Become Fluent in Any Language

Lesson 1 of 31

Class Introduction

 

Become Fluent in Any Language

Lesson 1 of 31

Class Introduction

 

Lesson Info

Class Introduction

I want to start with a bit of discussion about why we're here I mean why any of us are here people come to languages for all sorts of reasons some people the common thing is romance people come in, they want to go go to france and go meet some french girl or something like this. Um travel is such a sort of life broadening thing and so travel is usually a common thing on the top of that list but some people do it for jobs they do it because, uh it opens up career opportunities that you wouldn't otherwise have one of the largest growing careers I believe it's in the top ten is translation and another one in the top ten is interpretation uh, languages are a huge source of career opportunities. I've had these experiences at middlebury college it's an immersion program they have every summer where we'll talk about it later but basically you must speak one language or they kick you out. Uh and every single time I've shown up there uh the cia is there the cia and I believe the fbi's there tio...

trying to recruit people ah, and they will pay anyone who knows one of the critical languages which I believe includes from their languages I think the asian set I think korean, japanese and chinese and um and russian and arabic especially uh if you know any of those they will hand you a thirty five thousand dollars check on your first day of work and then pay you extra bonus materials like like language maintenance fees I think they call them uh just for knowing the language is at a suitable level you don't actually have to use them in the job and if you know two of them then they'll pay you seventy thousand dollars and double meat language making peace languages right now are a huge source of income um and that applies whether you use them on the job or not there is this strange phenomenon where if you know a second language you will be paid five to twenty percent more whether or not you use that on the job um even if you're not in a call center if you're not using if you know spanish you're not using it at all and you will still on average be paid five to twenty percent more and the reason for this is that your employer thinks you're smarter and what's really strange about it is that they're right um language learning is a kind of learned intelligence you think people have this idea where oh, you know lots of languages you must be really smart and what's really strange is that's actually the other way around uh when you learn the language, you become a better problem solver you are they have this thing called the bilingual effect that they measure where they can measure that you are better at math you are better at english you are better at logic you're better you're more creative uh you become smarter by knowing another language and that's sort of a magical thing I mean it's a really neat bonus that you get not only do you speak another language not only can you go to another country and talk to people and interact with people in a new way but you actually become smarter just really cool the last sort of benefit is that I could talk about really is health you will not get alzheimer's uh about it you will get alzheimer's maybe eventually if you're going to get it but it delays the onset of alzheimer's by five years one language will delay the onset of alzheimer's by five years um and more languages will delayed even further eso it's this extraordinarily handy thing to learn a language the issue is can we do it? Um I want actually find out first from you guys what are your goals here actually maybe coast to perhaps um what do you want to get out of this course? How far do you want to go? Do you want to be ordering coffee? Do you want to be teaching you know at the sorbonne like what what do you want to do let's go deep we'll start with you for me it's just basically hold a conversation um in french is you know be able to converse with go to uh you know montreal or paris since people hold a conversation that's what I want to start off on call and why do you want to do that because well I started it for about two years part of me likes french because it's the birthplace of cinema and all those who had a fascination with movies and filmmaking so that's kind of where my interest started and now that I've given time to my interests I kind of want to pursue it and see what can take me um actually wantto learn italian because I'm applying to be preset a seminary right now and that would be very helpful for reading documents and then I had to go to rome and then I would be able to talk to people so that's reason why I want to learn it that and then I learned spanish because it's needed so yeah how far do you want to go with italian um yeah conversational and then be able to read more complex documents religious documents so um anything that pope produces basically got so uh jamie uh well I want to learn uh mandarin as first on the list uh because I like it I like hearing new sounds making being able to produce new sounds and being able to understand jokes. Movies uh books, poems the way that they were uh produced like in the raw form um and yeah that's basically it and so you're just trying to you want to get the level where you can handle books, movies and things like that do you want I mean, do you also want to be able to go to china just talk to people? Yeah definitely I would like to become fluent in japanese I'd like to be able to read it right and speak it in such a way that I can go to japan and comfortably you don't know how to get my way through the country how about you to well, I need to learn italian might do quite a lot of broadcasting in europe and I do now have a fairly regular gig within italian speaking tv station on dh the communication is very, very hard I mean thankfully they will speak perfect