The older you get the harder it gets.

General discussion about learning languages
Cainntear
Black Belt - 1st Dan
Posts: 1648
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:04 am
Location: Scotland
Languages: English(N)
Advanced: French,Spanish, Scottish Gaelic
Intermediate: Italian, Catalan, Corsican
Basic: Welsh
Dabbling: Polish, Russian etc
x 3828
Contact:

Re: The older you get the harder it gets.

Postby Cainntear » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:12 pm

Kraut wrote:No, Kaufmann vivo ejemplo

Did he start learning languages late? Cos learning your 8th or 9th additional language is far easier than learning your first, and this is established beyond any doubt or controversy.
0 x

Kraut
Blue Belt
Posts: 822
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:37 pm
Languages: German (N)
French (C)
English (C)
Spanish (A2)
Lithuanian
x 1053

Re: The older you get the harder it gets.

Postby Kraut » Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:37 pm

Here they say he spoke only English up to the age of 17
https://www.sprachheld.de/interview-ste ... ann-lingq/
but he had lived in Sweden up to the age of five and his family were German-speaking Czech Jews.
0 x

User avatar
jeff_lindqvist
Black Belt - 1st Dan
Posts: 1991
Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:52 pm
Languages: sv, en
de, es
ga, eo
---
fi, yue, ro, tp, cy, kw, pt, sk
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=2773
x 4322

Re: The older you get the harder it gets.

Postby jeff_lindqvist » Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:50 pm

According to his book "The Linguist - A Personal Guide to Language Learning" Steve had been learning French at school from the second grade and was surrounded by the French language.

This means that he had some French, but maybe he didn't start learning languages "for real" until he was 17 or thereabouts.
0 x
Leabhair/Greannáin léite as Gaeilge: 9 / 18
Ar an seastán oíche: Oileán an Órchiste
Duolingo - finished trees: sp/ga/de/fr/pt/it
Finnish with extra pain : 100 / 100

Llorg Blog - Wiki

User avatar
mentecuerpo
Green Belt
Posts: 475
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2019 6:15 am
Location: El Salvador, Centroamerica, but lives in Phoenix, Arizona.
Languages: Spanish (N) English (B2) Italian (A2) German (A1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 18#p155218
x 589

Re: The older you get the harder it gets.

Postby mentecuerpo » Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:38 pm

Cainntear wrote:
mentecuerpo wrote:The papers I presented here are research-based.

But none of them describe linear relationships.
What do you think about the Canadian immigrant paper?
Did you read it?

Yes. It doesn't describe a linear relationship.

I can say then that linear stops at age 17 or maybe younger.

You can say it, but the Canadian paper contradicts your hypothesis. It shows a pattern that is repeated across all research in this area:
There is a slow decline in ability to pick up a natural accent in pre-school years, and the decline accelerates during early school years, reaching its fastest around the onset of puberty, then slows again in the early 20s.

i.e. not linear.

FiCTITIOUS EXAMPLE
I am referring to my common sense of anticipation results, not back up by science; it is my opinion. It is fictional and imaginary sample crated by me.

Why? Why invent a fake example? I know what you're claiming, so the made-up example doesn't clarify, and because it's made up, it doesn't support your argument anyway.

Imagine a nuclear family consisting of four monolingual members with no prior knowledge of the English language who immigrated from Vietnam to Canada. On the date of arrival to the new home country, the father is 55-yo, the mother is 48-yo, the older child is 15-yo, and the youngest is 8-yo. They all immigrate together. After five years of living in Canada, we meet the family and assess their language proficiency 0 to 10, ten in better.

Results are as follows:
After five years of living in Canada, native speakers rate the family member's English language proficiency with a simple 0 to 10 scale, ten is native-like pronunciation and prosody.
Dad=3
Mother=4
Older child=6
Younger child=8

...and it's flawed anyway. One thing noted in a lot of Asian immigration is that women often end up spending less time with native speakers and more time with fellow immigrants, so tend to achieve a lower level than men, who typically end up working alongside native speakers and socialising with their workmates. The 7 year difference between husband and wife is likely going to have negligible effects, completely masked by their different social situations.


