My partial review of Fluent in 3 Months Premium (2013) by Benny Lewis

↓ Summary     → En español

Note: This review contains affiliate links. That means that if you click on that kind of link and buy a product on the page you end up in, I earn a commission.

Hi there! Welcome to this partial review of Fluent in 3 Months Premium by Benny Lewis.

You see, I was part of the previous version of this product, which back then was called Speak from day 1.

This previous product included a private video series about how to start speaking your target language from the very first day of learning said language. The previous product also contained Benny's ebook, The Language Hacking Guide.

Nowadays Fluent in 3 Months Premium includes the previous products (the videos and guide), as well as a lot more content that I haven't checked out.

Once I can afford to buy a complete Fluent in 3 Months Premium membership I will do a complete review of the product.

For now, I will share with you my reviews of the resources that I did have access to (and still have access to): The Speak from day 1 videos, and the Language Hacking Guide.

I hope this partial review is useful to you, and it may help you determine if buying a Fluent in 3 Months Premium membership is worth it or not. Enjoy! :D

The Language Hacking Guide

This guide condenses all of Benny's knowledge about how to learn to speak a foreign language fast (and furious xD). This guide comes in five different formats:
  • A .PDF version for reading on your computer screen
  • A print-friendly .PDF version
  • A .MOBI version for your Kindle
  • A .ePUB version for your iPad
  • And lastly, the AudioBook version of the guide, which is the entire thing read by Benny himself, divided in 42 .mp3 files
Having an array of multiple formats to choose from is very, very convenient for us users, so I really thank Benny for doing this.

However, something that I didn't like in the .PDF computer-screen version of the guide is that in the Table of Contents, the items are not clickable... and they should be clickable!

I should be able to jump to any section of the guide by just clicking on an item in the Table of Contents... but nope, they all are in plain text. I've seen other .PDF guides that have clickable items in this section, so I was surprised to see Benny didn't implement this simple feature.

Ok, now... onto the content of the Language Hacking Guide!

About the Author & Introduction

In these sections Benny introduces himself and tells us a quick summary of how his language "hacking" journey began.

Then he tells us that in this guide he will be sharing with us all the knowledge he has acquired about language hacking, as well as his struggles and the mistakes he made along the way.

He encourages you to absorb (and apply!) all of this knowledge so you can learn to speak your target language fast, while avoiding the pitfalls Benny fell into.

Part 1 - Mentality

Personally, I believe this is the very first aspect you have to get right before you get started in any kind of language learning project:

Your Mindset.

What is in your mind defines if you will be successful or not in any endeavor, and here Benny explains, in his own way, why this is so.

Benny's ideas are (at least to me) enlightening, his explanations are clear and some are backed up with stories and examples.

Some lines in this section really resounded with how I think about language learning; they literally made me go "Wow... this is SO true!".

I think Benny's ideas will be specially powerful to you if you come from an academic, grade-centered approach to language study (which leaves real-world communication in the back burner, most of the time).

He covers several topics about attitude and motivation in this section, namely:
  • Your main motivation (or as he calls it, your mission) to learn your chosen language, and how it should be divided into smaller, concrete, short-term aims.
  • The best attitude you ought to have when you first approach your target language if you don't want to run away from it when you first get to know it.
  • The fear of making mistakes when starting to speak, and how to deal with it.
  • And why supposed advantages for mastering languages, like having language learning jeans genes or some kind of natural talent are, at the end of the day, meaningless.
I notice that most of these sub-sections have a small summary at the end, which is a good way to wrap-up what you learn on each of these parts.

Part 2 - Plan of Action

This section deals with planning your language learning strategies, and actually taking action on them. Here Benny discusses the following points:

Mission: The importance of writing down your own personal and concrete plan of action, and how this helps you structure your particular language learning goals. A plan without action is utterly useless, so he also talks about the massive importance of... well, actually implementing your personal plan!

Steps Needed: A flawed strategy is much better than no strategy at all. Here Benny encourages you to reverse-engineer the steps necessary to reach your particular language goals and make them part of your plan of action.

Mini-goals: Here he instructs you to break those steps even further into achievable tasks. He mentions how defining concrete tasks that you have to complete each and every day within a certain amount of time (20 min. for task #1, 15 min. for task #2, etc. ) helps you stay on track.

