Welcome to the ETA page!
This page is dedicated to two things:
- Letting you know when I expect various parts of this project to be ready, and
- Giving you weekly project updates when key parts of the project are completed.
The Development Schedule:
The Pronunciation Trainers are getting developed language by language, and it will take some time to assemble all 32 language pairs. French, German, Spanish (Latin American), Italian and Mandarin are done now, Japanese is nearing the end of beta testing, and I expect Russian and Spanish (European) to arrive in mid May. If you pre-order, you can get access to the beta test, which generally means you’ll see your trainer ~3-4 weeks before everyone else does. They’ll be developed in this order:
- English -> French – Done!
- English -> German – Done!
- English -> Spanish (Latin America) – Done!
- English -> Chinese (Mandarin) – Done!
- English -> Italian – Done!
- English -> Japanese – Done!
- English -> Russian – Done!
- English -> Spanish (Spain) – Done!
- English -> Korean – Done!
- English -> Arabic (MSA) – Done!
- English -> Portuguese (Brazil) – Beta now available
- English -> Chinese (Cantonese) – Done!
- English -> Hebrew – Beta now available
- English -> Hungarian – Beta now available
- English -> Dutch – Beta now available
- General English Pronunciation Trainer (General American) – Beta now available
- General English Pronunciation Trainer (Received Pronunciation, AKA “BBC English”) – Beta now available
- Spanish (Latin America) -> English [For Spanish speakers who wish to improve their English pronunciation] – Beta now available
- Dutch -> English – Beta now available
- Russian -> English – Beta now available
- Italian -> English – Beta now available
- German -> English – Beta now available
- French -> English – Beta now available
- Spanish (Spain) -> English – Beta now available
- Japanese -> English – Beta now available
- Chinese (Mandarin) -> English – Beta now available
- Chinese (Cantonese) -> English – Beta now available
- Portuguese (Brazil) -> English – Beta now available
- Korean -> English – Beta now available
- Arabic (MSA) -> English – Beta now available
- Hebrew -> English – Beta now available
- Hungarian -> English – Beta now available
The Word Lists have been translated and proofread, and are currently being typeset and edited. They’ll be released, language by language, between October and Jan/Feb. If you pre-order, you’ll be able to get access to early drafts of the word lists (the data without the illustrations), as soon as the editors finish working on them. I’ll send out an email to everyone who preorders as soon as the edits are done, so you won’t have to wait for typesetting if you don’t want to. If you want to get started with the un-edited data, send us an email after preordering and we can get you a copy of the raw data. We’re working on getting firm ETAs from the typesetter and will post them here as we get ’em! Quite a few are in the typesetting phase see below for information.
- English -> French – Done!
- English -> German – Done!
- English -> Spanish (Latin America) – Done!
- English -> Chinese (Mandarin) – Done!
- English -> Italian – Done!
- English -> Japanese – Done!
- English -> Russian – Done!
- English -> Spanish (Spain) – Done!
- English -> Korean – Done!
- English -> Arabic (MSA) – Done!
- English -> Portuguese (Brazil) – Done!
- English -> Chinese (Cantonese)- Done!
- English -> Hebrew – Done!
- English -> Hungarian – Done!
- English -> Dutch – Done!
- Reverse lists (English for Spanish/French/etc. speakers) will be based on lists 1-13, and I’ll start them as soon as 1-13 are done! – Done!
Where We’re At (Updates):
- October 5th – Yippee! All planned trainers and word lists have now been released in at least beta form. If you ordered one of these products and haven’t received it, please first check your spam folder as the emails often seem to end up there. If you still can’t find it, please contact us at gwyner (at) fluent-forever (dot) com.
- September 18th – Update on All Remaining Products: We are so close to having these out we can taste it. At this moment we are finishing off the uploads, grabbing the mailing lists, and prepping the emails. The only exceptions relate to Hebrew, Arabic (trainer only), and the Dutch word list. These are running a little behind the rest due to some small hurdles that we are breaking down as quickly as we can. We know many of you have been waiting some time for these materials and we really appreciate your patience. These are heading out the door as quickly as we can make it happen!
- Week of 08/15/17: Exciting news! We’re aiming to have ALL products finished or in beta by September 1st. Progress is coming rapidly on all fronts, and we’re preparing for the launch of our next Kickstarter!