Cainntear, thank you for reading the article about the Italian immgrants to Canada and give feedback.

So it is not linear after puberty, that is the conclusion from the scientific evidence.

I still think that age plays a role in adulthood.

An adult English as a second language teacher will probably be more qualified to speak on the topic than me for sure. A linguistic who specializes in Language acquisition is more qualified for sure.

Suppose you have a monolingual person, the average joe, with no prior exposure to the target language, and no previous interest in learning languages. Then, this person immigrates to the target language country. For multiple factors, it is my observation, from cases I know, that the age of arrival will influence the proficiency levels reached on the new language, especially pronunciation and language prosody. The person may learn enough vocabulary and simple grammar structure that will allow him to interact in his environment, but the pronunciation and prosody of the language will be harder to acquire with age.

Age will contribute in favor or make it harder to finding a job, to interact outside the social group of immigrants from his same country or language. The age will determine a stronger relationship with his native language, including culturally, psychological, and phonetical muscle memory. This stronger relationship with his L1 will influence his new L2.

It is hard for a Chinese young adult person to learn English well, and I would imagine that the older at time of arrival, will be harder for the person.

I can tell you that I still have a strong English accent, and I need a lot of work in my English Prosody. I have been living in the USA for 11 years and I work using English. I first learned English at age 16 yo with immersion for one year in an American High School. I came to NY at 30 yo, then moved back to El Salvador at 36 yo, then back to the USA in the early 40's. Spanish and English are related languages Indo-European in a way with tons of Latin words in common. It is still hard to learn the language at reasonable levels. If I would have started from Zero English at Age 40's, my current English prosody and pronunciation will be even worse. If my native language were not Spanish, but Chinese, it would be even more challenging for me in the 40's.
0 x

Cainntear
Black Belt - 1st Dan
Posts: 1648
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:04 am
Location: Scotland
Languages: English(N)
Advanced: French,Spanish, Scottish Gaelic
Intermediate: Italian, Catalan, Corsican
Basic: Welsh
Dabbling: Polish, Russian etc
x 3828
Contact:

Re: The older you get the harder it gets.

Postby Cainntear » Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:05 pm

mentecuerpo wrote:So it is not linear after puberty, that is the conclusion from the scientific evidence.

Not linear at any point.
1 x

User avatar
mentecuerpo
Green Belt
Posts: 475
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2019 6:15 am
Location: El Salvador, Centroamerica, but lives in Phoenix, Arizona.
Languages: Spanish (N) English (B2) Italian (A2) German (A1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 18#p155218
x 589

Re: The older you get the harder it gets.

Postby mentecuerpo » Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:32 pm

Cainntear wrote:
mentecuerpo wrote:So it is not linear after puberty, that is the conclusion from the scientific evidence.

Not linear at any point.


At any point from in lifespan or adulthood?
Including childhood in an immerse environment?

You may be referring to the multiple stages you mentioned earlier that make it linear impossible.
Last edited by mentecuerpo on Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
0 x

Cavesa
Black Belt - 3rd Dan
Posts: 3700
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:46 am
Languages: Czech (N), English (C1), French (C2), Spanish (intermediate), German (somewhere on the path), Italian (passive advanced, active basic)
x 11143

Re: The older you get the harder it gets.

Postby Cavesa » Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:50 pm

mentecuerpo wrote:
Cainntear wrote:
mentecuerpo wrote:So it is not linear after puberty, that is the conclusion from the scientific evidence.

Not linear at any point.


At any point from in lifespan or adulthood?
Including childhood in an immerse environment?


Exactly. Not linear even in childhood. And not even in an immersion environment. Neurodevelopment of a child is a complex issue, and absolutely nothing is linear in it.

And the evidence still doesn't include all the factors affecting the results, so you will have drastically different results between individuals of the same age, and they will also have a bit different curves of "brain deterioration".

