(both me and Perfectly Fluent)
In my lifetime, I've had my share of challenging, spontaneous, entertaining, and sometimes absurd and frustrating language learning experiences. Like learning English in high school in Russia from a teacher who could barely understand it herself. Or having to learn Spanish in 2 months for a job interview that required intermediate Spanish although I spoke none at all. Or doing an exchange year in the USA and ending up in Texas, where even anglophones would struggle with understanding the accent. Or spending a year abroad in Geneva and realizing that I didn't understand a word the locals were saying even though I was supposed to start classes at the university (in French) in a week's time. I promise to tell more about those experiences (that I now laugh and reminisce about) in my blog.
But all that is to say that those hurdles and roadblocks have been successfully overcome. When I first came to Geneva in 2000, all I could confidently say in French was "bonjour" and "merci" (both with a thick Russian accent). But only a few months later, I held conversations in French with my Swiss friends, took courses in economics at the University of Geneva, and had a part-time job at a cocktail bar, taking orders and serving customers in French. I was fluent in under a year. And just a few years later, it was with the Ministers of Health in Haiti, Togo, and Burkina Faso that I've held discussions in French as part of my job in an international NGO (the job that I got largely thanks to speaking French). Today, I'm fluent in five languages, using them confidently for work and in my frequent travels. And I'm learning five more using the tools, techniques, and tricks I've picked up along the way. Through trial and error, I've discovered that it's not only the gifted that can learn a language, and not only those that have unlimited time on their hands. Anyone can start speaking a new language, regardless of age, background, spare time, and how many languages they've learned before.
When several of my friends, acquaintances, and colleagues started asking me for tips on how to learn French, English, Russian, Spanish, German, and Japanese, I've decided it was time to share this knowledge and put it all in one place. This is how the idea for Perfectly Fluent was born in 2019. Today, Perfectly Fluent is a registered company in Geneva, Switzerland (CHE-143.746.597).
There are a few ways that Perfectly Fluent can help you in your language goals:
This website offers recommendations and guidance on the best available resources for learning dozens of languages (all personally tested and vetted). Check them out under Languages, and make sure you get on the mailing list so you don't miss any promotions, news, and offers!
We offer personalized coaching for helping you stay on track and reach your goals faster (in a similar way to a fitness coach - getting you to do the right things at the right intervals and with the right accountability). This coaching would fit best those who want to reach proficiency in a language in record time (between 3 and 6 months).
We offer seminars and workshops to companies and interest groups on various aspects of language acquisition (some of the topics include "Getting comfortable with French for newcomers to Geneva", "The do's and don'ts of learning French in Geneva", and "How to become conversational in a language in 3 months".)
We develop a personalized learning plan for learners who prefer studying on their own, but want to pick the most effective pathway to reach their goals given their preferences, availability, budget, and learning styles.
We do small group language retreats to immerse language learners in language and culture and allowing them to progress in their chosen language much faster.
Whether you need some ideas on what would work best for you to quickly learn or improve the language you are working on, or need to get to a certain language level at record speed (for example, for that dream job that just requires an intermediate level of Portuguese, and the application deadline is in a month...), or if you feel that your strong accent is holding you back, Perfectly Fluent has what it takes to help you.
Let me show you that learning a language can be exciting, fun, and most certainly doable, despite what you may remember from your experience in school or your earlier attempts to pick up a new language from boring classes and textbooks!