english that's usually what shows up when everybody your europe you're like? Oh, well, I mean, no dummy, here is the trouble that I'm actually encourages you in a way to be lazy absolutely on I've actually found that wherever you go in the world, the only places I've ever been where I really couldn't communicate were brazil where it seems to me they only speak portuguese there's just nothing else available even in china I was able to get by with sign linc which so it's so tempting to fall into laziness and not not do it but I really think that italian is my goal for the next year before she was also my goal for last year but that's one of the reasons I'm very specifically excited about this course but that's how it guys isn't because it's always you goal I mean everybody wants to speak a language I drive a rally across morocco that's completely french and it's all hand navigation so you need to be out to speak to the other team members to get a feel for what they're doing except that they're all doing french at the fastest rat bites and my school friends is nothing this is a girl even say wit instead of way you know like I think my love is much more tasteful and whatever it takes to long letter when he meets yeah I knew that I would love to speak italian and I would love as a designer to speak japanese I really would do you think gave the chinese is the language we should all be learning because it's going to be the global language within twenty years you know people ask me this in terms of like, well, what language should I learn on yes, every chinese will be really like, you know, optimal language to learn for efficiency or something but you learn what you like I mean I have people who have said me I got one letter from someone who uh they said okay, well, I know I should learn spanish but I love russian you know I love every part of it I have family who speaks it I've always loved russian uh but you know, I think I probably should learn spanish because I'm supposed to and it's like no golden russian do what do what you love this is a a long term commitment I mean it doesn't matter how fast you push it I mean you khun you can do this very very quickly on you can do this in small chunks in your day and all this sort of stuff I mean we'll talk all about this for the next you know, eighteen hours uh but nonetheless this is a big commitment this isn't something you're just going to do in a week uh this isn't you know, I've seen these things on the internet learn the language in ten days like no, this is a long term commitment you don't want to be immersing yourself in something that you don't love and so if you have a choice between something you actually like and something that you should learn because well everyone's gonna be speaking mandarin so you might as well learn it do the thing you love I mean I don't care if it's icelandic and whatever it's like I'm learning hungarian not speaking with anyone my grandmother won't even speak it with me so great comments coming in from online kala gator thirties saying I would like to learn spanish so I can travel in central and south america two small villages and be able to communicate with the locals and chariot to saying I would also like to learn spanish and maybe sudanese so I could be able to talk with people in our community food center I live in thailand so being able to get past basic tai will be great plus I love to travel and I'm looking for a good method to pick up basic language skills when I travel and deano saying learning arabic right now at university but I'm not a fan of classroom experience that they're here today to learn in a different method um I guess it's my turn uh in terms of talking about my story um you gave me actually great introduction jake but uh just expand a bit on it I began my language experiences in elementary school I took hebrew school for seven years and at this point I know let's see abba father m a mother me just what hello and can I just know I think and then yes and that's it that's were seven years of my life gun uh I can sort of read it sort of but not I mean my my accents actually not that bad in hebrew but that's about it, those for seven years down the toilet, uh, I took russian in high school, I had a wonderful, wonderful pair of of russian teachers. Um, I loved that class. I worked really hard. I had a really fun group of friends who all we're learning russian together because they thought it was quirky. And so that was five and a half years, and when I started russian again in two thousand twelve, I expected that I would remember something I mean, I figured, okay, well, took five and half years of this, uh, something's going to come back, and something did come back around forty words. I had about forty words one and a half of the cases out of six, uh, nothing stuck, and so I had I had the experience that I think most people have had of going through a course, taking it, working on it and getting little in the end, just not holding onto anything and thinking okay, well, I guess I don't have the language, jean, I can't do this, this isn't my thing. There are other people, they're smarter than me there, they have whatever it is that they need to have to learn languages, I don't have it, so whatever, um and I shelled out for a while then college came around I started this opera thing up as a win basically of well what if I did this and I found that I needed to learn german italian, french and russian really uh to be a good singer and I basically figured okay, I'm gonna take a few semesters of these languages get by kind of speak the language all right and that will be that and a friend of mine suggested a program in middlebury vermont called the german for singers programme where basically you show up in a summer you sign a contract saying if I speak one word that is not german I'm gonna get kicked out no refund and I learned very quickly uh you show up your first day