Defining your targets: Be specific and define your priorities. What is fluency to you? Whatever you are aiming for in your target language, define it. Write it down! The Worksheet #2 helps you do this.

Make a Language Log: Here Benny suggests that you open up a free blog at (or other free blogging site) and that you start documenting your language journey in there.

Personally, I don't recommend you make a language log. Writing a blog in English all about you and your language journey, which very few people will ever read... to me that's a waste of time.

I believe a much better system of accountability is to form an alliance with friends who are also learning languages, so you can help each other stay on track. Even having just one friend (a.k.a your "Partner in Crime") to do this is a much better use of your time than blogging, in my opinion.

So, unless you plan to turn your blog into an Internet business and achieve what people like Benny and Khatzumoto have achieved with their websites... don't waste your time running a blog in English that very few people will ever read.

Now, if despite of this you still want to keep a journal (in English no less...) of your learning quest for others to see, then I think a better alternative would be to run a thread at the Fluent in 3 Months Forum.

At least you will be sure that some other language learners will check out your stuff, and you could also use that platform to form alliances with other learners.

Part 3 - Communicating from Day One

In this part Benny discusses the main points you need to have in mind if you are going to start practicing your target language... from day ONE:

When will I be ready to speak the language?: Being "ready" to speak your target language is like an asymptote: you can try to approach it as much as you possibly can, but you will never really get "there"; you will never be completely "ready" per se.

In this section Benny presents his case on why waiting to be ready to speak can be detrimental to your progress if what you actually care for is communication.

A language is more than input and output: You can start communicating and doing very basic things in most languages even from day one, because most of the time we don't start learning languages from "absolute zero".

European languages share several cognates with English words, for instance. Also, brand/product names like "Coca-Cola" and "Pizza" are mostly universal among languages.

Another thing is that you not only master some words in your target language already, but you already master to some extent...

Non-verbal communication: In Benny's words:

"Body language, posture, eye gaze, facial expressions, gestures, touching (shoulders/hands/pat on back, etc.), changing the tone and volume of the words you are saying - there are a host of ways we communicate ourselves that are independent of the words we use."

How to communicate with natives with very little learned: As the name of this section indicates, Benny gives you advice on how to start practicing your target language with natives, even when you are a complete newbie in the language in question.

He suggests getting a good phrasebook to learn the very basics of your language, and a smartphone dictionary to help you out when you listen to words you don't understand.

He also talks about how talking with natives is not only about the words they use. For instance, he suggests that you can infer the meaning of some foreign words by extrapolating information from the overarching context where the conversation is taking place:

Is the conversation happening in a park? In a beach? In a cafe? Is the person pointing at something? Is the person laughing or serious? etc.

Benny also suggests that you pay attention to the body language of locals, so you can imitate it when you attempt to speak.

Personally, I think Benny should have given a couple more examples to support the extrapolation section. There is the SIM card example and the Supermarket club-card example (and the camera example in one of the videos), but two more examples that show other situations of context extrapolation in action would've been helpful.

I still think the examples he gives in this section are good to help the reader understand the idea... but I think more examples could've been given.

At home / in-country immersion: In this section Benny explains the importance of being immersed in your target language, and talks about how traveling to a country where that language is spoken is NOT necessary in order to do this.

I think Benny should have started this section by defining what immersion means in language learning, as some people may not be familiar with this concept.

Just in case you don't know about it, immersion (within this context) means living your life through the language you want to learn.

It implies doing as many activities as you can, everyday, in the language you want to master; activities you would normally enjoy doing if they were in your native language (like watching movies and TV, listening to music and podcasts, etc.)

In short: Do what you normally enjoy doing in English... but in your target language only.

Spoken immersion: It's true that you cannot produce that which you haven't internalized yet. However, if you want to become conversationally fluent as soon as you possibly can, then you need to practice every bit of language input you get as often as you can everyday.

Speaking fluently doesn't happen from just listening and understanding the language, just like you wouldn't have the fluency and stage management to do a TED talk simply because you understand English without any trouble.

Getting into the flow of speaking immediately: In this section, the Irish Polyglot talks about speaking in your target language with other learners as a way of doing extra practice.

He suggests weird (but somewhat effective) ways to do this, like using "spanglish"-like hybrid languages where you use foreign words you already master in conjunction with words in your native language.

