Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget It - by Gabriel Wyner



my notes:

Four levels of processing:
Structure: How many capital letters are in the word BEAR?
Sound: Does APPLE rhyme with Snapple?
Concept: Is TOOL another word for “instrument”?
Personal Connection: Do you like PIZZA

The four lives are more than a biological quirk, they act as a filter, protecting us from information overload.

To keep you sane, your brain consistently works at the shallowest level of processing needed to get the job done.

We prioritize and store concrete concepts because they engage more of our brains, not because they’re necessarily any more important than other information.

Lazy is just another word for efficient.

We’ve all gone through situations in school and work in which we’re supposed to memorize something, but rarely does someone tell us how to do it.

You’re 20 percent more likely to retain the words that took a little more time.

When we remember, we don’t just access our memories; we rewrite them.

In a four-month period, practicing for 30 minutes a day, you can expect to learn and retain 3600 flash cards with 90 to 95 percent accuracy. These flash cards can teach you an alphabet, vocabulary, grammar, and even pronunciation. And they can do it without becoming tedious, because they’re always challenging enough to remain interesting and fun.

One of the reasons why language programs and classes fail is that no one can GIVE you a language, you have to TAKE it for yourself. Each word in YOUR language needs to become YOUR word, YOUR grammar rule, etc.

An accurate accent is powerful because it is the ultimate gesture of empathy. It connects you to another person’s culture in a way that words never can, because you have bent your BODY as well as your mind to match that person’s culture.

Go backward. Say the END of the word, and then add one letter at a time until you can say the whole thing. By going backward, you practice the END of the word each time you add a letter.

English uses 26 letters for 42 sounds.

You’re 79 times more likely to talk about your mother than your niece. Why not learn mother first and niece later?

Every time you’ve gone through a ‘hmm’ moment, you’ve gone through a rich, multi-sensory experience.

We’re REALLY good at remembering images, especially when those images are violent, sexual, funny, etc.

Good image for remembering gender in a new language:
MASCULINE- the noun is exploding
FEMININE- the noun is on fire
NEUTRAL- the noun is shattering