Fluent in 3 Months

Summary sentence of “Fluent in 3 Months”: Benny Lewis, an accomplished multi-linguist, has assembled everything that you need to know, in order to learn a new language, in his book Fluent in 3 Months, full of tips and techniques that will accelerate how quickly you learn.

By Benny Lewis, 2014, 256 pages.

Note: this is a guest column written by Lauriane Copet from the blog Marathon des Langues

Review and summary of “Fluent in 3 months”:

Introduction

In Fluent in 3 Months, Benny Lewis shares his techniques to learn to speak any language. His advice is practical and can be used straight away. He tells us his story, how he went from: “languages are not for me” to then be able to speak more than 12 languages fluently. He explains why and how every person has it in them to be able to learn a language. How do you begin to learn? How do you memorize vocabulary quickly? In what way do you learn a language at home? He gives us specific tips on how to learn certain languages such as Russian or Japanese. Which way you can go from an intermediate to an advanced level? How do you pretend to be a native speaker? How do you learn multiple languages? Which resources are suitable for whom?

You will find your way to achieve it in at least 1 of the 10 chapters regardless of your level. The initial section is aimed at beginners, then, gradually, moves on to intermediate, then advanced, then polyglot levels.

We will learn what he advises together but before that I would like to tell you about his remarkable story.

Nothing was achieved

Benny Lewis was terrible at foreign languages. Throughout his middle and high school years, he received poor grades in German and Gaelic (he is Irish by birth). He always seemed to be behind his peers, who improved much faster than he did.

His ego was dented. He thought he didn’t possess the language gene. It was just down to fate. Languages were not his thing. He thought it was so unfair that he decided to go to Spain.

After 6 intense months to learn Spanish, guess what? – he still had nothing to show for it. His language was so bad that he didn’t even want to ask for the price of something. It was over. He was destined to only speak English for the rest of his life.

Multi-lingual expert

7 years on, we find Benny at an international “couch surfing” evening (a site that allows you to find a “couch” for the night anywhere in the world). He is now able to converse with a native Hungarian, with only 5 weeks of practice beforehand. He then goes to his Brazilian friend, with whom he starts to speak in his best carioca accent (from Rio de Janeiro). Next, he meets a Spaniard, who asked him about how his Hungarian language studies had gone. He then switched to French, to speak with a couple of friends from Quebec.

Just in the course of that one evening, he was able to practice his Italian, a little Esperanto, the basics of his Thai and even a bit of German.

In one evening, he communicated in 8 foreign languages, without any problem to switch between them.

How was he able to speak so many languages, when at the age of 21 he could only communicate in English? Also bear in mind that his initial experience at language school was a disaster. What is his secret?

I’ll tell you right now.

Benny Lewis tells us that he simply changed his approach. These 6 principles, based on his own experience, illustrate the new approach he adopted, which radically changed how he was able to learn.

Learn the best approach with Benny Lewis’s 6 essential principles

    1. Recognize that the traditional way to learn a new foreign language doesn’t work particularly well. You don’t learn a language because you are obligated to do so, unlike most other subjects. The requirement to learn the rules of grammar, which most people find a huge bore, in order to pass an exam, will never enable you to speak a language. But if you can establish different ways to interact with your German friend, you will learn the language in a different way. The approach and attitude towards the language will alter and it will be much easier to learn when compared to the conventional methods that are used.
    2. You need to be really motivated in order to have a good reason to encourage you to learn and communicate in the language and the benefits that will bring you, rather than just how good it might make you look to others. There has to be something that really drives you to learn a language. The gains you get when you learn a language must not be influenced by outside factors if you wish to learn quickly and fluently. The key ingredient is communication. Learn a language with the aim to be able to speak it.
    3. Passion is a key factor that differentiates between the students who achieve and those who don’t. You have to really want to learn a language. You need to be passionate about both the language and the culture to help you succeed.
    4. If you want to develop this passion, you have to live it 100% and immerse yourself in the environment. Watch movies, listen to music, listen to the radio, read about the culture, eat the traditional food. Surround yourself with as many things that you can that are relevant to the language you wish to learn. Your passion will grow even more.
    5. Be prepared to give it everything that you have. Invest in yourself. Allow yourself the best chance there is to succeed.
    6. Your success will depend on how you approach this task. You have an intrinsic urge to succeed. You have set your goals so that you don’t give up at the first hurdle, you push on despite the setbacks and disappointments. It is this attitude that will see you through.

