April Fools’ joke: Benny’s “last video” in Mandarin

Just like last year, on April 1st, I wrote a blog post to celebrate April Fools’ Day with a ridiculous article! While this one was a lot more obvious than the last one, those subscribed to my Youtube channel who didn’t see this post, did genuinely think that I was faking my video as if it wasn’t or forgot to take my mask off or something.

Basically, this post is to emphasise some very silly criticism that trolls send to my blog, by writing this post as if what many things they say are true, like that I fake my videos, think that there is a “magic” number of days to learn a language, make “claims” (instead of simply aiming high. Rather than the quote below, I specifically said “this is not a promise” in the introduction video) about what I’ll do, think that I’m so smart, and so on.

If you read the post after this one, you’ll see me say the opposite of many things in this particular article, and come back to the true point of the “Fluent in 3 months” philosophy and the point of my Chinese mission.

Benny’s last video in Mandarin!

So, my time is up! It’s been 3 months since I began my Mandarin project. When I started, you may remember the words from my introduction video of:

 This is a promise! I hereby claim that I will definitely speak amazing Mandarin within 3 months!


If I don’t speak perfect Mandarin in 90 days, then I’ll eat my shoes!


My favourite colourful shoes are quite hard to come by in my size, so I really did not want to resort to this.

I’m no stranger to tough challenges, but as you all know, I started to learn Mandarin for one main reason: to show the world once and for all that I’m the best and smartest language learner in the history of time.

The secondary reason was of course to prove that 90 days is the magic number, applicable to any and all languages, and any person in any situation, and that you’re plain old lazy or stupid if it takes you an entire 91 (or more!!) days to master your language. The blog is called “Fluent in 3 months” after all – so you don’t need to bother reading a single blog post to know what this site is all about!

You knew the rules, and so did I!

With the pressure specifically to impress those in Internet forums and various Youtube channels, who reminded the world repeatedly of my “claim” (quoting me so precisely is a testament to their intelligence and how well they pay attention; you wouldn’t get this from any other language learner!) After giving it my full commitment, I am glad to say that I have reached my objective!

It was a close one – can you imagine if I only ended up speaking “pretty good” Mandarin? I’d never be able to live with the shame!

In case you are still not sure, this video (English, simplified/traditional Chinese subtitles) of me using my Mandarin on the street, leaves no room for doubts:

(on Youku)

Now that I’ve completely finished this project (there’s really nothing left to learn at this stage), and can add a tick beside Mandarin on my laundry list of languages, I am ready to move on. People will know that I’m a true language learner, now that I’ve tackled the world’s hardest language!

But since I’ve wrapped up learning Mandarin, I have no real need to hang around this part of the world any more. I can impress western girls in parties by simply saying that I speak Chinese, (let’s face it, that’s the real reason I started learning it in the first place), so I’m already bored and am ready to start a new language mission. It’s time to say goodbye.

After a couple of days in mainland China, specifically to take some photos of me in front of temples and the Great Wall, I can start the second hardest language in the world! (Announced here) I will master that in exactly 90 days too of course.

My dream is to be in the Guinness Book of Records for speaking the most languages – why else would I bother learning so many? The main reason to learn any language is to wear it like a badge!

I’ll announce that next mission on the blog in full detail tomorrow. It’s going to take a lot of work, but I never give up!

Let me know your thoughts on this video in the comments!



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  • http://sarajaaksola.com/ Sara

    You should have made this a bit less obvious ;)

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

      I went all in – although without the silly blog post and cheesy new design around it, some people are already taking the video itself seriously if arriving via subscription and only seeing that. So sometimes it really does need to be made obvious ;)

  • Anon

    Rickroll’d… Damn you, Benny !

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

      I know people won’t fall for the overall premise and think I’m being serious from reading this blog post, but I WILL rickroll as many people as possible :P

  • http://twitter.com/ChuckSmith Chuck Smith

    Congratulations! You know, I really have to admit, I was a doubter, but you’ve proved me wrong once again. Good luck with your next language! :)

  • http://twitter.com/LWT_Project Learning with Texts
  • WC

    Bloody brilliant.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Matt.R.Andrews Matthew Andrews

    April fools jokes and needlessly tedious debates on the ‘true’ meaning of fluent aside – the level of Mandarin (going by your other last video) you have achieved is extremely impressive, and a well needed wake up call for those of us patting ourselves on the back for merely maintaining mediocre Mandarin. I would like to ask though, how does learning Mandarin compare to other languages?

    I’ve always thought the hard bits of Mandarin (tones, characters, (at first) difficult to distinguish sounds) were more than outweighed by the bits that make it simple and such a pleasure to learn (lack of strict grammar, great gadgets like Memrise*, Pleco, ChinesePod (not really because they significantly speed up / help the learning process but they’re gadgets and they’re cool and fun to use), and a seemly limitless supply of warm, friendly and *patient* native speakers who are far more willing than speakers of other languages I’ve dabbled with (German, French) to welcome badly spoken Chinese). So I would be very interested in hearing your thoughts on how your three months of learning Putonghua compared with other, perhaps less alien, languages.

    * not specific to Mandarin, but is very much optimised for it.

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

      I will be writing many posts about Mandarin over the coming months. I have a lot to say on this topic.

      Just note that Chinese isn’t “less alien” than other languages I’ve learned – don’t forget that I’ve taken on both Klingon and Na’vi :)