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Spaced Repetition

Lesson 3 from: Become Fluent in Any Language

Gabriel Wyner

Spaced Repetition

Lesson 3 from: Become Fluent in Any Language

Gabriel Wyner

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Lesson Info

3. Spaced Repetition

Lesson Info

Spaced Repetition

Let's see if we can make them stick long term because yes, I can tell you that got those d telling word for cat I could show you a picture of a cat I can ask you what your cat's name is and then stick all that together and that will stick for a while but we need this to stick for years this is a job we're trying we're trying to make this not just you know, two month memory because I need I have a final at the end of my semester we're trying to hold on to this for the rest of our lives and so we're aiming for a long, long long long term memory so let's get into space repetition but before that a story um I'm going to tell you about a theoretical birthday party that's coming up uh it is your job basically to pay attention that's it I will be quizzed you on things but don't don't take notes uh just just just think about what I'm saying take it in and we'll talk about what sticks and what doesn't stick. So, um this coming june june seventeenth at seven thirty p m I'm gonna be having a birt...

hday party and you're all invited uh anyone who rst piece for creative live will be getting a, uh invite you could feel it by mail this is a lie um and you will fill out on this rcp the number of guests you have you can have up to three guests and your favorite appetizer I want you to write down your favorite appetizer I also want you to write down your favorite dessert now take a second just just think about what is your favorite appetizer what would you want to have at a party at around seven thirty p m take three seconds okay, now think about what would be your favorite dessert because there's a field on that on the invite for that too I want you to write down your favorite dessert and send it to me so just take a few seconds for that what dessert you want at this party? Ok. And so you're gonna mail that to me ah you're gonna mail that to the address of the party which is one to eight four three greenleaf street this is an escondido it's near san diego uh in california and the zip code is nine one for three o now I want you to mail that there and then I want you to show up there at seven thirty p m on the date that we already talked about which you should remember by now and so you're going to drive there there's going to be a driveway you're gonna drive in which is what you do in a driveway and there will be a new intercom panel sort of security panel and I want you to type in the code the code is for two to three seven seven eight and so the gate will open you're drivin will be parking on the left and if you keep going further to the left you'll see another intercom panel and on that panel I want you to dial in the code seven seven seven seven eight pound and you're going to be connected to stand egil saturday I was gonna ask you a question he's saying why are you here? And you're gonna say I'm here for the party and the password is meds on all day and then he will let you in whole buzzed the gate open you're going to go up the hill there's gonna be a big staircase you're gonna walk up that staircase on the left side you're going to turn so what sort of curving over towards the right around this big house you're gonna walk up some more stairs you're gonna turn left walk up those stairs you're gonna turn left, walk down this sort of marble pathway and on the right there will be a door you're gonna open the door come in and there'll be this wonderful open area in this area there will be a bunch of cocktail tables there'll be a one big, big big bar the barbell on ly have jim and tonic there will be three kinds of gin and tonic with three kinds of gin. At least they'll be bombay sapphire, that baton career, wrong poor and will be beefeater gin, because I like jenna tonic. And so that will be available. As you wish. There will also be on every one of these cocktail tables, a labeled plate of your favorite appetizer, which you get to pick up and sort of share with your friends or share with anyone you meet there, and so we're going to spend an hour sort of sharing our favorite appetizers with each other and talking about them and saying, oh, this is I found out about this from somewhere I had this in san francisco was delicious. Um, so I'm gonna spend an hour there, um, at around nine pm, we're going to go down to the pool, so bring your swimsuits and bring towels in the pool. We're going to float out a bunch of flatbread cesaire flatbreads from the american flatbread company. They have them in middlebury, they're wonderful. Ah, and so you're going to have some of the best flatbreads you've ever had in your life. They're gonna be floating out in the pool, a little floaties on dh, then once those have been eaten at around ten o'clock, they're going to float out smaller floaties with your favorite desserts on them and so in the pool you're going to be sort of floating round with your desserts sharing those with all of your friends um at around ten thirty pm there's gonna be a little fireworks display and then we're gonna go home so this is my birthday party we're gonna talk about this later but first let's talk about memory again um a scenario for you you are in spanish class and you are in spanish class with a friend and that friend is equally intelligent to you you get the same grades and everything you are identical twins