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Lesson 9 from: Become Fluent in Any Language

Gabriel Wyner

Student Questions

Lesson 9 from: Become Fluent in Any Language

Gabriel Wyner

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Lesson Info

9. Student Questions

Lesson Info

Student Questions

I believe we're ready for questions we have many yes to have many good um does not having evil uh uh affect so many sounds because I I have I was diagnosed with sleep apnea has surgery and they cut out my you vila and that yeah I don't know I don't know the answer to that um I'm trying to think if your tongue can vibrate against that certainly sounds that used to you villa yeah I mean the french are the uh uh is a vibration against the you villain now I don't know I don't feel my tongue vibrating uh I think it is that you ve let it that is vibrating I don't know if you can loosen your tongue up enough so that the tongue itself will vibrate I think thats unlikely um but what you should be able to do uh is in many languages there are variants um there are a lot of acceptable ways of saying the same continent and so in french for instance uh it is ok to say uh you know you can say I oan do you are you can say I home to you and the is not it's not it's not a uv lor our at all it's not and ...

there's no role to that at all it's just here's the back here throat here's the back your tongue and it's just pressing against so that you're getting a sort of sound and you could say I home to you and people will hold t home to you and people will know what you're saying in fact there will be just sort of ah dialect we'll be like oh you're from the south something like that uh and so they're usually acceptable ways of saying things such that you won't even necessarily have uh a nonstandard accent I mean you won't have a foreign accent I just have a regional accent so I think that's probably where you're gonna have to go if you try to learn something like a french that really relies on those continents so the difference is the manner of differences the manor exactly yes instead of trilling in that case for instance you're going to the sort of turbulent s okay yeah uh hit have been french people that have had that procedure I'm pretty sure ana so when you were going through the continents uh you mentioned uh eleven positions ah and are those like all the positions that are used in all the languages or all the common language is or are there more than that? Those of the eleven that are used in all the common language is there is I believe there is one more we're going to jump back um I believe there is we have this sort of arabic anything where the throat sort of constricts theoretically there is one more that's like back down here or your throat just sort of comes in against the epiglottis, which is the thing that prevents you from choking. Uh, no one uses it, okay? It's like it shows up, and I think maybe, like, one recorded language or something like that and it's like there's a fight as to whether or not it exists, like linguists are all up in arms like no, there is no epic little prick it, uh, I don't think it's you I mean, if you're if you're in a language that uses something that's really, really out there generally, you'll know because it will be discussed if your learning african click, for instance, that's not covered here african click I mean, yes, african click is is actually shows up in these locations? Um, but the manners or not, I'm not talking about african clicks here, but if you are learning an african click language, you know you are learning an african click language, and so that will be in the very beginning of whatever textbook or tutor you're dealing with, they will say, ok, let's, start with the cliques and you will do that first. But generally, if your learning most of the language is ninety nine percent of the languages that that anyone has attempts to learn as a second language this covers all of your bases and more I mean the arabic I and honestly you don't need opposed de general you want you're not gonna need actually in your case you might yeah on the on the chinese I actually um just reviewing some of they they have different for example they have a pool and they have uh the who and the who it's yeah it's what you were mentioning and on the on the positions and lips I mean in terms of I mean we can actually run into the for mandarin thing I'm seeing in terms of their vowels we have ah we have our which is tricky having that distinction haha um french usedto have this and has lost this distinction that sort of bright that's in front and awe in the back looks like spanish I mean a spanish mandarin still has it not still fanta it has it you haven't a as in yes you haven't. Similar to germans you haven't uh which is gonna be a little different in every language but I believe this is gonna be in and this one is new oh my god I love it! I love it actually we're going to use this because why not? This is exactly the use of this is how can we actually use these charts to get somewhere in the language so I will attempt on live tv to learn how to pronounce a this fell in chinese um and so this is actually good demonstration this is a sound that definitely would have caused me problems this is the thing I was talking about earlier where you look through languages epa and if you have the memorized you could look through and be like oh I don't know that one I don't know what that is I mean I don't even know what this symbol is I don't know where they took it from but crazy ex anything so crazy xy thing is in chinese I know it will cause me a problem and so I can learn to hear it and that will be the first step and this is a step that we are missing right now is that I am not learning to hear this sound and so I will pronounce it wrong but I will