Benny Lewis offers his views on the subject of attitude. Whoever it is that starts out on this road to learn a new language must, above all, be prepared to put in 100% effort, and he has formulated Fluent In 3 Months so as to help you find the right attitude.

Let’s get right to the heart of the matter with the obstacles that will be in your way when you learn a new language.

CHAPTER 1: The myths that need to be dispelled

Everyone has it in them to learn a language. However, most of us question this before we even start. We put things in the way with various excuses.

In Fluent In 3 Months, Benny Lewis discusses the 20 most common myths and why they are groundless.

Let’s take a look at the 5 main ones.

1. It’s more difficult for an adult to learn a new language

  • Why it’s wrong:

Adults who find it difficult to learn is not related to age, but to the choice of a poor technique. For that matter, if you decide that you are too old, you will never succeed and will never learn another language. It becomes a vicious circle.

  • Your advantage over children:

A study from the University of Haifa in Israel found that adults understand the nuances of foreign languages better than children. They have a better ability for analysis. They can put together the logical steps of a concept. Also, it requires less effort to learn a second language because the brain already knows the process.

  • The child’s advantage over the adult:

Children are not afraid to make mistakes, as opposed to adults who fear that they may say something stupid. Children are exposed to language on a daily basis by their parents.

2. I don’t have the language gene

This gene does not exist. Benny Lewis is the proof. These days he speaks 12 languages, whereas at the age of 21 it was totally different.

The ability to speak a language is not hard-wired into our brains at birth. The external factors of our environment are responsible. Our surroundings either introduce us to different languages or they don’t.

In many countries, such as China, India, Switzerland, Luxembourg or Canada, people speak at least two languages fluently, which is quite normal. Why do English speakers tend to be monolingual? If an English speaker was born in one of these countries, they too would be able to express themselves in several languages. Without the need, as it may appear at first, or the environment, they generally speak only English.

3. I don’t have the time

Does this mean that only those who do not work can learn a language, because they have all the time that they need to learn it? The reality is different. Most people who speak a language have a very busy life. They have a job, children, a house to run. How do they find the time?

The answer is to TAKE the time. To see something through, you need to be prepared to make the time, remember? Benny Lewis suggests that you use the moments in your day when you wait for things, such as public transport or when you wait in line, to work on your language skills. Every moment needs to be viewed as an opportunity to learn, even if it’s only a few minutes a day.

4. I need to study before I can speak

Benny’s top tip is to TALK from DAY ONE. Don’t wait until you’re ready, because that day will never come. There will always be something to perfect. This aligns with our self-defense system of fear. We are afraid to step out of our comfort zone. So we procrastinate and try to find some form of excuse not to do something.

There is no better time than now to get started. You just need to be able to accept that you will make mistakes.

5. You have to speak a foreign language fluently

Lots of people think that to speak a language means that you need to partake in philosophical discussions, not hesitate, have a perfect accent and make no mistakes. But why look so far in advance, when we haven’t even perfected our native language? We make mistakes and yet we use it every day. With a foreign language, it’s the same thing. You need to accept that you will need to start at a low level of conversation and then work your way up from there.

You don’t seem to be able to come up with an excuse?

CHAPTER 2: Your mission, if you accept it

Be specific

How many times have you made a New Year’s resolution that you will learn English? How long have those resolutions lasted? As long as the champagne in your glass, right?

Everyone knows that New Year’s resolutions have a very short life expectancy. Why? It’s an idea like that is thrown out there. There’s zero commitment, no focus. Like a journey without GPS.

So that we maintain our goal Benny Lewis asks us to prepare ourselves for a mission. We want to learn a language. That’s fine.