Necessary frustration: Most people will feel frustrated by this whole process. They desperately want to fully express themselves in the language, and they cannot do it yet.

Here Benny says that you can diminish your frustration if you fully embrace the process, accept your limited speaking skills and work on letting go of "being understood" for now.

He acknowledges that it's difficult to do this when all you have in your mind is "I want to be understood NOW!!"... but he also assures you that you can get through this phase fast if you are truly committed to your plan of action.

Hack for getting over unfamiliarity with a foreign language: Already mastering a second language is of great help if you want to tackle a third language... but what if you are just getting started with your second language?

In this section Benny explains a very unexpected (at least to me) hack you can use to get this same advantage. Implementing this hack can be a pretty interesting learning experience... although too time consuming.

It's important to make mistakes!: Benny fully embraces making mistakes in the languages he practices. However, this doesn't mean that he just spouts nonsense or bad grammar intentionally.

Instead, this means that Benny is attentive to the mistakes he inevitably makes, which helps him see the areas he has to improve on.

Here he encourages you to do the same, because... well, if you are not making mistakes, then you are not progressing.

Study Triage: Here Benny suggests you prioritize your learning, and focus on understanding the most frequently used words and phrases in your target language first.

He tells you that by practicing with natives you will start to notice what words you really need to learn sooner, so you can communicate better in the language.

Getting over the Plateau: In this last sub-section Benny defines "plateau" as a decline in enthusiasm and emotional momentum, which leads to slower and slower progress in your language learning project... with the danger of your project stopping altogether.

Here Benny gives you advice on what you can do to get over this plateau and not letting your language project die.

Part 4 - Speaking with Natives

Here we get to the part where Benny encourages you to get out of your shell, start approaching foreigners, and start talking (practicing) with them in the language you want to master. In this part you will find the following sub-sections:

Just Ask: This consists of advice on how to convince natives to speak to you in their language so you can practice with them.

Benny also shares a bit of advice on how to keep them patient and interested when you are talking with them.

The Human Aspect: Here Benny shares several tips on the most important aspect of using languages as a means of communication; an aspect that is mostly neglected in traditional language classes and courses.

Too shy to speak: Oh man... here Benny gives you a kick in the butt! He tells you that if you are a shy person you can get over your unfounded shyness with practice and some more practice. In other words: Just Effin' Do It!

Conversational connectors: Benny explains what conversational connectors are (basically, filler words and phrases you can use to extend an answer in your target language, as an attempt to keep a conversation going), and gives us an example of how to use these connectors.

Taking on several languages: The advice in this section can be summarized as: "The hunter that tries to catch two rabbits at the same time ends up catching neither".

Accomplish your goals in your second language. Then, and only then, tackle a third one.

Part 5 - Learning Resources

As the name implies, Benny shares with us some techniques, websites and software resources we can use to make our language learning more effective. The sections in this part are:

Improving Memory: You know how most language learners go about learning new vocabulary? Through rote memorization and mindless repetition of words in their target language (and their respective translations in their native language). Here Benny explains why this method, while very common, is terribly inefficient.

Image Association: Here we get a much better alternative to the above mentioned method of learning vocabulary. In this sub-section Benny describes how he uses imaginative memory to help him remember new words in a foreign language.

Using music to remember phrases: As the name implies, using tunes (like the Big Ben tune, the tune of your favorite songs, etc.) to help you remember phrases helps you... well, remember them better. This kind of memory aids are part of what's called the SMASHIN' SCOPE.

Making Time: As stated in Part 3, immerse yourself in your target language.

Eliminate all unnecessary activities from your life and fill them with activities either in your target language (TV, movies, music, etc.), or specific language-learning activities (like taking your phrase-book and learning new phrases from it, using SRS software to review vocabulary and new alphabets, etc.)

Also, use waiting time efficiently instead of letting it go to waste.

Free ways to find natives without traveling: What says on the tin, really. Also, in this section, Benny presents an idea that made me go "Oh... wow! I never thought of that!" I won't spoil it to you, but let's say it has something to do with language "exchanges"...

Online resources: Here you will find a collection of websites and software recommended by Benny to help you out in your language learning. Among his recommendations you will find:
  • A website that helps you improve your reading skills
  • A technique to better complement dictionary translations of words you don't know
  • How you can quickly clear up if a particular sentence in your target language is written correctly or not
  • What site to use if you have written a piece of text in your target language, and you want a native to help you correct it
  • How to find out how a sentence is pronounced by a native
  • ... among many others.

