structure, “What is the number of capital letters in ‘bear’?”; for Sound, “Do you think ‘apple’ rhymes with ‘Snapple’?”; and for Concept, “Is the word tool a synonym for ‘instrument’?”. Afterward, they conducted an unforeseen retention test to know the words people could remember. As a matter of fact, the tendency of the participants was 6 times more in recalling vocabulary when the inquiry needed an individual linkage,  such as “Do you love pizza?” than when the inquiry was related to the Structure.

Assuming you wish to remember the vocabulary from Spanish meaning cat.  You’ll be 50% more likely to recall the word when you link the vocabulary to the retention you possess for cats. Also, this is due to the fact that our discernible retention is an impactful method for recalling language.

In 1960, during a retention study that was conducted among college students; the students were shown 612 magazine advertisements and afterward they were presented with a fresh assembly of 612 pictures and were told to choose the original pictures. These students selected the original pictures with 98.5 % correctness.

Obviously, connecting a picture to vocabulary, even if that was not a related picture, makes it very easy to remember the word.

Hence, when next you come across a person called named Edward, use a visual tip from the popular movie of Johnny Depp and recall this name by visualizing scissors on his hands.

Chapter 2 – When we talk of retention, remembering is far greater than turning back.

All of us are aware of that bad sense of last-minute studying for a test. We skim through the book till our brains are set to blow up and hope to pass the test. However, how many things we skimmed through we can recall one week after? One month? One year?

The reality is our retention is less good than you believe and larger iteration is not the greatest approach.

For instance, consider Hermann Ebbinghaus, the German psychologist. During the 19th hundred-year, he committed various years to memorize lists of senseless syllables such as “Zhik”, “Nish”, etc. He contrasted the time he used to memorize a roll of the time he used to remember the exact list again after and found the “forgetting arc.” He discovered that people can remember nearly 30% after 24 hours; however, just about 10% a year after.

However, what about only repeating over and over the things we learned? This is named overlearning, and various experiments have revealed that it’s very pointless for lengthy-term retention.

Hence, what can be done? We can make use of recalling. At times you recall, in other words, retrieve former information, this informs your brain about something significant to recall.

In a study that was conducted, participants were offered $20 for each Spanish vocabulary from a roll that they managed to recall a week after. They had the options of studying the catalog for 10 min, or exchange the roll 5 min afterward with pencil and paper, and jot down anything they still recalled, and then give the paperback five minutes later.

The subjects who chose writing recalled nearly 35% more words a week after than the other participants. Since they needed to remember the Spanish vocabulary, they did very better at recalling them.

The further great news is that neuroscientists have revealed that every time you remember retention, your brain gets compensated with a little production of dopamine, and with this hormone, you feel great, and inspires more memory storage.

Chapter 3 – Memorization is more effective with spaced iteration structures.

All of us are aware that our lengthy-term retention does not really work as we wish for; hence, what can be done about that? We can make use of good timing. Anytime we are learning another language, time is very significant.

Astonishingly, the harder some vocabulary is to recall, the more it will stay in lengthy-term retention.

Consider the following cases: you look at a roll of vocabulary till you know them all. The next week, you attempt to remember as many as possible.

Various studies have revealed that, a week later, there is 20% more chance of recalling the words that needed a little longer to remember and 75% more chance of remembering vocabulary that was truly difficult to remember. However, there is a third group of words as well: the words you were about to say just before you recalled them. Those ones are the vocabulary you are nearly twice more able to remember a week after.

So, the trick is to remember vocabulary at the point you are close to forgetting.

The spaced iteration structure makes use of this understanding to enhance your lengthy-term retention. The spaced iteration structure makes use of flashcards at various intervals and informs you about the words to learn, and the time to learn them.

Retention scholars found out that 30 days is the perfect interval to remember a word in order for you to recall it for a longer period. The majority of the spaced iteration structures make use of this interval; therefore, you could study the vocabulary now and be remembered about it in 30 days, only before forgetting.

This structure functions well and may be utilized for vocabulary and grammatical phenomena. For instance, in just 4 months, you may learn 3600 flashcards with nearly 90-95% accuracy.

Chapter 4 – Getting the pronunciation as well as the sounds of languages is vital.

