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on March 13, 2014
I've studied Spanish, German and Chinese in both school and immersion environments; in both classroom settings and one on one tutoring. I've also been an English teacher to ESL students in several countries. Some things I've learned: you have to make it a primarily goal, not a hobby. An hour or two a week is not enough, it should be daily. There are lots of ways to study, but you need to focus on what works best, on the learning the most used language content first. Traditional books and classroom settings are mostly outdated and you can drastically speed up learning time by "hacking" - or making use of technological shortcuts. Don't spend years studying a language and end up barely functional. Get this book, internalize the tips inside, commit to learning rapidly and using the language naturally. You won't regret it.
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on March 14, 2014
Benny Lewis is passionate about languages, and this book conveys that passion together with practical steps you can implement straightaway.

Benny's general approach makes sense (if you want to speak a language, focus on speaking the language, not, e.g., on grammar books). But it's not just a theory. His approach is grounded in his own experience - both in unsuccessful language learning at school using traditional methods and in successful language learning as an adult. While advocating a general approach, he's not doctrinaire, but instead acknowledges that different approaches and tactics could work for different people.

The whole book was compelling, including:
- dispelling all the reasons why you "can't" learn a language
- practical tips (e.g., word associations, modal verbs to help your conversation before you know all the verb forms, how to tell whether French words are likely to be masculine or feminine)
- different tactics to use at different stages of language learning and
- online and other types of resources.

By the end, I understood how I can progress in learning a foreign language (while also appreciating that there will be bumps along the road and that I'll need to change my tactics from time to time).

Highly recommended. The best book I have read on adult foreign language learning.
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on June 18, 2014
I don't mind reading this even though it's pretty much the same as his online site, but when he refers in almost every chapter to refer to his website whats the point of me buying the book?
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on March 13, 2014
After reading through Fluent in 3 Months, I can easily say that I am far more encouraged to tackle learning a second language than I have been in a very long time. After trying and giving up on 5 different languages in the past (and only getting marginally tourist ready), there were many new tips included in this book that I am excited about giving a try.

I believe it is worth noting with this book that it covers the entire spectrum of language learning from the tricks to pick up new vocabulary all the way to information from famous polyglots on what it takes to become masters of several languages. Upon my first go around with the book I found myself trailing off around 2/3 of the way through because I am nowhere near the level of mastery in any language to think about those stages just yet. But you can bet if I ever get that far I'll be referencing this book over and over again.

If you are having troubles learning a new language, or do not know where to begin, this one is for you. If you are actively picking up a second language and not running into any road blocks, I do not think you may get as much out of it as I did.
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on March 14, 2014
In this book, it covers many tips on how to learn a language. The first section of the book talks about how to approach language learning as a beginner. It talks about not learning grammar at all, but instead, to memorize a few phrases that are specific to yourself and the situation you might find yourself in, whether as a tourist or speaking on Skype, and then using those on a real person as soon as possible. I agree that it is important to start talking and communicating as soon as possible. It is difficult sometimes, being shy, and not having very much vocabulary, but he gives great tips on how to overcome this.

The second section of the book talks about how to move from an intermediate level to an advanced level. For this, it is important to study grammar, and to use media like books and TV.

This book is helpful if you need a little pep talk to boost up your language learning. After reading the book, I feel renewed energy in getting my French up to an intermediate level, and to start studying Korean again for an upcoming trip, hopefully getting to an advanced beginner level.
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on May 29, 2014
I discovered Benny's blog last year while I was studying in China, and I keep coming back for inspiration.

As other reviewers have pointed out, much of the content is the same as the blog. However, the organization of the book is good, the tone is light and fun, and it makes a great gift. Giving someone this book is better than saying, "Go to this website and figure it out." The cover design is REALLY cool, too.

The Keyword Method

I used James Heisig's method to learn Japanese kanji, where you make a keyword for each kanji and recall it by assigning an image to each component. Benny's book taught me that this method can be applied to individual vocab words, so that you can "capture" them when you don't have time to put them into Anki. This was the first time I've ever seen somebody write so simply and clearly about how spaced repetition and the keyword method can be used together. My only complaint is that while Benny mentions "memory palaces," he doesn't really elaborate on how to use them. I would have liked to see a chapter about that!
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on March 27, 2014
I did extensive research before obtaining this book by reading the posts on the fluentin3months.com blog that interested me.

However, the book is nearly an EXACT repeat of his blog posts! I could not believe it!

Furthermore signing up for the members area gave me access to LINKS! Just links to german dictionaries and phrase guides on other websites! Not only this, but the blog posts had the exact same links!

I did enjoy about 25% of the content, but absolutely hated skipping chapter after chapter saying "I already read this for free on the blog!"

Read the parts of the blog that interest you, you will learn everything Benny has to say about acquiring languages. If you have the spare coin and want to support him, then just buy the book, but it's going straight to the shelf! Disappointed in how scammy this feels.
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on January 1, 2015
This book is targeted primarily at English speakers (obviously, since it's written in English!) who don't yet speak any second language. As such, I found it to be a bit too basic or me in many ways. I already speak two other languages to varying degrees, so many of his points of advice didn't directly relate to me.

It's still a good book, though, although there are probably better books on the topic. How to Learn Any Language: Quickly, Easily and On Your Own by Barry Farber would be my recommendation, although it's a bit dated (having been written before the Internet was really a thing for language learners).

The content of this book basically boils down to:

* Practicing your target language with real people from day one is essential.

Beyond that, it brought my attention to Anki (http://ankisrs.net/), a free flash card program for PC, Android, IOS, and the web, which has now replaced my paper flash cards.

Bottom line: Not a bad book if you're a beginner at learning languages, but not the best one either.
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on January 29, 2016
Benny is a very motivating writer. He has some novel approaches to language learning that are really useful. I speak four languages and actually picked up some great resources that will help me polish up two of them as well as get more comfortable in the next.
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on March 11, 2014
Update: Now that I have nearly finished this book, I have to upgrade my review (4 stars to 5 stars). This was a great book to read.

It is well-organized and well-written. It's greatest strength is the clear and practical instruction which can only be obtained through authentic experience.

I have been learning and teaching many languages for over 30 years and I highly recommend this book.

If you are learning languages, you will certainly benefit from "Fluent in 3 Months".

_______

Original post: Fortunately, the author edited his work, or found an editor. I got hosed a few years ago for a very low quality PDF ($39 if I remember correctly). It was a self-inflicted robbery, I guess, but Benny has some great things to say. In this book, that's what he did.

He heavily promotes himself / his blog. That's probably not as necessary as he may think. His practical knowledge and experience are unmistakable, and don't need much marketing. This guy is worth reading and hearing.
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