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Fluent Forever? Anyone had success with the book or with using Anki flash cards?

I am trying very hard to learn Spanish and recently purchased Fluent Forever, which I've been really impressed with... The book has an impressive, science-based approach to learning language.

Curious to find out if anyone else here has read the book or tried to develop a library of Anki Flash Cards to learn their target language. I'm building mine now, but it is taking a lot of time. But I do think it is working, I seem to remember a LOT more when I use the methodology outlined in this book.

March 28, 2017



You can use this as well, as mephili pointed out.


It is the DuoLingo Spanish course in flash card format.


I have been using Anki for 3 or 4 years now (I am not sure when I started). I learn mainly passive vocabulary this way. My English deck has almost 3000 words now and its growing every day. What I love in Anki is the possibility of modifing every card according to my needs. So, good luck! :)


Very cool! Your writing is great- so it is clearly working! :)

I am just starting with it- working on the the top 625 words in frequency as well as putting in my trouble words from Duolingo I like that in Anki you can really focus on them and it is great to personalize it. I find that with Duolingo I sometimes try to go too fast... and Anki card making slows me down to focus on the words themselves. I seem to retain them better that way.


Yes, flash cards are very effective and many people here use them. Those cards have to be memorable for YOU, the generic ones are not as effective. The best software for that is Memrise and some people already have very nice cards.


Yes, I've been having fun making the cards. The biggest issue is that I'm having trouble getting audio files that work w/ the cards. I found a list of 2,000 words (high frequency list) for Spanish w/ audio, but I'm having trouble adding the audio from that to my own flashcards. I will check out Memrise too. Thx!!


I'm not familiar with that book, but Anki is a really great tool. However, I would offer one major advice, that will dramatically help you remember and improve your understanding words in Spanish. (Note, I'm not sure if the book makes this suggestion, I learned this tip from a defunct website called AllJapaneseAllTheTime.com aka AJATT.)

Quick Answer: Sentences.


Do not fill up your anki deck with words. Grab a full sentence in context. Why? Sentences are more powerful than words. We communicate in full sentences . . . with the exception of imperative commands or declarations. Any time we use a good monolingual dictionary English, it will provide an example sentence. For example, let's say I want to remember the verb huir, which I learned in a song and some news articles. I can quickly go to SpanishDict.com in order to grab a sentence.

Cuatro presos huyeron de la cárcel el domingo por la tarde. Four inmates escaped from the prison on Sunday afternoon.

Notice, from the example sentence I can quickly recognize that huir is an irregular verb. Try to find examples of the word you're looking for via news outlets en español, which you can easily do via Google or Yahoo search tools. If you're trying to remember a new verb, try to find and use different conjugated versions of the verb. Go the extra mile and include the definition en español on the back of my card. huir - 1. intr. Apartarse de alguien o de algo deprisa para alejarse de un peligro o una molestia. También tr. 2. - Esquivar a una persona. This will help you not only learn the word in context, it will also help you build your vocabulary in your target language.

Extra Credit: The next best thing after sentences would be audio sentences, or pure audio with the sentence on the back of the card. I hope this helps.


This is helpful, thank you! I'd really recommend you read the book if you like this kind of stuff..... He talks a LOT about context and how your memory works best, similar to what you're saying here. One of the items is how to best remember- he recommends no translations at all. Use pictures in the beginning, along with sound and personalize it. Make the flashcards yourself so you remember the words better. He also mentions monolingual dictionaries as a good source like you do. I am ordering one. :)

also, if it helps, you would say "piece of advice" or "some advice". Just trying to help! :)


Thanks for the piece of advice! Before you purchase a monolingual dictionary, wordreference.com provides a great monolingual dictionary en español por gratis!

I am currently reading Benny's "Fluent in 3 months" book. Perhaps in the future, I'll try Fluent Forever.


