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Fluent in 3 Months: How Anyone at Any Age Can Learn to Speak Any Language from Anywhere in the World

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3.65  ·  Rating details ·  3,866 ratings  ·  467 reviews
Benny Lewis, who speaks over ten languages—all self-taught—runs the largest language-learning blog in the world, Fluent In 3 Months. Lewis is a full-time "language hacker," someone who devotes all of his time to finding better, faster, and more efficient ways to learn languages. Fluent in 3 Months: How Anyone at Any Age Can Learn to Speak Any Language from Anywhere in the ...more
Paperback, 249 pages
Published March 11th 2014 by HarperOne (first published March 6th 2014)
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Rashidul Hey Dianne, maybe I am being off topic but have you tried duolingo? I have been using it for two years. Alongside duolingo i have been using beginner …moreHey Dianne, maybe I am being off topic but have you tried duolingo? I have been using it for two years. Alongside duolingo i have been using beginner textbooks to learn more. It is coming handy. (less)

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Stamatios
I speak six languages myself, which I painstakingly learned over many years of studies, and I was very curious to learn more about Benny Lewis's method. After reading this book the best way to describe it is "language-learning for couch-surfers". You're more likely to reach a basic conversational level only by speaking the language using a phrasebook for three months than really become fluent in it.

The keyword here is "fluent". Lewis spends an entire chapter near the beginning of the book to gi
...more
Margitte
Sep 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I simply love languages. It is the very reason why I wanted to read this book. Not that I want to, or can, call myself a global fundi on the subject. Just the opposite. My love for words is more a light hobby than anything else. I can master five languages in a 'jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none way and know a few tidbits of three others. But it's still a huge delight in my life. Thus, you do not deal with a lingua connoisseur here.

Language and the cultural confusion often born from it, guarante
...more
Owlseyes


One of my friends here in GR has recently made manifest being “extremely skeptical” about this book, and, very specifically, about the possibility of learning any language in 3 months.

I really don’t agree. Benny Lewis may prove right in some cases, for some languages. He’s a living proof, that, though not a talented (endowed with the “gene”, one could say), natural-born Polyglot, he became a self-made one. That’s why I’m offering the content (main lines) of his presentation in Ted X under t
...more
Magdalena Golden
Jun 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I don't think I had ever called a non-fiction book perfect but this one deserves it. While it's primarily aimed at a slightly different demographic to mine (namely, monolingual adults who had either not been successful so far in learning a second language or had not even tried to do so), I think this made me appreciate the advice that Benny Lewis gives even more.

A little bit about my background - my mother tongue is Polish and it had been my primary language for the first 19 years of my life. I
...more
Stefan Kanev
Jun 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: The book title is not a promise – it's a challenge. And I really enjoy that.

It's a book on learning languages. It's a relatively short one and an easy one to read. It does not make any outlandish claims. Here are my main takeaways:

* Your age does not affect learning a language that much. You may not be able to nail the accent, but you can still learn a new language fluently above 20.
* There is no language gene – everybody can learn a language if they want to.
* You need to be passiona
...more
Bastian Greshake Tzovaras
I'm probably just not the target audience for this work, but then this is probably because the title is overselling the content so much. A better fitting title would be "How any couchsurfer at any age can learn to speak any language from anywhere in the world by doing couchsurfing".

Lewis focusses a good deal on how important it is to start practicing to speak right away and that reading and writing aren't that important. Which might work well if you have lots of spare time to do couchsurfing al
...more
Thomas Frank
Apr 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fantastic introductory book for learning a new language. While Benny won't actually *teach* you a language in this book (though ch. 6 has some good tips for some popular ones), he will give you a solid method for learning and help you squash any excuses you might have.

Coming from someone who tried to learn Spanish in the past using traditional methods (and failed), I can say confidently that Fluent in 3 Months is an excellent starting point for any language learning project.

