What will Benny’s next language be?

Photo by Nan Palmero at TEDx San Antonio


This is turning out to be one hell of a year!

Despite almost three entire months of it spent in English-speaking America (the trip is mostly for speaking at conferences, such as the TEDx one in the photo above), since January I’ve learned some Tagalog, American Sign Language, Dutch, Turkish and Klingon!

At the start of the year, I announced that I was going to make this year an intensive one, and I believe I’ve delivered! Next year, I’ll be getting back to slower missions – hopefully starting with a genuine Fluent in 3 months (from scratch) mission, depending on travel logistics.

But before I head back to Cavan for xmas with the family, I do indeed have the energy to take on yet another language to wrap this year up at six!

Can you figure it out from the clues?

One thing I’ve been having immense fun with, is that instead of just telling you well in advance what my next language is, I hold you in suspense (if you’ve ever met me, you’ll see it’s part of my personality) and see if you can guess!

Before I revealed that I was learning ASL, I had dropped dozens of extremely vague, but still helpful, clues and after hundreds of guesses only two people actually got it fully right!

And I shall be playing the same fun game again 😀

On November 11th I fly to my new destination and start the very last language mission of 2011. But where am I going, and what language is it? I will reveal it a few days before (on November 7th) in the Language Hacking League email list, that you can sign up to on the right of the site.

I’ll give the majority of the important clues soon on twitter, Facebook and Google plus.

But for now, so you have a place to start from, here are the basics:

  • It is not an artificially designed language, like Klingon/Na’vi or Esperanto or a computer coding language
  • Millions of people speak it
  • It’s not related (linguistically) to any language I’ve learned up to now
  • Since I’ll only be learning it for about a month, I won’t be aiming for fluency or high level conversational, but I do have a very fun end-goal!

Many more clues coming in the e-mail list on Monday!

If you think you have an idea, write your guesses in the comments below! Also, be sure to ask an interesting question about the language/mission/country and if it’s a good enough question (no boring technical linguistic questions please!), that doesn’t make the answer immediately obvious, I will answer it in Monday’s email among the clues!

And to make it even more interesting, I’ll take everyone who gets the answer right and add them to a random draw (using random.org to select) for one person to win their choice of 1) The full version of the Language Hacking Guide, 2) A language learning / travel consultation call with me or 3) a free copy my next interesting video-based project. But to be in that draw, you only get two guesses.

Also, if I’ve met you in person here in the states and told you where I’m going, please don’t say so in comments :)

Anyone else can guess all you like, but I won’t be replying directly or giving any more clues until the e-mail. Any other thoughts on language missions, let me know below!



I'll send you the first lesson right away.
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