you were in class with your identical twin and you have this test in one week you have thirty words to memorize they have word pairs the sort of english spanish word pairs or whatever will do english italian cause my spanish accents terrible and so you have you know cat got though dog connie this sort of thing you're learning animals perhaps and so your job is to study for this test you do this until you can barely recite the words again so you cover up one side of the page you test yourself you say okay got though is what and you look and you say oh yeah yeah cat you get got though is a cat right and you go through it it takes you fifteen minutes to barely memorize this list where you can now go through once and say all the answers once but you're sure you're going to forget them in five minutes your friend does the exact same thing but after those fifteen minutes they say okay, well, I have a test in a week I don't want to study this week I'm going on vacation, but I figure I want to do well on this test so I'm gonna study twice as much if it took me fifteen minutes to barely memorize these words spend a half hour and so you take your vacations you both have a week's vacation you both show up you know whatever drunk from your vacation hung over from your vacation on the test day you have not studied a lick you've not even looked at your word list you show up at your test and you both naturally do terribly but you do different sorts of terribly um your friend does better than you as expected he gets a d sixty five percent you get a thirty nine percent and so you both do terribly you both have done poorly but that's to be expected you didn't study for a week before your test, but what comes really interesting is what happens when your teacher gives you a test four weeks later for three weeks later at the four week mark suddenly your test scores are no longer different I mean the different by one or two percent and if you look at that this eight weeks down the road they would no longer be different at all. Um, this idea of studying more than you need two more than the bare bare bare minimum uh that works great in the short term, this is why cramming for tests tends to work you cram for your test, you do well on your test but then you forget everything was called over studying and it doesn't do anything for a long term memory. And so what we're going to do for this course is we're going to study as little as possible because that ends up being a lot more efficient but still we need to do better than twenty percent with ours languages so let's let's see how we could boost that of it? New scenario and stew are no longer in spanish class but this time or italian class whatever this time I give you a list of italian english word pairs and I say okay, this is not a class this is for money now you're paying attention and I say I will give you twenty dollars for every word you remember from this list in a week there's a list of fifty words fifty word pairs now I give you this list for five minutes this is not enough time to memorize it you have you could memorize a few of these words, but you don't have enough time to memorize the whole list and then I give you a choice, I say ok, five minutes are up stop looking at your list, you can either have that list for five more minutes and continue studying or you can give me back the list and I will give you a blank sheet of paper and a pencil and you can write down whatever you remember and once you do, you give me back that list to you don't get to look at it for the week, and I will test you in one week and for every word you get, I will give you twenty bucks. The results become kind of interesting, especially when you mess with the timing and you say okay, well, I told you was going to be a week, but I'm actually gonna test you in five minutes. Um, if you test in five minutes, then what you'll find is that the person who read for if you read for twice as much time to read for those ten minutes, you will do better as you expect. But what happens after sometime is that everything starts changing two days later, the person who chooses the blank sheet of paper does substantially better you're talking around sixty eight percent versus fifty five percent recall um and one week later this continues to be the case you're looking at around fifty fifty eight percent to forty two percent something like that testing ends up being the main thing that sticks something into your long term memory that is not reading it is not learning it is testing it is attempting to reach back into your memory and be like what were those words got so that was it and every time you catch one of those words you drill something deeper into your long term memory but this starts getting weird uh same scenario in this case I'm going to give you three options I'm going to say ok you have your wordless for five minutes study five minutes are up you may either read for five more minutes. You ready? No this is a bad idea. You can take one test you can basically take a blank sheet of paper write down what you know or you could take a blank sheet of paper write down what you know then give that cheetah paper back to me I will give you a new blank sheet of paper you can write down what you know and then you give that back to me and I will give you a third blank sheet of paper you can write down what you know and give it back to me the second test is easy the third test is stupid I mean what you've written this down already twice I mean, this is not if you know what you know it uh what effect does this have in a week and what becomes really