Today on the FundMyTravel blog we get the exciting chance to interview Benny Lewis, an international traveler and speaker, who has become fluent in seven languages since 2003.
Benny, thanks for joining us today and it’s an absolute pleasure getting to touch base, before a whirlwind of exciting events takes place in Australia, for you! We’re just thrilled to snag some of your time and find out more about the man, behind the genius of “Fluent in Three Months.”
How did you first identify that you had an approach to language learning which would be beneficial to so many other people? We come across a lot of travelers and students who are a bit nervous about visiting countries, where they don’t have a mastery of the language yet. Do you have any advice for these people, to help them feel more confidant, diving into this uncomfortable scenario?
I struggled myself a lot at first, but then developed a good learning technique. As I travelled, I came across other people who were in the initial struggling stage and I really enjoyed motivating them to dive right into it. This inspired me to start writing about it as well. There are lots of tips I give, but the most concise, which I can offer is that, beginners need to actually make it their goal to make as many mistakes per day as possible. Having a perfectionist approach and waiting until you have perfect grammar before speaking is the biggest enemy of all, in language learning.
Wow, well I’m sure that takes some courage and might even surprise some of our readers, but it makes sense. What was the first language you discovered an absolute passionate interest in learning? What got you interested in the first place and what do you think was the most influential cultural experience that made you want to practice the language better?
Spanish – I grew up with Spanish students visiting my home-town and always wanted to learn this language, but it wasn’t offered in my school. When I graduated uni, I took the chance to go live in Spain and just figured I’d pick up the language by proxy. Sadly this didn’t happen after six months so I had to grow my interest in learning the language itself. Those first few moments of saying something and having the other person understand you and reply are so motivating. The amount of cultural experiences I’ve had is endless, but the interactions with individuals has always been at the core of my passion for learning language.