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Language Hacking German (Language Hacking with Benny Lewis) Paperback – September 27, 2016
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"Benny Lewis is the Eckhart Tolle of language learning."―the Guardian
"a polyglot viral sensation... eager to show people that the best way to learn is by conversing".―MSN
"Ten years ago, Lewis spoke only English. But constant travel, along with a buoyant attitude, has unmasked the polyglot within."―National Geographic
"Our conference was by far Poland's most successful one yet, an accomplishment owing in large part to the enthusiasm, inspiration, and knowledge brought to the stage by Mr. Lewis."―TEDx Warsaw
"Lewis' focus on the benefit to business of multilingual language ability is striking a resonant chord."―Forbes
"Inspiring and epic words. Everyone left that speech with a new sense of purpose for not just learning, but living a new language."―Trivago
"Benny was fantastic. He lived up to everything. He had the students asking question after question. We had over 100 students packed in the auditorium. Considering we were up against another event on campus, that is pretty awesome. His intro video was great, his presentation was spot on. We appreciated him spreading the word to travel on our programs, but getting the students engaged to travel anywhere in the world."―Lock Haven University
About the Author
Irish native Benny Lewis speaks over ten languages - all self-taught. In 2003, he spoke only one language: English. After university, he moved to Spain and was soon frustrated that he could not speak Spanish after six months of studying. So he decided to abandon traditional learning approaches and just start speaking - and everything changed. Today Benny is known as The Irish Polyglot and speaks Mandarin Chinese, Arabic, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Hungarian. He is the author of the bestselling book on language learning, Fluent in 3 months. He also runs the largest language learning blog in the world, www.fluentin3months.com, where he breaks down the language learning process for busy people. Lewis is a full-time 'language hacker', and devotes his time to finding better, faster, and more efficient ways to learn languages. For the first time, he has applied his methods to helping people learn specific languages in his new Language Hacking series.
Top customer reviews
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I've had textbooks. I've used workbooks. There are apps, podcasts, and many other ways to learn languages. But Benny takes you through all of the initial steps with ease in a way that you'd be hard-pressed to find elsewhere, which is why he put these books together - he's familiar with the existing resources, and this is something NEW. Benny focuses on shortcuts that he calls "hacks" to aid in understanding grammar and memorizing words. It's built around conversations, but not in the hokey tourist-focused way most schoolroom courses plod through dialogues. You engage with the conversations much more dynamically, figuring out how to communicate things about yourself and specifics to listen for. Benny also assembles "conversational connectors" so that you can start to sound more natural in your speech. There is online audio to augment the book as well.
While the course is built around working up to your first conversation, this book isn't strictly limited to beginners. It's quite helpful for review or filling in gaps in your knowledge. The layout is appealing and the book is thick, which makes it well-balanced: this is a course you'll want to stick with, because it's encouraging, meaty, and totally doable. The exercises are far more engaging than what I've seen in most workbooks; they help you focus your attention and get the most that you can out of each lesson. Above all, this book feels personal. It's a companion on your journey, a kickstart, a reference book and motivational sidekick all rolled into one. You'll be writing all over it, of course, so if you're learning in tandem you should each have your own copy. But that's what's brilliant about this: it's more durable and meaningful than the average workbook that you wouldn't really need after you've finished it, and it will be invaluable throughout your learning process. I haven't started learning German yet, but this is all I'll need for the first few weeks when I start. And from there, I'll be conversant and comfortable with forging ahead on my own.
I heard about Benny through a Tim Ferris interview and started checking out interviews, podcasts, his blog, etc. The approach intrigued me -- it seemed so liberating! Yet in the past, with Rosetta Stone, or Living Language, or whatever audio programs I checked out of the library, I drilled and drilled til I was bored stiff, never approaching either the perfection I required or the confidence for a simple conversation. And that's what Benny's Language Hacking approach gives me -- freedom from my overly analytical drive for perfection, freedom from mindnumbing drills. Oh the drills, the memorization, they're still there, they have to be. But right from the start I'M SPEAKING!!! And that is my goal after all. His "Missions" are concepts, motivating the student to figure out how to talk about what matters to them (bike travel? ecotourism? Feminism in India?) by employing some simple workaround methods that will allow me the beginner to say what I want to say. The best part? Participating in the Language Hacking community on a regular, almost daily basis, posting my practice videos, getting feedback and encouragement.
Cons: I had access to a pre-pub version, and there were some errors re the answer sheets, that I hope have since been caught in the editing. Also the audio version has had some glitches, but Ive gotten very positive response to any feedback I've provided, so I'd encourage new readers to do that as well. I don't think the answer key is laid out well, but it would undoubtedly add many more pages and additional cost to the book to improve on it.
Style - this worked for me, it's for a beginner, I had absolutely no background in German. But I will apply the same techniques to my French and Spanish, which need refreshing, so I've ordered those books as well. I also needed to escape the Drive for Perfection, which would free me up to SPEAK!! I'd say Benny's approach is ideal for this. If your goal is to be able to read or write in an academic context, then this may not be the best source for you. But speaking? Go for it.
This book takes a unique approach to learning a new language. It challenges you to start speaking day one. Say What?! That was my first reaction. But as I read through the philosophy of why we do this and the idea of changing our standard of being "fluent" I got more and more excited to start talking. The book focuses on real life examples and situations. I felt that I learned more German in my first chapter than I have in the last year using websites and applications on my phone. Benny gives lots of explanations, tips/tricks, and grammar help on the sides of the book. These are really helpful and also make you realize that Benny is the real deal.
I am more excited to learn German and actually believe that I have a chance with this book. I highly recommend trying this method and learning a new language by talking about yourself and thinking about real life situations. I highly recommend this book.