Let's burn this Benny guy at the stake!

Oh man, I can’t stand him! That Benny guy needs to be STOPPED! Glancing at forum posts here I think I’ve found several reasons why, hopefully I haven’t forgotten anything!

  • His book is definitely, undoubtedly, absolutely crap. I haven’t read it myself, but that’s irrelevant. I’ve seen his site, skimmed through two entire posts and I didn’t like it, therefore I know his book is rubbish.
  • He promotes this ridiculous idea that if you speak intensively over several months, you will reach a comfortable spoken level in the language. Ha! I know this guy who’s brother’s roommate’s dog-walker moved to Paris and partied for the summer and he came back with no French at all! And my Mexican house cleaner has been here her whole life and still has an accent! That proves Benny is bogus!
  • He’s a snake-oil salesman!!! I mean how DARE he try to earn money as a writer! Nobody should EVER earn money for something they put time into like that. He’s nothing like any other people involved in languages discussed frequently in this forum, or who work in other fields, who have also written books with advice that not everyone will agree with. ALL he cares about is money! He has no interest in helping anyone learn a language. I bet you he spends all his earnings on booze or drugs, laughing his way to the bank!
  • His site is ONLY about selling his e-book! He constantly tells you in every single post that the only way to ever speak a language is to send him money. His site is basically one big ad. I mean, read any of his posts - will you think that he actually tried to discuss something relevant and important, and that many commenters thank him for encouraging them to speak a language? Of course not! Buy his book is the only thing he ever ever talks about! Apparently his site is made up of almost a half a million words, that are all “free” for people to read, but it’s all just for show.
  • He’s nothing but an Internet marketer! Sure he doesn’t have any pop-up sign-up ads, cheesy yellow marker outliner reminders, constant tweets, flashing arrows or any other things we associate with them, but he devoted an ENTIRE banner to point to his guide on his main page! It’s so loud!!
  • Another reason his advice can’t work: I disagree with it! He claims to get dozens of emails every week from people thanking him for encouraging them to speak their language, but they obviously feel sorry for him. My goals are to read a language well, and maybe speak some day, although I currently don’t actually really need to use it, therefore I know for a fact that his advice can’t work for anyone, even though he claims he is focused on helping people speak when that is actually their focus. Baloney. My approach of focusing on reading is universally the best to learn ANY language for any body in any situation with any goals!
  • The site he runs is nothing but a magical promise! His definition of fluency is ridiculous! AS IF being able to live your life comfortably and entirely through a language in all ways you would normally do in your native language counts as fluency! He still has an accent! Fluency = Bilingual, EVERYONE knows that!! It may make sense (as he claimed here Fluent in 3 months language missions: Frequently Asked Questions » Fluent in 3 Months ) that the fact that he moves to a new country about every 3 months and aims for fluency, and that he wants to promote high objectives COULD make his blog title make sense, but I don’t have time to read his posts to see what he’s actually about, I need to jump to my conclusions based on his URL! That’s all the info I need!
  • In fact, I haven’t actually read any of his posts, but that’s also irrelevant. I know everything about him based on his blog name and the extremely helpful and accurate accounts from others in this forum.
  • He blocks people who dare to write what he claims are “irrelevant” comments on his blog! If I want to charge in, yell profanities at him, tell him he’s a car salesman, and bring up other points that are not at all related to that blog post, then how dare he delete the comment! I mean, so many people could chime in and we could take over that post with our abuse of him! But NO, he wants to “stay on topic”. What an a-hole!!
  • He has failed in all his missions, and they count for NOTHING! I mean, for example he failed his C2 exam in German! The whole mission counts for nothing! I don’t care if he got an excellent grade in most of the exam in what some might think an impressively short time; that’s all irrelevant since he failed one part out of the five! On top of that he already spoke German on arrival!! He took 5 years of it in school!! And we ALL know how fluent you are after 5 years of barely paying attention and just about passing in school; especially how excellently languages are taught in English speaking countries like Ireland. He had no work at all on arrival and was clearly lying about “not even being able to order a train ticket” on his first trip to Germany. Lies!!
  • He’s a clown! Humour has NO PLACE in language learning. If he writes an April Fools’ post, or a satire forum post mocking the irrationality of what people say about him then that proves that he isn’t worthy of our respect! I demand he take me seriously and accept all the abuse I have to give him!

