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The Science of Friendship

Lesson 30 from: Become Fluent in Any Language

Gabriel Wyner

The Science of Friendship

Lesson 30 from: Become Fluent in Any Language

Gabriel Wyner

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Lesson Info

30. The Science of Friendship

Lesson Info

The Science of Friendship

So we've kind of covered the whole process, and we've come to the idea that all right, we can get to speaking, we can get two functioning just fine in our target language, we're gonna be playing taboo. We're going to be saying these ridiculous things about though the black things on the bottom my feet that air, leather and hard and make my feet not hurt when I walk and get your shoes. Um, but what do you kind of talk about, then? I mean, how do you develop relationships? How do you build that personal connection that's going to make to get closer to those coals, to get all the way to the fluency you want to get to? Maybe you want to be able to do more than just sort of talk about ordering shoes and whatever shoe store you enter or get that painkiller, whatever you need. I mean, maybe you want to be french if you want to move to france and basically be french, or at least be convincingly french if you want to keep going and you want to see whether you can develop relationships in your l...

anguage, whether you could develop relationships in your natively, which, honestly, then you want to see what happens in terms of conversations did you have everyday and you want to look at what makes friendship is a wonderful study by arthur aaron where um he's, one of the one of the researchers on it where he was studying how small talk works just generally what you do when you do any sort of language exchange and is generally what you do when you encounter anyone who's new and so way ask very, very standard questions all the time. They're always the same questions if you encounter uh, someone and you're doing let's, say, language exchange, you talk to someone in russia and then you basically just ask a series of normal questions. What is the weather like where you are? How's the weather in moscow, they will say this cold array you've learned a lot about them, you know, what do you do? You will discuss career for a while, we'll say, you know, where did you grow up? And then you'll do this, and so in the author and study, he he he basically gave people a list of small talk questions that they were going to say anyway, when said, ask each other these questions for forty five minutes and the results of forty five minutes is get me out of here, just please, please go away you are boring me to death, this conversation is terrible, I want to leave it, and so this is what small talk does small talk generally does not produce anything with anyone else eventually you might hit it off if you have a lot in common but the only reason you're hitting it office because you're talking about something else because talking about the weather in moscow is not going to get you anywhere so the way this study worked is that he had two groups as is usually done in studies you have the control group in the control group talked about nothing talked about the weather in the number of siblings everyone had and what they did for a living and the other and they had very fixed questions you must ask about the weather you must ask about your siblings this other group had another set of questions that they were also required to ask of each other they had them in three groups fifteen minute segments group one had a few questions that were a little bit deeper than normal questions you know if you could wake up tomorrow having gained any quality or one quality or ability what would it be? You just wake up and then poof you could do something new would it be before you make a telephone call? Do you rehearse? I kind of do do you rehearse what you're going to say and then if so why my case I don't wantto screwup say something stupid you know what does that say about me? We'll get there now what is your greatest accomplishment? These are questions that reveal a little bit about yourself a little bit deeper than your average sort of what do you do but it's not about facts about your life it's a little bit more about? Well, who are you? What kind of response is would you give? And so they did fifteen minutes of these sorts of questions he's sort of slightly deeper questions you know, if you had anyone at a dinner, you could have anyone in your dinner guest that might be in group two will see uh, these sorts of questions after fifteen minutes are up, they switched to group two of questions thes became somewhat personal, they said, you know, is there something you've dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven't you done it yet? How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most people's questions you might get from your therapist? What is your most treasured memory? We have to think about what that is and then it's really getting kind of personal after another fifteen minutes they'd switch questions once again they get to a group that was really quite intimate and really quite intimate in terms of the other person in that room they'd say you know, uh, if you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone why haven't you told him yet this sort of questions you like ooh that's rough alright, we'll answer that, you know, if you were going to become a close friend with the person that you're talking with you, if we were to become close friends but would be important for me to know or for you to know it would be important for us to know about each other for us to become close friends questions like when did you last cry in front of it? When were you last vulnerable? When did you last cry by yourself alone? When were you not doing very well? Is there really intense questions? And so you wonder what happens when you put people strangers in a room together and you forced them to ask these questions? Because there's a lot of things that could happen you figure well, are you really going to talk about this with some complete stranger? Honestly, you know, when's the last time I cried by myself in a room. But what they found in this study