What made you wary of language learning?

General discussion about learning languages
Blue Belt
Posts: 964
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:41 pm
Languages: Am. English (N), German, French, ASL (abandoned), Spanish, Dutch, Italian, Japanese
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=12230
x 1550

Re: What made you wary of language learning?

Postby golyplot » Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:05 am

Until I encountered Duolingo and the online polyglot community, I didn't think it was possible for adults to learn languages at all. I also thought I wasn't really cut out for language learning (I had mandatory German classes in high school, but it was one of my worst subjects)
3 x

User avatar
Blue Belt
Posts: 573
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2017 4:53 am
Location: Houston, Texas
Languages: EN (N), ES (intermediate), DE (beginner)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7636
x 1379

Re: What made you wary of language learning?

Postby coldrainwater » Sat Jun 15, 2019 10:35 pm

A good way to get lost finding an answer to a question like this is to persistently look in the wrong century. I finished high school in 1999 and my prior language courses (ES) were uber-simple, marginal, inefficient and ineffective. Complements aside, they did not discourage me and in fact left me in a viable position to take up the gauntlet again in college via a far stronger program. I knew people in the program and am confident I could have hit intermediate had I taken it as an elective. Any coursework there would not have been wasted. However, it would have been granted at most elective status for a few semesters. In the end, logistics and my own reasoning pointed me away from further langauge courses (100% strange in hindsight since many of my best friends were international multilingual students and I even lived in what they called the language dorm). In the back of my mind and forefront of my thinking I knew that I would need to compete directly against experienced language learners, false beginners, natives, heritage natives and others with at least one language learned to an advanced level. I felt I could probably pull a sympathy B or B- with my usual bag of student tricks, but at the expense of far too much time (physics major, heavy in sciences and math). Short semesters + heavy science courses + me as a neophyte langauge learner didn't seem like a smart idea in such a competitve landscape, so I went another route (and for the record had some amazing courses in other areas that I loved all the same).

I did know that I could teach myself (but not how), yet reflecting on it, my first two years of college were amazing and jam packed with new life experiences to the ponit that a language simply would not have made the cut. Prior to graduation, I became caught up in learning nutrition/physiology/strength training as an autodidact and later pursued finance/accounting/MPA in grad school. I can't recall having anything against language learning in my 20's, but it was rather that living in the US as a monolingual, then out of college and sadly away from almost everything language related, the subject almsot never came up. Almost noone in my hometown had any need to learn a language as an adult and were almost totally monolingual (if they knew another language, they could have hidden it from the Almighty herself). I had to reject several of my proposed answers to this question on account of inaccuracy due to poor memory and snap judgement. Upon reflection, I think my real resasoning and life circumstances reflect as I stated above.
2 x

White Belt
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:01 pm
Languages: chinese(N),
x 11

Re: What made you wary of language learning?

Postby julio » Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:19 pm

there are a lot of words or phrases I cant understand ,thanks to google I can understand most of them. but there are always words i cant understand anyway.
for me ,the words which cant learn,even cant guess is the biggest problem,
1 x

White Belt
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:39 pm
Languages: Spanish (N)
x 27

Re: What made you wary of language learning?

Postby Baeticus » Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:30 am

rdearman wrote:perfection is the enemy of the good.

What a wise advice!

In my opinion, there are two main limiting beliefs:

'I will never speak/write like a native speaker, which is embarrasing'
No, you won't be like a native, BUT using a correct method you will be able to communicate with others fluently in a couple of years. By the way, why is it suppossed to be embarrasing? Am I the only one who still makes mistakes and learns new words of his own native language almost every day?

'I'm too old to learn a language, that is a thing that must be done when you are still a child'
No, you are too old to make such bad excuses.

And of course... the way languages are taught in most of schools is so boring!
4 x
Please, correct my mistakes in any language.

Return to “General Language Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 2 guests