Why learn to translate, when you can build fluency instead? Announcing the first app that can teach you to *think* in a new language.
Hi, my name is Gabriel Wyner. Once upon a time, I was an opera singer with a passion for learning languages, and some unconventional ideas about how best to accomplish that. But four years ago, you, the Kickstarter community, showed me that I have an even greater passion – a passion for teaching other people how to successfully learn foreign languages when they’ve failed in the past.
At that time, you helped me create 32 pronunciation training apps that lay the foundation for rapid language learning.
Today, I’m back to take the next step: I want to create a single app that can take you from nothing all the way to fluency, in your language of choice. For those of you new to Fluent Forever, this app is going to use a method unlike anything you’ve tried before: I wrote a book about this method – Fluent Forever – which was published by Randomhouse in 2014, and as a result of that book and those pronunciation training apps, there are now literally thousands of you who have learned to speak new languages with the help of these tools.
So let me show you what I want to build, and what I want you to be a part of: The Fluent Forever App is based on research about how we store information.
It’s different from anything you’ve tried in the past, both in terms of what you’re learning and how you’re learning it.
Beginning with ear training and pronunciation, then teaching you vocabulary and grammar all without the need for memorizing translations, this app is designed to push a language into your memory as rapidly and efficiently as possible. It accomplishes this with the help of a spaced repetition flashcard system – a system designed to test you at the optimal moment to move information into your long term memory.
Now, flashcard tools like these are excellent for reviewing information, but you need something more when you’re learning that information in the first place.
You probably have experience with this – you looked at a friend’s flashcards or study guide before a test, but then you did poorly.
Or you did the opposite – you made flashcards or a study guide, and then you didn’t even need to look at them again before your test, and you still did well.
Both of these experiences point to the same thing – the process of looking at information and then making choices about how to store it – what text do you include on your flashcards? What pictures do you want to use? This process is one of the most powerful learning experiences you can create, and so in the Fluent Forever app, you’re not just using pre-made flashcards with some pictures and audio files on them; you’re creating your own learning tools, because that creation process is so important. Up until now, this process has involved a lot of busywork; you’re not just making choices – you’re looking for image files and sound files and taking the time to move them around on a computer. But now we’re ready to take the next step: we can create an app that eliminates all of that busywork. And designs are already taking shape: It’s an app that will give you a list of suggested words to learn, and an efficient order in which to learn them.
It will perform automatic image searches for each of those words, and link them with audio recordings. It will give you suggested sentences to learn – more than 1800 of them – and show you how to internalize every bit of grammar and vocabulary within. And it will show you how to continue all the way to fluency, by adding your own sentences, or accessing a searchable, proofread database of the sentences that other users have submitted.
In practice, this is an app that will take you from nothing all the way to fluency, in the palm of your hand. It’s something I’ve been dreaming about and designing since 2012, and now, with your help, we are in a position to make this app a reality. To reward you for pledging, you are going to be the first people to gain access to this app. We’ll be running a private beta test just for you, for a minimum of two months.[Text on screen: Extended beta test period if we reach our stretch goals!]
You’ll be the first people we talk with when we’re looking to add features and make improvements. The different pledge levels will give you access to the finalized app for different amounts of time, and a lifetime discounted rate for the final version, even after your subscription ends. And you’ll be a part of something truly important. There are so many language learning tools out there – and they can help you learn some words or some grammar – but there is nothing that will take you all the way to thinking in a new language and bringing you to fluency. And yet, this is something that can exist – it’s something that we can make – and I want you to be a part of making that dream a reality. I also need your help. To make an app with this kind of complexity and to do it really well, we need a world class app design house along with an entire staff of native speakers to create sentences for you, voice actors to record them, and teachers to proofread and comment upon sentences in the community database. I can only do all of that with your help. Together, we can build a language learning tool that is truly revolutionary – a tool that’s powerful, a tool that’s fun and easy to use, a tool that can actually bring you to fluency in your language of choice. So thank you for watching, and let’s make this thing happen.
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