is that because of the progression, because they started with questions that weren't so bad, I mean, group one in terms of their there was another one group one you know, if you were to have a dinner party and you could have anyone in the world at your dinner party who would be there who would you invite anyone in history? You know, if you could invite anyone a history to your dinner you could have dinner with anyone in all of time who would you have dinner with like that's a funny question to answer it's not hard it's interesting it's not hardy and so you kind of gradually warm up to these people and what they found is that after forty five minutes of this process instead of people running away screaming and being like I don't want to talk about this stuff with you you're a stranger they found is that at the end of every one of these meetings people wanted to become friends afterwards you want to exchange contact information and this had nothing to do with whether they had anything in common it was not there was no correlation they looked for this they said is there any correlation between how much they wanted to become friends based on how much they had in common cultural commonalities on beliefs that they shared? Nothing people could be opposite people like just have nothing that they're interested into the same and yet they wanted to become friends afterwards we have this idea that friendship comes out of well we share a lot in common that is we'll be friends but like think about your own friends so do you have everything in common with your friends? I don't think I do I mean I have a few things and come with my friends but generally he's just people I've shared experiences with these air people I've shared parts of myself with these people that I have disclosed a lot about myself with people who know me friendship in the end at least from this study seems to be about knowing someone about knowing what they're about about knowing what they are a little deeper than what did they do for a living but what do they do in their spare time about how many siblings they have is not self disclosure about facts it's disclosure about who you are and if the people that you talked to the people that you're speaking with can have some sense of who you are and you know they know this and they know that you know what about them they know that somehow you know them then almost invariably you're gonna become friends this is kind of how we form relationships and in this study is kind of interesting they just sort of did it in a really, really, really short amount of time they did sort of turbo friendship making just cool that you could actually do this now you know what do you do for language learning how do you use this for language learning how to use this in your life? Well you know do you accost people and just be like well if you were going to die today what would you deal with I they're not going to answer you like that I mean if you come into a language exchange and you're like okay great let's set up a date on skype we're gonna go on skype and you're like you know the rest of it you know what if you die today what's going to happen what e train yeah he tried to kill me um you know this is gonna work quite like that but there are a lot of questions from these lists and they're a lot of questions that you could just sort of think about that a lot more revealing than joe how many siblings do you have what's the weather like in moscow on my website in the syllabus is another thing the last things in the syllabus there is a list of questions conversation questions that have been taken from these studies there've been multiple studies like this uh that basically map out the group one questions the group to questions the group three questions on out of those questions I've sort of ight alice ized the ones that you could probably get away with in a language exchange without scaring the crap out of your partner uh you know I've knocked out the if you're going to die tomorrow what do you get? You know what we regret most ah, but there are a number of questions that are fairly revealing that are relatively painless to answer. And as you answer those questions, as you asked those questions and get answers, usually the response to these sorts of questions as well, what would you do now, if you were to gain some sort of super power, what would yours be? And then you start disclosing about yourself, you start getting into interesting conversations, and you start sharing things and disclosing things about yourself that actually produce relationships or produce at least an experience of huh? I shared something with someone that was kind of fun, which is a lot better than god just get me out of here, like, which is the normal experience that you have when you talk to someone in a foreign language there's this thing where you, uh, any time you enter a room and people know you speak the language, they're like, oh, that person speaks russian, go speak with them, no e I don't want to talk to them, I'm like, but this is a way of actually having things to talk about where you can actually engage in a conversation that come out of it smiling is supposed to come out of it being like, okay, well, I guess I practiced my russian, so I like these sorts of questions I find that they they inform not only my language learning but they inform the rest of my life I actually have a lot of these sort of memorized in my head is kind of go to not as a sort of mechanical like I will make friends thing but still it's nice to have it's nice to have in your arsenal just saying you know I don't know what to say right now we're having kind of a weird awkward pause why don't we talk about something interesting? You know what superpower would you want and you have this discussion it's a silly discussion but nonetheless you learned something about your partner you've become a little closer with him I want to sort of switch for bit um and talk a little bit about language maintenance since we are in the section of now you're fluid it's all great now what'd you do um language main this is kind of split up between two goals one is sort of maintenance and the other one is not means the idea of maintenance is not forgetting this