Fluent Forever Pronunciation Trainers - opinions?

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Cainntear
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Re: Fluent Forever Pronunciation Trainers - opinions?

Postby Cainntear » Mon Sep 12, 2016 6:26 pm

Looking back at this thread, I see I was a little hasty. The study I was referring to was looking at listening practice with minimal pairs, and identified that despite improving in the minimal pair task, the students (Chinese, IIRC) did not improve in distinguishing the phonemes ourside of the task. But if I'm reading you guys right, FF is a pronuciation trainer and uses minimal pairs to train production, not reception, so the study isn't directly relevant.
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Re: Fluent Forever Pronunciation Trainers - opinions?

Postby jsega » Mon Sep 12, 2016 7:15 pm

maschingon wrote:Hi all,

Sorry for coming into this a bit late - this is a great and very interesting thread. I'm not quite sure how to quote multiple people, so I'll just reference the best I can. Also - I saw a post referencing a study that showed that minimal pairs are ineffective - would someone mind linking to that study?

Also - just looked up FSI and it seems interesting. Does anyone know how long the course takes to complete?

Let me preface with my experience with Gabe's trainers: I have not yet used one as a complete beginner (although I begin to do so this week with French or another language), but I did however buy the Chinese version a few months ago to 1) fix any errors in my pronunciation / listening ability, and 2) analyze their design and potential effectiveness.

Fortunately and/or unfortunately, I concluded that my ability to hear phonemes was actually very good (which seems accurate, given that I can pick apart the phonemes and transcribe them with relative ease, just don't know what they mean due to lack of knowing enough words).

Without having used it as a complete beginner I can't say for certain (I'll give an update later this week), but I concluded that for the complete beginner, the idea is golden for getting a **leg up** on easing your ear into the language, and **decent** for pronunciation training - you don't have someone telling you if you're doing it right, but you can more or less tell if you're close by replaying the sound clips (again, keep in mind that I haven't yet used one as a complete beginner).

SRS has many problems, and is not the "golden method" of perfecting pronunciation or listening, but as a complete beginner, as long as you get some controlled repetition with identifying the sounds of the language, that's all you need. The rest will take care of itself, assuming that you structure your personal learning curriculum around a lot of listening and mimicking practice.

To my knowledge, the point is not at all to completely perfect your listening skills and pronunciation, but rather to help a beginner get a week or two's worth of repetition in identifying the new and foreign sounds of the language. And that's fine --> that's also why he instructs that the decks only be used for a few weeks

Speaking of Mimicking --> I also bought Idahoosa Ness's MimicMethod for Portuguese for the same reasons, which is a whole different conversation. I can go into more detail if anyone cares to know, but in a nutshell, I unfortunately cannot recommend it: while informative and somewhat entertaining in the beginning, the structure of the course is annoying and the price tag of 90 dollars is unfathomable for what it offers. Not at all a scam, but not what I expected to receive. What's more, his method of focusing purely on sounds and completely ignoring the phonemes to me seems to be very flawed. You need to train your eye/ear/brain combo to embrace the new sound/writing from the very beginning, not completely ignore it.


I'd definitely be interested in a more in depth review of Idahosa Ness' "Mimic Method", as I was considering purchasing it myself.
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Re: Fluent Forever Pronunciation Trainers - opinions?

Postby maschingon » Mon Sep 12, 2016 10:04 pm

jsega wrote:I'd definitely be interested in a more in depth review of Idahosa Ness' "Mimic Method", as I was considering purchasing it myself.


Ok, will do, but first, 2 things:

1) Is it most appropriate to give it here or more appropriate to open up a new thread? I'm not sure how all this forum stuff works yet - just tryna fit in :P (although on that note I should say that I've already fallen in love - it's like an amusement park for language geeks. Shout out to @Emk for recommending the site to me)

2) I'm hesitant enough as it is to share my own ideas publicly, let alone talking bad about someone else's program online, lest(?) Idahoosa Ness be lurking somewhere on the site and read it. What "online polyglots" are on the site that I should be aware of? (we're all polyglots, but I'm referring specifically to the people like Benny Lewis, Ollie Richards, etc. who have their own prolific websites and teach-yourself products). I'd hate to talk bad about one of them and make an enemy.

