Saturday, 21 September 2013

Benny Lewis - Languages hacker

I've just read an article from The Irish Mirror about a man, Benny Lewis, who can speak 12 languages.

He's the man behind the Fluent in 3 months website and is known as the Irish Polyglot (although I'm sure there must be others!)

The thing that drew me to this article was the fact that Mr Lewis uses "unconventional techniques" to learn languages.

Mr Lewis admits that he is not a naturally gifted linguist.

He studied German at school and learned nothing and lived in Valencia for 6 months without picking up any of the language.

There are some great quotes from him in the article, but the one which had the most effect on me was this:

At school you’re taught not to make mistakes with pronunciation or grammar and it makes you scared to try.To learn you should speak the language and speak it badly, you shouldn’t be afraid to talk like Tarzan, it’s all about communicating.

I wonder how many students are turned off languages for the same reason?

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