I read his book. It includes interviews from known polyglots like Stuart jay, prof. Arguellues etc

My final thoughts:

He is a business minded guy just like Steve k. Wanna earn bucks on rehashed contents and ideas.

if you are a smart guy. You know how to learn a language on your own. Listen, listen, listen and read, read and read

@asad Well said! Speaking has no place in languages! ( Listen + read ) x 1 million = fluency! No need for other human beings to help us and give feedback!

Speaking is even part of LingQ.

He’s back! Quick, call the language police!! lol

Seriously long post, Benny.

I’d love to write a long post in reply, but I haven’t the time, unfortunately. Learning how to learn and teach languages effectively is really time-consuming.

You have a very entertaining writing style - do you do videos?

@Skyblu I know, I don’t have time either! It’s been a year since I came into this place because of how much time it can take to talk in circles. Good thing lots of other forum posters DO have lots of time to do nothing but write endless posts about me! We owe them a debt of gratitude for helping make the world a better place by complaining about me so much and echoing one another’s points of view, without bothering with useless things like facts! It’s certainly an excellent use of time!

Why yes, I do videos! I was thinking of uploading several hours of me giving soliloquys to my webcam of how everyone is wrong but me; what do you think? No need for editing, change of scenery, subtitles, culturally relevant documentaries and all that nonsense!


“Why yes, I do videos! I was thinking of uploading several hours of me giving soliloquys to my webcam of how everyone is wrong but me; what do you think?”

How sweet! :wink:
That’s really just wonderful.

You don’t know me…and I don’t know you. I don’t know Steve either for that matter. What I do know is this: you and Steve are saying exactly the same thing. If you could only just join forces and let go of your personal differences, what a force the two of you would be.

The superficial differences you both get so exacerbated about are just details. If only the two of you could see past your differences, and stop the squabbling, and use that positive energy in tango. Wow! What a force that would be!

@Centigua [satire off] I actually agree entirely that working together would be so much more productive. After a terrible start with Steve, I made sure that other polyglots I got in touch with was for collaborative work to collectively encourage language learning based on the many things we agree on. [satire back on]

But the wise and all knowing Steve knows better! Fighting and arguing about differences despite obvious different end-goals is so helpful for everyone! We MUST keep all discussions negative!

[satire off] - The more followers you get, the more well-known you will become (at least on the internet). Get used to being disliked, as it is inevitable. The world is not ideal.
[satire on] - It’s good to have you back here. Planning on signing up for a few discussions? hehe

“He’s nothing but an Internet marketer!”

Firstly, you do, of course, have the right to try sell your book, blog, etc.

All I can say is that, for me, it became noticeable when you switched to “monetizing your blog” because you began to recycle more ideas, both your own and those of others. This is no doubt a natural consequence of you having to produce more. I stopped reading your blog shortly after your switch because I felt there was too much “spin rhetoric” to get through and I hadn’t seen any evidence of you speaking a language fluently after three months of study (which is the concept that attracted me to read your blog from the outset), and I began to feel that it was all aimed at making money. You seemed to be following an established “make money from your blog” formula such as this http://www.entrepreneurs-journey.com/ and that was not what I was looking to devote my reading time to.

Having said that, you do inspire people to broaden their horizons, learn languages, meet other people and believe in themselves which is undoubtedly positive whatever your motives.


Please ignore this and the last post of mine. Seems I have some problems with my iPod touch.

@Adrian Well said! All posts are recycled material. The new story in a completely different country every few months - bah, the same cultural rubbish observations. Posts about particular recent topics like adults learning better than children? Yep, all the same stuff as the other times they were never discussed. The fact that you haven’t read in a year, really helps - I mean how could anything of value have been possibly said since then?