I agree that it is better to learn words in a context. This is my main issue with many Memrise courses. The ones I have seen, the words are presented one after another without a context. Unless one specifically looks for sample sentences that contain the previously unknown word, it will be very hard to utilize when it comes to actively use it.

When someone learns in a context, in addition to the unknown word, the sentence is likely to contain related words that you can associate. Later, when it comes to talking or writing, one word is likely to pull the other one as well. For example, if you learn «Cuatro presos huyeron de la cárcel» you are likely to establish a mental link among preso, cárcel and huir and all 3 will be easier to recall later on.


Yes, I do the same ;)


I've also read the book and I'm a great fan of that guy. Reading it was one of the best things that happened to me in my language learning. I've also been learning vocabulary using Anki for quite a lot of time now. I've been thinking for a while about writing about my experience with Anki and your post reminded me of it. I think now will be a good moment to write it and I'll probably do it in a different post (I started writing it as a reply to your post but it ended up being a bit long :)) so that it may be helpful for more people. It may take a moment so if you want I can send you the link to the post once I've finished writing it. I hope it will answer most of your questions. Buena suerte con su español! :)


Oh that is great, I am glad you enjoyed the book as well- and that it has been helpful for you. That is encouraging. I really like his approach and use of science to make this endeavor more manageable!

I'm traveling to Ecuador in two weeks, so I'm hoping that Anki along with the experience speaking a lot of Spanish will take my language skills to the next level. I already practice a fair amount with my Spanish speaking employees, but I think they are afraid to correct me too much, so I make all sorts of ridiculous mistakes. Speaking is MUCH harder than Duolingo and I struggle to remember things fast enough. I tend to come up with the missing word 20 seconds later and by then, the conversation is 10 sentences ahead. :(

As for your post, please do write it and send me the link when you are done. I am sure I would benefit from your experience and I do really appreciate it. I'm determined to get to C1 and I don't think it's going to happen without really building a lot on Anki. And a lot of practice! Gracias!


I've made the post I told you about, here's the link. If you manage to get to the end, I would truly appreciate all possible language corrections. I proofread it all a couple of times but there's a lot of it and not being native in English can be a bit of a limitation sometimes :) I want it to be pleasant to read and there are surely many things that can be changed for better. Have a safe and happy journey!


Wonderful! I will read it tomorrow and let you know!! And thank you so much for posting something that I'm sure took you a fair amount of time- that is really helpful and kind of you. :) I'll also let you know about the English! Although, as a native speaker, I'm sure some of what I write is not grammatically correct too!!!


There are flashcards made for Duolingo Spanish called Tinycards. https://tinycards.duolingo.com/web is the web version. Other platforms are available.


Thanks, I did check out Tiny cards but Anki seems a lot more powerful to me.


here's a link to some free on-line visual spanish grammar project, i think you'll surely learn something new that will help your duolingo progress.



if you're interested in some pronunciation tips:



Cool. Very helpful and thanks for sharing, I will check it out!


Flashcards are not my thing, but he has a good blog that you may enjoy, and you can sign up for e-mail from him.


Yes, I did sign up for that. Thx!


Develop a library of Anky? I have been using Anki for a long time and I had never heard about that.

Am I having success using Anki flash cards? Yes, I am using it to improve my english pronunciations. I use it everyday.


I'm using library as more of an expression here- not a literal library. :) It's a secondary usage of the word to describe a collection of materials (usually media of some time) as a library.

Glad to know that it is working for you, that is encouraging!!


Skimmed through the book at my library and while a lot of the stuff he says has been on language blogs & forums for a while now, it's nice to see it in one place. I use Anki cards for Japanese with sentences & English definition (earlier decks) or monolingual definitions (later decks, as I got more proficient). For Portuguese, I've been taking sentences from Duolingo for words I have trouble with & adding definitions in Japanese on the back.

Other than Duolingo I'm mainly using resources in Japanese (my 2nd language) to learn Portuguese (also called "laddering" languages) because it helps me practice two languages at once.

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