A more in
...more
Linda
Mar 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
I got this at the library because I wondered if it contained any suggestions that I haven't already picked up in years of learning languages. The answer is, unfortunately, no. It wasn't horrible, but I'm glad I didn't pay for it. I don't think there's much new information here, and it all boils down to this: speak the language as much as possible as early as possible. I didn't need this book to tell me that.
Grumpus
Aug 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: miscellaneous
The key word is “fluent”. In this case good enough to be understood in conversation with forgiveness from the native speakers for your errors. The key to all of this is probably the most terrifying aspect among those learning new languages---speak the language from Day 1. Most language learners typically feel that they must know a lot of vocabulary before they have the confidence to start speaking. As a result, that day never arrives.

My next attempt at a language will incorporate this idea of l
...more
Becky
Jul 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: language
I was in two minds about reading this one. I have an acceptable knowledge of a smattering of languages most of which certainly seem to come back to me once I am forced to use them on holiday or whatever. I certainly find that I can hold decent conversations in German, French, Spanish and Italian as well as make myself understood in a handful of other languages. However with a holiday coming up I was keen to brush up some language skills and thought I'd give this a quick read first to see if I co ...more
Max Tolstokorov
Feb 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The "Fluent in 3 months" title seems like a marketing hook, not a real goal. But the book itself is full of technics and approaches enough to highly recommend it to anyone who's going to learn foreign languages. The main approach is "Speak first!", also I found very useful special tricks about talking to strangers in another country and the list of conversational connectors in the end of this book.
Jon Carton
Mar 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
A short disclaimer: This review is based on the UK edition, which has a different cover and the title "Fluent in 3 Months: The simplest way to learn any language". Only the US edition was available on this site though at the time of reviewing. That said, there shouldn't be many differences if any between the two.

Benny Lewis has been blogging about his life as a Polyglot (someone who can speak multiple languages to various degrees) for several years now. His site Fluentin3months started out as a
...more
Bridget
Now for my review of Website Advertisement: The Book.

While I really think that there’s useful information in here, most of it is either common sense or not helpful for certain types of people. I get where the author is going with his whole “speak from day one” method, but does he really think that I’m gonna go out and find a random stranger to speak in a different language with? I’m not saying that as an excuse; I’m saying it because it’s not realistically possible for me.

Yes, he also mentions I
...more
Gary
Aug 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
Having tried to study a few languages with mixed success over my life, I'm always open to new possibilities for mastering a language. This book, for the most part, offers strategies that one can find in other language study courses. There are SOME innovative ideas that I look forward to trying. I got kind of tired of the author concluding most of his chapters and sections by directing the reader to his website-but that's probably because of the disappointment I experienced upon going there. No r ...more
Doha Ibrahim
Jun 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
It's good to know that there are so many people who are passionate about languages, travelling and other cultures the way you do, and reading this book was encouraging enough as it showed me how can someone live up to that.
The book is also very helpful, and it made me realize some of the mistakes I've been doing, and avoid some more in the future.
Jerzy
Mar 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Large dose of inspiration with some solid tips. Of course, the real advice is "Work your butt off in those 3 months"---it's not "how to learn a language without effort," but rather how to focus that effort on things that'll pay off best in a short dedicated time.

My favorite tip: Only have one side project. If you want to learn a language quickly, then that should be your *only* project, outside of work & family commitments. Don't also start projects to learn the banjo, lose weight, and read the
...more
Jessica Gillies
Two things sparked my interest in this book : My own love for language learning, and all the controversy surrounding this book that I have encountered online.

While I think his treatment of grammar is somewhat flawed, I really appreciated the fact that he uses this opportunity to show others how learning a second language IS possible (yes, even for English native speakers!Gasp!) and his passion certainly shines through.

