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Train Your Mouth

Lesson 8 from: Become Fluent in Any Language

Gabriel Wyner

Train Your Mouth

Lesson 8 from: Become Fluent in Any Language

Gabriel Wyner

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Lesson Info

8. Train Your Mouth

Lesson Info

Train Your Mouth

This first step, uh isn't dealing with hearing isn't dealing with your ears and that will bring you a lot. Um, once your ears start cooperating once you can really start hearing these sounds, your mouth will actually follow. You will pronounce these words better. There was in some of these studies with the japanese adults. They all started spontaneously saying the american are american. L better as they started hearing it better, they were not given any explicit training. They were not told. Okay, stick your tongue here and in whatever they were, just train their ears a little bit a little bit and they got better. And this is all of our experience. I mean, no one has told you. Ok? To make a k, you stick your tongue all the way back up in your mouth right in front of your uv loan book. And yet you do it in exactly the right spot every single time. Every time you say t your tongue goes right back to the tip of the tongue goes right behind the front teeth and you go to tea and no one has ...

told you to do that. Your ears have told you to do that. Your you have trained yourself to say these words correctly because you can hear what you say and if you go to talk and someone's like no tea and you're like you eventually get it so years do a lot but they won't always do everything for you ah there was a point where you know you can hear the spanish you can hear it and you know exactly that yes that is the spanish rolled r and it's I know it I can hear it and every time I tried to say I go our laura and I know something random comes out uh at that point at the point where you can actually hear it then getting some information about what's going on in your mouth is actually useful but before that is kind of not I mean the idea of trying to tell japanese speaker okay, well, our is pronounced with the front of the tongue kind of tipped up and ellis pronounced with the sides of the tongue tipped down like that's kind of like well, move your spleen to the left and kind of flex your liver like the's things don't make any sense and so you could get the feedback from your years. So at this point at the point where your ears are starting to cooperate, he actually can get some benefit from learning what's going on in your mouth and so what I want to do is show you how the international phonetic alphabet works because it's an awesome, wonderful alphabet there's basically one symbol for every single sound and built into that symbol is an instruction manual says stick your tongue here, do this with your lips do this with your vocal cords I mean, it gives you detailed instructions of what to do with your mouth built into every single sin symbol um I have a serious of videos on this well, we'll go back I have a serious video videos on this affluent forever dot com that sort of goes over what we did right here so and goes over and kind of a lot of detail so if there's something that you kind of want to brush up on a little more go there um one thing that's important is that you don't need to memorize the uh this is sometimes people look at all these symbols and they get they see okay there's like fifty bowels and constants everywhere and and they get overwhelmed like, well, I can't possibly do this I can't learn a language this is impossible if you're telling me I need to learn six hundred symbols, you don't there's a tool this is this is a tool that you can look up, you go to wikipedia if you go to wikipedia's for french, for instance, you just search google for spanish for greek you will find a wikipedia article that will detail every single assemble for your language this is about as in bull do as in due and you will find that there is an I p a symbol for every single sound french has yes one hundred sixty spelling rules only has forty sounds though and most of the sounds are familiar this is a familiar looking t as in too like these they're not that hard to learn and so it's a really nice way of organizing the language and it's a really nice way also of looking up problems this bottom thing down there this this strange upside down h for example this is uh wait uh in this case um if you see a wheat and everyone in france tells you I don't understand what you're saying when you say the number eight and you can go to wikipedia you could goto I pay for french you can look up what on earth is this symbol for this thing that's causing me such problems and you will find the symbol and once you have the symbol you can start actually using it to teach yourself how to make that sound correctly and that's what we're gonna do right now um one thing just to note you don't have to memorize these things but if you do it will help a lot on I mean that mohr for polyglot it's people who really want to learn a bunch of language is one of the things I did uh which was really handy just to go back here for a second is that I looked up the I p for hungarian article on wikipedia and I went through all of the vowels and continents and I