Then we need to be specific about that goal, set a short, achievable deadline to keep us motivated. It requires us to decide exactly what we want.

What does “speak” mean?

“One day I want to speak English” is the same as if you count the number of pasta shells in your package. It’s pointless. Also, “one day” is not part of the 7 days of the week.

In order to determine the best direction, you must first know what is meant by: “fluent”. Is the aim to use it for a vacation or is it to use the language in a professional context? It is important to be precise because in a language, there is no reference point to know when you have reached the stage where you are “fluent”.

Nevertheless, we can rely on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). It categorizes the different levels based on these benchmarks: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2.

  • A: tourist level to get by
  • B2: can be considered as “fluent”
  • C: mastery

Mini mission

You have now determined a clear objective based on your needs. As you move forward with this project, Benny Lewis emphasizes the value to set yourself mini-missions.

A problem on the horizon? Let’s sort it out! Let’s tackle the problem head on. Set a short-term goal to overcome this hurdle.

NB: For example, if you can’t roll your R’s in Spanish, force yourself to say the word “perro” consecutively, 10 times, in front of the mirror for a week.

The mini missions allow you to pass through levels as you complete one stage at a time. It helps you to feel that you are able to progress at a good pace.

It is also very important to give yourself some rest periods while you learn the language. And it would be disastrous to have a language burnout. Finally, to stay true to your commitment, tell everyone you know about your mission. We would feel all the more committed when someone asks us “by the way, how is your Russian language progress at the moment?” No one wants to say “I’ve given up”.

How long does it take to learn to speak a language?

This is a common question that doesn’t really have an answer, for a number of reasons. It depends on the initial objective, what your definition of “speak” is. But also, the amount of time you spend on it on a daily basis.

If you can dedicate 2 hours a day to study, you will probably become fluent in 3 months. However, the answer isn’t as straightforward as that. It depends on the language, on how much you can converse in the language and on how much effort you put in. There are many factors that have an impact on how you can learn. To put it simply, it’s up to you.

Now, let’s take a look at how to maximize your knowledge of the language and the vocabulary.

CHAPTER 3: How to learn LOADS of words quickly?

A language contains an enormous amount of vocabulary. There can be up to half a million words, though it will depend on the language. It would take a scholar’s memory to retain that many words, especially if you know several languages. But, fortunately, there are shortcuts because we don’t have the capacity to absorb so much information.

In Ancient Greece, people’s memories were very good. They had no choice. Lessons were given orally, paper was very expensive. Moreover, they did not have access to everything that we have today. So they had to register and remember a lot of things. For that, they used the association of ideasmnemonics – for a better retention of information.

Then came books, then Google. The need to memorize has been lost, in the sense that 2 seconds is enough to find a information. Our memory is no longer used to its full potential, and its capacity is on the decline.

Since the time of the Ancient Greeks, there has been no revolution in the field of memorization. They used the best retention tricks, which I will talk about in a moment.

To learn vocabulary, these are the most useful techniques:

  • The word-picture-story association: the brain is better equipped to retain a visual concept rather than a simple word made up of letters. It needs to use its imagination. What works even better is: the absurd.
  • Benny Lewis tells us that to remember the word “gare” in French, he imagined Garfield (the cat) – the first syllable of “Garfield” has the same pronunciation as the word “gare”. He then imagined this scenario: “Garfield, ran into the station, totally out of breath, sweaty, with a suitcase in his hand to catch his train. He arrived at the last possible moment, ran, people stared at him, but he continued to run in order to jump on the train to go to the “lasagna eating” championship in Bologna”. Benny Lewis, had no difficulty to remember the word “gare”.
  • You can also simply look for an image and associate it with a word. As long as it is funny and absurd.

NB: for example, to memorize the word “elephant“: you can imagine a pink elephant that dances around in a china store with headphones on and sings “ele ele ele”.

You’ll probably say that it takes a long time to dream up this kind of story. Yes, that’s initially true, as Benny Lewis confirms, that mental framework does take time. But, he also tells us that the more that you practice, the quicker you can do it. Creativity kicks in more quickly. And the word stays in your memory for good.