- Week of 05/02/17: The X—>English trainers are all underway. I’ve finished my work on them and they’re now getting translated and compiled. That compilation work is going a little slower than I had intended, but it’s progressing and should speed up from week to week. This week I’ll be turning my attention to the last of the trainers, the RP trainer, starting to hire voice actors, and beginning the last pronunciation trainer video!
- Week of 03/20/17: The Dutch, Hebrew, and Hungarian word lists are having their final checks and tasks completed. English is coming along really rapidly. I should be done with the videos this week, which means that all that’s left for the General American trainer is a little bit of fine tuning of the Anki deck, and waiting for the animations to come back, and we’re good to go. I think we should see this thing release significantly before the end of March, marking the first time in this project I’ve beaten a deadline 🙂
- Week of 02/13/17: Finalizing the English rules list this week, and I’ve figured out our minimal pairs and sent those to our IPA transcriber. I finished the English Consonants video script last week, and this week I aim to finish the vowels (and perhaps the spelling rules video too, if time permits!). Getting ready to hire voice actors, set the rules order and knock this thing out!
- Week of 12/12/16: Finished the three Hungarian videos, so we’re currently waiting on our video guy to complete drafts of those and I’m working on the beta deck for that language now. The Dutch videos are all complete and a team member is working on finalizing that deck as well. I think we’re roughly ~1 week out from release of those two languages.
- Week of 11/28/16: Progressing, but we hit a few minor snags for Dutch and Hungarian(some stuff wasn’t as ready as I thought it was!) that may or may not delay them to mid December. Work on the English trainers has begun, but still too early for clear ETAs on the giant English project.
- Week of 11/14/16: An early draft of the Hungarian deck is done. I’ll be aiming to finish the Hungarian videos next week and then finalize the deck as well over Thanksgiving weekend. The Dutch videos are done, so we’re just waiting for my assistant to finalize that deck and we’re good to go for that language. I still think early December releases for both languages are pretty reasonable.
- Week of 11/7/16: I’ve finished choosing sound files for Hebrew, so we’re basically just waiting for some outsourced spreadsheet/graphics work to get finished and then I can make the deck, do some final corrections and send it out. Super, super close at this point. The Hungarian deck is nearly complete. I’m waiting on outsourced work to come back before I can complete the videos (which won’t happen until the outsourced work on Hebrew is done, since it’s the same person working on both!), but that one’s also super close to completion. As for Dutch, the video work is done already, and I suspect the deck will be completed in ~2-3 weeks. I dare say we’re almost finished with the foreign languages of the Kickstarter!
- Week of 10/31/16: Dutch videos are done, Hebrew videos are done. We have Eric working on the Dutch and Hungarian decks, and I can’t imagine him taking longer than a month for both of them. And I’m working on Hebrew now, and expect to finish it within the week. Then I can delve into the Hungarian videos. This phase of the project is so, so close to complete!
- Week of 10/10/16: Exciting times! The Portuguese beta is done and being sent out this weekend. The deck building was done by one of my assistants, Eric. Aside from it being exciting that we’re finishing a trainer, it also means that we now have 2 people who can do this. So Eric’s going to work on Hungarian and Dutch deck building while I’m building the deck for Hebrew. I suspect that means that Hebrew’s going to be ready to go in ~2 weeks, before the end of October. And by then, I suspect the Hungarian deck will be done and Dutch nearly done. Then I can make the last of the videos [just finalizing 3 Hungarian and 3 Dutch videos] and we could be done with the foreign language portion of the Kickstarter by the end of November. Let’s say mid December to be safe for those last two languages.
- Week of 9/26/16: Making really nice progress on Portuguese. I’ve finished and submitted the finalized video scripts to our animator, who’s working on them now, and I’m working on the last one now. I’m also training a new assistant to do the deck building for Portuguese, and he’s making excellent progress there, so by the time I finish the videos, he should be nearly finished and we can work together on proofing the deck, doublechecking sound files, etc. Then he’ll start working on Dutch or Hungarian (I’ll probably be doing the Hebrew deck building on my own, since it’s more complex).
- Week of 9/12/16: We’re done with the last Hebrew recording, and I recorded voiceovers for all remaining video scripts this week. Currently working on producing the finalized slides for Portuguese, then Hebrew, then Hungarian, then Dutch. Once those are ready, they’ll go to our video guy and I’ll be working on deck assembly.