was able to go through and say, oh, I know that one I know that one I know that one oh, I don't know this one and I could immediately find every single problem that I was going to face in hungarian and fix it I could jump straight to my problem spots because I knew which sounds I knew already and so that's why uh that's one of the reasons why I included that in the bonuses for uh, signing up for this all access pass and stuff is this eh donkey dick the one that teaches you all the symbols in english? Is that it's actually really handy to know these symbols? Uh especially if you're trying to learn multiple languages but I would say if you're just trying to learn one unless it's french you don't need to memorize a french you kind of do there's just too many spelling rules so let's actually talk about what what is involved in what goes on in your mouth? How do you make a continent? What is a constant well a continent is an obstruction of air it's basically you're getting in the way of air coming out of your mouth and that makes them sort of sound. Um there are sort of three components of every continent one of them is called voicing is basically are your vocal cords doing anyth? And so you get this by the difference between and and you can kind of feel this but you take your fingers and you put them on your throat and you goes and you you see if you feel anything and you shouldn't you're going so you should feel nothing however if you're going you will he goes nothing's something this something means that your vocal cords are active your vocal cords are closed and vibrating and that is the only difference between in our case in english snc your tongue was in the same place your lips are doing the same thing everything is exactly the same except for your vocal cords, their honor ofthe same thing between and, uh we languages use voicing to sort of double their continents uh it's actually might my favorite continent of all is the icelandic voiceless end try to pronounce an end without any vibration here is try it it's just air out of your nose they have this wonderful word for knife it's which is like they're people with names they're people who are who have in their first names they have is a constant and are made fun of when they have colds because just stuff comes out uh I and also in that same word in funny first they have the thiss voiceless are like usually in spanish you here and they have just I love icelandic icelandic has such wonderful sounds um place uh you can change with your vocal cords are on or off but there's also a bunch of places in your mouth where you can make continents and so this is frank he's, my little head um and frank has various parts uh just to sort of label you have your lips in front er you have your teeth and right behind your teeth you have this ridge in your mouth now you could feel with your tongue this is the al villa ridge there's not gonna be much, you know, uh, anatomy but I just want you to know a few spots the villa ridge is right behind your teeth. It's that reed you could feel your tongue all the way back behind where you pronounced kay behind that you have that little hanging down thing that's the uv light um and that's basically all you need to know we're done with anatomy. Now I want you to say these words out loud just to, you know, entertain me um sebi fee the sea she e key and he tried see she k and one thing you'll notice is that those air arranged in order of where they are in your mouth you start with b in the front with both your lips they touch bib a bumble bee uh then the bottom lip touches your teeth you have fee now the tip of your tongue goes to the then the tip of your tongue slides back behind your teeth for see slides back a little further to she now the middle of your tongue goes teo on the back of your tongue goes all the way to kee and those are the eight locations that are used the eight places that are used for every single english continent now this isn't a way also he forgot he uh he is all the way back down in your vocal cords that's the only place where there's a constriction it's basically it's uh it's like breathing except your vocal cords are slightly together he this isn't the whole story there's a few more spots but not that many that are used in all languages like we're basically we've covered most of the ground of all languages um there's three more and there's the french are which has pronounced just behind the k so you have kiki ki and behind that you've uh uh ah now that sound is ah a pain to produce it took me got the whole summer of just sitting there pretending to gargle german school but that's kind of what you do I mean once it's in your ear than you just kind of sit there and gargle and you go uh and eventually you have to get it that's just how it goes um so that's that that's behind this that that's basically your tongue vibrating against the uvula that little hankie do anything um there's the arabic in which I cannot yet pronounce I can't wait to actually finish the arabic pronunciation trainer and actually teach myself to hear it so I can pronounce it so I can do these workshops better um the arabic is pronounced right I'll go on this side of the camera it's pronounced where the tongue pulls back all the way back on the throat the