– The second method is spaced repetition. It is based on memory recall in the form of “flashcards” (vocabulary cards). The brain selects information, stores it and then forgets it. The spaced repetition pre-empts this forgetfulness. In practical terms, the card is reviewed at a specific interval so that the word is imprinted in our memory. There are various apps that work on this principle. Anki is one of them. The advantage is the ability to review anywhere, anytime. And, it only takes a few seconds or minutes from your smartphone.

NB: Mosalingua is a very good app that works on the same principle.

  • Music is also a good way to memorize things. Put the texts you want to learn in a musical format, you will remember them more easily. This is how the Koran is learned and the Alphabet too.
  • A final tip is the “memory palace” that is the art to contextualize the ideas/words to be memorized in a specific environment. For example, think of your apartment. Picture it, from memory you will be able to walk through it in your head and tell us where everything is positioned. There are a lot of different elements and yet we are able to retain all this information. The trick is to add your words to memorize in this context. You walk through your apartment in your head and scatter words all over it to help you to remember.

NB: For example, on the piece of furniture in the entrance where you put your keys, add the word “LICHT”, light in German, then you go to put your shoes in the drawer, add the word “Müll” in the drawer – garbage in German. It is disjointed, but the brain is more able to absorb ideas that are out of the ordinary. Continue this process throughout the apartment. You will retain all the information quicker.

– The most effective method for Benny Lewis is simply to talk. Apply orally what you learn in books or apps. Memorization is effective because it is active.

Now let’s go on a trip

CHAPTER 4: What is the expart bubble?

Benny puts a lot of emphasis on the need to “speak”. The flip side of this is that many people come up with the excuse that they can’t travel abroad to practice the language. However, there are many other options. The need to move overseas doesn’t have to be the only solution.

It is fairly easy to learn about another culture from your own country. There are lots of different things you can do. TV, radio, couchsurfing.org events. Benny Lewis has used couch surfing a tremendous amount to help him learn various languages. For example, he was able to practice his Italian in Amsterdam, Esperanto in Colombia.

It’s basically a website that lets you learn for free and you can use it anywhere. These people are usually travelers in transit. It is very international. This is why there are events organized so that you can connect with people from all over the world.

InterNations.org and Meetup.com are similar, they also organize meetings with an international audience. Facebook, forums and Italki are other applications that you can also take advantage of to help you to fully immerse yourself in a specific cultural environment.

Benny Lewis provides an informative caveat for anyone who has plans to move abroad. From his own experience, his advice would be that you learn the basics of the language before you leave.

This is because, contrary to all expectations, if you dive head first into the new cultural environment, it can slow down the speed at which you learn the language. He noticed that, in some cases, it took longer to learn. That can happen when you arrive in a new country, unable to speak a word, so the time to pick up on the language takes longer. You have to consider everyday life before you turn your attention to the language.

In fact, the first thing you need to concentrate on is your adjustment to and comprehension of the culture and the need to meet new friends. What’s more, in this situation, outside of our comfort zone, people generally have a habit to graduate towards a community that speaks the same language and, as a result of this, make less effort to learn the new language. If we practice our language at work, and then only mix with our family afterwards, then it is difficult to make progress. If, in addition, you know nothing about the language, it’s a very big ask and a likely outcome is that you will let yourself be sucked into the comfort and ease of your own expatriate bubble.

Break out from this bubble and make sure that you speak.

CHAPTER 5: Talk from Day 1

Benny Lewis’ top tip is that you start to talk from day one. This is his benchmark to follow. He is totally convinced that this is the most effective way to learn a language. It puts you in active mode. When you talk it challenges your brain. It is not easy. And that’s why most people don’t do it. We claim that we are shy, we wait until we improve before we give it a go. But the problem with this approach is that there will always be something to improve. You can’t wait to be perfect in the language, because that moment will never arrive. It’s about the necessity to move out of your comfort zone and take that first step.

The biggest risk in this is that you will make mistakes. But you have to do so, in order to move forward. Our counterpart is not there to make fun of us, they will appreciate the effort and possess enough patience to help.