Part 6 - Particular Language Issues

In the last part of the guide, Benny discusses three particular issues that arise when you start learning certain languages in particular:

Why do they have to have word genders?: Benny provides advice on how to better deal with word genders in languages that have them.

Instant Vocabulary: In here, he reminds us that you are not starting from zero in your target language, because of cognates and words that are almost universal among languages.

Accent Reduction: This section consists of tips to help you reduce your accent once you are comfortable speaking in your target language.

I would've added that one way to help you reduce your accent is to pay close attention to how natives pronounce certain sounds and how they generally speak.

You can learn this from the conversations you have with natives, as well as from media in your target language (TV, podcasts, radio, etc.) Then, you proceed to imitate the way they speak and pronounce words.


Here Benny concludes the guide with this statement:

"At the end of the day, no matter how good your method and ideas are, the best thing you can do by far is to learn from the natives themselves and to get them to help you."

Benny also encourages you to email him if you feel something wasn't covered in enough detail and if you have feedback and suggestions regarding the guide.


The Language Hacking Guide comes with something I really, really liked: A series of .DOC worksheets meant to help you implement what you learned in the main guide. Here's a quick overview:

Worksheet One: This is the Planning Worksheet. It comes with a sample monthly schedule, which I think is very useful for starters. This sample schedule helps you figure out your own language learning schedule by using it as a template/example.

Worksheet Two: In this worksheet you will be defining the precise targets you are aiming for in your language project. In here you will be defining Your Mission, that which you want to be able to do in the language after a determined amount of time.

That time could be 3 months from now, 6 months from now, 1 year from now... anything. But whatever it is, the worksheet pushes you to be concise and define a project span.

Worksheet Three: I like to call this one the Immersion-Conversion Exercise. The objective of this worksheet is to find out what activities you currently do in your native language that you could start doing in your target language.

Worksheet Four: Feeling Frustrated? This worksheet is very similar to the second one. The only difference I see is that this one focuses on specific activities you visualize yourself doing once you have a good enough level of fluency/literacy in your target language.

Worksheet Five: Getting used to talking with strangers: Here Benny encourages you to start speaking with natives as often as you possibly can (3+ natives a day, if possible).

Then he tells you to write mini-stories of how each conversation went on that word document, kind of like if it were a conversation diary.

Worksheet Six: Making image associations: In this last worksheet Benny asks you to select 5 words in your target language that you really want to remember, and then pushes you to use your imaginative memory to help you remember them better.

Benny says that you can find some inspiration for this last exercise in the "Image Association" section of the Language Hacking Guide, but in there Benny only gives three examples: playa, prvni and "sawadee".

Personally, I think a bigger source of inspiration would've been one-to-three examples for each language the Language Hacking Guide is translated into, or at least two examples for each language Benny already masters.

Conversational Connectors

These are a series of .xls Excel files (one file for each language), each one containing several phrases you can use to fill in silent space during a conversation (a.k.a conversational connectors).

These phrases are separated in tabs by different categories within the respective file. You can download these .xls files in the Conversational Connectors page on the site.

One little complaint I have about these files is that, to me, it would be more practical if each file included their respective English translations for each conversational connector, instead of having to download both the English file and the file for our target language, and copy-pasting phrases from the English file to the target language file.

Another possibility would be to have the English connectors and all the 23 respective translations within ONE single file, so that we can organize and delete phrases all in one place instead of having to do copy-paste from one file to another.

The Speak from Day 1 Video Series

In a nutshell, these videos are just a thin summary of the Language Hacking Guide.

For a couple of years Benny's flagship product was just the Language Hacking Guide. When he made the Speak from Day One Video Series he decided to pack it with the guide as a single product: The Speak from Day 1 Course.

After this upgrade, Benny also increased the price of the entire product to reflect the addition of new material.

Personally, I don't think these videos add much to what you learn in the Language Hacking Guide. These videos are just a complement to the main guide, a quick summary of what you learn in the .PDF.

And to be honest, I don't think this addition was worth the significant rise in the price of the entire product back then.

