Interview with Benny Lewis

Share & Comment

I sat down the other day with Benny the Irish Polyglot from fluentin3months.com. Not only does Benny speak 10 languages, but he’s been traveling around the world for almost 10 years now. We talked about travel, dealing with the struggles of life abroad, and of course, learning new languages. He’s the author of Speak from Day 1.

Length: 54 minutes, 37 seconds

Listen to it above or you can download it directly below. Right click the link below and click “Save As” and then a location on your hard drive.

Download Here

Previous podcasts:
Dan Andrews: Starting a Web Business
Clarisse Thorn: Polyamory and Feminism

Print Friendly

Did you like this article?

Every couple weeks I send out a newsletter with new articles and exclusive content for readers. It's basically my way of keeping in touch with you and letting you know what's going on. Your information is protected and I never spam.

Subscribe below to stay connected.

13 Comments

Leave a Comment

  • Reply

    Zac

    3 months ago

    I got a lot out of listening to Benny’s take on how to learn a language. This was a long one but It kept me interested.

  • Reply

    junji

    3 months ago

    Interesting topic.If your approach is more practical, learning languages is not that harder than learning first second language.It’s more fun to interact with local people when I travel to overseas.

    Get a skill you can work anywhere in the world and then learn language you want to go makes your life much more fun.

    I enjoyed podcast.

  • Reply

    Geert

    3 months ago

    It’s kinda funny but I’m actually learning french right now! The reason being that I want to add this skill to my resume.

    I just have a question for Benny.

    How do you feel about tv-shows, radio, news channels for learning a language? Cause I actually learned most of my language by watching the simpsons or friends.

    So I was thinking of buying a french “friends” dvd-set and combining this with italki.

    • Reply

      Benny Lewis

      3 months ago

      I feel that it’s OK practice but should absolutely NOT be the priority. All you’ll ultimately do with all that is improve your passive understanding ability. It will do next to nothing for your ability to spontaneously converse under pressure.

      I’d focus on spending time with human beings in person or via Skype as the priority. But if you do watch something, make it originally Spanish. Friends and the Simpsons are translations and keeping you immersed in American culture. You absolutely must see natives acting naturally, not dubbed over translations. Skipping over the cultural congruency combined with the language is essential. SKIP Friends and the Simpsons. Seriously. I recommend these to English learners, not just for the language, but for the cultural cues. Don’t waste your time on dubbed stuff.

      If you like the European dialect, a comedy series I like is La que se avecina. Actually see Spaniards doing Spanish things. No American stuff. If focusing on South America, get into telenovelas or do a search for Spanish language movies.

      • Reply

        David

        3 months ago

        Agree totally on this one. I’m learning Czech, and just recently I’ve noticed more Czechs are speaking to me in Czech and not English – I think it’s because I’m picking up on the cultural cues and ‘acting more Czech’. As part of this, I’ve found that watching local TV and hanging out with Praguers is very valuable..

  • Reply

    raphael

    3 months ago

    As for me to lengthy – and I don’t like the blogger-bragging phrases (‘And I get this question all the time’; ‘People keep asking me’, ‘And it’s funny, I wrote a post about the very same thing which get over like [penis-length in mm] comments’). Show me value in your content and I’ll visit your site, you don’t have to tell me you’re the greatest. If you give me some space, I may discover that on my own – or not do so :-)
    The tips you give at the end were very interesting, however.
    cheers
    -Raphael
    (ps: ‘you’ refers to Benny, not Mark)

  • Reply

    David

    3 months ago

    I’ll def listen to this tonight, look fwd to it.

    Personally I don’t think anything Benny says on his blog is original, but he is exceptional at getting the message out there and in encouraging many others to get back into languages.

    Maybe it’s a bit like your dating advice: the people who are reading this are already willing to listen and make changes, while a whole lot of others out there continue down the ho-hum path. For example, I’ve met some students of English who could certainly focus more on improving their speaking, but..still have this expectation that the lesson should and indeed must be about grammar.

    So ultimately I’m glad he’s doing what he’s doing.

  • Reply

    Jon

    3 months ago

    This was a pretty cool episode because I regularly read both of the blogs.

Leave a Comment