backside of the throat comes forward to meet the tongue and you get this sort of sound where uh one one wonderful arabic teacher I haven't linked in the syllabus maha she talks about it as it's like choking yourself with your own throat and she sits there she sort of chokes herself for like ten minutes and he's like it's like uh I can't do it accurately but it's the wonderful video highly recommend watching it I love it she says it's back at the u bulus she's that part is wrong but it's it's basically the tone constricting against the back of the throat to sort of make this this choked off sounds awesome I wish I could pronounce it. Um so you know the french are you know, the arabic I and that's the other locations behind your you're going back behind the tongue for, huh? You're going back even further for, uh whatever it is I can't do on then you have opposed idea who I'm talking about the simpsons here hank is area plays a pool when he does a lot of voices on the simpsons ah, and he is not south indian. He was just some random guy in a white guy and he manufactures this accent by doing this. If this is thies, you teeth and this is where you would pronounce the t this is we have it on this thing that is there's your teeth tt is the same places s c c t t same spot it's right behind your front teeth now what? Uh, hey, guys areas doing when he's pronouncing when he's trying to say something like welcome to quickie martin's trying to put that in the south indian accent is he's pulling his tongue back towards the roof of his mouth. And so instead of a welcome to he's doing welcome toe toe, toe toe to toe to toe it's this sort of tom tom sound as opposed to a snare drum teacher, and so when he goes welcome tto quickie mart it's not a good accent, but it does have this sort of character of hindi accents where they have a lot of these constants that air pronounced up where it's basically the same it's behind the teeth but it's stuck up, you'll find that that's exact same thing we do with the russian one exact same thing s o that is the last location, these air all of the places that are used in all languages you have eight of them already and there are three more there's a there's, the arabic I am that you're only going to really need in arabic and there's opposed a which you'll use occasionally I think I believe it's in hindi there's some of it in russian you'll find in sort of spotty locations, so we have voicing we have place last thing we have is what are you doing in each of those places? What is your tongue doing? What is what your lips doing, what is happening in your mouth? And so you have a few options here in terms of the ones that are in english, we have five um we're going to do everything at that s place ccc this is right behind your front teeth um and so we'll put these in order of how much are you blocking the air uh, if you block the air completely and you don't let anything through because you block it with your tongue and then you allow it to explode outwards you will get ate. This is the same sort of thing we use for for any sort of explosive constants if you voice them, you start getting things like you do good. Uh but it's the same ideas this you block the air and you go and you pop it out. Um your other option is to block it completely and then allow it to come through your nose on. So then you have these constants like mmm mmm and these sorts of things where your tongue is blocking the air completely and your nose is getting all the air. Then you have this other weird option where instead of going where you're blocking it completely your opening just a crack of air through it's just a little bit you have and then you have but you have all these sort of hushing sounds anything where there is just a small, small, narrow gap for air to flow through, you start getting these sort of sounds thes hushing loud, turbulent sounds um option for um is basically if you your tongue is up and the sides of the tongue are down, which means the air flows around the sides of your tongue this is ld sort of el sounds la la la e u um this is where basically the air sort of flows out on the sides of the mouth and then the last one that we use in english um is this sort of strange thing it's called the same evil uh where basically you kind of missed with the air a little bit it's a little bit like uh your tongue has moved up the little lisbet to make some sort of are like, thing uh these air basically vowels this's basically like you're you're barely touching the sounds you're barely touching the air but it's enough to make some difference we have our ah ah wah the w I e r but why um these air basically your tongue is coming up just to kind of mess with the sound a little bit that's it the three options that are not used in english two of which you should care about in one of which is just fun um there's the trail just basically where you go in a location and you vibrate really rapidly these are all options there's basically only the three there's the liberal there's thea r roll that's used in spanish and italian and then there's the sort of ugh feeler thing used in french uh gargling one um generally I usually get a question that I'll just head off right now you know, how do you learn to pronounce the spanish rolled r the best way