Welcome to Fluent in 3 Months (FI3M), a community and learning resource for language learners all around the world.
I'm Benny (Brendan) Lewis, a fun-loving Irish guy, a full-time globe trotter and international bestselling author.
Since 2003, I've become a fluent and confident speaker of seven languages. And I'm able to have confident conversations in many others.
I help people just like you to feel confident in speaking another language, even if they've only just started learning. My mission in life is giving people permission to make mistakes. The more mistakes you make, the faster you become a confident language learner.
Thousands of language learners have been successful with my approach. Here are just two examples:
“Benny rocks! I had to learn Tagalog in a handful of days, well enough for a live TV interview. I asked Benny for help, and his advice was invaluable. The interview was a huge success.”
– Tim Ferriss
“Benny was enormously helpful in planning my year without English, especially in Spain. He has a lot of practical experience dealing with language learning from the learner's perspective. That means he knows what it's like to learn a new language and can deal with many of the practical challenges that come up. I'm confident I never would have attempted this project without Benny's help!”
– Scott Young
You can experience my practical approach to language learning for yourself by signing up to my free Speak in a Week email course. You can sign up here.
To delve even deeper, you can pick up a copy of my bestselling book (from Amazon, or any other major retailer), or browse this website. If you are new here, I created an orientation page for you – click here to access it.
My book, Fluent in 3 Months explains the fundamentals of my approach to language learning. It was published in 2014 by HarperCollins, and was an immediate #1 bestseller in several categories on Amazon US, Canada and UK.
I've been featured in numerous national media outlets, including The New York Times, Business Insider, Forbes, lifehacker, National Geographic and the BBC.
I've spoken at two TEDx conferences, and in 2013 I was named National Geographic's Traveler of the Year.
I'm not gifted with languages. I don't have the “language gene” (if such a thing exists).
How do I know?
I struggled with languages for years.
At school, I spent 11 years studying Irish (Gaeilge) and 5 years studying German. Even after all this study, I still couldn't speak them.
By the time I reached my 20's I could still only speak English.
After college, I moved to Spain. “If I'm living in another country, I'll be sure to pick up the language,” I reasoned. I spent six months in Spain. I took expensive language classes. I studied every day. I repeated the same words and phrases over and over.
But I still couldn't actually speak Spanish.
While in Spain, I met a guy who changed my life. He was at an international party, switching from one language to another as he moved between guests.
“How do you do it?” I asked.
He explained that to speak a language, you've just got to start speaking it. There's no magic, he said. You only need a willingness to make mistakes.
I tried his advice, and I've never looked back since.
Within six months, I was a confident Spanish speaker. I then moved to Italy, where I started speaking Italian.
I've since lived in the United States, France, Brazil, Ireland, Germany, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Belgium, the Netherlands, China and Taiwan. While living in these countries, I've used my techniques to become fluent in Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Esperanto. I also speak Mandarin Chinese, American Sign Language, Dutch and Irish to a conversational level.
Learning languages has given me confidence in conversations, new friends and insight into other cultures. It's opened up new worlds for me. I set up this community so others can have the same experience.
I'd love to meet you! You can learn my techniques face-to-face at one of my Fluent in 3 Months workshops.
Check my events page to see when I'll be visiting your city.
If you can't make it to any of these cities, fear not! This site has plenty of useful tips, tricks, encouraging stories that will make your language learning journey easier and more enjoyable. Click here to discover!