- Week of 9/5/16: Finished 3 of our 4 Hebrew recordings this week, and I’ll have the last one done next week. That will mark the end of recordings for the entire Kickstarter. Geesh. I’m working on the last of the Dutch video scripts this week, which will mark the end of video script writing for the Kickstarter. Double Geesh. Final steps for our last 4 languages: the video scripts need to be moved over to slides, so we can animate them, and I need to get those scripts recorded. Then there’s Anki deck assembly, but that’s usually not too hard. It’s the videos and the recordings that really take the most time for all of these languages! I’m going to stay a bit nebulous this week when it comes to specific dates; I’m wary of promising and then missing an ETA, especially when we’re doing 4 languages at once and so it’s harder to see when specific steps will reach completion. But we’re so, so close to the end of this project.
- Week of 8/1/16: We finished speaker #3 of Dutch and we should be finishing #4 within the next week. Also finished the Portuguese video scripts last week and I’ve started on the Hebrew ones this week. Lots of work to do, but progressing pretty fast, all-in-all, and the end of these last languages is in sight. It’s still a little too early to give some firm ETA updates on where we are with everything, but as we get closer, I’ll be updating those estimates.
- Week of 7/18/16: Finished with the extensive summer travel/moving plans, and getting down to business in earnest. Last week was spent updating all of the existing trainers. This week I’ve been helping out with the Portuguese project, and I finished two of the three video scripts over the weekend. Aiming to have all of them done this week. It’s going to take me a week or two to get a good sense of where all of the remaining languages are at, and then we’ll release some updated ETAs. I *believe* that Dutch, Hungarian and Portuguese are all one speaker away from completion, recording-wise, and that Hebrew got caught up on an unforeseen snag and we haven’t started those recordings. We’ll be finding people for that language over the next 2 weeks.
- Week of 5/9/16: The Cantonese video drafts are done, and I just finished a full set of edits today. That’ll take a few days to finish, and during that time I aim to finish the Cantonese Anki deck. All in all, production has slowed a lot on my end. I’m moving to Chicago and discovering just how much work is involved in a cross-country move. These next couple of months are a bit insane, with multiple international trips layered on top of this move, so I’m trying to be very conservative with my Hebrew estimate, even though so much of the work is done already (we’re just about to start recording sessions, all the art is done, etc). If I beat those estimates by a few weeks, then yay, but I’d like to avoid setting a date and then missing it, like we did with Cantonese and many of the others. Portuguese is just about ready for recordings (that one’s getting managed by a different member of the team, so won’t suffer as much from my busyness), Hungarian’s 3/4 recorded, and Dutch is also just about ready for recordings. The ETA estimates above are the roughest of guesses, but we’ll be updating them as we get closer.
- Week of 4/11/16: My fiancee and I are moving cities, and I’ve learned that apartment hunting is apparently a full-time endeavor, so I’ve gotten a bit behind with Cantonese, unfortunately. Video scripts are all written and I’m planning on recording the voiceovers this week. Aiming to have them ready for my video guy by Sunday, and he usually takes around 10 days from there, during which I’ll finalize the Anki deck.
- Week of 3/21/16: Our 3rd Cantonese recording will be finished this week, and possibly our 4th! Then I’ll need to create the video scripts and record those. I’m still estimating early April for Cantonese. Hungarian is also beginning recordings – it finished up a bit early, so I’m aiming to knock out 2 of the recording sessions this week. As for the others, Dutch is ready to record, Portugese is ready and Hebrew is a week or two away.
- Week of 3/14/16: Cantonese is coming along. We’ll have 3/4 recordings done by the end of this week. I suspect the videos won’t be ready until early April so we’ll push the ETA a bit forward. Hungarian is recording next week, and we’re getting ready to record Portuguese, Dutch and Hebrew, probably 1-2 weeks after that.
- Week of 3/7/16: Cantonese is going along really swimmingly! Doing two voice actors this week, and hopefully the last two next week. We’re already starting the hiring process for Hungarian’s voice actors, and we’ll be ready to do that in Hebrew, Portuguese and Dutch in a week or two.
- Week of 2/22/16: Arabic is done! We’re waiting for the 4th video to be completed and then we’ll release the beta, probably this weekend! On Friday we’re going to start the process of getting the remaining 5 languages recorded simultaneously. It’s the first time we’ve tried something like this so we’ll see how it goes. If it goes well, it means *way* faster releases of these last 5 languages, and I can focus most of my time on creating the video scripts, rather than tracking down voice actors and running the recording sessions.