So what is the best thing to do when your knowledge of a language is minimal? First of all, you have to accept that the first conversations will not be some in depth philosophical discussion. It will be basic, but even at this level it will provide you with new vocabulary with each session. The goal is to say a little more each time. When we are new to the language, Benny recommends that we put ourselves in TARZAN mode, i.e., use simple expressions or words. For example: “I eat that” the sentence is not correct, but we understand the idea. Initially, this is what will allow us to communicate. We should not try to talk with the expectation of perfect grammar.

When you don’t know a certain word or conjugation, don’t let it hold you back. There are other solutions to this problem. For instance, if you wish to use the future tense, with no knowledge of the rules, you are able to navigate around the problem with “to need” or “to want”.

NB: for example “tomorrow I will go for a walk with my dog”.

you can say “tomorrow I want to go for a walk with my dog”.

In practical terms, to undertake the first conversation, some form of plan would be really helpful:

  1. Plan a meeting with a native speaker via meetup or skype with Italki.
  2. Prepare for the conversation. That is, research the vocabulary that is likely to be used, do not focus on grammar, but on the essentials,
  3. Make notes
  4. Have a translator on hand

If you are worried that you won’t understand the answers, Benny advises to focus on the key words and not on the rest. You won’t understand everything, and you will have to guess what certain things might mean at times, but that’s normal.

A complex language? Kein problem!

CHAPTER 6: How to make life easier with complex languages?

In this chapter, Benny Lewis points out the similarities and differences between the various languages, in order to understand the structure to help to learn them.

He starts with the “cognates”. These are words that have a common origin. There are many similar words between languages. For example, the word “possession” in French translates to : “posesión” in Spanish, “possession” in English. If you are able to identify these “cognates” it will provide a solid foundation for when you start to learn a new language. You don’t have to start from scratch because after a while you will be able to figure out the meaning of many words.

Then he brings up the subject that strikes fear into the hearts of all language students: conjugation. Benny gives us some reassurance on this. His recommendation is to simplify things. To start with in French, you just use the JE/TU tense, so that you can focus on the meaning of the verb and not on the conjugation. You can always make yourself understood with just these two forms, which are the most commonly used.

The author focuses on Latin languages: French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Catalan, Galician. In these languages, there are a lot of “cognates” because they have the same Latin root. In addition, there are many similarities with English, because of the historical background of the language. For example, words that end in “-tion” in English, end in “-tion” in French, “-ción” in Spanish, “-zione” in Italian. This set of words comply with this principle: action, application, training, communication.

Benny Lewis’ approach demonstrates that if you know one of these languages, it makes it easier to learn the others. This is because you start from a solid base.

Similarly, the same pattern is true for Germanic languages, with English as one of the most significant off-shoots. The common points are shared by: Dutch, Norwegian, Icelandic, Danish, Swedish, Afrikaans. For example for the word “apple” :

  • apple => English
  • apfel => German
  • appel => Dutch
  • apple => Swedish

Slavic languages: Czech, Polish, Russian, Slovak, Ukrainian and Serbian are all languages that appear to be really difficult to understand because of their grammar. One word can have 6 or 7 versions, sometimes more. It is not advisable to learn all from the moment you start, otherwise it will just take too much time. First, learn about the structure of the language and how it works. Although they may seem very complicated, they are logical languages. The prefixes allow for a great deal of flexibility in the language without the need to know it well. It is important to be aware of the options that you have in order to help you learn.

Phonetic languages such as Arabic, Russian, Korean, Greek, are also difficult languages because of their different alphabets. Benny Lewis informs us that there are often a huge number of characters but insists that it is not necessary to learn all of them. Just like in a Latin language, it is not necessary to learn all of the vocabulary. The best approach is to learn the most commonly used ones.

He also mentions “tonal” languages, Mandarin, Japanese, sign language, but I suggest you find out more about his detailed approach to these languages in Fluent In 3 Months.

