Fluent in 3 Months Book Review: Learn a Language in Just 3 Months?

Fluent in 3 Months Book Review: In this post I take a look at the best-selling book, where acclaimed polyglot Benny Lewis teaches everyone how they can learn the fundamentals of a language quicker, and have conversations in a new language within 3 months.

Fluent in 3 Months Book ReviewIf you have been a part of the on-line language learning community for any amount of time, you will have heard the name Benny Lewis at some point or another.

He runs the content-packed blog; Fluent in 3 Months where he for the last many years has blogged about travelling and language learning.

During his travels he has obtained fluency in over 10 languages with working knowledge of more than half a dozen more.

[alert type=warning]Update! Benny has released Fluent in 3 months Premium![/alert]

His story is a fascinating inspiration because he was just like any other adult with regards to languages.

He spoke only English at the age of 21, because he thought he was simply ‘bad’ at languages or he did not possess the language gene.

Then he changed his whole mindset around and that lead to the aforementioned achievements, proving that any limitation we impose on ourselves is a limitation of belief and mindset and not some silly lack of a mythical language gene or just talent.

What do other people say about Fluent in 3 Months?

Before I dive deeper into my own opinion about the book, I thought I’d take a look at the many reviews on amazon. It’s easy to conclude, that people are overwhelmingly positive about Benny’s book. It has over 137 reviews and a 4/5 overall rating.

The Book – Fluent in 3 Months

Benny’s new book is called Fluent in 3 Months, which is a title I’m not a big fan of.

Yes, it is the same as his blog, but I feel that a more creative title could have been born to perhaps lure in people who are not currently learning other languages.

Fluent in 3 Months is a catchy title, but at the same time it may confuse more than not.

When that is all said and done I love the book.

Benny’s story is inspirational and he very methodically deconstructs the method of which he gained fluency in over 10 languages.

He’s a big fan of speaking from day one, an example of which can be found on his blog where he speaks Polish over skype after having spent just one hour learning it.

I think this is perhaps a bit too extreme, but it underlines his point that if you want to achieve rapid fluency you must take the proverbial plunge as soon as possible.

If you only do input-based learning, your fluency will be a lot slower and it will sound unnatural when you get to speak to native speakers.

In addition to this, Benny Lewis also sprinkled links in the book that leads to a secret membership area where book owners can get access to additional goodies.

Kinda like DVD bonus features. I first saw this method used in Tim Ferris’ Books and I’m happy Benny were inspired to do this, it really adds to the value of the book.

Get the book on Amazon: > Fluent in 3 Months

How Fluent in 3 Months helps my language learning

I recently started learning Russian, about 3 weeks ago, and although my vocabulary is severely limited I have already been speaking full sentences to a native speaker.

Of course the sentences are basic in form, but they force me out of my shell and trust me, I’m not exactly an extrovert, trying to pronounce things correctly in front of a native speaker with such a limited experience to the language is incredibly scary!

The good part of this is that the more you do it, the easier it will become and the less nervous you will be.

He also further attacks some of the excuses I have done with regards to language learning, for instance the “I will speak when I am ready!” excuse, which I think you might even be able to find in my original Russian goal entry.

He hammers home the point that if you want fluency, you must speak as soon as possible and as often as possible. Everything else you do is just icing on the cake (such as Anki or other studies).

The negative aspects of my Fluent in 3 Months Book review

I’m always honest and upfront about any book, product or course targeted towards language learners.

I particularly pride myself in being unbiased.

This means that I also have a few negative points to add to this review. I already mentioned how I think 3 months is a bit unrealistic and creates a “lose 50 lbs in a week” kind of feel to the book, but Benny has proven time and time again that it is possible – so I suppose I’ll let this one slide for now.

But just be warned, learning to speak a language in just 3 months requires a very considerable time investment.

The other thing I need to comment on is that, while the book provides a complete easy-to-follow framework to learning languages, it is not re-inventing Benny’s method he has used for 10 years.

If you have been following his blog for a while, you might not find any new things in the book.

Although if you have enjoyed his blog content for that long I would suggest you buy the book anyway, to show your support and have the resources conveniently packaged.

Conclusion

In spite of the above small negative aspects I had with the book, It is a great book.

It reads very fast and Benny provides a framework for people to get out and speak a language very quickly.

If you are interested in learning a language to fluency faster and more efficient you need to read this book.

I can fully recommend it and conclude my Fluent in 3 Months book review with 4/5 stars. Well worth a read.

Where to buy Fluent in 3 Months:

I recommend picking up the book on Amazon.

Paperback

Audiobook

Fluent in 3 Months: How Anyone at Any Age Can Learn to Speak Any Language from Anywhere in the World

Fluent in 3 Months Premium

As you might have seen in the Book, Benny provided some bonus features on a site he calls Fluent in 3 Months Plus.

The site had free videos, text and even chapter summaries from Benny himself.

Now Benny has taken it one step further and introduced: Premium. Which is like Plus, but on steroids.

Premium isn’t free, as the name suggests but you will be blown away at just how much Benny is providing in terms of value within the Premium program.

> You can read my complete review of Premium, here.

That’s the end of my Fluent in 3 Months Book Review.

Did you read the book? What did you think?

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Fluent In 3 Months
Author Rating
4
  • Jorge

    Hello. Interesting review. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the book. I really want to get it now.
    My favorite post by Benny Lewis on his blog is the one titled ‘Is it possible to become fluent in a language in 3 months?’ ( fluentin3months.com/become-fluent-in-a-language-in-3-months ) because it presents an interesting, alternative idea to language learning and inspires you to take on a new language in a short period of time.