- Week of 2/15/16: Arabic: We switched video guys for Arabic, which is resulting in some of the best videos we’ve had for any language, at the expense of going a lot slower than expected. Current ETA on those is nearing the end of February, though we’ll do what we can to push that forward. The Anki deck is a day or so away from completion and then we just have a bit of troubleshooting. And the 4th video script is nearly finalized; we just need to nail down how we’re going to address word stress and we’ll be good to go. I think my work on Arabic will be done by the end of this week, and then I’ll be able to move onto the remaining languages. I’m putting in ETA estimates for those languages at one month apiece, but I’m hoping to do all of them simultaneously to cut down production times and beat those ETAs, since they’re basically ALL ready to start recordings already, which is the first time that’s happened.
- Week of 2/1/16: We’re currently putting most of our efforts into finalizing Arabic. Hungarian minimal pair work is done, as is Hebrew’s. Portuguese is halfway through, and Dutch is starting.
- Week of 1/18/16: Arabic is finally reaching the final, final stages. We found our last voice actor, so our last set of recordings should be finished within the next few days. I’m aiming to send the first of the videos & voiceovers to our video guy by the end of the week, and while he’s working, I’ll be finalizing the Anki deck, and then we’ll be done with what has turned out to be one of the hardest projects we’ve had.
Other languages: This Arabic process has been interesting, since so much work on OTHER languages has happened while waiting for parts of Arabic to complete. Just this week, I might be also hammering out the final minimal pairs for both Hebrew and Hungarian (which means the only languages left will be Dutch and Portuguese). So immediately after Arabic, I’ll be able to start hiring voice actors for Cantonese (we’ve already begun the search) and knock that language out really fast, and by then, Hebrew should be ready to proceed to the recording stage as well.
- Week of 1/4/16: We lost some time during the holidays, but Arabic recordings are finally going to start this week – we found our two monolinguals – the video scripts are 75% done, and we’re on the home stretch. Assuming we can find our bilingual speakers, we should be good to go. I’m going to push our ETA to mid/late January just in case but we’re definitely getting close to the end. Phew. Hungarian is coming along well, as is Portuguese, and as mentioned earlier, Cantonese is basically ready to go and will be super fast once I’m done with Arabic. Hebrew and Dutch seem to have stalled a bit, so I’ll be checking in on those soon.
- Week of 12/21/15: The Arabic spreadsheet, at long last, is done. We’re now progressing to making recordings and finishing the video scripts. I think we’re on track for mid-January, as long as I can get these scripts done pretty fast. Portuguese seems to be coming along pretty well, as well. The spreadsheet is close to done. Not going to make an ETA prediction until I hear back from the assistant who’s running that project, but it’s coming along nicely! Cantonese is next, with an already-completed spreadsheet (nice!), then Hebrew (spreadsheet’s progressing, though we still need to do the minimal pairs), and Hungarian (same as Hebrew). While we have someone for Dutch, I haven’t seen much progress there yet.
- Week of 12/7/15: Arabic seems to be a pattern of not quite working the way I’d like it to. Our extra hired help with Arabic vanished off the face of the planet. I had been hoping that we had enough padding in our ETA to handle a setback like we’ve been having, but it’s been too many weeks of setbacks and so our padding wasn’t quite enough for that. Our original linguist thinks she can get most of her job done by next week, and we’re hiring new, additional help this week, so hopefully that will actually happen and we can get back on track. I’m setting our ETA to “January” and I’ll update that to be more specific when I see whether she in fact finishes this week or not. On the plus side, we’re starting to find our Arabic voice actors, our illustrator is done with 95% of the images we need, so the rest of the project is in decent shape, though I still need to get these video scripts done. Our other languages, in contrast, are going great. Hebrew is in super shape; the spelling rules are nearly done and we’re starting on minimal pairs now. Cantonese is basically ready to record, which is amazing. Hungarian and Dutch are progressing well. The only other language is Portuguese..we had a linguist for that and were all ready to go, and suddenly our linguist disappeared. So that one’s hitting a bit of a setback at the moment.
