The Language Hacking Guide Review

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Update: The Language Hacking Guide is no longer available. 

Who doesn’t want to speak another language?

We English speakers are generally rubbish at learning languages –while Europeans (and Asians and Africans) often speak three, four or more languages we struggle with simply ordering a coffee in Paris.

Why is this?

There are many reasons – It’s hard to learn a language. We don’t have the time. We can’t afford a teacher or a language course. We have no one to practice with. Everyone in the world speaks English anyway.

The Language Hacking Guide shows you why all of these excuses are just that – excuses. It gives you all the advice and resources you need to stop procrastinating and start speaking.

The guide has been created by Benny Lewis, an Irish polyglot who writes the Fluent in 3 Months blog. We’ve featured Benny on Never Ending Voyage a number of times as we are huge fans of his language learning tips, so we are very excited to see the release of this guide.

We’ve been inspired by his ambitious missions to learn a new language every three months and his positive attitude to language learning – he believes that everyone has the ability to learn a language and it doesn’t have to be difficult.

Like many people, Benny barely passed his language exams at school, and certainly wasn’t able to hold a conversation in a real life situation. It wasn’t until his early twenties that he discovered some unconventional approaches to language learning and can now speak eight languages. In this guide he shares his techniques so that anyone can start communicating with natives in any language from the first day, and reach fluency in a matter of months.

What does the guide include?

The first part of the guide focuses on your mentality. The thing that has struck us most about Benny´s blog is his unrelentingly positive attitude. This seems to be the key to successful language learning, and it fact applies to anything new you try in life.

Benny talks about the need for a strong motivation to learn a language and how important it is to focus on the positives – there are no difficult languages, there are just different languages.

Another barrier can be an unwillingness to make mistakes but we need to accept that making mistakes is vital for the learning process. We agree with Benny´s view that there is no such thing as natural talent – anyone who can speak one language can learn another and saying that you aren’t talented in languages is just another excuse.

After leaving us in a positive frame of mind the guide moves on to more practical steps – coming up with a plan of action with some well defined targets and goals. Throughout the guide worksheets are provided to help you put the ideas into action – starting now!

The main focus of the eBook is on speaking a language with a whole section dedicated to communicating from day one. How do you start speaking before you know anything? Benny shares his tips and his belief that the best way to learn a language is immersion – ideally stopping speaking your native language completely.

This is a pretty scary idea especially when you are a beginner, but doing this was the turning point in Benny´s language learning success and he gives some great advice on how it is possible.

Throughout the guide he shares his unconventional ideas of how to learn a language – from hosting couchsurfers in your home and speaking from day one to giving up your native language entirely.

The final section suggests recommended learning resources including ideas for remembering vocabulary, finding time to study, finding native speakers to practice with and plenty of free resources to help you progress.

Why should you buy it?

The Language Hacking Guide is packed full of so many useful ideas for learning a language that you are bound to find some that resonate with you. One of its strengths is Benny’s relentless enthusiasm – his passion for languages is inspiring and after reading the book we felt very enthused to implement the techniques and take our Spanish learning to the next level. Benny´s personality shines through – the guide is conversational in tone, easy to understand and entertaining.

In fact, one of the biggest motivators I felt after reading the guide was the sense that Benny is always with you. He’s like a good angel on my shoulder reminding me not to speak English, to stay positive, to spend more time studying, to be brave and talk to that stranger. His story is so inspiring and he is so passionate about helping others to learn languages that you feel like you don’t want to let him down.

So who is this guide for?

This guide isn’t going to be for everyone. If you’re just vaguely interested in learning a language but don’t really want to commit to making it happen, then this guide won’t help.

If you’re happy to just muddle through your trips abroad without actually making any local connections beyond ‘Can I have the bill please?’, then you can probably live without it.

However, if you really want to learn a language but have always struggled to make any real progress, then The Language Hacking Guide will be incredibly useful. If your travel dreams include getting a deeper connection to the countries you’re visiting, like ours do, then this guide will help make that a reality.

Make no mistake, some of these things will push you out of your comfort zone and Benny makes no apology for this, but since when has doing anything worthwhile and rewarding been easy?