weird is that this has a huge effect this is a different test with the numbers are slightly different but if you just read this list you are this is a test where you would recall around thirty percent of the information in a week if you read it and then test yourself you're recalling something around forty percent and if you read it and then test yourself the identical test three times in a row you're now it around fifty five percent recall it's totally counter intuitive way of looking at memory this idea that ok, well if I'm testing yeah, I get it like if I'm working like okay, that should make it so I remember something better but the idea that you can take a test where test two and test three are stupidly easy where you feels like a waste of time and for it to have that significant of a result really sort of zeroes in on what his memory what is it to memorize something because we've all been in school and we've been told okay memorize this list memorize all the presidents memorized the state capitals memorise whatever and no one's actually taught us how to memorize so once taught us what to do and there is no real action. Usually what we do is they say, okay, memorize this list and you go. Okay, well, need to memorize that. This guy's name is santiago santiago, santiago santiago. And you just repeat in your head, you just say the word over and over and over again, but repetition is actually not very effective. What's effective is attempting to reach back and be like, okay, what was that? Guy's name? Santiago. Okay, let me think about some other things. Okay. What was that? Guy's name again? Santiago every time you reach back and try to catch it again. That's what? Drill? Something into your long term memory, but for a second, let's, look at what that feels like. What does it feel like to drill something into your memory? So I'm going to ask, um, pick on deep. Um, tell me something about the party. One of these random details it was your birthday is in two mean joon, right? Okay. Humor of the day. It's ah, seventeenth. Okay, good. That was pretty quick. So you you got the date of the birthday like that? It was within one second. Uh, okay, I just tested you on that, yeah, and so therefore you're gonna remember that better next week got it. Okay. This is much better than me just saying I'm gonna tell you again my birthday's in june seventeenth when I test you then that drills it it but let's go further tell me more details uh it's in the evening so time seven thirty okay, you got that that was pretty convincing other ones what are we having tell me what what's the sequence what we do is looking forward appetizers okay what the appetizers chips and salsa myself. Yeah, ok. Um that's all questioning sandwiches ice cream sounds great dessert okay, I don't know what your address is he'd like to send that to me again. Okay, so you forgot the dress remember the password to the door? No, I remember the name of the guy you're getting sergiu good, okay, remember what you're supposed to tell him? I don't know I don't remember that. Okay, we're looking for something that's a little deeper um what kind of generally having thomas sapphire and beefeater yeah, I don't know the third one okay, if you look for it when you find it so todd starts with a t yes, I don't know that I don't know has pronounced it was takeru takeru okay getting somewhere going yeah, yeah, yeah keep going, um tank yeah, okay that the tanker you took you probably two three seconds to kind of get teo now if I were to test in a week like you would say that that that's a weaker memory like the june seventeenth that thing's going to stick like I know that and the tank a rating not so much okay take a raise now deeper in your memory than june it is because you had to work harder to get it got it it's around twenty percent better than that first one I'm going to pick uh jamie okay so give me some more details about this party um ok s o the party is he should be there at escondido at seven thirty pm yeah and you should the password for the four when sergio asked yeah is going to be met so not there yeah you got that one okay and uh what kind do you remember the second name of the djinn is tank arabia was actually to put two part name okay um what time are we going down to the pool at uh ten tonight um what are we eating in the pool? Uh flatbreads their wee lad bird company yes. Yes good. So this is delayed recall this thing took you like probably three, four seconds to get maybe a little faster but it was there was kind of deep in there something that takes you between three and ten seconds to find something that you really kind of to work for me like that was uh flatbread that's getting a seventy five percent boost over something you remember now nothing is really getting ingrained anytime that you can find something that really you have to work for to get and you eventually do get uh that's going to be one of the best types of tests that you confined but keep going tell me more details about this party so the flatbreads will be in floaties and then uh we will have our favorite dessert and chair with friends and then and then there will be fireworks good hat ten thirty yes on the power these over impious do you ever had to get to the party what the route was uh remember I had to go up some stairs and then go left and then go another left um but I I don't remember I I do know that we had to go through two doors yes to get there with two different passwords remember any passwords? Seven seven, seven seven eight pound yes, that was me. Yes. Nice. Well, um that's the stuff is coming too