is sort of the retention idea um and to retain this you don't have to do that much one of the theories behind space repetition that's the thing that these flash cards do their spacing out all your your reviews um is that roughly you can expect to remember most of what you learned about two and a half times the amount of time you studied it. So if you do these flashcards for about a year, you can expect to retain them without retained most of them without even thinking about it without touching hungarian. And I've been looking at hungarian for little more than a year. I can expect that if I would have stopped looking at hungarian for a moment, I would not look at one word of hungarian. I should be able to retain most of it for around two and a half years. Tell me and I'll definitely lose some stuff. Certainly. The stuff I studied last week it's probably gonna be gone. But, general, that stuff will remain for around two and a half times the time you study it. So my french, for instance, vanished relatively quickly because I study, but only for six months. Really sixty seven, eight months in the end. I mean, I hit I hit the sea one at five months, and then I kind of kept going, cause I wanted to go a little longer, so would stick a little longer. But still it was relatively short. And I ran into this situation for me where I started forgetting my french go. Especially because I ran a language learning website and part of what you do when you run a language learning website and you were a poly glock, and that is part of your title is my name is caper wine, and I'm a polyglot, uh, is that you need to have a video that shows your street cred look at me, ball club and fancy, powerful state from which the adjectives and eggs and I found that as soon as I tried to make this video, I didn't speak any french, and I was like, oh, I can't get my street cred, and so I panicked a little bit, I was like, oh, no, I lost my friends, and then I started watching tv, and so I got two seasons of twenty four, two seasons I hadn't seen yet. I think of seasons four and five, I got them in french, I was learning french, I wasn't any french, actually, I was learning hungarian, I believe at the time, and I wanted to bump up my friends and I didn't want to study french. This is one of these things we keep getting. We've gotten this question once or twice where, you know, what do you do if you want to learn to languages at once? Well, and I always say, don't I mean that and this was the situation where I needed to learn french again I needed to bring my french back, but I was studying hungarian and I've stuck to my guns I was like, no, I will not make flashcards in french I don't want to do it, I want to focus on hungarian, but I need to my friendship and so what I did is I watch tv and I watched the first episode of twenty four season for I think nosing oh yeah, you can't remember this stuff, this is fun. Let me watch the second thing because it's twenty four and you have to wash the second thing because the end of it ends and everyone dying here like I can't believe everyone died and you have to watch the next one and then the next one ends with everyone dying. Um and I got addicted to twenty four in french again is the second time I had started twenty four in french and I kept watching it and I kept watching it and I couldn't stop watching it causes twenty four and you must watch. And so I was watching three hours in front of twenty four day when I got through season one and then immediately I started the next I started season for and immediately I started season five because I couldn't get my twenty four fix shaking and I got through two seasons of twenty four about two thirds the way through, I started dreaming and french again, and by the end of that, my french was back. I have a video, my website, talking about this whole experience in french, saying, you know, this is what happened in french, uh, generally, if you learn the language in this manner, the thing you build in your head, yes, it will fade, you know, my book says fluent forever. Does that mean fluent forever without any effort ever again, like proof I can put a pullout french my sleep? No, what it does mean is that you build something that is so robust, so connected to itself, every single word is connected to every other word. Every other word is connected to experiences you've had that you've written about in french, that you've pilled out images from google images that have caused new experiences to happen, where you've seen french means and comedy and you're like, wow, this is this giant thing of french that you have built is very, very interconnected, and so is you may have some distance from it in time, but as soon as you start poking at it with let's, say some tv. Then those connections start to light up again and you get them all back I found that the french that I had at the end of those two seasons of twenty four was basically the same french that I left with back in two thousand ten toe to three year break I'm not speaking a word of french and seemed I'll come right back so in terms of language maintenance I don't know of anything easier than television I mean it's just fun in fact, I really like it as an excuse like I generally don't have time to watch television there's all these wonderful, wonderful shows out there that I don't have time to watch, I'm like, I mean, I'm no lacking on my game of thrones experiences I'm like I haven't seen this much as I want to see I have not yet seen breaking bad like there's all these things that people look at me and they're like you haven't and I said, I haven't had time, I'm working on the kickstarter um but I find that I can use language is an excuse to just waste my time with television because I'm not wasting my time at all like when you know you don't actually have time to watch seven seasons of lost in two months necessarily I mean, you have to because you start watching it and you can't stop but you can't really justify the time he like I just wasted this chunk of my life but if you watch that whole thing in russian will you just waste your life? You were studying the whole time get to feel really proud of yourself. You know, I just want I watched five seasons of his I