I haven’t done many reviews on this blog. That has a reason, I only want to do reviews on products I stand behind. And this one is.
I would like to introduce Benny Lewis, Benny is the author of Fluentin3months.com, a site about learning new languages. Benny currently speaks 8(!) languages. That is why he calls himself the ‘Irish Polyglot’.
Now, he has written a Guide on learning languages, called the ‘Language Hacking Guide’. And as Benny says practising a language is best done by the transition, he encourages you to read the Guide in your target language. He needed translations, and one of them was Dutch. And as you probably know, I am Dutch as well. So I had contact with Benny and I can call myself an officiel ‘co-translator’ right now. This means I’ve not only read the Guide, I also translated it. Which means I have a pretty good understanding what is in it, and I would like to share my findings.
The limits of my language means the limits of my world. – Ludwig Wittgenstein
The Language Hacking Guide Review
Benny isn’t going to teach you how to learn grammar. So, that is cleared. He also isn’t going to teach you how you can learn vocabulary in the most effective way. But he is going to learn you how to learn a language. I am thinking about adopting another language, maybe Spanish. I already speak Dutch and English, but as I think learning another language is a great journey and a great goal as well I was thinking about learning a third, like Spanish. So I was thinking: ‘Which software do I need?’, ‘Which books do I need in order to understand the grammar?’ and ‘Where in my area can I find a course which teaches Spanish?’ After reading the Guide, I didn’t want to do that anymore. Books are one way to learn a language, another way is implementing the language from the start.
Implementing the language
What Benny is forcing you to do isn’t learning from the book, but from the streets. Get out on the streets, find people to talk to (he will show you ways how you can find native speakers in your own country) and start talking in your target language. Benny also talks about changing your life to the target language, instead of set times where you practise the language, start to implement the language in your life and you will learn the language way faster.
Introverts can learn another language also!
Start to talk to people from day 1 is one thing, but if you are a shy, introvert person, you probably aren’t jumping around to do so. Doesn’t matter, Benny has also ways to overcome shiness, overcome your fear to talk to people.
I have to be honest, I don’t know a lot about learning languages. I’ve adopted a second language basicly because we have a lot of English lessons in the Netherlands and a lot of our TV shows are in English, so there is nothing unfamiliar in that language. What I do know about language learning is from my high school experience. And I’ve had French for almost six years and I still can’t have a decent conversation. So I think there is something wrong with the method our schools use. And that is exactly what Benny says, you need to learn a language by implementation from day 1. That will take devotion, but if you have that passion for a language, devotion is the key to succeed.
My verdict is a positive one. After reading the Language Hacking Guide, I was convinced that this way is the way to learn a language. As said, the Guide comes in 13 different languages, all included in the offer. So you can start reading the Guide in your native language (probably English) and after you’ve finished that version, you can start with the target language version.
As the quote above shows: A language barrier can keep you down. So overcome this barrier, learn a new language and broaden your world. And don’t forget to read the Dutch version! Good luck.
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