easily it's either coming too easily for you're just not at all but the last category just gonna jump to it. The last category is bee are these things that sort of come to the tip of your time which was much like your tanker experience where you were like I think it has a tea in it uh attain a and it's sort of you get little bits and it's this experience that we've all sort of had where you're like his name was like god and you can't quite get there and then eventually you do get there uh these experiences are twice as good as something that you recall immediately these are the best sort of experiences and this is all happens because of the emotional reaction you get all of these things when I ask you what the date of the birthday is near like oh it's june seventeenth no care I don't care about my birthday no I mean you don't you don't carry it comes too easily and so something that is easy you don't really there's no sense of success you're like I got it like no, you got it it was easy but when I really tried to drill and you said okay that's it starts with a t and I'm like, uh what was it you started actually piecing it together? There's the sense of success that builds and builds and builds uh and that makes you feel good and whenever you feel good and you feel like you're succeeding at something uh your brain tries to remember that because it feels good and things that feel good you want to hold on to er and so that is generally what it feels like to do a good test some people go into flash cards and things, and they think, oh, god, if I haven't gotten this so that its down so that I can immediately say everything that's on in my language, that I could just immediately look at any card you like that's, that that's that that's, that that they have failed in some sense and it's actually the other way around, what you want, our tests that are challenging, consistently challenging because that's gonna be the most efficient use of your time and the way you do this is by delaying instead of in terms of the june seventeen thing, what would have been better for you if we really wanted you to memorise every detail of this fake birthday party? Uh, would be for me to ask you about the date in two days when you basically kind of for gotten when we're getting we're trying to aim for these sort of tip of the tongue event for this thing where you're like, ah, that was like one of the j months. It was like it was june or july, and I don't think it was january. It was, uh it was right in the middle of the years in june, we're aiming for that the only way you get there is by waiting. But eventually you gonna wait too long and you're going to forget and so what happens if you do well, we'll go back for a second um if I test you on let's say the you know, what was the password to the first intercom? Uh, right and so you know, and I'm not going to tell you because I forgot it too uh because for two to three, seven, seven, seven and eight or something, actually. So I guess that you remember, um if I don't tell you the answer, you get nothing from that test it's not like it. We've just sort of bumped it up a little bit in your subconscious or something. No, you will keep forgetting that word it's it's gone like sorry, but if I tell you the answer, then one of two things can happen. Um, if I let's see, we've kind of gone over almost every detail that birthday party um let me think. I mean, I told you the name of the the gin, for instance, you were you were almost there. You were like tanker and I said it was tank arraign you said, oh, yeah, um, you had this sort of oh, yeah experience like nothing you remember that, um if you have that experience and when I give you the answer if you say I don't remember if you just have this experience is being like it was t something but I don't remember and I say it's tank arraign you say oh yeah you get nearly the full benefits is if you remembered it yourself feedback is kind of this magical thing it takes failure and just kind of turns it into success magically uh every time you would search for an answer you almost get it and then someone gives you the answer you go oh yeah that is almost as effective as fighting it yourself but there's another option which is that I can ask you what the password is to that first gate and I could say it's for two to three seven seven seven eight and you could be like okay sure that's fine um what's interesting about this is it's actually better than me telling you that the password is for two to three seven seven seven eight on its own the fact that I have asked you this question makes you look for it it makes you go okay well let's see if I do remember this I'm gonna go back in my head I'm going to say okay I was an intercom I was in a car there was an intercom there's a later there was another pad but this is the first pad it was long had baby eight digits for two to three, seven, seven, seven, eight and so I give you that answer right there at the exact point where you have built a network for yourself, you built a set of of active things going on in your brain, and then I figured that it bit of information, and it will link up with everything else. And so that actually turns out to be a very, very good learning experience idea of asking you a question and giving you an answer even when you don't remember it all. What it wass feedback turns every single test question when I give you the answer, uh, into a learning experience. That's really very, very effective. So we've basically figured out that testing is really good. Testing with immediate feedback is really good and testing