Fluent Forever app


#1

One of the promising things to me about WaniKani (so far - I’m just a beginner!) is the “guided SRS” nature of it - it’s a lot easier to keep momentum and not get discouraged because I always know what to do next. (I contrast this with Anki, where a lot of experience and expertise is required to feel confident about what you should be doing next…)

A Kickstarter recently launched for another “guided SRS” app which I’m hoping will be a good complement to WaniKani. It focuses on vocab, and steps you through the process of picking / creating cards for appropriate vocabulary (in a sequence at first, then later based on a sentence bank and perhaps other sources). They list Japanese & Mandarin as stretch goals but based on their first day it seems likely that they’ll hit them…

Anyway, I’m dropping this here because I think others might be interested. (I’m also really curious to see others’ reactions to their approach) The link is here.


#2

The app looks good.

WaniKani is mainly teaching Kanji readings and meanings. Actually, you might defer studying Kanji until you can speak intermediate Japanese. It doesn’t teach enough vocab, nor in context enough. (So, you won’t understand the meaning well enough.)

Still, learning Kanji separately somehow is required to read more Japanese to expand your vocab. Kanji-in-the-wild learning pattern (outside WaniKani)

This is probably an aspect specific to Japanese and Chinese.


#3

Since I saw this an hour ago, I’ve just been doing research on this. Now I’m considering either The Polyglot or the Fluent in Any Language pledges. What do people think?


#4

Well, at least they do understand that pronunciation and listening is important. For that alone, I’d be convinced to give Fluent Forever a try if I were learning one of the languages that are going to be supported. Looks like Japanese is a stretch goal though, so I’d rather wait it out and see if Japanese is added.


#5

Eh, doesn’t seem very different from other SRS apps to me


#6

It looks like they’re trying to do everything at the same time. That won’t make them the best option in the market.


#7

I don’t know. Apps that tend to feature a bunch of languages tend to be pretty bad at Japanese. Think Rosetta Stone and Duolingo.


#8

They do have quite a good reputation though and people seem happy with the previous products they’ve delivered :thinking:. Not exactly some newbie showing up to revolutionize the place. The book’s endorsements appear to be from serious academics too. I’m gonna wait to see if you get anywhere close to the stretch goal for Japanese. If so, I’ll jump in, otherwise, it’s kinda pointless for me.

I hear ya. That’s kinda why I’m waiting at the moment. I wish they’d split the kickstarter up into “one language now to test, and then another for all the rest together” just so people would be able to give them feedback first.


#9

Looks very similar to Iknow - sentence filling / picture for recall / srs so I’m not too sure since I know is specifically tailored for japanese its main language


#10

I’m not saying that they won’t be good :slight_smile: I’m saying they probably won’t be better. Attacking several markets without owning a single one is a little naive. They’ll probably be just another general tool like Memrise and Duolingo. Cool enough to try, not cool enough to stay and pay.

I liked their idea of allowing users to export Anki decks to their app. Their system will search for images on Google related to the vocab (image recognition in your target language). However, you might have to pay for that. Your idea of making a version of Anki that’s more user friendly would probably win against both (if done right). :relaxed:


#11

While I appreciate the sentiment, I feel the two apps would have different objectives. The one I suggested would leave all content entirely up to the user, would be quick, have offline support, and a bunch of self-study tools. The one they seem to be making seems to be based on hears of experience following the 36 (I believe that’s the number) apps that were the result of his previous Kickstarter campaign which went well.

I am curious to see whether they can actually pull it off though. As you say, the risk is high of being all over the place, yet somehow I feel that if anyone can pull off something as diverse, it would likely be this team. If they don’t manage, I wouldn’t have much hope for others…


#12

It looks fine but to be honest, I probably wont use this or even try it.
I enjoy my current method and I don’t feel the need for anything to be “easier” or “faster” or to combine all of it into one app. I might use this for other languages though in the future but not Japanese unless people come out to talk about how incredible it is.


#13

Sorry for bumping up an older thread, I just learned about this app recently. I’m not sure if I’ll want to try this out for Japanese, since I’m liking my current method, but it might be interesting to try in the future with other languages.

They recently posted update videos showing off a bit of the app:

Seems like they made some progress, but they definitely have a LONG way to go.


#14

I’ve actually read the book Fluent Forever. Personally I wouldn’t get this app.

The book outlines the whole approach: start with sounds. build up to words, then sentences, grammar, etc. As a resource it was really helpful when it came to starting my Anki decks for the first time and I still refer back to the flashcard templates in the book. It’s not the best language learning book in the world by any means, but it was a helpful resource for me in the beginning.

Personally, I’d rather take what I learned from the book and apply it myself (which is what I do/did). While there’s definitely convenience in using the app form - and I only skimmed through the app description to be fair - the book emphasised making everything yourself so it’s easier to remember, e.g. you Google an image of a dog and pick the dog that to you best represents that image. So having a pre-made image library seems a bit… I don’t know, not quite true to the idea? The book really emphasises going out and finding the image that resonates with you the most for the concept you want to visualise. Plus, it’s a lot of money for something you can do yourself with AnkiApp and some spare time.

And, this is just my two cents, but with the website and the book and the app, the author is reallyyy pushing his method. And, I don’t know, it’s definitely a method that works but it’s not revolutionary and I kind of wish they didn’t market it so vigorously (I get why they do, obviously). It’s effective, sure. I use this method myself, as I’ve already said. I’m just not sure it’s worth all the hype on the author’s part.

This got kind of long and it’s hard to describe exactly why this isn’t for me, but … it just isn’t. I’d recommend reading the book, though, if you’re interested in the approach. I think it’s more valuable as a resource.