Claiming anything at all is linear is rather brave, and in this case completely unfounded.
2 x

Cainntear
Black Belt - 1st Dan
Posts: 1648
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:04 am
Location: Scotland
Languages: English(N)
Advanced: French,Spanish, Scottish Gaelic
Intermediate: Italian, Catalan, Corsican
Basic: Welsh
Dabbling: Polish, Russian etc
x 3828
Contact:

Re: The older you get the harder it gets.

Postby Cainntear » Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:22 pm

mentecuerpo wrote:
Cainntear wrote:
mentecuerpo wrote:So it is not linear after puberty, that is the conclusion from the scientific evidence.

Not linear at any point.


At any point from in lifespan or adulthood?
Including childhood in an immerse environment?

You may be referring to the multiple stages you mentioned earlier that make it linear impossible.

All the graphs in the Canadian paper were reverse-S-shaped. To get anything that looks linear, you've got to zoom in extremely close.
1 x

Speakeasy
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2524
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 5:19 pm
Location: Canada (Montréal region)
Languages: English (N), French (C2). Studying: Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Polish, and Russian; all with widely varying degrees of application, enthusiasm, and success.
x 6537

Re: The older you get the harder it gets.

Postby Speakeasy » Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:41 pm

Cainntear wrote: All the graphs in the Canadian paper were reverse-S-shaped. To get anything that looks linear, you've got to zoom in extremely close.
While I appreciate that the following comment is off-topic, I would just like to add that most professionally-trained, government-certified, ocean-going navigators are completely unaware that their “fixes” (fixed position represented by the intersection of two or three linear lines on a chart) are actually “zoomed” versions of circles and/or ellipses. This lack of awareness, combined with errors of observation or of measurement, introduces uncertainty as to the vessel’s actual position; that is, quite often, they are not where they think they are! Fortunately, given the relatively small magnitude of the errors involved, looking out the window should provide a corrected estimated position (assuming that one is not fixing the ship’s position for the purposes of generating oceanic charts). Although I have never looked into the matter, I would not be surprised should the algorithms used in GPS devices/applications contain similar simplifications (intersections of straight lines as opposed to curves). End of digression.
1 x

User avatar
lavengro
Green Belt
Posts: 479
Joined: Wed May 24, 2017 1:39 am
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Languages: ENGLISH (N); FRENCH (A2 - conservatively self-estimated); SPANISH (A1 - recklessly self-asserted); ITALIAN (non parlo italiano - yet - but getting closer); ITHKUIL (only in my nightmares); GERMAN (ich bin ein Anfänger - currently A0); JAPANESE (against my better judgment - barely A0); GÀIDHLIG? (Chan eil drathais orm).
x 1012

Re: The older you get the harder it gets.

Postby lavengro » Wed Jan 15, 2020 6:04 pm

Speakeasy wrote:
Cainntear wrote: All the graphs in the Canadian paper were reverse-S-shaped. To get anything that looks linear, you've got to zoom in extremely close.
While I appreciate that the following comment is off-topic, I would just like to add that most professionally-trained, government-certified, ocean-going navigators are completely unaware that their “fixes” (fixed position represented by the intersection of two or three linear lines on a chart) are actually “zoomed” versions of circles and/or ellipses. This lack of awareness, combined with errors of observation or of measurement, introduces uncertainty as to the vessel’s actual position; that is, quite often, they are not where they think they are!

As much as I generally highly respect your contributions Speakeasy, it appears here you have outted yourself as being a round-earther (a sadly-deluded believer in the quaint but improbable theory that we all live on some sort of marble-shaped globular thingy).

For me and the rest of my fellow flat-earthers, the issue you describe does not present itself at all. And despite your suggestion, we are perfectly aware of where we are: smack dab at some point on a ginormous flat plane, living in constant fear of getting too close to one of Earth's edges.
1 x
"I talk a lot. So I've learned to just tune myself out."
- Kelly Kapoor

Italian : 199 / 330
German : 117 / 605
French : 80 / 780
Japanese : 26 / 460
Gàidhlig : 23 / 170
Heisig : 440 / 2200


Return to “General Language Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: ryanheise and 2 guests