when we wait. Testing, when we've almost for gotten is better than testing when we really remember very well. So what happens if we start combining all of these things? Well, this is one delayed test. This is what happens if let's say we learn one hundred words and I test you on all of them. Uh, but I wait a month. We have this sort of italian class thing. I give you these fifty words, you memorize them, whatever, and then in twenty eight days I give you a test so it's actually interesting is that this is how we forget things this's this came out of the eighteen, eighty five study by herb in every house this's a insane german man who he sat in a room for three years with the metrodome taking a one hundred fifty beats a minute and he memorized lists of nonsense syllables like schlapp pip snip boop like just not put people to cut out everything that actually had any any meaning on he would memorize lists of nonsense syllables uh constantly I think he was three straight years he did this um like only the germans uh and he would memorize them by just reading through he would have a list of let's say twelve syllables five rows long and he would read through at a rate of one hundred fifty words a minute and then he would read through again and then he would read through again and he would keep doing this until he had memorized this list till he could recall it without without looking at at the words then he would wait a predetermined amount of time and then relearn the list and see how long it took him. So a list that took in let's say ten minutes to learn uh if he waited one day would then take him six minutes tiller to relearn he had for gotten sixty percent of that memory basically it's basically how deep is this trace still remaining in his head if he relearned his lists after let's say a week he took a list that took him ten minutes to learn he would wait one week at this point we are at around thirty five percent of the memory still there so we're looking at six and a half minutes takes him six and a half minutes to re learn this memory what's interesting is that we forget basically most of our memories almost instantaneously this is the one hour mark the one hour mark is around fifty five percent so it will take you around four and a half minutes to relearn a list that took you ten minutes learn the first time and so within an hour we learned we've lost almost half of what we know within a day we've lost around sixty percent within a week we've lost around seventy, sixty five percent but some trace remains for a really really long time uh a one month mark where around thirty percent of our memories still there it will take you measurably less time to relearn something even junk like these nonsense syllables it will take you took to her bed anyhow seven minutes in this case to rely on one of his list after waiting an entire month a year goes by and it takes immeasurably less like around eight and a half minutes to rely on this list and if you keep going down this curve, you start seeing that that some trace like eighteen percent seventeen percent remains after five to ten years even after memorizing garbage and look what happens when you take a single test, take one test with feedback and suddenly instead of recalling like seventeen percent of the information instead of having that kind of trace remain in your head at the ten year mark around fifty percent you have jammed this information in your head in a way that will stick for good and that's with one test what happens if you take multiple tests? That's what we're going to be doing this is eight tests and with eight tests and this is not that much time you take saying ok, fifty words I'm gonna test myself on this fifty words I'm going to just keep you know, saying ok, what is a god? So uh I don't remember let's look at the back of the card oh yeah it's a cat you go through these cards that say we're using flash cards because that's a convenient way of testing things and after eight of these tests very, very little time in your life the part of your memory that's sticking is around seventy percent so let's do this what happens if you start trying to memorize you try to memorise a whole bunch of words let's say three thousand words four thousand words let's say you try to memorize bunch of grammar rules let's see you try to memorize spellings and pronunciation systems and things like that what if you could take every single part of a language and turn it into a little test memorable test you use pictures you use personal connections use all this stuff to make it as memorable as possible and then you test them one by one in a sequence such that you try to make those tests as challenging as possible every single time you try to catch yourself right before you forget so let's take a flash card we'll say we're gonna make a flash card with a picture of a cat on it very italian cat we'll say this is a capital and we're gonna test ourselves on this cat on day zero we make the flash card you do it by hand we do it by on the computer whatever on day one we look at the car and we say ok what is this this's got so that is I don't remember kat okay I mean I see the picture of a cat put it back in my cards either go through it all my other words and learning that I come back I say got the what is that that is a cat good I just had a really good recall experience it was hard perfect now I wait and the programs that I'm suggesting everyone get well wait automatically they will wait for days for you they will say okay you could handle this now let's go let's try four days day five comes around you're