Frequently Asked Questions
The Kickstarter starts on September 19th, 2017. If all goes well and we fund by October 19th, then programming will start in early November. We would then have an early functional beta around February and can start adding languages and features to that as rapidly as we can.Last updated:
Thank you for your enthusiasm! You can share the Kickstarter (Kickstarter.fluent-forever.com/ksshare) and tell your friends and family. If you have friends or acquaintances who have contacts with the media, please contact them or send us their contact info.Last updated:
I'm just getting started with Fluent Forever, should I wait until the app is released or should I start using Anki now?
That'll vary from person to person. If this goes very well, then we're going to get funded on 10.19.17 and start work on the app by 11.1.17. I think we'll have a functional beta within 3 months, so potentially 2.1.17. I think between February and April, you should be able to start comfortably using the new app. That's 5-7 months in which you could be learning lots of stuff. I'd say if you have the time to start, then go ahead and start using Anki.Last updated:
Assuming we make our first few stretch goals and add 'Unsupported Language Support,' the new app will support learning all languages. We're going to make a way for all language learners to create sentences or translate word lists or make pronunciation training flashcards with tutors, and share them with each other. That way you don't have the full burden of translating the lists.
Our current plan for this is to let people use that portion of the app on their own (/ with a tutor) without sharing, see how that goes, and then once people have 2-4 months worth of content, then we can contact the more active members and ask them if we can share their content in exchange for free subscription credits. That's how we're hoping to keep quality up (since people aren't likely to use our app for multiple months just to learn garbage) without having to have native speakers on staff to quality check everything.Last updated:
Yes. The cards you get will be the same, but the way you make them will be drastically simpler. You'll just tap on words and pick pictures.Last updated:
Tablet/Desktop support is one of the top stretch goals at this point, after adding more languages. Meaning, assuming we earn enough money to do it, we’ll be adding iPad and Android tablet support first, and then we’ll aim to add desktop support.
Regarding the desktop app, we’re going to investigate doing card creation via Web app, so that it’s cross platform compatible (but it’s going to have to be insanely snappy if it’s going to be viable). If it turns out that a web app isn’t a comfortable option for users, then we’ll look to expand to Windows/MacOS.
All that said, the goal with the base mobile phone app is to make card creation there *really* comfortable—we’ve all been making cards via Anki’s desktop app, and if the card creation process isn’t superior via this app on mobile, then I haven’t really succeeded at my goal with this app.Last updated:
I believe we'll deliver via iTunes and Google Play for the mobile app. If we end up creating desktop apps, then we may distribute these through our website.Last updated:
Having a snappy, responsive app regardless of your internet speed is absolutely necessary, so we’re going to keep that a super high priority for the programming team.
I think we can pre-cache A LOT of search results and try to anticipate what users are going to be searching for, so at the very least the first images they see come immediately (then if they want to search further, that’s where things can slow down).
The other thing that might address slow connections is the offline card creation mode we have planned in the "future features" list. Hopefully we’ll be far exceeding our funding goals and can add offline card creation as a part of the Kickstarter.Last updated:
The Awesome Word Lists are illustrated PDFs with information about the first 625 words you should learn.
The Sentence Lists are a list of 1875 sentences (three sentences per word in the 625 word list). They’re designed to be an integral part of the Fluent Forever App.
You get one language’s sentence list with every >$40 pledge level in the Kickstarter, and additional sentence lists will be purchasable within the app (I think we’re going to price them around $25). They include recordings of each sentence, potentially recordings of every word in every sentence, gender/part-of-speech information about each word, and dictionary/root forms of every word.Last updated:
Yes. Any time you have an active full subscription, you can add additional users to that subscription for a discounted $6 or $3/month for full/basic subscriptions. Those new users will likely want to have their own trainers/sentence lists, which they'd need to purchase (Kickstarter discount price on those are +$20/language for the bundle).Last updated:
We’ve had a lot of people show concern about us adding a ‘Gamification’ stretch goal and turning a useful app into an annoying app with badges and notifications and all sorts of bloat and garbage. So I’m going to tread very carefully when it comes to the gamification idea. It DOES seem like many users would appreciate seeing their progress, and therefore we might add things like progress bars/trackers and such. But we’re not going to dump a bunch of glittery game stuff all over you and we’ll be checking in with you folks all along the way to make sure we’re giving you a product you actually want.