- Week of 11/30/15: Last week was a pretty phenomenal work week. We basically finished the whole Cantonese spreadsheet, months ahead of schedule, so that language is oddly enough in better shape than Arabic. Hungarian and Dutch are now officially underway and progress there is good already, and Hebrew should be seeing good progress this week. We found additional help for Arabic, so that seems to be progressing, albeit slower than I’d ideally like. It’s possible that we’ll have Arabic finalized by early January, but I’m holding on to our late December ETA because I think it can be done.
- Week of 11/16/15: Cantonese early work is mostly done and Hebrew is starting up. Still working on finding a Dutch linguist and currently finalizing things with our Hungarian and Portuguese linguists. Arabic is progressing – the illustrations are mostly done, as are the spelling rules. We’ve hit a sliiiight snag, as our Arabic linguist had a baby 2 weeks earlier than expected, so we’re attempting to work around that! It might push Arabic back towards mid/late December but I’m seeing what I can do to finish it on time.
- Week of 11/9/15: Everything’s progressing pretty well! The Arabic spelling rules are mostly done, and we’re starting to get mnemonic art back from our artist. This week is all about minimal pairs, and then we should be ready to start doing recordings within 7-14 days. Next step after that will be the video scripts. Work has begun on Cantonese, we’ve found our linguists for Hungarian, Portuguese and Hebrew (all those languages should start within the next week). We’re still searching for a Dutch linguist to get that project going.
- Week of 10/19/15: We’re starting to do something a bit radical, since I’m starting to see the end of all the trainers in sight: we’re working on 4 trainers simultaneously. I have an assistant who’s going to take over Portuguese on his own, and I’m going to be working on Arabic, Hebrew and Dutch all at once. It might be a slightly insane thing to do, but I think it might speed up development. I may even add Cantonese to that list. For Arabic, we’ve finally found our linguist, so we’re working on developing the spelling rules and minimal pairs for that language. We’re also starting the mnemonic art, and sorting through artist portfolios at the moment. Stay tuned!
- Week of 10/11/15: We’re aiming for end of November or early December for the Arabic trainer, due in part to Drongo stuff and due to the challenge of dealing with Arabic dialects and finding the right people for the job. We will, however, be trying to do as many of the remaining trainers in parallel as we can, while we’re sorting through candidates for Arabic. That should help us go faster when we progress into those.
- Week of 9/28/15: Spent last week preparing for a presentation at the DRONGO Language Festival!
- Week of 9/7/15: Spent the week making corrections to all of the existing trainers. Currently going to spend a week or so blogging and tying up loose ends, and then I’ll begin early steps on Arabic (and perhaps simultaneously on a few of the remaining languages, to get them all started).
- Week of 8/24/15: The Korean videos are all done on my end, and now we’re waiting for outsourced work to come in for that, drafts of which should be done in ~7 days. My goal is to have everything ready for a Korean release by Friday the 28th. The European Spanish trainer should be ready to be sent out about a week into September.
- Week of 8/10/15: Korean videos are currently in progress, and we’re finishing the last of the recordings. I think we’re roughly 8-12 days out from that release. Arabic is going to be delayed substantially, because Korean took easily a month longer than expected, and I’m going to be travelling for much of September. I want to spend some time making corrections to all existing trainers, posting a couple of important articles on my blog and generally catching up on loose ends. So I think a realistic estimate on Arabic is late October.
- Week of 6/22: Most current update over here.
- Week of 6/1: Finished the last of the Russian videos (on 6/6!). Phew! Expecting drafts of those videos on June 12th, and aiming to release the beta by June 13th. [Update: Video guy is ~2 days behind schedule, but doing pretty well; 2 of the 3 videos have workable drafts]
- Week of 5/25: Spent the last 2 weeks traveling (had my Dutch book tour, among other things). I expected that I’d have time to keep working, but the combination of extreme busyness and jet lag did me in. So…pushing everything back ~10 days. For Russian, all recordings are done and I just need to finalize the video scripts, send them out, and build the Anki deck. I think we’re looking at 10 days of work or so. I have an assistant working on European Spanish, and we should be done with all recordings by June 1st, so that’s progressing, at just a week or so behind Russian. Korean mnemonic art and spelling rules are done, and minimal pair work is starting this week, which means we should be ready to start recordings in mid June. I’ve decided to call off my summer plans for Japanese immersion to focus on getting these trainers done, so Arabic will actually come sooner than expected. That’s it for now!
