Fluent Forever (2019 Book #2)

Summary: Fluent Forever is a book about how to effectively learn new languages quicker. My review is that - it’s a good book, but I wouldn’t recommend. One thing that would be an interesting metric is the number of times you will re-read the book. Some books are so good that you need to reread it. This book’s reading count is 1. I would not recommend a buy unless you need a light read before bed time or need a break from other things. The book should be cut to 50 pages.

Naval Ravikant warns about books of this type. Books that talk about the same thing until cows come home. Effectively, it’s a book that can be summarized into one sentence. Here it is: use your visual system to learn the language.

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn Pronunciation First
  • Don’t Translate
  • Use Spaced Repetition Systems(Anki)
  • Never settle for safe when you can have fun instead - something to think about.
  • More accurately you learn pronunciation, the better you remember it.
  • ** Don’t use 1-1 word to word flashcards. Try to put an image and even better, if using computerized SRS systems, use sound as well.
  • Recalling is more effective with learning than reviewing.
  • Take advantage of the forgetting curve. There is an optimal point of forgetting, and you should review when you are just about to forget.
  • Whenever you are under stress/performing, your brain will act in gear. Put yourself in test/rating mode.
  • Images are more powerful than words. Hmm. But don’t we not see until much later? Are sounds more powerful than images? I found out from an HCI book that vision accounts for 80% of information content people absorb - so yes! This is true!
  • ** You need to look at mouth positions, and also try to emulate the mouth position when you are saying words.
  • Try to have a list of most frequent words and study them first.
  • The minute you get bored, your mental filters come back. You need to be able to spice learning up, to not get bored. This is very important.
  • Masculine nouns - fire. Feminine sounds - exploding. Assign attributes to gendered pronouns.
  • The fastest way to learn another language, is to ignore all other languages and absorb an insane amount of the language you’re trying to learn at the maximal rate. At least, that’s what kids did right?
  • You should use a grammar book as a shortcut to train yourself on how grammar works before diving deep into other territories.
  • Google Images is your friend.
  • Need around 15,000 - 35,000 words to be fluent in a language. That’s around 41 words per day.
    • Question 1: I wonder what the range of words that people use in a given country would look like? Would there be a correlation between the number of words used to gdp?
    • Question 2: One experiment I’d like to do is go nuts in one language. So study Japanese for 1 month, but you don’t speak English to anyone else unless you really have to. No english music. No english text. Only Japanese. You can’t think in English either. Japanese only. So you want to optimize just to learn the language I also wonder how many words you can memorize per day. You need 30k - 45k words to be fluent in a language. But how many words can people memorize per day? If you want to memorize a thousand per day, that’s 42 per hour. Maybe this is doable if you practice?!

Good Resources to Learn the Language:


Italki.com - conversation practice site.

** forvo.com -




Book Finished May 2nd, 2019.