Non-Fiction Review: Fluent Forever by Gabriel Wyner

Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget ItFluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget It

by Gabriel Wyner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s difficult to rate something like this without seeing if it works first. But, I do think that the author is at least giving you a very practical approach to self-language study… and he certainly doesn’t sugar-coat how much work it’s going to be. I’ve been stuck in my Japanese language study for a while — I think Gabriel Wyner’s approach might be the answer to get me out of this rut.

Also, I would highly recommend the audiobook of this to listen to while you read the book. He seriously has one of the prettiest narration voices. Plus, with so much discussion about foreign words and pronunciation, it is such a bonus to actually hear (rather than read and guess wrong) the words properly spoken. And, with how much he repeats his example words, my vocabulary is now 5-6 words larger.

Non-Fiction Review: Is That a Fish in Your Ear? by David Bellos

Is That a Fish in Your Ear? Translation and the Meaning of EverythingIs That a Fish in Your Ear? Translation and the Meaning of Everything

by David Bellos

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

He starts off the book by defining translation, the other solutions to dealing with language barriers, and whether translation actually exists (just because we’ve given it a name). Brilliant! It reminded me of my “Modern Art” history class at university — I put it off for several years because I took the stance that everything has been done before — it’s just a rehash. and what were the first words out of my prof’s mouth? “I’m going to take this semester to explain to you that Modern Art Does Not Exist!” YES! I know there were at least a few students who were NOT happy with this remark. For me, that was the best modern art class I ever could have hoped for!

Anyways, I don’t have much to say about this book — except that I’ll probably buy it and read it again. I kept wading through the text and was excited by so many passages. I kept thinking to myself, “I need to write this quote down…” This doesn’t happen that often to me with non-fiction works. I can’t explain it. All I can say is, I’d love to read some fictional works translated by David Bellos, his explanation of the how’s and what’s of translation were fascinating.