- Week of 5/11: Plans are to finish the last of the Russian recordings, finish and submit video scripts, and begin work on the card order for the Anki deck.
- Week of 5/4: Finished up the minimal pair list for Russian (finally!), and knocked out 3/4 of the Russian recordings and 1/4 of the European Spanish recordings. Russian is slightly behind in time estimates – perhaps a 7-10 days, but is now coming along well. European Spanish has been a bit more rocky, so I’m pushing that estimate to the far end of May or early June at this point. While waiting for various outsourced chunks of Russian to come back, I *was* able to move forward with Korean, so I’m hoping that that language is still on track for a beta in mid June. The mnemonic imagery has already been commissioned, and we’re already working on the minimal pairs, so it’s actually coming along pretty well already.
- Week of 4/20: Chugging away at Russian, attempting to assemble voice actors and finish up minimal pairs list. Work on mnemonic images for Russian alphabet is underway, and we’ve begun early work on the Korean mnemonics as well. Also spent the week finalizing Mandarin and Italian. Word-list-wise, we’ve found a wonderful new typesetter who just knocked out Japanese and Portuguese in less than 6 days, so we’re shifting word list work over to him as much as possible.
- Week of 4/13: Japanese is done, just waiting on the videos to release the beta (Video guy has promised usable drafts by 4/15). Began work on Russian yesterday.
- Week of 3/30: Final touches on Japanese Anki deck are just about done, and this is the best Anki deck I’ve ever made. Really excited about sending this out. I intend to get all the scripts/voiceovers to the video guy(s) this week, and start Russian by the end of the week. I’m aiming to see video drafts for Japanese and launching the beta next week. In other news, I’ve hired a new assistant to take over development of the European Spanish trainer – he’s aiming to have it finished by the end of April or early May. If that goes well, we’ll be able to speed up trainer production by ~2x.
- Week of 3/9: All 4 Japanese recordings will be done by Friday. Italian deck is done, as are acceptable drafts of all 3 videos. Italian Beta launches Friday. Mandarin deck has been done for a while, 2/4 videos are final drafts, waiting for 2 videos to get revised and we’re ready to launch.
- Week of 3/2: Just hired a new project manager and wow, that helps amazingly. Moved all concurrent projects to Basecamp.com, and suddenly I can see where everything is and I have someone to keep it all moving forward. Nice!
Italian Trainer: Animations are done on the videos, 1 of the 3 videos has been voice synced, and I’m hoping to get the other two videos voice synced by the end of the week (but this stage has become notorious for taking longer than I want). If that happens, I should be able to launch within a day or two after that.
Mandarin Trainer: My video guy did indeed disappear after getting paid, so I’ve hired 4 new video guys to do the remaining 4 videos simultaneously. They’re all doing well! (And side benefit: I have FIVE video guys who all do good work, so I can probably get stuff done in parallel for future languages just like this one). I’ve asked for usable drafts of all videos by next Monday, at which point I’ll be able to launch the beta within a day or two after that.
Japanese Trainer: Finished with minimal pairs and am starting voice recordings this week. This language is progressing really quickly, particularly for a new language I don’t yet have experience with. I’m endeavoring to get the first of the video scripts ready for the video guys by next week so that we might be able to launch within a couple weeks after that.
Spanish (Latin American/European) and German Word Lists: Our new project manager is taking over these projects and is streamlining the horribly inefficient process we had earlier for dealing with proofreading edits.
Mandarin Word List: Our typesetter has begun this but is now focusing on getting the above 3 word lists really finalized.
Japanese Word List: Finalizing data (collecting IPA and pitch accents and stuff) in preparation for the beginning of typesetting.
- Week of 2/16: Italian is basically done. It went ridiculously smoothly, in massive contrast to Mandarin. I’m just waiting for outsourced work at this point, all from folks who do great, quick work. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if Italian was ready to go by Feb 25th. Mandarin, as mentioned last week, is basically done, except for the videos. We hit a real snag with a new video guy and I’m hoping that gets unsnagged soon, or else I’m going to hire a new video guy to redo them from scratch, which will unfortunately cause further delays. The only good news about this is that since this is all dealing with outsourced work, and since Italian went so well, I’m now free to move on to Japanese. News on that front: I’ve hired someone to generate mnemonic images for every single character in the Kana, which is super exciting, and something I think I’m going to do for every language with a new alphabet to learn. Check it out (“i” is for “ika”[squid]):
- Week of 2/9: I’ve finished the Mandarin deck (it’s huge and fairly awesome), so that one’s good to go as soon as we have videos. Mandarin videos are still in draft/edit cycle and am waiting for near-final drafts from my video guy – I’ll post here as soon as I have a real ETA. Finished and submitted the first finalized Italian video to a different video guy, so that they can be worked on in parallel. I believe we’re 2 weeks from the Italian videos being ready for beta. Finished 2/4 Italian recordings, and am still attempting to schedule recordings 3 & 4. Also made final updates to Spanish so that’s launching this week.
