Fluent in 3 Months: How “Why Italian Is Easy” by Benny Lewis Takes Newbies to Fluency
As you progress from your newbie days through beginner, intermediate and advanced levels of the Italian language, you’ll find yourself always in need of new materials.
All this change can be exciting, but it’s also wonderfully comforting to find solid, steady learning materials that will last you the entire length of your language learning journey.
Read on to discover one example of such a resource.
- “Why Italian is Easy” by Benny Lewis
- Who Should Read “Why Italian Is Easy”?
- The Principles Behind “Why Italian Is Easy”
- Sneak Preview: What’s Inside “Why Italian Is Easy”
- My Final Thoughts on “Why Italian Is Easy”
- And One More Thing...
“Why Italian is Easy” by Benny Lewis
Fluent in 3 Months, and the site’s acclaimed e-book “Why Italian Is Easy,” fall into the category of evergreen learning materials.
This is because they don’t just target certain language skills—sure, they do get into some of the nitty-gritty details of the language’s vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation, but more on that later. Rather, they focus on improving your mind’s receptiveness to the Italian language.
Yeah, that might sound like some new age mumbo-jumbo, but it’s for real.
If you’re in the beginning stages of Italian or haven’t yet gone abroad, then “Why Italian Is Easy” by Benny Lewis from Fluent in 3 Months (FI3M) is something you’ll want to invest in.
Not only that, you’ll want to take the opportunity to delve into the whole collection of Italian learning resources on FI3M.
The complete collection is worth investing in at the intermediate and advanced stages as well. Oh, and if you’re planning to start from scratch with another new language at some point, I’d make this investment right now.
The Conversation Countdown program will get you up and running because it’s a great tool to get over any fears of using a new language. FI3M Premium is a cool collection of tips, guidance, materials and resources and is effective at any level of learning.
You can visit our General Learner blog to learn more about Conversation Countdown and FI3M Premium. Here, we’re going to be talking about the “Why Italian Is Easy” e-book.
Who Should Read “Why Italian Is Easy”?
Don’t hesitate to start reading “Why Italian Is Easy” if you:
- Have tried and failed before. Did you get bad grades in an Italian class? Did you start studying enthusiastically and watch your interest slowly peter out? Did you go abroad to Italy and somehow learn nothing about Italian? None of these things means that you’re less adept than others with languages, or that learning Italian will be more difficult for you than it is for other people. The “Why Italian Is Easy” e-book will show you why.
- Have been dreaming of learning Italian forever, but never get started. You’ve been longing to travel to the boot, devour delicious pasta, climb a mountain of cannoli, effortlessly order an espresso and stroll casually through Rome or Milan while chatting with locals along the way. You love Italian cinema, opera, art or music with an undying passion. Yet… you never create or stick with a real game plan for learning the language. Then don’t hesitate to start reading this e-book.
- Think you won’t be able to master the sing-song pronunciation. Not only will “Why Italian Is Easy” show you how easy Italian pronunciation is, it will train your tongue to start forming the most authentic Italian sounds.
- Just started learning Italian on your own. The internet has opened up a whole new world for potential language learners. There are entire textbooks, courses and language programs available entirely online, as evidenced by the existence of FluentU and FI3M. While this makes solo-learning more accessible, it can also make learners become more isolated. Meanwhile, there’s nothing more important for fluency than having conversations with real, live, Italian-speaking people. “Why Italian Is Easy”—along with the rest of the FI3M package—will help you connect, interact and get feedback and encouragement from fellow learners and native speakers.
- Tremble at the thought of speaking with a native Italian speaker. You might have some silly excuse like, “I don’t know any vocabulary,” “I can’t form full Italian sentences yet” or even “Give me a break! I just started studying yesterday!”. Hogwash. Reading the “Why Italian Is Easy” book can get you started sharing your Italian with others today.