get close um I will look at its neighbor its neighbor in this case is all I know this from these air this in italian sound oh that's a german sound oh it's halfway between english is awe and english is who ah who oh so very it's high up in the mouth but it's not as high as who but it's not rounded my lips are not rounded and so if I want to stay cool and I want to drop my lips and I keep my tongue the same space we'll see if this works oh boo hoo and that's gonna be roughly the valve my tears will cooperate I mean, as I learned to hear the sound better I'll be able to get it better but that is roughly the processes that you're looking for its neighbour and you saying okay, I know how to say the whole you know drop my lips oh boo boo and that's gonna be the process you go through in mandarin more questions, mike from denmark yes, I would like to know any tips resource is forgetting more feeling for your time and its placement he's struggling with that imagine as a singer you probably have a lot more awareness of all those areas than a normal player from the streets like the rest of us. Yes. So it's not fair it's not fair that I mean it's like some people have asked you like well, what my editor asked me like how do you learn pronunciation? I'm like well, you just go take another degree but no, there are ways of doing this it just it takes some work. One of the things I would really recommend in terms of getting your tongue to cooperate are those videos I have of my website because they really go through one by one and they say, okay, well, here is this I mean basically introduces all the stuff we talked about now in slightly new ways and with different graphics with different discussions of examples and really take some time to say okay, well, now we're going to move your tongue back and forth and kind of get a sense of where this is up and down back and forth. And so I have three videos that kind of go through this and teach you the same content with the fancy words with the whole epic lahtela, fricking tive and all this stuff without simplifying things. And then I have a fourth video that I think is very, very valuable. It's a video very, very detailed on french pronunciation shin that shows you how to move your tongue ah, and do what I just did with the chinese bell. It really shows you how to generate new vowels based on old tells based on I know how to say who I know how to say aw as in law, how do I learn how to say? You know, I know how to say e I know how to say how do I pronounce e or how to pronounce? How do I generate vowels? Nouvelles based on old ones, I would really, really recommend that person go to that, go to my website and see those videos taxi is asking. The same you know they're appreciating this of pronouncing sounds in isolation is really helpful accepted but what about combinations such as constant clusters in polish or in check any ideas about how to go about mastering those yes at the end of the next segment lovely things that yes station tops stay to do stay too because that part's fun might that also be we have awesomely humble who says how do you recommend learning different tones like those found in vietnamese next segment no that's that's those are minimal pairs again uh when you have I mean I have not yet learned a tonal language and so I'm going to butcher them but if you have a language where you have ma and ma are something like this um you those are two different words those are just the same as saying hungarians to duke and so what you want is you want a program to say ok, I'm going to say one of these two come one of these to the same ma ma se ma and you tell me which one I said yeah on that note um we already used tones so you know, uh like when I was reviewing mandarin mandarin tones they have they have tones that we already using our language like for example, if if you have how would you pronounce the letter a in english and the letter a with a question mark yeah, that uses tone so it's this different a then a so it's that is ah away too approach them it's not really that difficult and it's all minimal payers a cz you were mentioning especially on the on the falling ones and the holding ones those are the most difficult uh there's this one of the nice things about learning mandarin which is one of the few nice things about learning mandarin because it is a challenging thing is that those resource is actually exist in mandarin already I mean, I'm making them I'm making new ones that I think are going to be sort of more compact and get it done faster but matter is one of the few that actually has all of these minimal pairs already they're on my web site on the language resource is paige, there is a link saying ok, well, here is a good test for mandarin tones and you can just play with that and just sit there playing with the tones for awhile and eventually it's going to come into your ear just fine. So uh yeah, I think these are basically just like anything else so this is a general and this is really looking also at the flash cards we worked on in the last segment is well polyglot asks does feedback work better if you look up the answer after you don't get it you give yourself a back or do you find it works better if a third party gives you feedback as long as you get feedback get feedback? I mean, if you're if you're finding out that you are wrong or you are right, then that's kind of what you're looking for there is some discussion about whether feedback should be immediate or not um generally immediate feedback seems to be a better option and so the idea of feeling out of tests and then getting your answers in a few days and finding out you know, did I get you know, how well did I do in my test like that's not going to do it for you? What you want is I have this thing active in my head I have searched for the answer