Solo or Couple Travel: Is Either Better?

Hikers with backpacks enjoying valley view from top of a mountain

If you’re a member of the Language Hacking League, or if you follow me on Instagram, or Facebook, then you already know the big news: Lauren and I are engaged! This is yet another secret mission I’ve been working on behind the scenes for the past several months ;). In the two years we’ve been […]


Stop Allowing Excuses to Run Your Life!


In my inbox I see hundreds of people sharing their language learning woes every day, and in person I meet many people everywhere I go who struggle to start a language. There are many reasons they give, some of which are valid, but many times they are just excuses. Nothing reminds us more of this […]


What you missed: The best language news/links over the summer

How’s your summer been? I have been (and still am) travelling almost every single day to encourage language learners one-on-one, but I know a lot of you have had your own language projects to keep you busy! Since you may not have been browsing the Internet as often with so much sunshine to soak up, […]


Benny’s New Year’s Resolution: NOT learn a new language this year(?!)


A belated Happy 2014 to everyone! And a สวัสดีครับ (hello) from Thailand – my temporary stop before I head to Japan in a couple of weeks to begin my language and cultural immersion experience there. I can’t wait! This post is an update of my plans for the year, but it’s not the big news […]


Benny’s travel plans for Japan [video] – any advice?


We are now coming into the final days of month two, so it’s time for another video! In this video I stuck to the topic of my travel plans in Japan, so I edited it to stay on that topic. As such, my italki teacher Yuri didn’t get a chance to show how good she is and how well she can communicate with learners – sorry about that!

I’ll take a break from uploading Japanese videos next week so that I can keep focused on improving my comprehension to interact with natives better, (which will be more of a theme next month, as me doing most of the talking has been the theme this month) as well as finally tidying up the last of my basic vocab and grammar issues so that I have a solid level to improve from for the final weeks of the project.


How Fluent in 3 months grew to be read by millions (Going viral without being a virus)

Back in May I was asked to speak at the Polyglot Conference in Budapest, and since there were pretty impressive polyglots there with huge numbers of languages under their belts, excellent accents in their target languages, mastery level in a bunch of languages, and lots of people with inspirational stories, I had to decide what message I could uniquely give, and the one I went with was this idea of How to go Viral without being a Virus.

I wanted to be able to help other polyglots to help spread their own language learning encouragement better, based on what I’ve learned in doing it pretty much full time for the last four and a half years. I also thought they would be interested in understanding how my site and audience have grown so much in just a few years.


Absolutely perfect learning conditions? An unrealistic pipe dream that holds you back


6-8 hours a day of complete focus and efficient learning, for 6 days a week, is the ideal and what I aim for, but so far it hasn’t happened. I’m going to see if I can get a new wind and make this next week the most efficient one yet to balance out the previous week.

While I realize many people think that I have the absolute ideal conditions any language learner could dream of, of “no responsibilities” and an uninterrupted 12 or so weeks of non-stop Japanese learning, the fact is that it will get interrupted. That’s life.


Polyglot conference, re-activating Hungarian and very easy click request!


After last week’s announcement, you should know that I had an intensive project to re-activate my Hungarian! The reason I was doing this was to prepare to go back to Budapest to attend the Polyglot Conference, and I had a great time at it, but I did want to make sure I was using some Hungarian outside of it. In this post, I’ll say how both the mission and the conference went!

Firstly, I had signed up for six hours of Hungarian spoken lessons via italki. While I had blogged that I would be putting about ten hours into the project, once again my super-secret project in Berlin was consuming my time, and I barely had 10 minutes before each lesson to quickly revise things. So in total, I had about 7 hours of exposure time to Hungarian before arriving.

I find that because I am so busy on another project, if I don’t actually schedule a lesson, then I can keep putting off the work, so I’m really glad I did put aside that time in advance. Busy or not, when you know you have another person scheduled to talk to you, you’ll make the time!


The worst language learning advice you’ll ever receive

Bad learner

I get asked by people every day what the “secret” is to learning another language, and they don’t seem satisfied with my answer of there is no secret; you need to work hard, speak often and early with people, make many mistakes and use it for real etc. So you know what? The “truth” is […]


“It’s a big bad scary world out there!” Are you sure North America?


Edit: I wasn’t expecting this post to cause so much debate, but like the one linked just below, the reason I wrote it isn’t to be “anti-American” as far too many crybabies are claiming, but because you guys need to read a different perspective and understand how us non-Americans think for a retrospective look at […]