As grown-ups, it looks like a task to recall new vocabulary in a different language, still, children appear to learn them with ease. Why?

Kids grasp languages by hearing, not working. If you truly pay attention to some language, you would not just learn words alone but grammar as well. This approach is also funnier than drowning in grammar pages.

Begin with sound. It is very easy to remember when you learn the acoustic of fresh vocabulary.

In an experiment that was conducted by scholars at Carnegie Mellon and Stanford, adults from Japan with headphones and screens were told to push a button written ”lock” at times they hear the phrase “lock” and push to the button written ”rock” at the times of hearing the phrase ”rock”. Because the Japanese tongue does not possess an ”L” voice, the majority of Japanese language learners cannot notice the distinction between R and L. Hence, as predicted, the participants did really badly in this assignment.

The way to learn English when not being able to notice the distinction in the voices? To the Japanese speakers, “lock” and “rock”  were written exactly.

However, the experiment showed something fascinating. When students were indicated at times they were correct or incorrect by an indication on their screen each time they pressed a button, this enabled them to perceive the difference just after 3 20-min sittings.

A different benefit of learning a language’s voices initially is that you can grasp grammar more rapidly.

The famous “Wug” test proved these outcomes. During the assessment, kids are shown with a diagram of a figure that looks like a bird and is explained it is known as a ”Wug.” Afterward, they were shown with 2 of these and the scholars mention ”Currently, there are 2. So, there are 2 …?” When the kids are about 5 years old, they would understand that English plurals are constructed by including “s” to nouns and hence will reply ”Wugs.”

Kids had not known the “s” voice already, they wouldn’t have been able to grasp that grammatical structure.

Chapter 5 – Vocabulary games assist form vocabulary.

Learning sounds make it very easy to remember. However, there’s still an issue. As soon as you understand the voices, the way to make use of that vocabulary well while ensuring they stick in your brain? Easy. Vocabulary games.

Spot the Distinction is a perfect game and the only thing you require is Google Pictures.

Write any vocabulary you selected and you would get various pages of pictures. However, the pictures don’t only demonstrate you 1 or 2 illustrations of the thing the vocabulary signifies. They reveal to you the entire nuances and subtleties. For example, if you type in the vocabulary Schrank in German, you will see that it has several meanings (for instance., closet, cupboard, or cabinet). By realizing its several definitions, vocabulary gets very easy to grasp.

The goal is to notice the distinction between the thing you anticipated to observe and what picture is really according to Google.

Also, all pictures on Google with headings in 130 different languages (make sure you utilize the basic version of Google Pictures) and hence are a great means for people who learn a new language. Because these pictures are obtained from online sites using the language you are attempting to grasp, you may as well see the way these vocabulary are utilized in various contexts.

Memory games are another good activity, they enable learning new vocabulary more significant. This is the way to dive in:

Choose vocabulary you are attempting to remember and customize it. Say, for instance, you’re attempting to remember the French vocabulary “grandmère” meaning grandmother, you might remember the summer times you used at grandmother’s home while you were still a kid

Even though you can’t get a link, the activity of looking for a link would still assist you to recall the vocabulary, even though the link is just “that vocabulary I could not manage to remember!”

Chapter 6 – Languages have to be grasped in the way kids grasp them.

Assuming there is a device in your brain that can have voices and further input and change them into the thing we know as language. We have one, already; it’s known as the Language Device. However, it’s somewhat related to the sequence it does specific things.

All languages possess an exceptional sequence of progress.

You would most likely imagine that English language learners with various native languages learn this language in different sequences. However, that isn’t true. They use the same developmental phases as kids who have it as natives. Now, Linguists understand that this sequence is the way our brain learns English.

For instance, consider the times of the English verb. Kids grasp the -ing time of the major verb prior to learning to include “to be”. Therefore, they will utter “He” + “running” prior to saying “He” + “is” + “running”. Also, kids grasp the irregular previous prior to the regular (-ed after irregular words). Also, only as soon as they’ve understood this, they begin making use of third-person present tense (He enjoys ice cream).

But, remember, when we fill our minds with a lot of data, our “language device” collapses. The issue is, a lot of learners begin with things that are really complicated.