His approach towards language learning seemed to me to reflect in many ways
...more
Jeff Birk
Mar 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017-read
On this last day of the year I finished this book. We were in Germany for three weeks spending Christmas with Brittany‘s family and I was inspired to read this book toward the end of our trip. I have had it for a while and finally powered through it and was very inspired to learn German. I was also encouraged by a lot of his ways and means in learning a language quickly and easily. I’ve already started with some online tools to help me learn and I’ve also been using some memory techniques that I ...more
Holly
Jul 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-reads
I possess a little French and Spanish vocabulary and grammar and I've made 2 or 3 efforts to gain fluency in Spanish since college, but I've repeatedly grown discouraged. Still, I've always been fascinated with second-language acquisition. The title of this book (and Benny Lewis's website) is exaggerated - even he admits it really takes more than three months. But I was inspired by his methods, enthusiasm, and positivity. Lewis emphasizes speaking a new language immediately, with any vocabulary ...more
Mae Clair
Mar 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I found this book extremely easy to read. The author has a great style that makes insight to language learning flow effortlessly. Packed with great advice and resources, and written in a casual friendly style, this is a great read for anyone looking for useful advice on learning a second language (or multiple languages if that is your preference). In my efforts to learn Spanish, I've picked up several resource/advice books. In my opinion, this has been the best one I've discovered so far.
Chloë de Winter
Jun 26, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Are you reading this review while checking this book out at the store? Good. Put it down and get "Fluent Forever" instead.
Anne
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The title might be off putting because it sounds like a marketing tactic, but it's not meant to be a promise. It's more of a goal, and the author clearly defines "fluency" for the purposes of the goal. It might not be what you think.

Anyway, this book was a challenge tip me to brush up my Russian, and I'm following his various tips to do so. I think his ideas are spot on pedagogically: in fact, his listen and experience first approach with the grammar following the speaking is very reminiscent o
...more
Tomas Laurinavicius
A great encouragement to learn a language

If you’re interested in learning a language, this is a great introduction how to hack it faster than you think. I speak Spanish with my girlfriend and my spoken skills are way better than reading or writing but that’s the point. I can communicate. Read this book and stop believing false statements about learning a new language.
Adam Johnson
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Pretty solid. Interesting take on learning languages, especially useful for beginners or those who (like me) find themselves stalled. The advice on mnemonics for vocabulary learning I found particularly useful.
Cal
Sep 17, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aurélien Thomas
Benny Lewis is that fun and laid back kind of guy who runs fluentin3months.com, one of the most important polyglot blog available on the web. Most importantly, he himself is an hyperpolyglot who can speak about 12 languages with various levels of proficiency! Now, how do you do that?!Well, here he shares some his techniques for being a successful and efficient language learner and, although a light and humorous read, I found his book strikingly useful and relevant on many points.

Don't mind the s
...more
Amanda
Dec 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I enjoyed this book, having a particular interest in languages and their acquisition. Unlike the title seems to claim, this is NOT intended to be a quick trick to learn languages. The author warns numerous times that it is only through a lot of focused, effort-filled work that one can learn a language truly well. The title is more like a challenge, which he explains in the book.

Now that we've got that straightened out, I'll tell you straight off that his method/approach focuses heavily on the s
...more
Darlene
I finished reading this a couple days ago. No, I was not in the haze of wanting to stay with the story or characters. This is a non-fiction about learning other languages. I didn't want to leave this one because it helped me so much and I want to re-read it a lot more times.

As many of you know, I have been working with Duolingo learning Spanish and German. I have taken two levels of both in school but would like to be fluent in both of them. Right now I can read a bit but I feel so very element
...more
Astrid Yrigollen
Sep 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
This is a great book for anyone who is interested in languages. I like how the first chapter or two is about overcoming the negative thoughts and excuses for not learning a language." I don't have a ear for them, I'm too old etc"

I myself love languages but sadly am only fluent in three but know a handful of phrases in other languages. I am currently learning my 4th which is a tonal language, Mandarin so I wanted to see if this book written by a polyglot had any useful tips. He did!

There are some
...more
Anne
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
I wouldn't really recommend this book to anyone. Lewis basically took his personal experiences and turned it into a book. And while his thesis is a valid one (1. have conversations with native speakers from the very beginning 2. you'll only learn as quickly as you put time into learning) he doesn't really support it well. He pulls in anecdotes to show how other people overcame obstacles (including, of course, someone with a disability - if they can do it with a disability, you normal person shou ...more
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Benny Lewis is a digital nomad and founder of the largest language learning blog in the world, www.fluentin3months.com. He is a world traveler and after travelling non-stop for 13 years, now lives in New York..

His internationally best-selling book Fluent in 3 Months, published by HarperCollins, discusses how adults can learn any language from anywhere at any age. He is a polyglot who speaks over
...more

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