In a previous post we busted some of the myths around language learning that make it seem difficult or impossible to some learners.
Now it’s time to talk about some of the facts that make language learning easier for some learners than for others.
1. It’s easier for some country’s natives to learn a certain language
Many of the world’s languages have a common ancient root from which they developed. Therefore some words will be similar in Romance languages such as French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian or Catalan, and in Teutonic languages such as German, Dutch, Flemish, Afrikaans, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish and Icelandic. A similar vocabulary, no matter how remotely similar, will give the person an advantage in learning a language that’s from the same family as his.
2. Some people learn a foreign language faster than others
Experienced learners ‘learn how to learn’. They start seeing patterns in grammar rules and with time they develop the ability to know exactly how to take on a new language. Aside from this, there’s the influence of motivation. We each have our own reasons to learn a new language and some reasons are stronger than others. This has a tremendous influence on the energy that we invest in the learning process.
3. Learning a third language is easier than learning the second one
It all comes down to patterns again. Learning your first foreign language can be quite the challenge, mostly because you are not familiar with using new speaking rules. Once you start learning the second foreign language, then the third, and so on, patterns will start coming to light and you will know exactly how to start with any new language.
4. Learning a foreign language abroad is much faster than in your home country
Getting to basic requires will. Getting to fluency requires. But true mastery requires the learner to speak, think and even dream in that particular language. This is difficult to attain even with intensive lessons and the right way to do it is to go and live in a country where that language is spoken.
5. Not everyone can reproduce every sound in a foreign language
Most languages have a few sounds that can prove difficult to pronounce by foreigners. With just a few weeks of practice, most learners manage to pronounce most of those sounds. There are, however, one or two sounds for some languages that still remain difficult to pronounce by any learner, no matter what his or her level is.
These 5 simple facts make language learning easier for some and more difficult for others. We at Mondly prefer to see difficulties as challenges and always try to turn them into opportunities. We hope that language learners will do the same.