I accidentally pissed off Benny Lewis about 3 years ago when I began really trying to learn Spanish, lol. --> I randomly ran across his website in an attempt to figure out how to rapidly learn languages, before I had any clue about the existence of the "Polyglot community". I was desperate and so paid for his premium program, but after buying I waited a few minutes but nothing appeared in my inbox, so I assumed that he was scamming me, like one of those online Pick up artists. Being the poor college student that I was (and still am.. although now I'm a poor "recent-graduate" living in Mexico, so at least my currency goes farther), I was upset, and sent him a somewhat angry email demanding a refund. He proceeded to send me a RAGINGLY mad email of quite some length, calling me all sorts of expletives and other things that I'd never heard of. He told me to check my spam, where it did indeed turn out to be waiting for me (lol - oops). Although I don't think he should have responded so angrily, I did feel bad and I tried to apologize - he didn't accept the apology :roll: .
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Re: Fluent Forever Pronunciation Trainers - opinions?

Postby Adrianslont » Mon Sep 12, 2016 10:54 pm

OP here. It has been interesting to read the latest flurry of contributions to this thread. Thanks guys.

I am currently in Indonesia and elsewhere in SE Asia for two months so I am concentrating on Indonesian - will buy the French trainer and give my review when I get back home. It sounds like it's going to sort out a few vowel problems I have.
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Re: Fluent Forever Pronunciation Trainers - opinions?

Postby miket12 » Thu Sep 15, 2016 11:40 pm

The other common problem is "contrast intonation", which happens really often as he vs she; almost invariably they record the he version first and the she version directly after, so you either get "he is" and "she is" or (worse) "he is" and "she is". I'm sure I've had materials that have no unstressed "she" in the whole thing, effectively teaching it as though it's a heavily stressed word.
I followed Wyners posts and it all made sense to me, so I bought the French trainer. I only used it for a bit and then gave up on it for the reason mentioned in the quote. The 2 paired words were pronounced so markedly differently that they were easy to tell apart by listening for the word stress, not the pronunciation difference.
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Re: Fluent Forever Pronunciation Trainers - opinions?

Postby russty1 » Fri Sep 16, 2016 12:47 am

Hi.

Since the original question was about French, I thought I'd mention Barron's book Pronounce It Perfectly in French, which comes with 3 CD's. It gives descriptions of how to physically produce the sounds of the French language, and has sections on liason and enchainement. I haven't started using it yet, but it will be my first resource when I try to improve my pronunciation. It runs under $20 on Amazon.

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Re: Fluent Forever Pronunciation Trainers - opinions?

Postby Cainntear » Fri Sep 16, 2016 7:04 am

maschingon wrote:1) Is it most appropriate to give it here or more appropriate to open up a new thread? I'm not sure how all this forum stuff works yet - just tryna fit in :P (although on that note I should say that I've already fallen in love - it's like an amusement park for language geeks. Shout out to @Emk for recommending the site to me)

New thread, definitely. If you post it in a thread about Fluent Forever, it'll be hidden from people who are not interested in FF but are interested in MM.

2) I'm hesitant enough as it is to share my own ideas publicly, let alone talking bad about someone else's program online, lest(?) Idahoosa Ness be lurking somewhere on the site and read it. What "online polyglots" are on the site that I should be aware of? (we're all polyglots, but I'm referring specifically to the people like Benny Lewis, Ollie Richards, etc. who have their own prolific websites and teach-yourself products). I'd hate to talk bad about one of them and make an enemy.

Anyone who runs a brand should be considered fair game. We don't worry about upsetting the CEO of Rosetta Thomas Duopimslaphone or the author of Teach Yourself Colloquial Double Dutch without Effort in Three Months, so why should we stop ourselves being honest about an internet brand?

As long as you're being honest and not gratuitously rude, and nothing you say is legally actionable, you shouldn't be afraid to speak your mind.
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Re: Fluent Forever Pronunciation Trainers - opinions?

Postby Adrianslont » Fri Sep 16, 2016 10:17 am

Has anyone tried Rosetta Thomas Duopimslaphone in French? It has to be great!
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Re: Fluent Forever Pronunciation Trainers - opinions?

Postby Xenops » Fri Sep 16, 2016 2:33 pm

After reading this thread, it just confirms my conviction to continue with FSI Phonology and save my $12.
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Re: Fluent Forever Pronunciation Trainers - opinions?

Postby maschingon » Fri Sep 16, 2016 3:53 pm

Xenops wrote:After reading this thread, it just confirms my conviction to continue with FSI Phonology and save my $12.


How much does FSI phonology cost?
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