Welcome to new Irish readers!

Quick reminder: To get frequent updates about my day-to-day progress and thoughts on learning Mandarin and life in Taiwan, make sure to like my Facebook page, or follow me on twitter or Google plus!

Today’s edition of the Irish times has printed an article about my language learning adventures, and I’ve had some requests for radio interviews on Irish stations this week. While I’m glad to usually write to an international audience, it’s great to see some interest sparked back home! So, welcome to new readers from Ireland!

If you’re wondering about a precise explanation regarding how I learn languages, and some encouragement to make it clear that it has nothing to do with natural talent, the best thing you can do is check out my TEDx talk (17 minutes long).

If you are more curious about how I’ve been travelling for so long, just keep in mind that travel is way cheaper than what you think it is! I’ve had dozens of different jobs to fund this, but at the moment earn from sales of the Speak From Day One package I created that some readers of this blog decide to get (on the link you’ll see a fun video of me speaking my best languages). You don’t have to pay me money to progress in a language though – there are so many ways to learn a language without spending a cent.

Also, for articles more relevant to Ireland, one of the most popular posts I’ve written with almost a million reads has been How to speak English like the Irish, and I’ve also written specifically about learning Irish (Gaeilge), and made a silly video about it. And the book I wrote has been translated to Irish (as well as 21 other languages) by two native speakers from the Gaeltacht and you can see the sales page written entirely in Irish here: Treoir Teanga. Last time I was home I recorded some footage of the Fleadh, since it was in my hometown Cavan!

The biggest article on the site by far has been the 29 life lessons learned in travelling the world for 8 years straight.

About every 3 months, I move to a new country and try to learn a new language. I don’t promise or claim anything, but I do aim very high and share my progress. At the moment I’m trying to learn Mandarin Chinese to a fluent level in just 3 months. It’s pushing me to my limits and I’m working really hard, but sharing my successes and struggles on the blog. So I hope you’ll subscribe by clicking the RSS button, joining the email list (both around the top right of the site) or liking the Facebook page!

And most importantly, I hope something on this site will inspire you to give a second language a try yourself – especially considering that my background may not be so different to yours (I did pass Irish for the Leaving Cert and only got a C2 [For non Irish readers, this is half way between a C+ and a C-] in my Leaving Cert German exam, which ironically is the same name (C2) used to describe the highest level exam you can take in the advanced diploma in German that I sat after trying a second time, with just 3 months to prepare!)

In Cavan, we have a weekly meetup on Wednesdays in the Farnham hotel for Irish speakers to practice their level – check out your local library/paper to see if there is something similar near you to speak a wee bit as Gaeilge, and if you live in a bigger city, say hi to a tourist, or do a search on social networking sites to find a native of many other languages to speak with in person.

If you are going abroad soon and are serious about learning the language, don’t make the mistake that I made for the first six months I was living in Spain, and speak the language immediately! Make mistakes, the world won’t end – extensive research that I’ve done over 8 years has confirmed this! ;)

Thanks for reading and feel free to leave me a comment below, or to join the very active forums on this site to get advice to any specific questions you may have! All the best from Taiwan!



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  • http://eldonreeves.wordpress.com/ Eldon

    Does that count as international recognition then, since the Irish Times prints outside the country you’re living in? ;)  Good luck with the Mandarin too, I’m sure you’ll be able to learn an awful lot in the three months (and put me to shame =p)

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

      Why don’t you try putting me, or other learners to shame with your Mandarin? ;)
      This counts as local recognition, which is a bigger deal for me than TV interviews in Australia with an audience of half a million or great exposure in America ;)

  • Owen

    Congrats about the article Benny! I’ve been a big fan of your blog for a while, so I was delighted to see you getting the recognition you deserve back home in Ireland. As a fellow Irishman, I can’t tell you how many times after reading a post of yours I’ve gone out and made the effort to practice my languages wherever I am in the world. Keep up with the good work. Reading about your feats has inspired me and proven that anything is possible, that’s why I’m going to sit the Spanish DELE C2 exam in May and then on to other languages. Really, all I can say is thanks and keep on going!

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

      That’s so cool Owen! :D Thanks a million and have fun with the C2 exam!!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    Merci !

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    It’s great! Listen out for me on the radio :P (TodayFM today at 10:10 and Newstalk Friday at 11:00)

    • http://twitter.com/faHd_min_OR b liddy

      That’s great Benny!  Can you provide links to these interviews so we can hear them if the stations make them available?

  • http://joop.kiefte.eu/ Joop Kiefte

    In the Irish system I guess the best you can have is an A, so C is not very good. But in the European Framework of Reference for languages, C2 is the highest you can get.