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79 of 86 people found the following review helpful
on 20 March 2014
I was really interested to read this as I already speak one foreign language and am learning another. To be honest, the content in this book could be summed up in a couple of chapters and I suspect most of it is on Benny's website (the end of every chapter has a link to his website for further information). It gets quite repetitive at times and the main message is about immersion. While I agree with his points about using the internet and finding native speakers, not a lot of people have the time to dedicate to his style of learning.
All in all, I found some of the information helpful and did go to his site to look at more, but I'm not sure that this is particularly groundbreaking.
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on 17 April 2014
Someone recommended this book to me, so I thought I'd give it a go.

I can't say that I would have tried it if I hadn't had the recommendation, so I am glad they did.

The reason I would have been reluctant to have a look at this book is that the title suggests that the author has found an easy way to learn a language fast, and that if you pay your money then you can too. If you pay your money.

I was brought up on the Jungle book, and "feed them silence when they say, come with me the easy way", so I was sceptical about feeding them money.

So when I started reading it, I already had one eyebrow raised, with the other at the ready, and was ready to sneer my way through the book.

So I was very pleasantly surprised when I found that the author is not offering an easy way to learn a language, quite the opposite.

This book offers a counter-intuitive way of learning languages, which involves:

1. Lots of time commitment.
2. Sheer bloodyminded determination to get past any social inhibitions that you might have.
3. Plenty of booklearning, but at a later stage than you would normally expect to do it.

Basically, the method is to find people who speak the language, either in your area or line. And start talking to them. A Lot. When you've built up a reasonable level of confidence, THEN you start on the bookwork, to set what you are doing in to a real life context.

So you need to jump in at the deep end and sink not swim. All the better to immerse yourself. And as this is just a metaphor, you can't actually drown. Just hideously humiliate yourself with a bunch of total strangers from another culture :)

So why do I like this book? It offers a counter intuitive method of learning languages, that is not easier than others, and in fact looks harder, but which gives a well argued case for why if you put the effort in that you'll see results within a good time frame. I also like the way that he defines what fluent is. The cover might make you think that the author is offering an easy way, but there don't seem to be any false promises in the book itself.

Another thing that he says is that you should make a public commitment to your learning, to really ramp up the pressure. Well here goes. I'll edit this in a few weeks time to tell you how it went.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 24 January 2015
I taught myself Spanish after reading the online PDF version Benny Lewis originally did. The advice was crucial to my success and the value is worth 100x that of which you have to pay for this book. I can't recommend this enough.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 14 December 2014
I am trying to learn Spanish and was really struggling with memorising much at all. Started looking for something that could help me with the learning and memorising process.

Even though there is some useful information in this book, I found in general the information given was what I saw - and I think a lot of others would see, as nothing more than common sense, and information readily at hand on the internet.

I sometimes wonder if some of those that grasp learning languages so easily, really are on the same page as those that struggle with the learning - and just wonder why we 'don't get it' as easily as them.

I know there must be those out there that do - but unfortunately not in this book.

On finishing the book I was not left with a feeling of optimism and any greater confidence, and felt this may be a man who can learn languages easily enough - but really doesn't know how to teach that art.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 31 December 2014
Just finished to read the book and I think it's a great inspiration by a skilled polyglot. I've been learning Norwegian for a while and I still can apply some of the methods he recommends.
First of all, speak the language from day one and build your knowledge through communication. To do that just have videocalls with language partners. There are plenty of websites to find people that are eager to learn your mother tongue or whatever language you know.
Second: live the language. Think in that language, read newspapers, hear the radio, write a blog, immerse in that language, use apps in your target language, etc.
In this way, you will be able to reach a B1 level in 3 months with a minimum use of text books. Of course you also need persistence and passion.
It was nice to read his point of view about Spanish (my mother tongue Spanish) and some tricks to learn it (and other latin languages).
The book is full of great tips that can boost your learning curve or can motivate you to learn faster.
For me the book and Benny Lewis are absolutely inspiring references to learn Norwegian (in my case) and any other language that I might try in the future.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 29 March 2014
I just finished reading the book. The book is great for motivating you to learn a language and Benny Lewis is quite an inspiration!

The media hype helped a lot in convincing me to buy the book. However, I wish this book had more practical examples of how I can approach learning a (only one) specific language. Perhaps I was hoping for a day by day to do list on how to learn a language in 3 months. Towards the end of the book the author gives some guidance on some languages, but the book is trying to cover too many languages and is too high level. The author uses the approach of immediately talking and doing skype calls etc which is fantastic, but I don't think the book has fully answered the question how I can memorise some of the words and genders. To be fair the author does give you examples of how he memorised words, but those approaches will never work for me. I am still uncertain on how to progress between learning words, doing fun things with the language and learning some grammar. I fully agree with the author's approach to learn the language before he travels to the country, this author is clearly realistic and has shared great experiences.

Highly motivating book (I almost gave it 4 stars), but I walk away from this book not knowing what approach to follow going forward. I think it helps to sign up to the author's website version, because Benny Lewis gives some really good advice on there.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 2 August 2014
very good easy read. He show a good way to learn
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 7 January 2015
It's really helps you to change your perception of what you think about your language ability . Really good!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 31 August 2015
-Quick reading
-Very basic tips for learning a language
-It's a good book for those who are learning a language for the first time and have no idea about where to start
-There's nothing new or different from other books about learning a language
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 8 January 2015
The problem starts with the title; just what do you mean by fluency? If you think that means reaching the same level as you have in your first language, you will never do that in three months. If you mean that you can hold general conversations without making significant grammatical errors that is quite possible. And, of course, fluent does not mean the same as well; you can speak a language badly with lots of errors but still be fluent, equally you can speak with exact precision and yet not be.
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