Mistakes are the ONLY Way to Learn a Language


Being wrong is painful. Nobody wants to look stupid. And making mistakes feels really stupid. That’s why learning a new language is so scary. You have to make mistakes. It also explains why so many people give up at the first hurdle – they want to be perfect from day one. Making mistakes is the […]


Six Life Lessons from Being a Blogger for Six Years


Today, July 10th, is my 33rd birthday and my twelve year travel anniversary (that’s 12-years of non-stop travel since I graduated university and hit the road). Since I’ve already contemplated the lessons I’ve learned from years of travel before, today I’ve decided to look at another important life achievement. It turns out that I’ve been […]


The CIA is Wrong: It Doesn’t Take 1,000 Hours to Learn a Language


Does it really take up to 4,400 hours to learn a language? According to the US Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute, that’s how long it should take. Study for 20 hours a week, and that’s over four years! Reduce that to five hours a week – a more realistic amount for most of us […]


Busted: 6 Common Myths About Polyglots and Language Learners


There are plenty of language learning myths, especially about people who speak multiple languages (also known as polyglots). You’re probably familiar with the romanticised image of the polyglot. It goes something like this: A polyglot is a carefree genius with a perfect memory who, without any social obligations or financial limitations, travels the world with a […]


We Asked, You Answered: Why Learn a Foreign Language?


Have you ever wondered “Why learn a foreign language?” I recently asked members of the Fluent in 3 Months community their reasons for learning a new language. The response was amazing! Over 200 language learners chimed in with a startling variety of answers. I thought it would be fun to take a look at what all […]


10 Ways to Bounce Back from Quitting a Language

I love to encourage language learners here on Fluent in 3 Months, but language learning isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Life inevitably gets in the way and prevents you from reaching your language goals. This has happened to me more times than I care to remember! My Czech project (the first one I ever blogged […]


A Powerful and Underrated Beginner Language Goal


Why is language learning all about the intermediate or advanced levels? When you start learning a new language, it’s easy to get carried away with huge, unrealistic goals.  Maybe you dream of having deep conversations in your target language, or of reading advanced novels, or making play-on-word jokes. You may even want to talk about […]


Why hard work isn’t what makes good learners

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Why is that some people are worse language learners no matter how hard they work? Among the many emails/tweets and in-person comments I get about those who have tried and failed to learn languages, what comes up more often than not is something along the lines of “I know that I can’t ever learn French/German/Chinese […]


How to Make a New Year’s Resolution and Actually Keep It

Every year around January 1st, my inbox gets filled up with language learners excitedly declaring to me their New Year’s resolutions. They tell me, this is the year I will learn French! Learn Spanish! Learn Chinese! To all you resolved language learners out there, hoping to make 2015 the year you finally reach your language-learning […]


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 […]


How to Start Learning a New Language (Right Now. Today. Seriously).


Let me ask you a question: If you really wanted to learn a new language, what would you be doing right now to make that happen? The thing with language learning, and really with any goal or desire we have in life, is that we spend a lot of time thinking about what we want and talking about […]


5 crazy ways to get over shyness immediately, no drink/drugs required

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My philosophy in language learning is, always has been, and always will be to Speak From Day One.

But for many people, this is terrifying! And because I have been talking so much about how effective I’ve found using Skype and language exchange websites, or in-person meetings early on in a language project to chat with native speakers right away, I’ve been asked a lot of questions about what to do if you’re too shy to speak from day one.

So today I’m going to answer these questions.