EPoP 008: Benny Lewis on The Best Ways to Learn a Foreign Language (or Several) and How to Haggle Like a Champion!

Posted By Trav

Benny Post pic

In this episode, Benny Lewis from Fluent In 3 Months sits down and reveals all the best ways to learn a foreign language.

And wow, does he know what he’s talking about!

In the past 10 years, Benny has gone from only speaking English to now being conversational or better in 12 different languages, and his website has also helped tens of thousands of people do what their high school selves once thought was impossible.

In those 10 years, Benny has traveled all over the world, and he’ll share some of the best tips he picked up for saving money while traveling.

He’ll even tell you how he was able to get the “native price” for an apartment in Turkey without speaking the language and his secret haggling method that scored him a $3 waterfront villa in Goa.

Benny is THE definitive internet expert on how to learn a language in a unique, fun, and highly effective manner.

So if you’re someone who has always wanted to learn a language but never succeeded, you’ve got to give this a listen.

Note:  The audio is a little choppy at points between 8 minutes and 23 minutes but still listenable and the message is well worth it!

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In This Episode, You’ll Learn:

  • How Benny reaches a conversational level of a new language in only 3 months.
  • Why “I’m not talented at languages” is a weak (and not viable) excuse.
  • Why children learn languages better (and no, it’s not because their brain is better equipped).
  • What is Esperanto and why you should learn it first.
  • Why expressing yourself like Tarzan is a good thing.
  • How to apply the 80/20 rule to language learning.
  • An amazing trick to find the cheapest accommodation prices even if you don’t speak the language.

Links Discussed in This Episode:

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Benny is amazing, so show him some love by clicking “tweet this” below:

“@IrishPolyglot your advice on the EPoP Podcast with @PackofPeanuts was incredible. Thanks for helping me tackle language learning!”

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  1. FlyerM says:

    Great podcast. I love the idea of using skype and chatting 20 minutes in my language and 20 minutes in the language I’m trying to learn.

    Any idea where to connect with people on skype to build skills in a new language? Every place that comes up on google charges a fee, which is small, but I’d rather work that free arrangement that was mentioned.


    1. Trav says:

      @FlyerM- I know that Benny recommends iTalki, which can either be paid or can be free if you find someone who wants to learn English from you. Check it out, seems like a great resource.

      Glad you liked the podcast. Plenty more great ones in the pipeline.

  2. Alexandra Koeneke says:

    I definitely agree that confidence is important! I took 3 years of French in high school, took a 2 year break, and then another year and a half in college. I felt okay at reading and writing French but as far as speaking, I felt I couldn’t do it at all. I went to Haiti this summer and when I was forced to use it, I realized I knew a lot more than I realized no matter how long it had been since I had taken classes. People in our group started coming to me to ask to translate (even though sometimes I was unsuccessful and had very broken grammar, I’m sure) which boosted my confidence and encouraged me to reach out and speak to more people. In particular, the organizers of our group trip put us with a local guide for safety reasons, but they were not allowed to translate or help us with anything. We were taken to a local Haitian market with a list of words in creole and had to find all of the items. It took a lot of creativity within 3 different languages to not only figure out what the items were, but then to find them. The people were amazing and helpful and had fun too. Confidence and forcing yourself to use it are definitely important!

    I also love Duolingo! I started Spanish on it only a week before going to Peru and could speak enough conversational Spanish to get by. It’s also fun and doesn’t feel like studying or a chore.

    1. Trav says:

      @Alexandra- Completely agree – it’s all about confidence and in the end, just doing it. That’s how you’ll learn, ESPECIALLY when it comes to speaking.

      I’ve heard good things about Duolingo…might have to give it a go!

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