CHAPTER 7: Improve your level

Improve your level

In this chapter, we move up a level. Once you have put Benny’s advice into practice, you will find yourself at level B2 (European reference framework), which means that you are able to speak the language fluently. This level allows you to get by in almost any situation, but it’s still a bit shaky, especially if you haven’t spoken the language for a while.

The goal of this chapter is to move up to the C-mastery levels, to allow you to expand your knowledge and be totally at ease with the language.

It is at this point that Benny Lewis recommends that we focus on grammar, now that we have reached the stage where we are able to use the language fluently. And it will help you to hold some proper conversations, which, previously, were difficult to have.

It unlocks “ah, that’s why”, triggers that provide logic to certain structures. You shouldn’t worry about it before this level, because it causes the opposite effect. If you focus on grammar before this stage, it may even hinder your spoken language skills.

To improve your level, you will need to raise the complexity of the topics of conversation. You won’t continue to focus on functional topics like “pass me the salt” or “where’s the train station?” It now turns to more in-depth topics, such as politics, science, defense of philosophical viewpoints.

To increase the amount of vocabulary that you have, it’s essential to focus more on movies, the radio and newspapers. Benny Lewis watches The Simpsons, which, initially, to him, just sounded like continuous white noise. By this point, you can understand, which builds your confidence.

If you sit an exam after a while, it will enable you to improve your level. You need to prepare for it and therefore force yourself to advance.

To go beyond far, read on.

CHAPTER 8: How to pass yourself off as a native?

At this point, Benny takes it a step further. He tells us how to appear to be a native.

It’s not just about the language or the lack of an accent. It’s about a combination of factors. And it’s not just how you talk, but how you behave, how you look. Body language, clothing, interaction between two people, facial expressions are all factors that will make people mistake your origin.

Benny Lewis tells us a story from when he was in Egypt. His different skin color was obvious. And yet he blended in. He sat in a café to study how the locals behave. Lewis noticed that most of them wore black shoes, had mustaches, did not wear light weight clothes in spite of the heat and did not wear hats. He then adopted the local style.

Benny Lewis no longer looked like a tourist. He noticed a dramatic change in how the locals treated him. They now spoke to him directly in Arabic. Even though his skin tone was different and his accent was thick, he was still able to pass for a native speaker.

If you really want to blend in more, then it might be a good move to have a less pronounced accent as well. However, an accent doesn’t mean that you won’t be understood and locals often find a foreign accent to be quite attractive or sweet.

But should you wish to make your accent less apparent, you must: identify the sound, look at the position of the jaws, the tongue and copy it until you are able to mimic the original accent.

There are accent reduction coaches and websites to help you improve. Forvo and YouGlish allow you to listen to the pronunciation.

Maybe you’d like some more?

CHAPTER 9: One more…

Are you fluent in a language? Yes, but that’s not enough.

You want to go even further and be a multi-linguist. Be careful Benny Lewis warns us. You don’t become a polyglot because you want to learn more languages. You become a polyglot because you are passionate about each language you learn.

His main recommendation would be that you concentrate on one language at a time, so as not to mix them up. It is possible to learn 2 languages simultaneously, but it is advisable to reach a B2 level before you attempt to learn the second. Each language is then at a stage of development, which makes it possible to compartmentalize the languages so that you don’t confuse them.

Richard Simcott talks about the secret of polyglots. He explains that it is not a case to say “I speak 8 languages” but to concentrate on the level acquired for each of them. He says it is very unusual to master all of them to the same level.

Simply to maintain and improve the level of each language requires a lot of time. The skill to speak several languages is not to be taken for granted. Multi-linguists work on them continuously. They are not magicians, they work hard.

Meanwhile, Benny also offers some valuable advice on how to learn one language through the use of another. What is it? He gives us the example of Italian. His Italian friend, whom he met in Spain, corrected his Italian mistakes, but he spoke to him in Spanish. In the same vein, to learn Dutch, you could choose some common resources in German. Since they are closely related languages, if you can separate them in this way, it helps to avoid confusion.

I have used this advice to learn Portuguese with the help of some common resources in Spanish. To begin with, it confused me a bit, but then it fell into place automatically and really helped me to separate two languages that are very similar.