    I am following @ActualFluency on Twitter and my handle is @JorgeBE
    I hope to win the free copy of Benny Lewis’ book. 🙂

  • thechuff

    This is Chris from over at ChuffLangs. I follow @ActualFluency from my Twitter handle @disqus_QsoRDOAnKN:disqus.

    My favorite post by Benny Lewis is his post about learning grammar. (http://www.fluentin3months.com/grammar/) I believe it’s his most in-depth article to date (it’s pretty long!), and on top of that, every time I read it I gain something I can use right away in my language learning. I’m a bit obsessed with grammar and perfectionism sometimes, and this post admits that grammar can be fun (which most people don’t believe going in) while also explaining that it doesn’t help you *speak right away*, which is (spoiler!) Benny’s whole secret to language proficiency in 3 months!

    I’d love to read his book and see how my take on it matches up with your review! So this is my submission.

  • spearman

    While I’ve been an avid reader of Benny’s blog until he started with his Chinese mission, I’m sure his book presents his ideas in a better way (more organised).

    My favorite post by Benny Lewis is Perfectionist Paralysis (http://www.fluentin3months.com/perfectionist-paralysis/) because it kicked my ass and really kept me going. I still read sometimes when I’m having a hard time.

    I am following @ActualFluency on Twitter and my handle is @spearman46.
    By the way I’m surprised of the movement around the book. It’s kind of surprising how active everyone is about promoting it.

    Cheers!

    • Chris Broholm

      Thanks for your entry Spearman!

      I think the reason many people (myself included) are compelled to share Benny’s stuff is that he provides so much great stuff on his blog for so long, that now when he actually have a book out we feel like it’s the least we can do to give it a mention. You’ll notice in the review that I’m not simply praising the book, I wanted to touch on the negative aspects as well and provide a balanced review.

      I’m glad you chose the Perfectionist Paralysis post because it is a problem I have myself, when I try to speak another language I run the sentence I want to say in my head 50 times and then the opportunity is gone.

      • spearman

        Oh my!

        Of course your review is balanced, in fact his language hacking guide suffered from the same negative aspects.

        You could say he has settled for that kind of literary style that seems to speak to you face to face and the point you make about his content is something similar to what happened to the Early Retirement Extreme blog, once you talk about your opinion and experiences about a subject it’s difficult to add new information unless you experience a revelation,

        What I meant to say is that the book is being accepted by the language learning community quite easily, probably because Benny has been a starting point to many of us.

        Yes, the Perfectionist Paralysis is quite common, especially at the beginning. It is easy to observe on Erasmus students the first time they actually try to speak the language once they arrive to the foreign country. But once you realise you can be understood even if you make grammatical mistakes, you start to relax more.

    • Chris Broholm

      Congratulations! You have won the prize, please send me your email address using the contact form in the main menu and I’ll send your prize right away.

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  • minna

    Hi there! I’m Minna from Helsinki, Finland. I follow @ActualFluency on Twitter
    and my handle is @minnaniemela Thanks for the review! I’m very much looking
    forward
    to reading the book (already took a look at the Kindle sample and can’t
    wait to read more). As for his blog, it’s difficult to choose just one
    posting, there are so many great ones. At the moment I’d go for “How
    to become a polygot”
    http://www.fluentin3months.com/how-to-become-a-polyglot/ simply because
    it has such down –to-earth advice for language learners. On this
    posting, there’s also a link to his awesome video “Speak from day 1” in
    which he speaks eight languages. If that doesn’t convince people that
    they too can learn a language, then I wonder what does. What an
    inspiration!

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  • amanda467

    I’ve been a big fan of Benny’s since the very beginning. I’ve got his Language Hacking guide – which is much read and dog-eared- and I’m looking forward to getting his hands on the new book. As usual, the cover of the US edition, like so many other US edition books, is downright ugly, whilst the UK edition is beautiful. There’s got to be a PhD in there somewhere about cultural preferences for book covers! I’m following you on twitter – I’m @Amanda467

  • Guilherme P. dos Santos

    I`ve found his blog not so long ago and liked it a lot. He does a very good job on advising people on how to get into the process of learning a new language, because everybody know how hard it is to get started. My favorite post is Learning grammar… do I have to? (http://www.fluentin3months.com/grammar/) because we get so scared about grammar and it isn’t even that important for the majority of people, so sometimes there’s no reason for all the hassle. I’m following @ActualFluency on Twitter and my handle is @WieczSantos. I’m really looking forward to this book!

  • Chris Broholm

    Congratulations to Spearman below, who won the Fluent in 3 Months by Benny Lewis. The prize has been distributed already!

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  • Chris Broholm

    I totally agree. The size of the book is perfectly suited for beginners who are not interested in too much technicality, but just want some inspiration and motivation to find out it’s possible. For a more in-depth foreign language learning book I think Fluent Forever by Gabriel Wyner is better suited, but it is pretty dense as well!

    • Roman Shinkarenko

      Still, Wyner’s book is more an introduction to SRS than a guide that acknowledges different styles in lang learning. No offence.
      What I’d like to see is Polyglot Project, but written only by “pros” like Benny, Olly, Randy, Sam, Noel… Or at least PDF compilation of all interesting posts on their blogs. THAT would be worth its weight in gold.

      • Chris Broholm

        That is an interesting idea for sure! 🙂