For you to learn grammar greatly, we have to fill our brain with what linguists call comprehensible input, namely, things we can grasp. For instance, if you put a cookie ahead of a baby and inquire “Would you like cookies?” they understand the meaning of what you said, even though they did not know about the vocabulary.

Hence, a good means to start is to grasp the easiest phrases from a grammar resource. By doing this, you’ll deliberately grasp a grammar principle all at once as feeding your brain with some digestible input.

Chapter 7 – Easy tales allow grammar patterns to be very easy.

One extremely annoying aspect of new languages is that verbs, words, adjectives, as well as nouns, appear in various forms.

Many languages possess difficult structures of vocabulary ends, with principles that are hard to read and exemptions to those principles! However, don’t be scared: there’s a funnier approach to learning them compared to continually memorizing lengthy rolls of finishes.

You need to form a basic tale for each type of vocabulary you wish to learn. Assuming you’re attempting to memorize the structures for “to be”. Standard grammar resources will usually provide illustrations like “I’m a student”, “He’s a student”, etc. Definitely, these are beneficial to some point; however, making your models is better, particularly when you’re handling irregular verbs. Hence, the way to form your models?

By making use of the PAO tale method. This method is so impactful that retention champions usually enlist it so as to recall patterns.

Let’s consider the German language. All German nouns have a neutral, feminine, or masculine article; respectively, das, die, der, and various means of constructing the plural. However, rather than attempting to recall these for every noun using iteration, you may allocate a movement to everyone and an item to every manner of constructing a plural.

You could allocate “throw” as the male structure (der) and items “chair” as the manner of constructing a plural, putting an “e” finally to the noun. Therefore, if you’re attempting to grasp “der Hund” in German, this is male and has the manner of constructing a plural, a tale or picture in your head would probably be “Dog throws a chair,” which is very more likely going to remain in mind than tenses or words independent of one another!

Chapter 8 – Grasp languages quicker by evading translations.

At the times that we are trying to learn new languages, our automatic response is to transform every word into the language we know to know precisely the meaning. Although that is attractive and looks reasonable, if you wish to fasten your process, canceling the requirement to transform is vital.

First of all, attempt making use of monolingual dictionaries, because doing that constructs vocabulary more rapidly.

In monolingual dictionaries, every word is defined using the exact tongue as the vocabulary you checked. Target to make use of these while learning new languages. While reading the explanation in the aimed language, you will not just grasp the vocabulary you have looked up; however, you’ll be revealed to further vocabulary that describes it. Say, you don’t know these words, check out those as well! By doing that, whenever you encounter a new description, you will learn more vocabulary and grammar principles.

Refraining from regular translation will enable you to become fluent more rapidly.

When speaking new languages, you will usually see yourself in circumstances that a native would say to you: The thing you mentioned is not incorrect; however, just do not tell that. The reason is that grammar, as well as vocabulary, are just pieces of a whole. You may utter a statement that is grammatically true however not naturally mentioned for the language!

When you wish to get fluent, you need to improve your listening abilities. The only means you can do that is to avoid translations.

For instance, if you are watching a film in your intended language, switch the subtitles off. Although you don’t know all the things being said, your understanding of that language will slowly increase. You will not only broaden your vocabulary; however, you’ll know the way vocabulary is utilized in the setting as well.

Also, you can attempt to read a book together with the voice book. That has been excellent at grasping the rhythm.

Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget It by Gabriel Wyner Book Review

You can get fluent in new languages sooner than you believed attainable by hiring the following approaches: making use of a spaced iteration structure, linking vocabulary to pictures, customizing new vocabulary and phrases, and paying careful attention to voices and rhythm.

Conquer those long, complicated words!

Attempting to learn the German term Rechtsschutzversicherungsgesellschaften; however, can’t really have it in sound? Conquer it! It is the time you mention the final element at the beginning, the final 2 elements following that, the final 3, and so forth. Learning pronunciation from the last to the initial enables even lengthy, frightening, words very easy to pronounce.

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Savaş Ateş

I'm a software engineer. I like reading books and writing summaries. I like to play soccer too :) Good Reads Profile: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/106467014-sava-ate

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