The Language Hacking Guide costs €67 for the English only version or €75 with 23 translations into different languages. Both versions include a 32,000 word (almost 200 page) eBook (as PDF, ePub and Mobi formats), the entire book read as an audio book, 6 worksheets and 3 hours of audio interviews with other polyglots sharing their secrets to success. They also include access to Benny’s video course Speak From Day 1 where you can see his techniques put into practice. As of January 2012 there are eight videos in the series but new videos will be added free of additional charge.

The price may go up in the future when even more content is added so take advantage of this price now and receive the updates for free. This is much less than you pay for many language courses and will save you money in the long run.

We tried out many of the techniques in the guide on our Language Hacking 7 Day Challenge. We implemented as much of the advice as we could (including stopping speaking English!) and reported back on how we got on.


Are you planning your next travel adventure? See our Travel Resources page for our favourite tools and gear to help you plan the perfect trip. 

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16 Comments (4 pingbacks)

  1. When I first clicked on this blog to review it based on a study I am doing, the layout and design held my interest and made me explore the blog further.
    While navigating myself around the site, I came across this particular topic which was pretty much what I was searching for. Being a bilingual person myself, I am fully aware of its benefits and I want to be able to speak more than the languages I already know.
    I was considering French and it seems like this guidebook might just be more than useful!


  2. Benny has it all going for him. Time,money ( need to teach in a sweat shop language school !) Charm, cheek, and chat. I have just spoken to a girl in china who has just met him and he is making progress . She has to speak slowly but he us getting there. I am based in Spain and have even acted and sung in musicals in Spanish here so I think I know about how much fun language learning can give you. But it requires effort ladies and gentlemen. Chinese requires three lives !


  3. Ah! I’ve been wanting to learn a new language ever since I left school and had to drop my French lessons. I can speak Welsh… but that’s because I live here. Spanish is the one for me!


  4. Thanks for an interesting tip guys. I have been doing a night class in Spanish for the last year and I am starting to despair of the lack of progress I’m making. I used to be pretty good at French at school, it was one of my favourite subjects, but it seems I have lost the ability to pick up a language. Anything that will help me along has to be a good investment!


    • It’s a common problem but don’t despair! Benny’s positive attitude and unconventional tips should help you get back on track. Even if you don’t buy the guide it’s worth checking out his blog. Good luck with it and let us know how you get on.


      • Mucha suerte entonces, Erin, con el hecho de dejar de hablar en inglés. Con un poco más de práctica y con un poco menos de timidez o miedo a equivocarse, tu español será excelente :-)

        ¡Feliz cumpleaños!


  5. This sounds great and I’ll have to check it out.

    I’ve been wanting to learn spanish for a while, despite the fact I’m not going to any Spanish speaking countries anytime soon but as said above who says I can’t learn a few languages.


    • Spanish is a great language to learn as some many countries speak it, it´s relatively easy and if you speak one romance language it makes the others much easier. The guide explains that just wanting to speak a language isn’t enough though – you need to have a real motivation to do it. It all depends on your personal reasons for wanting to learn it. Good luck!


  6. Wow, talk about perfect timing. I’m working on my third month in India and I haven’t picked up any of the local language. One of my biggest motivations for becoming a nomad and traveling the world was to learn new languages!

    Thanks for the timely review! As cash-strapped as I am, I’m buying this book right now (using your affiliate link!). :)
    .-= Raam Dev´s last blog ..Discovering Sandals Made of Gold and the Link Between Frugality and Gratefulness =-.


    • Thanks so much, we really appreciate that as we know how tight your budget is!

      We’re the same and hopefully you’ll find it really useful. Are you going to be learning Hindi? That would be a cool language to learn – let us know how you get on!


      • No problem, Simon!

        Yes, I would want to start learning Hindi, as it’s one of the main languages here.

        I’ve discovered that there are dozens and dozens of different local languages specific to each state in India. It’s incredible how frequently Indians themselves cannot communicate (or at least have trouble communicating) with other Indians because of the language barrier!

        English is very common here — even in the small remote villages you can find people who speak at least SOME English. I think that’s one of the reasons I haven’t picked up any additional Hindi (I already knew a few words and sentences coming here).
        .-= Raam Dev´s last blog ..Discovering Sandals Made of Gold and the Link Between Frugality and Gratefulness =-.


        • I so appreciated your story about gratefulness, frugality, sandals and no feet. So true. I am grateful to be reminded of what is really important and what is of little or no importance. Thank you, beautifully written.

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