watch four seasons in twenty foreign french like that was all productive time collude in front of the tv screen just like shaking again. Television is a wonderful, wonderful way of bringing back language and you get teo feel productive even when it's completely just just trash that you're watching wonderful, delicious trash that's great for retention in terms of growth it doesn't quite do it my friends do not get better. A few things did I got better and say, monsieur president, you know that that part was down at the end of twenty four um but in terms of growth uh this did not make my french better. If I wanted to make my french better, I would do what I said at the end of the last segment I would start writing, I'll start writing I would use that writing to make flash cards and I would grow with that way why would still watch tv? Because tv is fun I was still watch tv because it would bring back the old french that I had but in terms of growing a language, I need to produce language and I need to make mistakes and then I need to memorize those mistakes and make them better and that is how my language get better that's how I grow something on so language maintenance is very, very sort of different depending on what you're trying to do trying to make all of your leg is better are you trying to just kind of keep what you have if you want to keep it, you have watched some tv uh, there's this set of questions that comes to me sick sort of off finish not that often, but often ish about certification. I talk about the various levels of language learning like, how far do you want to go? And people say, well, what do you mean by those levels? And I say, well, et one et two all these these numbers and letters and things like what does that mean? I say, well, there's, there is a way of measuring language that comes out of europe because european union has lots and lots of languages, and it needs think they need to know exactly where you are because you need to be able to know whether you can have a job in that language, you know, can I teach at a german university that requires a certain amount of german and how do you measure that? How do you measure a language? Um, and then the next question is, if you can measure language, which you can, we'll talk about that, should you? Is it a worthwhile thing to know where you're at at a language? Um, so first let's talk about where you can be in the language. Uh, at least according to the european scale european scales called the cf are the common european framework for reference for languages. I really like this scale because generally in english, in america. Really, uh, what you say when you are speak trying to speak languages? Hey, are you fluent? And it means nothing when what is fluency? Woman sees this sort of vague idea we have. We have this big idea of fluent means I go into a cafe and everything feels good. That's fluency feels good, was I mean, uh, I mean the of the sense of, well, ru conversational oh, you're just conversational, you're not fluently what is fluent like I'm james bond than I could do everything like what? What what does this mean? This actually means something, and so I like it way more than the sense of, like, conversational are fluent or intermediate um, the european system breaks itself up into six categories you know, a category is the b categories and c categories. Generally the categories are kind of begin ary b categories are kind of intermediate and c categories are kind of advanced, but they actually mean things they mean that you can do specific things hey, one a zero is nothing incidentally, there isn't a zero it means I don't know a word, you know I am a zero in mandarin no, I know the word mao said that's pronounce it wrong accounts I'm a zero in mandarin, although now I can kind of draw the character for cat anyway they want is beginner means that you can kind of introduce yourself and you know, some familiar expressions. You know abou sava severely. Thomas alva you know, basically, how you doing? How's it going? My name's gabe that's it. You've got the basics. I mean the basics the floor et tu they call this elementary level. This is where you can start talking about personal info. You can talk, you can deal with some very, very common in situations you can say check, please. You can say I live in los angeles. I have a dog. Maybe probably you can't say that you can say I am, you know, thirty years old, you know, my father's name is gerry these kinds of things beat b one is where you can really start playing around be one less you travel around the country, it lets you ask for tickets that lets you describe what you're interested in. It was a fairly big jump in my impression between a two and b one b one is really you could kind of function you could get a round in the country you can ask for directions. You can mostly understand those directions, except when they're spoken too fast. Ah, you can handle you, khun say opinions you can say I really like, you know, gelato, I really like coconut gelato. Can you find me some good coconut gelato? These kinds of questions be, too lets you really kind of talk about things as if I were to come up with a label for conversational, I'd probably say b one b, too, in terms of can hold a conversation, be too. You can discuss a pretty wide range of topics you can understand a complex text you could handle a book like harry potter, for the most part, without much trouble. Ah, and you can produce clear, detailed text. You can produce something that basically says what you think I am starting to approach be two in hungarian and probably a b one right now, but at the point where you're at the at the where you've taken in about half your grammar book where you're starting to read books where you're starting to get those thousand words down by the end of that process by the time that you've read your first book really it's roughly you're starting to reach around be to level maybe b one b to see one is where I would put the word fluent uh, c one allows you to teach in a german university, for instance, this is the certification I got at the end of my german experiences was a c one certification um you can express ideas fluently basically meaning comfortably in all sorts