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SXSW Interactive 2013

Get Fluent in 3 Months: Language Hacking for Noobs

So many of us have done poorly in languages at school and just accepted that we don't have the "language gene" and moved on with our monolingual lives.
Benny Lewis, a polyglot who can speak 10 languages, and sign ASL, wants to debunk this myth because he himself only spoke English at age 21, and did poorly in languages at school. Now he lives his life entirely through other languages.
In this talk Benny shares many actionable "language hacks", ways to consistently practice a language without traveling, how to get fluent as quickly as possible, and encouraging words for those of you who want to learn a language as an adult.
See the TEDx talk to get the most important language hack: You must speak it from day 1. No pitches for products or strange learn-while-you-sleep suggestions given. Only genuinely practical tips from many years of immersion experience. The SxSW talk will be better than the TEDx one, almost 18 months later with much more speaking/language learning experience.

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  1. Does language talent REALLY matter?
  2. What specific steps can a busy person who can't travel take to ensure they will learn a language?
  3. What if I can't afford hundreds or thousands of dollars for language learning software, plane tickets to foreign countries, or expensive courses? Can you genuinely learn a language for free or very cheap?
  4. What if my memory is terrible for learning vocabulary? What kind of mnemonics and memory tricks are useful for language learning?
  5. Won't native speakers laugh at me for trying? What if I'm too shy to ever learn a foreign language?



Benny Lewis, Language Hacker, Fluent in 3 months

Meta Information:

  • Tags: travel, culture
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Solo
  • Track: Diversity and Emerging Markets
  • Level: Beginning
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