Fluent Forever: The Best Way to Learn Multiple Languages?


Disclaimer: I don’t get paid for this either, just like I didn’t get paid to endorse the Westin Air Diffuser. Sometimes it’s fun to write in italics. 

I can curse out trolls in multiple languages: English, Arabic, Spanish, Russian, and Mandarin. I didn’t acquire those skills by paying for language lessons. I acquired them by traveling around the world. For those of you who are looking to learn languages for a higher purpose, check out my original post, TPOL The Polyglot: How To Learn Multiple Languages, for a list of language resources. Pimsleur is the best.

The problem with Pimsleur is that there are only 90 lessons. After completing the units, I found myself wasting time signing up for hypnotists and other snake-oil methods in order to become fluent.

A sucker for any program that declares that I will increase my language proficiency, I recently contributed to the Fluent Forever crowdsourced campaign. The website promises the world, or at least a way to communicate in it, for $150.

If the app delivers on its promise, it will be the most incredible app ever built. If it does not, then it will be added to my list of tools that promised a lot but did not deliver. Once the app comes out, I will update my progress. Until then, it’s back to asking a local Chinese man where Chang An Jie is or a Russian person the equivalent, Где Тверская улица, using my best Pimsleur impersonation.

Скажите, пожалуйста, где Красная площадь?


  1. If you speak english well, there is perhaps no reason in the world to waste time learning another language. It’s fine if you happen to pick some up along the way during your travels, but with limited time on earth I cannot imagine a more wasteful use of learning time with an eye on producing something useful.

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