of settings social settings you khun handle yourself at a party you can handle yourself in your career, you can handle yourself in academia, one of the things that you'll notice with with a c one student eyes that they will use connectors and sort of cohesive devices they'll say, you know, first I did this, but then I did this and while I thought about that I was doing something else and they would they make very cohesive text where you know where their thought process is going it's not just I did this and then I did that and then I did this and then I went to the store and then I think this it's sort of like they can form a cohesive thought organized writing and see too is they call this mastery this is uh basically as far as you can go in terms of certification they say can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read quite the thing like I can understand everything I see two is not native speaker um it doesn't mean you can be quite subtle uh understand expressing saddle opinions easily see to it is a is a wonderful goal it is it is challenging in terms of these tests the ones I have taken is this gonna zoom in or not no it's not gonna go over here. Um I have taken the c one test in german and I passed that and it was one of the most challenging test that ever taken um let's zoom out a little bit. Yes. Um I took the girl to poo from uh mr stupid flew from just the middle middle grade test um and that is a c one test and it was challenging god. Those tests are brutal. The reason language test had to be brutal especially at the sea one level they are testing to see if you can handle yourself in places you've never handled yourself before. Uh I had one student who asked me well, I want to get a hundred percent on this I want to get somewhere around ninety percent like the passing grade on these tests is fifty percent you could get fifty percent of the questions, right? You pass and the student was like, but I don't want to pass would like it if I want to pass, like in a and I was like, well, yeah, but you probably will and you probably won't, because these are some of the hardest test that I have ever taken. I'd like tests. I love him. I always like tests. I don't know why because they feel like a game to me and this was brutal and this was brutal because they forced to think on your feet they force you to can you write an essay about fat dieting? Can you write it like my french? When I took what was it? They was reality tv. I had to write a for an hour and a half I to write like a twenty page essay about reality tv. Read an article about reality tv and write an essay about it I had teo then listen to this audio thing about I think about fat dieting. It was something about, like, dieting about these fad diets that were not effective or something I listen to this long audio track about fat diets is like twenty minutes long, then I had to talk about it for a half hour. And I never does not vocabulary ever encountered my life and this similar sort of thing happened with the german test where it's just it's all this just random stuff you've never you like what? Why would ever talk about this by german thing and also as a computer terminology was like how do you you know put it put it put a laptop together what why would I know this and that's the whole point these tests are trying to see how can you handle yourself when you don't have the vocabulary? Can you play that game of taboo in the spoken section of that tests? Can you handle a bunch of audio input when you're just overwhelmed with not knowing what's going on can you figure out enough from the context that you actually get a sense of what's going on in my german case I passed this with a boot I got a good grade uh in the french case actually failed that I went overboard I said I am so good at french I'm gonna take the seat to exam then I failed by three points so I figure I'm gonna see one in french um but they are challenging they are expensive the doll physio say the c one and c two tests thes air the french ones the diploma on your long phone says this is one hundred and ninety dollars test it's only usually offered twice a year in any city you're you're going for uh and it's a four hour test and it's just torture so is it for you depends um these air tests that I don't recommend taking if you don't need to is a test that if you if you are not going to travel in the country and move there then you probably don't need to take them you know what some people come into this and they say well I want to be c one and you're like well you khun b c one they're like but I want to take the test to be in see one you like well you can take that test it will be painful but you can take it but why are you taking it are you taking it to feel accomplished good reason do it are you taking it so that other people know that you are c one bad reason no one cares no one cares if you go to france and you like good bye see what they don't care no one will ever care that what has ever even at I enrolled and I shouldn't even say this I enrolled in the conservatory in germany I don't think anyone asked me for my my certification they were supposed to know whatever did I mean no one cares about your certification as you can put them on your resume and that's kind of handy and so if you're doing this to get on your resume I mean, yes that's that's fine. In terms of what we're talking about with gold setting, you know, I want this so it can go on my goal. My resume is not exactly a, uh, self motivated goal it's some of this external stuff. Ah, and so you want to kind of reframe that to be like I want this so that I can feel successful so I can be more successful and so I can earn more and be more happy in my life. And this thing on my resume will help you with that that reframes that goal in a useful manner, but yeah, I mean, I find these things useful if you need them to move to the country if you want to teach there if you want to live there usually living there requires a b one b too if you want to live there long term and then teaching their requires c one c to that kind of thing uh, so for living there or for accomplishment self accomplishment of feeling really good about yourself. But aside from that it's a waste of time, I