And if there’s a split between some users that want glitter and some that don’t, we’ll plan to have a way to toggle it on/off in settings.Last updated:
I’m not willing to having a version of the app that doesn’t have high quality integrated image search; that’s literally the largest time saving part of the app, and trying to screenshot stuff online and import it from your camera roll every single time you make a flashcard is too clunky to retain new users. We added the basic/lite subscription for users who don’t plan on using the integrated image search a whole lot.
In addition, we’re looking into the idea of offering users subscription credits in exchange for improving the community database. But that’s going to take a lot of thought and planning to come up with a fair system that works well.Last updated:
Will the app be useful to me if I’m learning an obscure language, or a language that’s not in the current plans?
Our $850k stretch goal is ‘Unsupported’ Language Support. The idea there is that users can still use our app to make flashcards, and in addition, we’re going to provide them with a way to share resources with other learners of the same language. Something like a web app where subscribed members can input translations for the 625 list, other subscribed members can upvote/downvote those translations, contribute their own, or comment.
People will be able to contribute sentences via tutors and comment on the quality of the sentences and audio recordings, etc. Basically, we'd be making a community that’s user curated, rather than professionally curated.
We’d recommend a basic/lite subscription plan for those languages, and we’d upgrade it so that you can have more image searches (but in English, rather than your target language) and unlimited access to the community resources.Last updated:
Within the 1875 Sentence List, we’re going to have each word’s dictionary/root form in our database. When you decide to learn a word like “mice”, and the database notes that there’s a root form of “mouse”, it will auto-suggest the following flashcards:
“mice”: What’s this?
“mouse” : What’s this?
“Elephants are scared of __”: What’s the missing word?
“Elephants are scared of __”: What’s the dictionary form for the missing word?
(if we add monolingual dictionaries):
“A very small rodent that is similar to a small rat.”: What’s this a definition for?
We MAY include a set of flags in the database for ‘super simple’ inflected words (dog/dogs, bed/beds) so that you don’t need to deal with multiple flashcards every single time you hit a plural or something else that’s pretty straightforward.Last updated:
With plain old Anki, 30-45 minutes of use a day should lead to B2/C1 fluency in a language like French or Spanish in 6 months. Level 2 languages (Greek, Hungarian, Hebrew) should take twice as much as French. Level 3 languages (Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Arabic) should take four times as much as French.
If 30-45 min/day is the sort of usage you’re expecting to give the app, I think you can plan out your subscription usage accordingly. If you’re planning on doing 60-90 minutes of app usage per day, then you need half as long of a subscription. (And if it’s more like 15-20 minutes a day, then twice as long.
If you’re already an intermediate, then knock off 30-50% of your subscription length.Last updated:
Here’s my tentative plan:
Beta tests will be locked to one language at a time. We’ll have everyone choose their languages a couple months after the Kickstarter ends. Spanish’s beta might start in, say, February, Japanese’s might start in, say, May.
If you just bought access to one language, then your official subscription starts when that beta ends, 2-4 months later. At that point, you’re in the full version of the app and can move around to trying out whatever other finalized languages are available. You can also decide to pause your subscription and wait for more languages to come out, if you’d like.
If you bought the Japanese and Spanish sentence lists, then you'd get access to both beta test periods. You can then decide whether to start your full subscription right when the final version of Spanish comes out, or you can put your Spanish card creation on hold for a bit while you wait for Japanese. You’ll still be able to review your Spanish flashcards.Last updated:
All $40+ pledge levels include at least one language worth of trainers/sentence lists.