I've heard so far I mean I already talked about the french one just gargle forever uh spanish one is the best tip I found is you say prince of prussia except instead of saying prince of pressure you think about prince of pressure but instead you say prudence of production you put diesel in his desire in the same location it's that that sort of s location that we're talking about and so you say prudence of russia and you try to say this while thinking of the r's and incompetence of production prince prince prince prince of prussia russia and you're basically saying d's but you're sort of allowing them to flap around like ours is the best tip I found but again all of these things are you start learning to hear them and then you're both will start cooperating mohr and then you practice um so those trills taps are sort of the opposite instead of sort of vibrating a whole bunch of times you vibrate once uh about this sort of allah this is just a one quick little closing of their um you'll show this shows up in italian for instance the difference between coddle and carol you have a rolled one and flipped one attacked on then you have the crazy icelandic elves which are only an icelandic and I think I think welsh has them in like navajo where it's basically the same as an l a koala uh where all the air's coming out the sides of your between your tongue and your molars except instead of having lots of room for it you have very, very little room in so instead of saying allah you have baja la which is just awesome I mean it's useless but I mean it's not useless if you're living these languages but very few people do unfortunately so this is the crazy atlantic tell those air the eight locations of all continents of all ever I mean there's click continents things like that but this will cover pretty much every base you need. So what do you do with this practically because this is the continent chart and it's huge ah and it's overwhelming and this is even a simplified version it isn't using all sorts of horrible words like epiglottis africa tive it's using things like do things in the location of b and flap your lips together like uh like a rolls sort of thing so it gives you instructions it's great except that it's still overwhelming it's so many constant so many things the way you use this is that you go you find a problem, you go into your language and you say okay, I'm learning spanish and there is some continent that is sort of sounds like a bee that sort of sounds like a v and I don't know what I'm doing it's like a rare something like that uh and you look at this and you realize you have a problem you can hear it now you've trained your ear to hear it but you don't know how to say it in your mouth then you go to wikipedia you go to the for spanish list you look up the problem words and it says okay there's something it sounds kind of like a bee n a v and it looks like this and you will find this this damn thing uh, you find this b with a tail on it and to be with a tail on it is the thing causing you problems and so you look up in the list, can you see? Okay, well, what is this thing really? Well, first you look at the location and you say okay, well, this is in the both lips category. These are two lips coming together. This is not a vase. This is somehow with both lips putting them together just like a bee. Bah bah bah, bah bah! But it sounds like cancan both of you help me here, is it not in the yes, there's? Not that they're there. Give me the first one, baby. Yes, baby had tricky. Yeah, okay, this sounds right now to my you're kind of like a bee accept this kind of all and something's weird and so I want to figure out how to pronounce this sound I can hear it sort of I need to do we're training to hear it better and so I can look this up and say okay this is both lips in terms of a type of sound this is one of these sort of s things the turbulent ones with the small small gap in between my lips so I need to have a little bit of a gap between my lips I can't go mad mad not bad bad so I need a little bit less and any of these starred constants any of the ones on the right are going to be voiced my vocal cords are active so this isn't a bad pair or something just do it please yes it's good we have spanish speakers here so this is how you used this sort of thing you find please I thought that was more of a german usage and it's a like a hard s like a sure you mean that the ah yes yes yes yes these symbols are going to our haven't harvested from a whole bunch of languages on dh so they're not necessarily going to correspond to exactly what you want for instance the sound for you this idea of rr y eyes over here this is in the location of a y it's a it's a slight obstruction of the vow this is a u looks like a j but has not pronounced jews pronounced you in some of these case it's not gonna line up to what you expect it to be and that's something you get used to pretty quickly s so yes this is in this case only used for in the epa in the international phonetic alphabet this is no longer a german constant it's been stolen from germany and used as a kind of fancy beat yeah okay, so vowels vowels are sort of the opposite of continents where continents are obstructing air valves are allowing air right through um fouls or in some