Here's a quick breakdown of the contents in the videos:

Video 1 - How to get started: First, get a basic phrase-book. Then, use mnemonic techniques to help you remember better what you learn.

For instance, use words in your native language to help you remember new foreign words. You can also use familiar tunes to help you remember foreign phrases.

This is, basically, a sample of what you learn in Part 5 - Learning Resources.

Video 2: You might have a head start in your target language if it is an European language.

So, if you are thinking about a sentence in English but you don't know how to say it in your target language, try paraphrasing the English sentence so you can use cognates and synonyms in your target language. This is a technique you can use to get the conversation going.

Benny talks about this tip in Part 3 - Communicating from Day One: Language is more than Input and Output

Video 3: This one is about your own shyness and lack of confidence: "I'm not ready! I'm not prepared! I'll just go away..." Here Benny encourages you to stop feeding your doubts.

He suggests that you stop thinking about it, and instead say the first thing that comes to mind to that native you want to talk to.

This is treated in Part 4 - Speaking with Natives: Too shy to speak

Video 4: "What the hell should I say if I approach somebody?!"

Well... be interested about the other person. Ask questions so that the other person does most of the talking. And keep up with the questions by paying attention to the answers, of course.

Use conversational connectors too, so you can give more than simple one or two words answers to the questions the native will ask you.

What is covered in this video, as well as in videos 5, 7 and 8, is covered more in-depth in:

Part 4 - Speaking with Natives: The human aspect and Conversational Connectors

Video 5: At this stage you might be trying to say something in your target language, but your grammar is far from perfect. But it doesn't matter, because at this stage it's totally OK to make mistakes.

In this video, Benny encourages you to make as many mistakes as possible, and not to worry about studying grammar in the beginning.

Personally, I would say: don't bother learning grammar at all. You don't need to know grammar rules in order to understand and use any language.

However, if you enjoy learning about the grammar of your target language, then use resources written in your target language to learn about the grammar of that language.

Benny also mentions that in most cultures people have patience and will not criticize you if you don't speak perfectly (Except Parisians, it seems... lol.)

Remember: It's all about communication. Improvement comes later!

Video 6: You might have trouble understanding what the other person is saying... but communication is not just about the words. Remember the context in which the conversation is taking place.

If you identify one or two words the other person is saying, you might be able to extrapolate what he/she means by using your surrounding real world context.

Same advice covered in: Part 3 - Communicating from Day One: How to communicate with natives with very little learned

Video 7: Here, Benny basically says that making your pauses a bit more interesting (a la Johnny Depp... lolwut?) is better than just filling them with "emmm"s or "uhhh"s, as that works better in holding the other person's attention.

Video 8: "Can we speak English?" What do you do if the other person wants to practice English with you?

Here Benny suggests that you explain to the person your language learning story/mission, and encourage him/her to help you practice. He also suggests that speaking in your target language all the time helps the other person oblige.

Maybe the other person wants to speak in English because she is just having a hard time understanding you. In that case, Benny suggests you use a hybrid, "spanglish"-like language instead of speaking only in English.

Expert Interviews

In the English folder for the Language Hacking Guide you will find a set of .mp3 files with interviews that Benny did to several language learning experts.

Although the previously mentioned videos don't add much to the information in the main guide, these interviews do quite the contrary.

I enjoyed these intervies a lot (specially the interview with Khatzumoto), and I believe that you will learn a lot from those, as well as get a laugh here and there from the things the interviewd experts talk about.

Here are the names of the six experts that Benny interviewed, the duration of each interview, and a brief explanation (taken from the guide) of who the heck are they:

Professor Alexander Arguelles | 44 min: "Professor Alexander Arguelles, who has devoted his entire adult life to studying languages and can read an impressive number of languages and converse in several others."

Damien Elmes | 17 min: "Programmer of the Anki application mentioned in this guide and on the blog. He explains to us how the SRS method works."

Khatzumoto | 42 min: "Khatz learned enough Japanese to work professionally in the language in just a year and a half, before even going to Japan. I had a 42 minute chat with him to hear more about his immersion approach that does not even require travel."

Moses McCormick (Laoshu) | 44 min: "Moses McCormick who lives in Columbus, Ohio, but knows over 40 languages, including many African and Asian ones, nearly all of which he has learned from home!"

