Why learning Chinese vocabulary is easy


As a prequel to this article, I’d highly recommend you read my much more detailed article about many other aspects of Chinese: 8,000 words on why Chinese is easier than you think. In that post, I went into great detail about nonsensical comparisons with European languages, the existence of tones, and how much easier it […]


Why getting mistaken for a native speaker is much easier than you think


Someone thinking you are a native speaker of your target language is the holy grail of language learners. It’s something many of us dream about, but then sigh to ourselves that it’s just never going to happen. Well, today I want to burst that bubble and tell you that many people genuinely thinking you are […]


Unnecessary elitist standards: get rid of them and fluency is yours for the taking


When discussing language learning with people who have unrealistic standards for what they must have in their second language before they consider their level good enough, I’m left amazed at the screamingly obvious issues they don’t seem to be aware of: The elitist standards you require are something that we may not even have for […]


Why impatience is a virtue and taking your time is wasting your time


It’s about time I discuss one of the biggest questions I get asked by readers: What’s the rush? Not just about my time-restricted objective, but in general – why try to learn a language so fast? Shouldn’t you take a few years to absorb it? I’ve discussed before that my 3-month deadline is not some […]


When disliking learning languages can be a really good thing


It may seem like the last thing you’d expect to read on a blog that discusses language learning so much, but I don’t actually like learning languages. It’s quite an oddity in language learning circles, because if you talk to linguists and read many other language learning blogs and forums, you can feel their passion […]


How many words do you need to speak a language fluently?


Sometimes on this blog, I like to ask really stupid questions (or make stupid statements) in the post title, and then explain how idiotic I think the question is in the first place within the actual post, and explain an alternative way of looking at it. This is one of those times! I’ve been getting […]


Benny’s TEDx talk: Speak from Day One

If you’re a new reader here and would like the most concise version of my best advice to speak from day one, then this video is for you If you’re a long-term reader and have wondered who/what precisely inspired me to start on this road to become a polyglot some day, then you will see […]


How much time does it take to learn a language?


  One understandable misconception from people when they first arrive on this site is that I would think it takes exactly three months to learn a language. To me the question and answer “How long does it take to learn a language?” “X months/years/lifetimes” is ludicrous, as it leaves far too much undefined and only […]


Frequently asked questions for an experienced language learner


Last week I shared some FAQs for a long-term traveller, and taking a bunch of questions that readers have been sending me on Facebook, Google plus, twitter and the LHL email list, now I’ll discuss some language learning issues that people have been wondering about. Note that I discuss FAQs about the website and my […]


What will I talk about when my language level is so basic?


One of the biggest questions I get when I encourage people to just speak, no matter how bad your grammar is and how few words you know, is “What will I talk about?? They’ll just get bored and angry with me!” This attitude is quite strange because it presumes a level of rudeness of foreign […]