learning other words day to your learning other words day three year learning other words day for your learning other words day five you're learning other words and got that comes back you look at this and you go got though I remember that that was a few days ago got though that wass oh yeah the picture of my cat lily you look at it you're right you tell the program I got this the program says okay, well, you could handle four days let's try seven so you spend seven days learning other words day twelve rolls around and the program asks you what is this scott you say uh cat tell the program you got it program reacts it says okay, well, you could handle seven days what about twenty? You're learning other things here on day thirty two a month is rolled by since you first wrote that flash card shows up and says, what is this? And you say got though that is uh that is a cat I know that it's been forever but I remember that you tell the program you got it comes back in fifty days in the course of those fifty days we're now in day eighty two you've learned other words and at some point let's say on day seventy seven you learn the word god alone, which means rooster and on day eighty two u c got though and you think, well, if not a rooster I kind I definitely got a low is the word for rooster and got there was something else and I think it's an animal that I don't know dam and you look at the back side of the car that's it shows you the picture of the cat like, oh yeah, you have the oh yeah experience and you tell the program you got it wrong and it will react and it will say okay, well, you got it wrong let's show it to you more often and so it restarts the cycle and it shows the two and four days shows achieve in seven days and then it keeps bumping up this interval and the next time you hit this fifty day interval you will be fine. You will have no problem getting past that. Maybe you'll have a problem in one hundred fifty days on the word is six months old you haven't seen him for six months or maybe not um what this ends up doing isn't sticking words into your vocabulary at a ridiculously efficient rate generally, what I recommend people do is learn around thirty new words a day, new cards a day, I'll show later, in terms of what the flash card designs are, generally, I will use two or three or four flash cards per word in order to split up the information in different ways. But if you're looking at these new cars, if your learning thirty new ones per day, then, after a few weeks around one hundred twenty old cards will come back every day, you're gonna be studying thirty, new cards a day and around a hundred twenty old ones that are mostly from the last few weeks, a few from the last few months, maybe like one or two from six months ago, eight months ago, a year ago, this ends up being around thirty minutes a day of daily study, and at this rate, you're gonna be picking up nine hundred new flash cards a month into your memory and around eleven thousand new flash cards a year, and you'll be able to recall all of them at around ninety two, ninety five percent recall. But what does that mean? Like how do you measure a language? In terms of flash cards? There have been studies done showing, you know, how many flash cards is a french? Uh, no, except that I've done it. Ah, now I can tell you at least my own experiences for french I found that generally I think by the time I hit c one fluency I was I think I had four thousand flashcards um russian I found really uh interesting that it was exactly double that it was a thousand flashcards and that follows the foreign service institute the u s has a new institute for training its diplomats and spies called the foreign service institute they rank all of their language is based on difficulty and they have three categories category one languages or languages that are very related to english. These are the on ly applied to english speakers because languages are not actually they're not hard languages and easy languages there are languages that are close to your language and far away from your language and that is the only thing that changes its difficulty I mean there's no one who shows up and is born into a chinese family the mandarin chinese family and is like, oh god, this language is too hard I can't speak this language is our equally there's a sort of idea that languages are equally easy or equally difficult if you wish uh I think that's true but there are languages that are further away from what you know and so the foreign services to groups has three groups level one language is our languages like french italian, spanish, portuguese these languages share a ton of english vocabulary aton of english grammar they are relatively easy to pick up compared to other languages eso won french in this system at least for me it was around four thousand flashcards russians in level two and according to the foreign service institute should take you twice as long and indeed took me exactly twice as many flashcards so russian seems to be around eight thousand maybe nine thousand flashcards to get to a comfortable level of conversation doable, this is thirty minutes a day of study of review. We'll talk about it separate thing about creating these flash cards just about an equal amount of time but this is doable within ten months which is what I did um and languages that are in group three incidently languages and group two are things like greek things like hebrew, hindi our language is that hungarian are languages that have some distance from english that sometimes use different alphabets that have kind of