We are almost there, “just gotta…”

CHAPTER 10: Which resources for whom?

NO and NO it is not necessary to spend astronomical amounts of money to learn a language. The quality/money ratio is not related in this instance. You can spend a lot of money if you want, but the psychological motivation of the financial angle is very questionable. It usually only provides you with short-term motivation.

For example, the Rosetta Stones method, which is quite expensive but not necessarily any better than other free products.

Benny Lewis mentions the “phrasebooks”: Collins, Lonely Planet, Berlitz, Teach Yourself, which provide ready-made phrases for tourists to get by in some basic scenarios. Useful when you plan a journey. He also mentions the Assimil method and the Duolingo application for everyday use.

The author doesn’t go into an endless list of resources, as he stresses the importance for you to find a style that suits you. Based on a survey, people who learn the most languages are the ones who choose to use the smallest number of available materials. They don’t burden themselves with lots of different grammar books that they never even open.

NB: A big stack of books can reassure you. You feel secure and comfortable. But in the end, the reverse is true. There are so many that you actually don’t know where to start and then you never do.

For example, the audio method will not be suitable for visuals. Benny specifies that he is an auditory speaker and recommends the podcasts chinesepod.com for Mandarin, japanesepod101 for Japanese, but also Pimsleur and Michel Thomas’ method. These methods are useful, but only for those who have an audio style.

NB: I like these methods a lot, but since I have a visual memory, they don’t suit my style. Instead, I use Assimil and I write to improve my level.

Readers who want to improve their English will like my article entitled “How to speak English fluently and read complicated books in English”.

Conclusion on “Fluent in 3 months”:

I would recommend this bestseller to you without hesitation. Fluent in 3 Months by Benny Lewis is a book to add to your to-read list. Even though I had already gone through the process to learn a new language, I was surprised and motivated by this book. It stands out from most other sources due to its clear and concise style. It does not fall into the usual pattern associated with expert linguists with complicated and incomprehensible examples.

Benny Lewis does not describe himself as a linguist. He simply claims to be able to express himself in more than 12 languages. He is internationally recognized as the Irish polyglot of the blog fluentin3months.com which is followed by millions of Internet users.

His humility makes him come across as very personable. It’s easy to identify with him. He didn’t start to learn languages until he was 21 years old and, initially, found it very difficult. His multilingualism has been developed through hard work and perseverance. This in itself makes him very relatable to his followers. He shows that it is possible for everyone. He simplifies polyglotism, which is often associated with geniuses, who seem to come from “I don’t know what planet”.

We can see this accessibility in Fluent In 3 Months. We feel able to connect with the author. It’s an easy read, littered with practical examples. It is aimed at everyone with a phased approach throughout the book. It starts with an anticipation of the excuses that hinder the learning process, then provides a methodology and advice to be implemented immediately.  Fluent in 3 months then addresses those who wish to develop the skill to learn multiple languages.

If there was only one thing to remember in Fluent In 3 Months, it’s Benny Lewis’ benchmark: “speak from day one”. If you still allow yourself to hesitate to learn a new language, I strongly recommend that you read this book, which will give you the motivation to start. Because, in addition to the advice it gives, it encourages us to get started, provides the motivation and dismantles the perceived difficulties.

The only problem with Fluent In 3 Months is that, for now, it is only available in English. It has not yet been translated. Given Benny Lewis’s dynamism in this marketplace, I doubt it will stay that way for much longer.

Perhaps you could challenge yourself? Improve your English so you can read the English version of this book?

Strong points:

  • Practical tips which you can easily use
  • Clear and concise language
  • Numerous examples drawn from his experience
  • Well structured

Weak points:

  • Only available in English

My rating : Fluent In 3 Months by Benny Lewis Fluent In 3 Months by Benny Lewis Fluent In 3 Months by Benny LewisFluent In 3 Months by Benny LewisFluent In 3 Months by Benny LewisFluent In 3 Months by Benny LewisFluent In 3 Months by Benny LewisFluent In 3 Months by Benny LewisFluent In 3 Months by Benny Lewis

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