think it's a lot of money it's a lot of pain, these air painful I like tests these air painful esso I would avoid these we are approaching our last thing. If there any last questions, I want to go through me at the level that you could work in that country, sometimes you can get away with a b to and it's just fine, okay? But generally, in terms of this sort of system, the way I well, you can use it any way you want, you can go as far as you want. I mean, this thing you can take yourself all the way to see to you will need to speak to people that end part that in part where you're talking to people in I talkie, where you're traveling in the country, where you're potentially doing immersion, all these things, that is a really essential part of bumping yourself from a b one b to level up to the sea levels. I need the speaking practice generally, the way that I like to do this when I have the option of really immersing myself in a language for a summer, something like that with the middlebury programs, a zai like to bring myself up on my own without anyone else's help up to be too show up in the immersion program and be like, look, I speak french, ha ha ha, and then use that summer too, but myself up to see once he, too that's been the most comfortable experience I've done that now for french and russian and it's just been wonderful uh the experience of being in immersion from the start is also a different kind of wonderful I mean the german experience I had of doing the whole thing and immersion was very very strange experience because you become spectacularly stupid for like two months which is in some ways really stressful in some ways really really uh calming is not the right word it's really just leaving on some level you just to be there be like the only thing in my head is my name is gabriel that's it it's just blank and I'm just like it's high cigar breath that's it and that's kind of fun and you just sort of sit there and you go through seven weeks where the only things going on your head or like it's blue flower and then like everything this is simple and you're a child again for seven weeks and it's a it's a very strange wonderful experience it's strange to do in a relationship you're talking about this whole thing of doing this with relationship if you're doing this with your partner you are both spectacularly stupid it makes it very hard to have a relationship uh because you cannot communicate your just like thiss blue e I don't care you need to throw the trash away but you can't say that's taken just like it I am mad s oh that's an interesting experience but sort of sort of beside the point but the immersion experience it's a very surreal experience but in terms of just comfort because it's a very uncomfortable thing to be that stupid you have stupid dreams I mean you just you just running around feeling like I am not myself um so general what I prefer is doing this all hidden on my own my computer and whatever and then I sort of emerged I speak french ha hive so smart uh feels more comfortable but I do like the immersion experience and so it's not something I would suggest you not do it's just for me that's kind of how I like to do it is bring myself to be too and then show up an emergent thing and do the rest away for hungarian francis though I'm not gonna be able to do that there is no one no immersion program and so I will have to pump myself up tio from a b one to be too or to a c one level I'll see where I go awesome I don't want to ask each of our students said they want to take the time you each came with goals we talked about those earlier in the day, but being your big takeaway from this sort of being your big are harmon is when you leave this course what is it going to be taking away and thinking wow, I've got the tools now I need to move forward tom um I think I think when the biggest things I've learned was, uh I've done a lot of these cards already have used of all of his methods for spanish but the one I really enjoyed was probably the google images game I never thought of that in that way where how does a french person think of a cat? How does a spanish person think of an athlete like all the different ways that that people in that country think of these objects is is really fascinating? Yeah it's a lot of fun in my case um I've actually taken ah lot of information especially having already a second language in my head it's it gives me I feel that with especially with the epa and ah, the frequency dictionary idea like the concept I I wasn't a stranger to the idea but uh getting it at least a little bit reinforced is like, oh, you maybe want to try this because of these reasons um have I feel that I now have some tools to even further help me with my twenty four year old uh, english speaking practice so I feel I can't even polish my english a little bit more um and I I feel very optimistic in the in the sense of having thes bunch of many games that I can play with myself and two years from now three years from now speak chinese so well well I am very excited to um uh tackle japanese uh I feel uh much more confident in the tools I now have um and I'm also excited to apply these tools to, um my academic goals you know, I now have a much more efficient way to study so I'm really looking forward to starting school in the fall like that that uh I think the best thing about gabe it's courses that he gives you steps teo progress and is in a language like to me before like people just say I'll just read books you know, just do this just that I feel like this is a more logical and and away that will get you there a lot quicker to fluency and he defines fluency for you what is it like europeans do that I just sort of like uh because I mean going off with tom said I think the process in which you showed us and this is how you should use this say should begin uh this is we should take it because when I was doing it was like a mishmash of like uh here's a few with vocab words and now do grammar and nothing really stuck it was just going back and forth so I feel like building that boat captain. Tackling on the next step. It just seems like a logical approach to it. And I'm excited to try it out school.

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