And you’re right, that site is exactly the same!! The pop-up ad that takes over the screen on arrival, the yellow highlighter pen, the sponsor advertisement taking over the sidebar (you have to disable Adblock to see what most people do), and the articles obviously written entirely for search engine optimisation - it’s uncanny!

And there’s no evidence at all of any worthwhile achievements. I mean this video after 2 months of Hungarian is pretty worthless you have to admit! Speaking with mistakes quickly is better than speaking "perfectly" slowly » Fluent in 3 Months , and as stated above, the 4 out of 5 pass on one of the hardest German exams? Worthless! If there is no proof of PRECISELY fluency in 3 months, as is clearly promised as the premise of the entire site, then everything else said is indeed worthless! If there’s success in the current mission it also won’t count, as that’s TWO months to fluency, not three.

Yeah, motives are definitely just money! No passion at all!


You mentioned the C2 German exam above and said you passed four parts and failed one. I guess you are referring to the Goethe-Zertifikat, which presumably has five parts.

Apparently the certificates of the Goethe-Zertifikat C2 are currently: ZOP, das Kleine Deutsche Sprachdiplom (KDS) and das Große Deutsche Sprachdiplom (GDS).

Did you get these certificates? Which part did you fail? And what grades did you get in each of the components, i.e. reading, writing, listening, speaking.

It’s a tough exam.

It’s great that I can actually ask you “in person” as it were :wink:

@Centrigua I failed the listening part and did quite poorly (but still a pass) in the reading part. More details here: I'm Fluent in German! Exam Results and Analysis » Fluent in 3 Months

The one I did was the ZOP, and I sat it in Berlin last summer. I actually did really well in the spoken and written part, but that doesn’t matter! A fail overall is a fail. This is a black and white world remember!! It’s not like my objective was to actually do my best out of experimentation or to give myself a useful deadline and target for force fast progress, and it’s not like I actually promised precisely that at the very start of the mission… (technically not making it a fail based on my initial objective of simply sitting the exam). Minor details!

I’ve also got the C2 in Spanish, which I passed and was awarded the diploma from the Instituto Cervantes with 96% in the oral part. The first of such exams I did was the French B2, which I found too easy, so I’ve only done C2s since. There has to be a reason these counts for nothing… I’m sure the intelligent people here can help us out!!

I can only comment on the content and nature of the blog up until the time I stopped following it regularly. Everyone will, of course, decide for themselves how valuable your content is for them and whether or not they wish to follow your blog. Whether your acheivements are worthwile or not is highly subjective - I find it impressive that you are supporting yourself by blogging and that you have created the opportunity for yourself to travel the world and learn languages the way you do.

I am simply stating that at the point I stopped reading the blog was going in a direction that I felt that I recognized from other blogs and that I, personally, have not previously enjoyed - I am happy to accept that I may be in a minority.

I see no evidence of the 4/5 pass on the German exam (e.g. PDF-file), but if it is true then it certainly is an impressive acheivement whatever your previous time investment. I cannot comment on your level of Hungarian as I don’t speak/understand it myself.

Finally, I think your response above speaks for itself in terms of my “issues” with your rhetoric.

There will never be a serious exchange of ideas between Lingq and Benny unless both sides get their emotions in check, which I do not see happening.

Since no real exchange of ideas is likely to occur (surely you can see this), why don’t both sides agree not to have anything to do with one another.

It’s a smear on both Lingq’s and Benny’s side.
Lingq comes off as somewhat cultist with everyone spouting the teachings of Steve somewhat at random when Benny is mentioned, and well, it’s clear how Benny comes off when responding.

C’est un dialogue de sourds!

"that the fact that he moves to a new country about every 3 months and aims for fluency, and that he wants to promote high objectives COULD make his blog title make sense, "

I am sure you aimed for clarity for your blog title. I am going to start a website, amilliondollarsinoneday.com based on the same principle, and chastise people who “misunderstand”.

Congrats on whatever sales you’ve made, Benny! Run along now.