to this question and what was that tequila but what was the djinn brand that was like tanker or what? And then you hit the other side it says take a right run poor and you get the immediate feedback with the active things going on your brain with this active search for what am I looking for that sort of sparks that connection those sets of connections and gives you the best bang for your buck in terms of time wait wait do it it's just that it's sick rising to that I think a couple of people have been injured I did in how you see your flashcards system working with conventional classroom he knows where fayed that question came from same question do you think that that can be used as part of classroom close teaching? I love it yes, I've done it a bunch of times I highly recommend uh later in the workshop will talk about some classroom options that exists things like the middlebury programs that I've done in german and french and russian um I like that I'm addicted to, um those are classrooms, you know, those aside from the environment in which you are immersed in the language and you have this language pledge this is you must speak the language and everything you are going to classes every day you have I think generally for four five hours of class every day with homework for five hours of homework and all this stuff and I love it, I don't love it because I'm just a massive just for language or something like that. I mean, I I love it because you're getting so much content and you're getting so much correction all the time uh and you can use it with this method and the way I do that generally when I was taking french, for instance um during the lecture, whenever a teacher would explain some new concept they would explain it with some example sentence they say here's how you form past a complicity or something the past tense and they would skip some example and on I would write it down directly into my flash cards. I would create immediately grammar tests based on everything they said, and then I would reviews in the next day and then it would come back in four days and eight days and all this stuff, it would automatically do all that. But it would it would mean is that I never forgot a word any of my teacher said it's like this magical thing where where they all look at me and I'm like, how did you remember that in my life? Uh, secret thing that gets me, you know, magical memory it sort of gives you this photographic memory thing it's a cheat basically for for learning things um, one of the best sources of any kind of input that we'll talk about likely in segment five and six and a bunch of times actually are corrected writing when you write out an essay you write something about you know, what did I do yesterday? Problem block, uh it's extremely personal it's all about you. What you did you remember writing it? I mean it's about the best content you could possibly get the problem is that it's all wrong you made all these mistakes because you don't know the language well, you get that back with corrections and you put every single one of those corrections into your flashcards everyone you you make some mistake here you put in your flash cards some mistake there you putting your flashcards you choose images for every one of these corrections so that you're not just thinking some abstract grammatical exercise but you're thinking yes, I was in fact eating ice cream and this was what I was attempting to say but I said it wrong this is how actually say and as you build those flash cards and they come up every day and you start seeing oh yeah was he the night scream and you go through your own memories of what you did in that language of what you go through your own life in your target language in flash card for and so language courses when you're in a classroom and someone is telling you write this and you write it and then they give it back to you with corrections it's gold I mean it's the best source of constant you can possibly imagine er and so for all of my course work when I was in middlebury that was my favorite thing was taking tests and taking and writing out essays and getting them corrected because every single correction when my flash cards and I would make the same mistake basically never uh we've all I think had many of us have had the experience of going into a language class you write something down, you make an error, your teacher hands with thing says you made this made this error and then you do it again you had to to them and they hand it back to you you have this endless handing back and forth process where you've never actually improved but you have handed back and forth a lot of red ink um this sort of short circuits that this makes it so that you can make one mistake one you hand it to your teacher, your teacher hand you back the mistake you find the mistake you put in your flash cards, you don't make it again uh it's probably the best sort of feedback loop I found, so I love classroom work I think it's it's wonderful because it makes it so much easier you don't have to go find the information you have to go looking for textbooks, you don't have to look for any of this stuff I mean, I'm showing where to find all this data, but if a teacher's going to just spoon, feed it to me great that's wonderful! So yes, this absolutely works with long, long, long way of answering that is absolutely worked with classroom methods, it definitely does well, this is definitely working for our classroom is well, I'm definitely for our audience online they're really loving it. Thank you so much for all of your comments and all of your questions I found this pronunciation section particularly interesting I mean, I think the pronunciation is always the key and I think in a way that's what puts people off from practicing language they're scared they might know