different weird grammar were compared to english um and so those air level two languages and they have their worth to french is in terms of difficulty level three languages are there only like five at the foreign service institute there's two dialects of chinese, japanese, korean, arabic those were on the level three languages and they take their two russians or four french is level three languages are twice as difficult level two languages for english speakers to pick up so mandarin is going to be challenging but doable I mean you're talking about something like a year and a half and that's what I'm planning on doing in august I mean in august I'm planning on starting japanese myself because I want to try this out one who always wanna learn japanese uh and I'm expecting that to take around a year and a half doing somewhere around half an hour to an hour of work today yeah question uh so you were mentioning before that uh this stuff sticks when you already have the structure to pick it up when you're at that when you're able to already answer the what are the symbols in my head but for example for for mandarin for arabic for japanese that you don't have that structure how to get there that's all we're gonna talk about ok yeah I mean the the idea with this is that you must build that structure and you have to build that structure even in a language like italian I mean, what is g n in italian you know, how do you pronounce that is that good naki is that gnocchi? I mean, you need to actually know what these things do you know ch I's that is cch I you know is that what's the difference between qi and key there are all sorts of things in even easy languages you know that are not actually easy there everything is challenging that you have to build structure there to mandarin is a serious challenge in terms of the structure and so that's why you have to start with the structure did you being like okay, well let's go learn sentences like why why learned sentences before you can actually handle all those pieces of that word for cat so that's exactly what we're gonna do we're gonna talk about the consequences of all of this um in terms of you know, what are we going to do for the next a few sessions? I mean, what what are we doing throughout this workshop based on this? So we're gonna start with sound we're going to start with sound and structure thie idea is there's no purpose and learning words there's no purpose learning grammar until we can have the structure to actually remember it so we're gonna focus on in terms of mandarin what are the pieces of these symbols? You know how and we'll have a little aside for mandarin and japanese because they have a really special set of challenges, but generally you need to be able to handle the alphabet you need to be able to handle the sounds you need to be able to hear a word like finke pa's, a gape and actually have that stick in your head those sounds need to actually mean something and so that's our first challenge is can we build that foundation of structure and sound such that these words are member memorable at least to the extent of english words? And can we at least go there once we have that now we can hear some words and so we're going to start learning words using pictures using personal connections we're going to get a base of vocabulary such that you can look at things and immediately think in that language you can think all star you can think you know the whole higher you can think seek you can immediately look at something and think in your target's language and that's what you want you want to be able to start pointing at things and thinking in that language um and then once you have some words to play with, then you can start building sentences and that's really where the language starts to bloom where you really get to start having words connecting with other words in the same language connecting with the personal connections already built connecting with pictures you've sort of collected uh this part gets really, really fun I mean the nice thing about this process is that it sort of starts out like, okay, fun I'm building this thing in my head and then it just gets more and more fun as the thing that you're building in your head gets more and more complex and has all these sort of towers and archways and things like that, I mean it really it feels like a building process on dso, so I like it. I mean, for me, uh, language learning is at this point, I'm just doing it because it's fun like what? What use do I have for hungarian? Like, I even talked to hungarians? They're like, why are you learning our language? I mean, if I spoke its interesting, actually spoken with russians and russians air like, of course, you're learning our language, of course, it's the best language, but the hungarians are like yes, come tto come to hungary, it's a wonderful country, but, like, don't learn hungarian, we all speak english, you don't need it, but I'm doing this because it's fun, I mean it's an enjoyable process you actually get to mess with your head and build something it's like it's, you find out new ways of thinking and it's it's really kind of thrilling, so I I I'm a big fan of this process.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Fluent Forever Quickstart Guide
English-Intl Phonetic Alphabet Deck
3 Q&A Videos
Italki Bonus Voucher
35 Example Words in 13 Languages
Analog Flashcard Schedule
Hungarian Spelling Demo
Model Decks
Anki Manual
Course Syllabus

Ratings and 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.


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!

Student Work