someone comes up to you they're like hollow like hello like hello like each I see josh you're like josh like choice a game and they go give you big comes out like yeah they're good and you start speaking uh and then you learn very rapidly um and so I did a seven week course there by the end of that summer I was speaking pretty well I mean decently uh I went back the following year in two thousand five and got up sue fluency with sort of certified like you are fluent see one uh the europeans have this wonderful grading system of language is where they go a one which is really low level a to b one b to see one which is sort of like fluent and then see too which is fluent and can teach in the university uh and so I had my c one certificate and I was feeling really proud of myself uh two thousand eight high then I moved to vienna in austria uh joined a master's program there and went to italy in italy I studied in rusia uh for six weeks picked up a lot um got two relatively comfortable place and it was another confirmation that the immersion experience is a wonderful thing I mean, it really really just jams language in your head if you really speak a language all day you have to mean everyone speaking to you in spanish and you have to respond in spanish then you will learn spanish eventually. I mean, it is an effective thing but the issues that you don't always have time for um and that's where all of this comes from is not having time for the immersion experience. Um two thousand ten I signed up for middlebury uh for the french program and I cheated on the placement test. Uh I figured ok, well, I know some italian um and french is relatively close and I don't want to be level one and there is a level one and a half for people who are false beginners and I wanted to do that. And so they have a placement test, and I used google translate, and I cheated on it, and I found out in march that I cheated on it too well, and they placed me in the intermediate level. The french and I had three months to learn french or completely embarrassed myself in the entrance interview. And so I started researching and trying to figure out, how am I going to avoid this horrible embarrassment of sitting in front of this french teacher and trying to speak with her for fifteen minutes and not knowing any french? And I found that there are programs out there that will jam information into your head very rapidly. This is this honky program that everyone should be downloading. Um, so these programs exist, and they will jam information into your head. But what people do with these programs as they do them in translation? They say hunt is a dog, and they will learn these these pairs, you know, katsuta is a cat, and I knew from my previous experiences with hebrew in russian that that wasn't going to get me there. And so I started doing this with pictures, and I started building flashcards, thes air flashcard programs, basically, um, I started building a vocabulary of just pictures. I would say okay sure is a picture of a particularly french doc okay shot is a picture of a particularly fresh cat and I would build up his vocabulary eventually I started sticking those words that I knew now in french I mean with images I would stick those words together into sentences I would start learning the abstract vocabulary that way and I did this for an hour a day on the subway and I showed up to middlebury to my entrance interview and that was the first time I spoke a word of french and the teacher greeted me and she's like jewels and I realized that the word that came to my mind first wasn't like oh, she said hello it was blue and we started having a conversation and it was stunted. It was not like, oh, what proof? I'm completely fluent in french I do this all on myself and all of my own and I just emerged from from this three month process of being fluent french but I had a full french dictionary in my head I knew all of the responses to give I understood every word she was saying and I could speak french and so we had this conversation she responded just fine, she said, you know you shouldn't be in the intermediate level, you should be in the advanced level she brought me up one level higher ah, and during that summer, we read ten books. I wrote seventy pages of essays, and by the end of it, I was as fluent in french as I was at the end of my two german summers. Um, I had reached that c one fluency level. Um, and I realised I was onto something that this was something that was really very valuable. Um, I tried it again with russian. I refined things a bit in two thousand twelve, um, did a little less. I was doing forty minutes a day instead of an hour day found that it worked really well. Um, did it again with hungarian as a real kind of dry run where I don't know any hungarian. I didn't know a sound of hungarian er, and at this point, this has become a very, very solid, polished machine where you basically give it time and it gives you a language. So what we're going to be covering today is basically, that is, how do you do this? What? What? What do I suggest that you do step by step by step to build a foundation in the language and grow it out? Um, but aside from that, what I really want to cover, in addition to that, is the why is, how does this work? Why is this working? Because I think it lets you be a lot more flexible with it, and you understand why you're doing everything you're doing when you understand what's going on in your brain. Uh, you can go a lot faster, and you can react to problems much better. So that's, kind of what I want to do. Um, I want to talk a little bit about logistics. We're going to be using computers in this course, I will be showing you how to do this with paper flash cards. I will like that we'll be there in actually the next segment, but generally I want to show you how to use computer tools because they're faster and they work really, really well on there, really neat.