The Principles Behind “Why Italian Is Easy”
All right, so from what I’ve already described, it might sound like I’m overselling this e-book. An e-book can’t really do that much, eh?
Believe me, I was just as skeptical before exploring “Why Italian Is Easy” and the rest of the materials in the complete package that’s on offer this week.
You’re looking at a rather cynical reviewer right here.
However, I approached this book with two things in mind: (1) I’ve already learned one language (Spanish) to fluency through in-country immersion and (2) I’m a would-be heritage speaker (my Italian grandfather tried to teach me when I was little) who formally studied Italian in college, and while I’ve got some of the fundamentals down to this day, I’ve never progressed beyond the beginner level (sorry, Pop Pop).
I know what it’s like to succeed and maintain language learning long-term since I did that with Spanish. And I know what it’s like to have the desire to learn Italian and not follow through—as hard as that last fact is to face up to.
Reading “Why Italian Is Easy” made me realize why I succeeded with Spanish and why I did not succeed with Italian. With Spanish, I followed the very principles of language learning that this book is suggesting. These principles are:
- You need to have the correct mindset and attitude. A mindset is how you think about the language and the process of learning. An attitude is how you feel about learning the language, and how you respond to setbacks and achievements. But what do the “correct” mindset and attitude look like? I’m afraid I can’t really do that justice here. You’ll need to read “Why Italian Is Easy” to get the full explanation—but I promise, this is made abundantly clear in the introduction and first main part of the book.
- You need to learn how to learn. If you’ve only learned Italian in a formal classroom environment, or you’ve only attempted to learn with your nose in a dusty textbook, then you’re doing it wrong. If you’ve never spoken to a native speaker or gotten any feedback from others, you’re doing it wrong. If you love the idea of Italian but the learning process hasn’t been extremely fun so far, then you’re doing it wrong!
Looking back on my own time spent learning Italian, I quickly realized that I’ve experienced all three of these things. Oops! I studied in a classroom, never spoke to native speakers and never used fun materials that related to my personal interests—so the joy was quickly sucked out of learning.
The “Why Italian Is Easy” book will put your finger on the reset button. Drop the methods that haven’t been working, refresh your brain and learn how to learn in a fun, exciting and confidence-boosting way. Once you’ve learned how to learn, your long-term relationship with Italian can finally begin.
- Seeing basic grammar and vocabulary will show you that language learning is way easier than you thought. You’ve probably blown the difficulty of learning the Italian language out of proportion. It might seem like a huge, overwhelming goal. The thought of fluency being years away might be disheartening. This book actually finds time to dig into basic grammar and vocabulary, giving you a taste of how simple Italian can be.
Sneak Preview: What’s Inside “Why Italian Is Easy”
Now, take a good, hard look at this e-book. We’ll give you an exclusive preview that you can’t get anywhere else.
That’s not the complete table of contents, but I’ll give you a good idea of what to expect.
Part One: Getting Started
This introductory section will train your brain. As I mentioned before, mindset and attitude are vital in learning Italian, and Benny will walk you through the process of getting in “the learning zone.” You’ll learn how to react when things go wrong, how to better recognize and appreciate your Italian accomplishments and how to enjoy every step of the learning experience. This is what’s going to keep you moving forward long-term, no matter what challenges you face.
After you’ve read this part, shut down the e-book and stop reading for a while. Switch gears and try the Conversation Countdown with these principles in mind. Once you’ve completed the full seven days of Conversation Countdown, have created an introduction about yourself, learned your first Italian words and phrases, gotten encouragement from other learners and chatted with a native Italian speaker, then you can come back to the e-book. Of course, this is just my personal recommendation based on how all the materials worked best for me.
Part Two: Speaking Italian
Yes, we’re jumping right into speaking Italian, before anything else! You might have glanced ahead in this section of my review and noticed that both grammar and words come later. How can you speak Italian without grammar and words? There’s a way—and if that piques your curiosity, this will be a fun and satisfying read.