- Week of 1/26: Mandarin videos are in draft/edit/draft/edit cycle and getting to where they need to be. Hopefully we’ll have good enough drafts to launch the beta this week. The deck itself is shaping up and I intend to finish that part this week as well. If both of those things happen, we’re launching the beta this week. As for Italian, the full word list is ready, I’ve found three of the four voice actors I need, and so recordings are happening this week. Can’t wait to devote my full attention to that language because it’s going to be a piece of cake after Mandarin.
- Week of 1/12: Mandarin recordings are done, videos are underway, and finishing up the last script. My side of the work should be mostly complete by the end of the week, and then we’re just waiting on outsourced work to come in before we launch. Italian minimal pairs and spelling examples have all been chosen, so we’re ready to start recordings for that as well.
- Week of 1/5: Finished 3/4 Mandarin recordings last week and will have them all done by Wednesday. Work has begun on animating the videos, and I’m spending this week getting the images/text for the animations on all 4 videos to the video guy and making the Anki deck. If all goes well, we should be good for launching the beta by the end of next week. As for Italian, we have most of the minimal pairs we need and if there’s a spare moment while I’m waiting for something Mandarin-related to get finished, I’ll be able to finish those video scripts as well, so all’s in place to start recordings of that language within the next 2 weeks. Definitely lost a bit of time due to the holidays, but everything’s chugging along fairly well now and finally being able to see an end to Mandarin is super relieving (preparing the trainer for this language really kicked my butt).
- Week of 12/22: Mandarin scripts are still getting checked over (and so far, no linguistic errors found! yay!) and I’m waiting for a few last example words for the spelling rules. Scheduling voice actor sessions now. I’ve bumped the Mandarin ETA into early January because a lot of my outsourced workers and voice actors are taking Christmas vacations (and I’m getting fairly booked myself during the holiday doing family stuff), but I’m pressing on with Italian (finished the second of the three video scripts today and am not far from finishing the rest of the minimal pair/spelling rule work done already) so I think these two languages may get finished at nearly the same time.
- Week of 12/15: (Skipped a few weeks due to Spanish release-related busyness!) Worked my butt off on Mandarin this week and finished the (4!) video scripts – just sent them to a Mandarin linguist to make sure there’s nothing inaccurate in them before recording. If all goes well, I’ll send them out to the video folks next week and start making my mandarin recordings over the next 2 weeks, meaning that we’re looking at late Dec/early Jan (early Jan is a bit more likely). Switching to Italian while I’m waiting for outsourced work to come in. Incidentally, Mandarin is going to be much bigger than the other trainers – more videos, more flashcards, more flashcard types, everything. The language is a real beast!
- Week of 11/30: My video guy believes he can get me voice-synced drafts of Spanish this week(!). Crossing my fingers, but I’m switching my focus from Mandarin back to Spanish and if all goes well, we may be able to launch the Spanish beta this week.
- Week of 11/24: Continued work on Mandarin; halfway through the video drafts, and currently playing around with some novel ideas for tone training. Commissioning a few extra French word recordings and then we can release the French word lists complete with the bonus Kickstarter recordings.
- Week of 11/17: Spanish is now on the waiting-for-the-videos stage, so I’m moving to Mandarin. First Mandarin video script is done (Geesh! Mandarin’s complex!).
- Week of 11/10: Finished the last of the Spanish recordings. Working on audio editing. Spanish video drafts are still coming in and we’re working on edits, so everything’s chugging along fairly well! French word lists need one last set of edits and they’ll be ready. Typesetter is now working on Spanish and German wordlists and we’re attempting to get ETAs from her on that.
- Week of 11/3: Final version of French wordlists looks like it’ll be done this week. Also finishing up Spanish recordings (#3 of 4 now completed). First drafts of Spanish videos are coming in this week as well.