way simpler and in some ways more complex than continents there's not so much to do with vowels you can't like I'm going to close my lips on this valuable now you're not saying about no I'm gonna move my tongue in front of my teeth and you know click twice like no that's not a val anymore uh you're just allowing her through pretty much the only thing you can do is move where your tongue is and what your lips are doing. Those are your options with palace there's a few more things you could do with french you can allow air to go nasal outing with portuguese uh but yeah, I mean basically the main things you're dealing with are where is your tongue and what are your lips doing so first with your tongue uh, tongues can move in a few different directions uh the most important are up and down and front and back and so if you're moving your tongue up and down then first a this with me e e a a ah good and you'll find the e is really, really high and as lower and I's lowest you'll find the same thing if you go who are try that who is really high always lower and awe is the lowest um your tongue just sort of does this naturally this is one of the nice things about val is actually is that generally your ear will do most of the work for you, constance you really can can benefit from okay. What is this? Oh, both of my lips together really? Okay, great bowels, you know, moving your tongue up in three millimeters to the left and stuff like that you're here handles most of that work for you but just so you are aware your tongue is going up and down yeah. Um the other thing your tongue can do is go front and back instead of going you let's start with uh try and uh you'll find that is forward and eyes back try again uh uh, yeah uh and if you do the same thing with me and you'll find the exact same thing actually even more pronounced it's just that your lips are kind of interfering but if you go your your your tongue is all the way in the front it's trying to come out of your mouth basically e and then you go you and your tongue pulls all the way back these are sort of the two directions your tongue and go you come and go from the front he in the back you can go to the top e to the bottom was there sort of the two dimensional tongue movements that you can do in terms of where we were where we place this were kind of looking at where is the tip? Where is the highest point on your tongue? And so we're talking about this spot versus that spot you're going forward and back now look at these two mouths and tell me what is the one on the left say christina e it's a trick question you have no idea there's no way to know it's not actually a fair question all because yes this certainly looks like e but this could also be chinese vowel ah sorry e you don't know where my tongue is you only know about my lips same thing with you I mean that certainly looks like wood said they could also be germans we were there's no way to tell from the lips lips are independent from what your tongue is doing lips are usually doing this it is more common to see those kind of lips with a new than within you, but they exist this ends up being the most important thing in terms of using the for training your mouth to do something new because as I said, your tongue will generally cooperate with you this is the valley charted it looks overwhelming and ignore that for a second um your tongue will generally behave itself once you can hear these sounds the hearing is the tricky part, but once you can hear it, your tongue will react and go in the right spot but your lips won't always follow and so it's really that lip grounding thing that becomes the most key thing in french for instance this top guy we'll learn how to do that um this top guy this what looks like a y here's what you'll see in words like fondue the melted cheese thing um and so you'll see this and perhaps this bow will cause you problems again on lee used this when it's a problem when you like don't don't go memorizing I p and stuff like that if you don't need to but if you are trying to say words and everyone doesn't understand what you're saying and you're like, what is this foul phoned you keep saying phone do and all the french are mad at me, but I do um then you looked this up on wikipedia. You look up the for french thing, and you will find that it looks just like a why, and then you can think, okay, well, what does that mean? Well, you look at its neighbor. Every case, you look at its neighbour and you see, okay, well, the neighbor of this why is e as in cheese? That means that your tongue is in the exact same position as e. So if you want to learn how to say the french who stick your tongue in the position of e and then start rounding your lips e this is kind of the the sequence that you need to follow, to train yourself, to speak, noose new vowels. But remember, your tears will do most of the work for you, says vowels are really, really an ear reliant thing, and they're the hardest thing to train with ears. They are doable. If you use minimal pairs, they really do come. And once they do, your tongue will really behave itself. It's just the lips that really kind of takes him kick in the pants.

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!

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