This section will reinforce everything you learned in Conversation Countdown and build on it, giving you essential information to get you up to the intermediate level of Italian and beyond.
Part Three: Grammar
Once you’re feeling good about speaking Italian, you can choose to review this grammar section. If you’re a complete beginner with little to no knowledge of grammar, I’d recommend you only use this as a supplemental reference material rather than your first course on Italian grammar. It’s a pretty minimalist take on grammar fundamentals, so it’s hard to learn grammar from scratch here.
Instead, beginners can just quickly scan through this section and get familiar with grammar terms and rules. If you know another Romance language, much of this will feel intuitive. Upper-beginner and higher-level learners, go ahead and refresh your knowledge by reading this more carefully.
Part Four: Words
This brief section will give you a head-start with Italian vocabulary building, as it points out which Italian words are easiest to learn. It also introduces you to mnemonic devices and how to apply them to Italian
Bonus Features! The “Why Italian Is Easy” e-book doesn’t end there. There are two more interesting miniature e-books that come with it.
- The Italian Online Immersion Sample Daily Schedule — How can you fit your Italian studies into a busy schedule? Here’s what a day of Italian immersion might look like, even if you’re totally swamped with personal and professional commitments.
- The Italian Digital Immersion Setup Guide — How many times have you touched your smartphone today? Seriously, I dare you to count and figure that number out. I bet it’s already into the double-digits, if you’re like many modern folks who rely on their smartphone for social media, email, phone calls, text messages, scheduling, making notes, taking pictures and more. This guide will teach you to turn your smartphone into a full-on Italian immersion center, even if you’re not good with technology.
Online immersion is such a powerful learning strategy, as Benny highlights. Living the culture right at home will help you start thinking in the language and speak it more naturally.
So how do you get started with this? Try a virtual immersion program. FluentU, for example, offers an array of culturally-relevant short videos with interactive subtitles.
FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
My Final Thoughts on “Why Italian Is Easy”
Overall, I’ve gotten a very good impression of the tips, tricks, resource recommendations and personal touches of the “Why Italian Is Easy” book. It will show you that the true ease of learning Italian comes from within.
If you get on top of your mindset and attitude, and if you get yourself familiarized with the basics of Italian at the onset of learning, study sessions will flow more easily and naturally than you previously thought possible.
I’ve already enjoyed refreshing my knowledge of Italian with this e-book, so I can safely say that beginners and intermediates alike will benefit from this resource. Oh, and the best part: Many of the language learning lessons presented here are ones that I obtained through a massive, and at times painful, amount of trial and error when learning Spanish.
Having the “Why Spanish Is Easy” book would probably have saved me quite a bit of time and suffering in the early stages of learning that language.
I’ve also spotted some of the reasons why I actually prevented myself from sticking with Italian beyond the beginner level. Don’t even risk wasting your time trying to learn the wrong way and giving up. Grab yourself a copy of the “Why Italian Is Easy” e-book.
Nobody ever regretted getting a head-start when learning a language.
And One More Thing...
If you're as busy as most of us, you don't always have time for lengthy language lessons. The solution? FluentU!
Learn Italian with funny commericals, documentary excerpts and web series, as you can see here:
FluentU helps you get comfortable with everyday Italian by combining all the benefits of complete immersion and native-level conversations with interactive subtitles. Tap on any word to instantly see an image, in-context definition, example sentences and other videos in which the word is used.
Access a complete interactive transcript of every video under the Dialogue tab, and review words and phrases with convenient audio clips under Vocab.
Once you've watched a video, you can use FluentU's quizzes to actively practice all the vocabulary in that video. Swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you’re on.
FluentU will even keep track of all the Italian words you’re learning, and give you extra practice with difficult words. Plus, it'll tell you exactly when it's time for review. Now that's a 100% personalized experience!
The best part? You can try FluentU for free with a trial.
Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)