- Week of 10/27: Pickup recordings done for 2 Spanish recordings. 2 left to complete. Spanish Video drafts of videos 1 and 2 sent to our video guy. French indexes completed and getting typeset now, and Spanish is half typeset already.
- Week of 10/20: 2 sets of Spanish recordings done and sent to sound guy. German beta is going much more smoothly than French did; only a few minor glitches so far. Word lists are still getting indexed. Once they do, French will get finalized and we’ll switch to typesetting Spanish and German.
- Week of 10/13: German is ready for beta! We launch Friday around 7pm PST. Spanish and Mandarin are progressing well; Spanish is getting recorded this weekend, and I’ve finished all my video scripts early (I finished them today), so that we hopefully don’t have the same sort of wait as we had for German. Hired someone to develop Mandarin minimal pairs. Mandarin spelling rules list is basically already done, so we’ll be moving on to Italian spelling rules in the next week or so. Our typesetter sent in a draft of the whole French word list; it’s beautiful. We’re just doing final edits, indexing and then we’ll be good to go for the final version.
- Week of 10/6: I noticed we were missing a minute from German Video 1 and sent it back to video guy for re-editing. Still waiting on a draft for video 3. Finished proofing the German Anki deck today, so we have a working pronunciation trainer and are really just waiting for those video drafts. If you’re itching to do something while we’re waiting, check out these two videos (you can use my model deck or the IPA demo deck as an example just to get used to installing things into Anki). Sending out Spanish spreadsheets to voice actors. Phonetician will have drafts of Mandarin and Italian rules done by the end of the week.
- Week of 9/30: German videos 1 and 2 are drafted. We’re just waiting on voice syncing for #3 and we’ll be ready to go with the German beta. Should be on Monday or Tuesday, Oct 6/7. Finalizing and proof-reading/listening the German Anki deck this weekend. Doing some extra Spanish minimal pair work this weekend, too. Hired a phonetician this week to develop spelling rule sets for all remaining languages. If all goes well, that’ll speed up all the other languages. Typesetting on French wordlist is ~50% complete and looking pretty wonderful. Early draft of Spanish and German wordlists are getting final proofreading and should be ready for release to betatesters by next week.
- Week of 9/23: Mostly done with compiling Spanish minimal pair data, spelling rules, example words and extra vocab. Sending out lists for proofreading and phonetic transcription. Also starting early drafts of Spanish video scripts. For German, we’re waiting for drafts of the videos and a few final touch-ups on the Anki deck spreadsheets. Almost there, folks! (I’m hoping we’ll have drafts of the 3 videos we need by mid next week if not sooner). For the Word Lists, I’ve now written the introductory pages and sent those to the typesetter too. I’d say we’re 1 week out from sending out early drafts of Spanish and German, and I’m not yet sure when our typesetter will have a pretty version of French to look at.
- Week of 9/15: Final German pickup recording script submitted to voice actor, audio files from last week getting cut up by audio engineer. We’re pretty-much just waiting for outsourced work to come back in for German. In the meantime, on to Spanish!
- Week of 9/8: German video script 3 is done and sent to video guy, along with revisions of videos 1 and 2. One of two final German pickup recordings completed. German and Spanish word lists have been edited, and our new typesetter is plugging away at French.
- Week of 9/1: German and Spanish word list edits complete, first round of German video edits sent back to video guy (and caught up on emails from the previous 10 days!)
- Week of 8/25: Was out for 10 days, but outsourced work continued on the word lists, German videos and German Anki deck. We unfortunately lost our typesetter, so we collected applications for a replacement, along with candidates for some extra German recordings.
- Week of 8/18/14: German video 2 scripted and sent! Actual Anki deck has been drafted and is getting formatted by my Anki deck spreadsheet person. German just needs a few pickup recordings and video 3 scripted and we’ll be good to go!
The content of the French word list has now been drafted, and got sent to the typesetter for final typesetting. I’ll be sending the un-illustrated draft out to everyone who ordered it, so that people can get a head start on their French while we’re waiting for the illustrated version.
- Week of 8/11/14: French word list submitted to editor for final editing of translator’s comments. German video 1 scripted and sent to video guy.
- Week of 8/4/14: Book release madness. Typesetting design for word lists is complete. Hiring sub-typesetter to take that design and apply it to the 30 word lists.