Class Description


Speaking a foreign language gives you more sophisticated problem-solving skills, more tools for multitasking and expressing yourself, and opens up more career opportunities – not to mention the ability to more fully immerse yourself in other cultures. But learning a new language can be an unmanageably long endeavor. Join Gabriel Wyner to learn how you can become (and stay) fluent in a new language in months, not years.

Throughout this course, you’ll explore memorization tools, linguistic concepts, and free software that will ensure fluency in the shortest amount of time possible. You’ll learn about the four essential stages of language acquisition: understanding correct pronunciation, building vocabulary and grammar skills, reading and listening effectively, and conversing with native speakers. You’ll also learn about antiquated methods to avoid (such as translating between new and native languages) and cutting-edge new techniques that ensure maximum absorption and retention.

By the end of this course, you’ll have an easy system for learning a new language, retaining, and expressing yourself as quickly as possible.

Reviews

Nephele Tempest
 

I really enjoyed this course. Gabe has a terrific, easy teaching style that's entertaining and absorbing to the point where I'm conscious of having gone through the course a little too fast. I am looking forward to going back through it a little more slowly to catch any tidbits I missed, but even without that I feel I have so many new tools to apply to language learning and I can't wait to get started. I really appreciate that he also went over how to tackle a language you've already learned in the past but have not retained to the level you'd like, as well as how to start a brand new language from scratch. I hope to do both with much greater success than my previous attempts.

a Creativelive Student
 

I really wasn't expecting to learn a whole lot of new things with this course but I feel like I have come away with so much more then just how to learn a language. The science on how our mind and memory work was really interesting and also very applicable to other parts of my life. Along with this course, I purchased Gabriel's pronunciation trainer which I also highly recommend. I never thought about the pronunciation of a language as a separate part and I feel like learning this first is already greatly improving my understanding of my goal language. I have tried to learn another language many times only to either give up from frustration or get bored with the program I'm using. This course and Gabriel's method of learning a language have me so excited that this time will be the time I succeed. I can't wait to start using the word list once that is available and to start creating my own. Thank you so much for such a great course.

user-278c98
 

Worth every penny. Despite the title, you'll learn far more than how to become fluent in a language -- you'll learn how to learn anything you want! Gabe is a great presentational speaker, articulate and captivating. The foundation of the course is about how to set a concrete and measurable goal, learn effectively, and set yourself up for success. This course addresses forming new habits within the constraints of your current life, making progress when you don't feel motivated, and how to recover from setbacks like getting off-track or when you just don't grasp a concept--these topics are often missing from other learning courses so students flounder as soon as they stray from the formula. Building on all these fundamentals, Gabe then offers specific techniques and tools for language learning. Excellent course!