Scott H. Young | 29 min: "My case study! He has been applying a lot of my suggestions (as explained on my blog) over his year abroad in France and reached an impressive level of French (his first foreign language).

He explains how he adapted some of my advice to his own interesting learning strategies, and how he managed to implement my many suggestions over a realistic time period."

Stu Jay Raj | 54 min: "A very experienced polyglot who covers many topics with me including memory techniques. Stu Jay has had his own TV show, has worked regularly as an interpreter for Miss Universe and speaks dozens of languages."

Thoughts about the Fluent in 3 Months Premium Membership

Thank you for taking the time to read this partial review. Now, you might be considering buying a Premium membership from Benny to help you out in your language learning. If so, I can tell you the following:

For now I cannot attest to the quality of the content inside Fluent in 3 Months Premium besides the Language Hacking Guide and the Speak from day 1 videos that I've just reviewed. When the time comes I will do a more complete review.

What I can tell you is that I've been reading Benny's work on for a number of years, and I can tell you that what he shares is focused primarily on language learners who want to be able to talk their target language as soon as possible. And yes, Benny's suggestions and advice are GREAT (my opinion).

According to what I read in the sales page of the Premium membership, the information you will find there is also focused on that, on training yourself to be able to speak your target language as soon as possible... although there are some resources here and there about how to improve your reading and listening skills

So, if your priority is NOT being able to express yourself in the language as soon as possible, I don't think you need to buy this membership. Or at least, you don't need to for now. This membership might be useful to you once you are ready to start working on your speaking skills.

Whether you want to train your Speaking skills as soon as possible, or once your listening skills are through the roof, if you are curious about this membership site then I suggest you first read some articles on so that you familiarize yourself with Benny's ideas, methods and recommendation. You will not regret it :D

Also, Fluent in 3 Months Premium has a 30 days guarantee, so you can buy the membership (it costs US$97), and check all the information and resources offered on the site, and if you don't like it you can ask Benny's team to give you your money back.

Click on the image or blue button below to check out Fluent in 3 Months Premium:

¡Click here to buy Fluent in 3 Months Premium!

Thank you for reading this review. I hope it has been useful enough for you, and see you later with more information! :D


I know that the membership site Fluent in 3 Months Premium, which you can access to for life for US$97, contains the following guides:

The Language Hacking Guide: This .pdf guide (which is in many other formats, even .mp3) has very good suggestions and warnings about how to train your speaking skills in the target language you want to learn.

The guide is focused on those who want to speak as soon as possible, but it can still be useful for you if you start practicing your speaking much later.

Speak from day 1: Some video-guides that, to be honest, just summarize or re-explain what you've already read in the hacking guide. They work well as a summary, but not as a stand alone product.

Audio interviews: The Lannguage Hacking Guide came with several interviews in .mp3 format, where the interviewees share their experiences learning languages, as well as several useful tips (my favorite interview is the one with Khatzumoto from AJATT). I also know that for Fluent in 3 Months Premium some extra video interviews were added.

Conclusion: I can't attest to what else is within this membership site, because I don't have access to it yet. But I can tell you that in general, Benny's work is of very high quality, and that this membership site is most likely very good (I can't assure it).

Also, Benny's work is focused on those who want to speak their target languages as soon as possible. If right now you want to focus on being able to understand really well your target language, I don't think you need this membership. Just read to familiarize yourself with Benny's ideas and suggestions first.

If you want to check out Fluent in 3 Months Premium anyways, click on the link below:

Note: The following is an affiliate link. That means that if you click on it and buy a product on the page you end up in, I earn a commission.

Click here to buy Fluent in 3 Months Premium, and get your 6 free language guides!

You have 30 days to test out the site, and if you don't like it you can ask for your money back before those 30 days.

Last updated: April 28 of 2016

↓ Tu atención por favor ↓

Dime, ¿estás interesado/a en aprender inglés?

¿Te gustaría poder aprender tan bien el idioma que puedas entender prácticamente todo lo que leas y escuches en inglés?

¿Te gustaría poder comunicarte en inglés sin problema, tanto por escrito como hablando?

Si es así, te invito a visitar

Allí aprenderás cómo aprender inglés por tu propia cuenta, usando contenido que de verdad disfrutes, y sin tener que memorizar reglas gramaticales.

¡Haz clic aquí para entrar a y aprender cómo dominar el inglés de una vez por todas!