the world but they're scared of how it actually is pronounced that's horrifying to have pronounce it to a night of speaker thing I mean I recently but not recently couple years go I I I shouldn't tell this maybe on there but I was adopting a dog and I was adopted from an asian lady who kept explained to me why I needed to take a shit and it took me forever to understand exactly what she's talking about I thought it was something completely different first then I realized she was talking about a dog brief you just never know never know there's one thing about pronunciation where one of the reasons to do it first. I mean, we sort of talked about doing it first from a memory standpoint and that's usually where I go at it and I say okay, well, this is really important from a memory standpoint because if you can get the sounds down then you can get the words down and that is that is true and it's really efficient and I like it and it's great but it's missing something which is that it's missing two things one that if you don't do this in this order uh which is seems to be the standard way that it's done is that you learn the language and then there's this idea of ok later when I'm fluent, I'm going to fix the accent I'm going to do parlay voo from okay and then after I can parlay francais someone's going to teach me how to actually say it correctly and the problem with that is that you've just spent six months, twelve months, two years, three years speaking from say badly you've gotten this sort of thing in your mouth where every single friends where you have practiced intensely speaking wrong and now someone tells you okay, now do it correctly how how are you supposed to how do you break that big of a habit and you can and the way you tend to do that uh is that you you have to create a persona you have to create, okay, I have this little french person and, you know, eat about false a clip and you have this actor in your head who is saying french like a like a comedian or like some sort of strange actor person and you have the actors speak for you and you want to speak and you wanna par les francais and he bought for saying columbia and eventually if he keeps speaking enough you will find you have two habits you have to speaking habits in your head ah and eventually the french actor becomes you and you can have this other hat happened event occasionally you'll relapse back into and you'll say something you know with a bad accent but uh generally this is how you undo that habit but why have that bad habit in the first place if you have the choice of starting out a language why not start out by saying everything correctly because then you're practicing doing it correctly every single time so it saves you a lot of time on that front but it doesn't just save you time when you show up and speak a language to someone this is a question I had from my editor early on in writing my book he asked you know what what can I do? I have a date with the malaysian supermodel in four hours what can I do to make this date go well what should I learn? My answer is it wasn't always will be you learn how to pronounce one word really really well I have this this sample from korean I don't speak any korean I took like a little like ten minute class of sample class of korean when I was learning how to teach english and I just remember the instructor he said something which is still in butchering but I'm close ish where he kept saying he put a stone up and he said titus him die, which I believe means like good job or something like that and I would pull this out with my korean colleagues in the conservatory there's a lot a lot of people from south korea who study opera in vienna at least and so I would kate like we'd all have lunch together and I'd be like tara seemed a and they would freak out like, how do you how are you fluent in korean? Like where did you learn to speak all of korean and there's this assumption that if you could speak any words of the language correctly, you are therefore fluent um and I think what's going on really? I I sort of harp on this I don't harp on this, okay? Talk about in the book knowing memorizing a bunch of words in the language is a gesture of knowledge of I have some interest in your culture I've learned some words like, look, I can say some things learning how to pronounce a word correctly in a language just one word mean, learning how to make the sounds of a language is such an intense, visceral gesture of care that people will always respond to it I mean, if you have bent if you haven't just sort of memorize somewheres oh yeah bon jur j par les francais ok, I can memorize that stuff in five minutes whatever but if I have actually bent my mouth and the folds of my tongue and everything to the shape of your mouth and I have learned to say things in the way that you say them uh you know it's it's undeniable is an undeniable gesture of care I see this in my singing people you seeing something in german and you put your the german and people will clap and they will say like yes very good job good and they're like they like can't believe you just butchered my language but you sound very lovely you say something in really, really authentic german using something and they're moved by it it connects you to people because they cannot not be connected if you say something in the way they say it, you have connected yourself to them in a way that's undeniable. So uh I find pronunciation such a such a key thing and I like the memory idea. I like the idea of its a really efficient thing but sort of secretly I think it's such a important thing from an emotional standpoint from a connection standpoint that I'm kind of glad that it works out that it determined stuff that it's it's more efficient this way anyway

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