Language hacker Benny Lewis shows how anyone anywhere can learn any language without leaving their home, using a simple toolkit and by harnessing the power of the Internet.
Benny definitely wasn't born with the ‘language gene'. After graduating in electronic engineering in his native Ireland he spent six months in Spain struggling to learn Spanish. This frustrating experience fuelled his determination to take a different approach to learning foreign languages.
Today he speaks over ten languages including Mandarin Chinese, Arabic, French, German, Portuguese, and Hungarian. He has also learnt Japanese in Spain. This typifies one of his ‘3-month challenges' where he targets a new language and proceeds to become fluent in it within just three months. He charts his progress on his blog, proving that his techniques allow anyone to learn a language from anywhere.
Benny's blog, also called Fluent in 3 Months, is the largest language learning blog in the world.
The key principles of Benny's method:
• Speak from day one: find mother-tongue speaking partners online. Don't be self-conscious – keep the flow going!
• Change your mindset: ditch the excuses, you can do it!
• Stay focused and determined: even if you don't have much time, never forget the goal you've set yourself and work at it.
• Learning a language doesn't need to be expensive: there is a wealth of free resources out there, if you know where to find them
• Reap the rewards! Learning a new language is not an end in itself, but a means to meeting new people and discovering new cultures. Curiosity will fuel your determination.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Irishman and internet sensation Benny Lewis was distinctly mediocre at languages at school and, upon finding himself living in Spain at the age of 21, struggled for 6 months to form a few simple sentences. But now, ten years on, he has learned to speak over a dozen languages, has travelled the world, and has countless friends in many different countries.