Hacking language learning: Benny Lewis at TEDxWarsaw

“Some people just don’t have the language learning gene.” To prove that this statement is patently untrue is Benny Lewis’s life mission. A monoglot till after leaving university, Benny now runs the World’s most popular language learning blog and is learning Egyptian Arabic which will be language number twelve, or maybe thirteen. But who’s counting?


24 thoughts on “Hacking language learning: Benny Lewis at TEDxWarsaw

  1. Meinung Abundance September 29, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    Where is the problem of going into 20 languages in one video? It does not mean that he really speaks all the languages!

  2. Ricardo Ivan September 29, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    The best language video I have seen

  3. DaBoss_ BladeZ September 29, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    I speak English and Arabic and learning french

  4. deathlibrarian September 29, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    Benny Lewis's important message is to popularly motivate people to start learning languages. His actual language learning theory and hacking ideas (eg learning to be fluent in 3 months – his attempt at Japanese failed and he gave up, and his attempt at Cantonese fell short of the mark) are not that amazing… there are more successful polyglots with better methodologies.

  5. Amazing Titicaca September 29, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    Younger people have more chance to master any language…Passion for learning speaking it

  6. Pikachu Mon September 29, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    what is the blog that he is running?

  7. Francisco Tamashiro September 29, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    I'm an spanish speaker.. I don't know if what he said its true, but when I was a kid I was OBSESSED with a series from Nickelodeon 😉 ( Sclub7, yeah I know its lame 😛 ) anyways the series was in spanish but when they sang they did it in english and I was always frustrated coz I didn't understand a thing they were singing…so one day I found a little book on the ground that said ( "learn english easy") so I picked it up and started studying it… I always had it in my pocket and would memorize 1 page per day and every 5 days I would spend 2 days revising all that I had learn… I memorized the entire little book (even the dictionary part of it ) in a couple of months, when I realized at least I would understand what the songs were about… so I started watching movies and series in english and try to memorize the most commonly used phrases that way I understood the grammar… thats how I learned english by myself ( I know is not perfect ) but I did this when I was 10 years old… right now I'm trying to learn japanese ( I'm living in Japan right now ) and gotta tell you, its soo freaking hard… I can't retain what I learn the way I did it when I was a kid maybe its a motivational problem…

  8. ADULT CAT September 29, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    It doesn't apply to English. I can write well , but speaking ? Not at all. I have never ever spoken to a single living thing in English. People actually gets annoyed and make fun if you speak bad English.

  9. Humam Slayer September 29, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    im trying to learn hebrew and german….
    hope i can speak em someday in the near future.

  10. Thiên Khánh Hồ Hoàng September 29, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    Vietnamess please

  11. Christopher Thomas September 29, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    tough crowd…

  12. Pablo Vidal Peinado September 29, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    This is going to be long, but worth reading I'd say…
    The only reason I initially had to learn English was the mere fact of liking its music, I wanted to understand the lyrics of those awesome songs that YouTube kept recommending me, so I got started by watching Disney films with Spanish subs, soon enough switching to the English subs, 'cause I consider the native subs for the foreing sounds a waste of time, since your brain basically wants to focus in one language, the same way you hardly could understand two conversations going on at the same time trhough each of your ears. Long story short, I fell in love with the English language, I moved to YouTube English teachers like Mr. Duncan, and I listened to their lessons again and again, never considering it as work, just enjoying the sounds of the language and the feeling of gradually understanding more and more. Surprisingly enough, even for me now that I think of it, I never took any notes, I never wrote down anything of what I learnt, I kept moving from video-lesson to video-lesson not focusing on understanding everything and just looking up the words that i kept hearing frequently on different videos, so I started to consider them important enough as to be looked up, and I watched the same lessons over and over again, every time understanding them a bit more, and having fun with it. I never used any app, or anything interactive, neither I spoke with native people, I've been a total passive learner for 6 years now, all about the income, very few outcome, YouTube comments basically haha That's the very reason why my English is not perfect though, 'cause I lack usage practice, but the thing is, I realize now that the reason I learnt English to the point where I understand pretty much everything from philosophy and science speeches to series, songs, stand ups and what not, is simply cause I love the language, I learnt it by heart with little effort 'cause I love its sounds, words, expressions and so on. It was so exciting to see the amount of new content that I was able to access as my English knowledge widened up, suddenly turning into a tool, not the main focus, but just the bridge towards the real interest, be it the plot of a film, the speeches of Carl Sagan or whatever.
    Now I'm learning Japanese and I'm doing all that I never did with English, I'm using all these Apps like Duolingo and Memrise, taking notes, watching these videos of how to learn a foreing language, which, as funny as it may seem, since I already speak one -the very same that I am using-, I think it is not a nonsense, for you always have something to learn from ohers, and I'm taking advantage of my English knowledge to benefit on my Japanese learning.
    But now again, the point of all of this is that I just realized that you actually learn what you really want to learn, we are fucking geniuses at whatever truly catches our attention and passion, nothing can't stop you from learning a language if it is a true inspiration and not just a temporary whim. And it doesn't matter the techniques you apply throughout your learning journey, if you do it 'cause you love it and you have fun with it, there's no stopping you. This is not even a motivational speech, it's just true to the core, I swear to God, people always succeed at what they truly want to learn.
    If you read all of this, you're the real MVP haha

  13. Sajad Abd September 29, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    So impressive

  14. Arsal Rajput September 29, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    And i thought languages for computer hacking .

  15. Genesis Showcase September 29, 2017 at 2:13 pm

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  16. Miroslava Mena September 29, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    i want learn and practice english, someone for make laguages exchage in skype?

    I speak spanish

  17. Minecraft Universe September 29, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    One main problem I have, is I've been learning french since about… January or so… and I haven't gotten as far as I feel I can… I have the basics like I you he/she/it or we you (plural) or they… and others… and I've been doing better, but french still feels like a mush of random sounds and letters. I have to ponder what I'm thinking for a bit b4 I say it… English is not this way… idk if this is becuz English is my mother language or what… can somebody help?

  18. jannserg September 29, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    i speak machine language

  19. Selena Smith September 29, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    Uh…wtf why did you waste 15 mins of my life????? I thought this video was about hacking languages as in programming and shyt…I was watching the video and was like,"Uh okay I get it that you know a lot of foreign literature languages but can you please get to the programming or hacking languages already". UGH!!!!!!

  20. Apple Pen Minecraft September 29, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    you all the bitch

  21. Michael Davis September 29, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    Columbus Ohio in da house! 😀

  22. John K September 29, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    I have been watching TEd Talks esp with learning new language. I am native Korean living in Canada, so English and Korean and now I am trying to learn Espanol. Definitely not easy, but he is right. Motivation !!! I love the culture food people !!! you sir gave me motivation !!

  23. SwagDaddy September 29, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    When I found my trick in learning english I did it because I was passionate about being able to play Oblivion and Dragon age.

  24. Farah Zay ! September 29, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    should I improve my english or start learning korean 😂 that question really sucks in my head

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