The subscriptions include access to all the card creation tools in the app (image search, community database, etc), and demo versions of the pronunciation trainers (first 4-5 days) and word/sentence lists (first 100 words) in ALL languages. If you want the full versions of the pronunciation trainers or sentence lists in an additional language, you can buy them as an in-app purchase. (+$20/language for the bundle)Last updated:
Each of the pledge levels in the Kickstarter already include a pronunciation trainer and a sentence list. So you won't need to purchase one. In addition, your subscription allows you to go around to all the other languages we offer and try out demo versions of THOSE trainers and sentence lists. If you decide you also want those, then yes, those are an in-app purchase. We're going to have discounted rates for Kickstarter backers on those purchases of 33%, similar to the Kickstarter discount on subscriptions.Last updated:
Nope. There is no subscription cost for reviewing your old cards, no matter how long you want to review them. Subscription costs are only for the ability to create new cards, since that’s what costs us money.Last updated:
No. Since they don’t involve creating new cards, if you buy one, you don’t need a subscription to use it or to review the cards in it for as long as you’d like.Last updated:
This one’s a bit tricky and we don’t have a final answer yet. To really use the sentence list, you’ll likely want a subscription to perform image searches and make flashcards comfortably. That said, I think we may be able to include the first page of image searches with each sentence list, so if you’re not going past that first page, you could still make flashcards and things. This is something we’ll need to test out in the beta and see if it’s viable or not.Last updated:
If you’re only learning an Unsupported Language, there’s only one subscription, and it’s $6/month (same cost as the basic one). It comes with unlimited (or nearly unlimited) image search in English, unlimited access to the community database, and privacy controls on your sentence submissions. The only scenario where you’d be on a full ($12/month) subscription is if you wanted to actively add flashcards to an unsupported language AND have full card creation/community database access in a supported language, too.Last updated:
So we’re planning on adding an Anki import function as one of our stretch goals. If we make that goal, then you can just keep reviewing your old flashcards in our app.
But...if we don’t make it, then there are some other options. For instance, I just re-started Japanese after an eight month lapse and just suspended ALL of my cards and started over, as if I was an intermediate speaker who just discovered Fluent Forever. As it turns out, it’s not hurting my learning speed in any substantial way (and is a bit more comfortable than trying to review thousands of lapsed cards that I can’t remember). Pedagogically, it’s not a huge deal breaker to simply abandon your old Anki decks when transitioning over to the new app, though I totally understand why people would want to retain them.
If it turns out we don’t include an Anki import feature in the first version, I’ll write up a blog post about how best to proceed.Last updated:
The new app isn't Anki. One of our stretch goals is to create a way to import your old Anki decks into the app, so that you can at least continue reviewing your old flashcards in the new app. I'm hoping that we can fund this Kickstarter well enough to create that import feature.Last updated:
We're going to give our current customers extra bonus months of access to the finalized app. How much? Current thoughts on that are:
+ 1 extra month (/+2 mo basic access): If you've already spent $12-20 on pronunciation trainers/word lists/backing the first Kickstarter
+ 2 extra months (/+4 mo basic access): If you've already spent $21-40 on trainers/word lists/first Kickstarter
+ 3 extra months (/+6 mo basic access): If you've already spent $41-60 on trainers/word lists/first Kickstarter
+ 4 extra months (/+8 mo basic access): If you've already spent $61-80 on trainers/word lists/first Kickstarter
+ 5 extra months (/+10 mo basic access): If you've already spent $81-100 on trainers/word lists/first Kickstarter
+ 6 extra months (/+12 mo basic access): If you've already spent $101-120 on trainers/word lists/first Kickstarter
+ 7 extra months (/+14 mo basic access): If you've already spent $121-140 on trainers/word lists/first Kickstarter
+ 8 extra months (/+16 mo basic access): If you've already spent $141-160 on trainers/word lists/first Kickstarter
+ 9 extra months (/+18 mo basic access): If you've already spent $161 or more on trainers/word lists/first Kickstarter
N.B. These numbers are not confirmed numbers.Last updated:
Yes and no. If you have the Sentence List in your target language, then the old word lists are a little bit redundant. In the new app, you’ll be using the same story order and you don’t need to refer back to your word list to learn words, since the app will basically spoon-feed them to you.
If you’re picking up an ADDITIONAL language(s) and you don’t want to buy a new sentence list, you can totally use a 625 word list to browse the community database and make an off-route lesson plan for yourself, based on the old word lists.Last updated:
I’m hoping to add an "Anki Import" stretch goal, and then the answer to this is a simple “yes” - just re-import your old deck and you’re good to go, since that will retain your schedule/timing instead of making you re-do all those cards from scratch.
If we don’t raise enough money to reach that stretch goal, I don’t have a strong objection to allowing people to re-add ones they’ve purchased, but honestly, if you’ve already used your trainer then you’re not going to want to look at those flashcards all over again. I think in that case, it’s best to use your trainer in Anki for three weeks, get the value out of it, and then move to grammar/vocab in the new app.Last updated:
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