Book Battle with Benny Lewis

My “Book Battle” with Benny at his signing in Seattle.

Benny Lewis, also known as the Irish Polyglot, is one of my heroes. Not only has he demonstrated that it’s possible to reach conversational fluency in a matter of months, not years as most believe, but he lives his life as a full-time traveler, language learner, and technomad, and has managed to build the most popular language learning blog on the planet along the way. Benny’s philosophy on self-guided immersion is right in line with my own, as exemplified in the following quote from his new book:

“…where you are isn’t what decides whether or not you’ll be successful. Attitude beats latitude (and longitude) every time. It’s more about creating an immersion environment, exposing yourself to native speakers, and doing everything you can in that language.”

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Show Notes

In the interview, we discuss:

1) The release of Benny’s new book, Fluent in 3 Months: How Anyone at Any Age Can Learn to Speak Any Language from Anywhere in the World.

2) Benny’s language study plans for the coming year.

3) Benny’s favorite places to find native speakers (including iTalki and Couchsurfing).

4) 5 common language learning myths and destructive attitudes (of the 20 detailed in his book) that hold would-be learners back:

  • “Aren’t Adult Language Learner’s at a Disadvantage?”
  • “I Don’t Have the Language Gene”
  • “I Don’t Have the Time”
  • “Language Programs Are Expensive”
  • “I’m Waiting for the Perfect Language Course”

5) How Benny juggles multiple languages.

6) “Immersion Without a Plane Ticket”

7) Useful language learning hacks:

  • Using modal verbs + infinitives
  • Using melodies to better remember phrases
  • Using mnemonics to better remember words, phrases & Chinese characters

Mo’ Info

If you haven’t already, make sure to check out Benny’s award-winning language and travel site,, as well as his comprehensive resource toolkit, Fluent in 3 Months Premium.