Challenges with Learning a New Language

Challenges with Learning a New Language

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Oh, you are trying to learn a new language?  Have you ever tried to learn a new language before?  If you are a native English speaker this can be one of hardest things in the world.  Let me explain…

I don’t think it’s hard based on the reason you may think, i.e. other languages are confusing, other languages words are pronounced funny, or other languages don’t have a consistent understanding or meaning of the words they use.

From my jump into the pool of languages, I have found it is the complete opposite. I will now attempt to break down my reasons for saying other languages are hard to learn if you are an native English speaker as I am.

English is the hardest language to learn.  This in turn makes for a skeptical learning experience with other languages.

Think about it.  When you are taught English you find that every rule that was created for it to be easily understood, spoke, and read are all broken when using depending on the situation.

For example:

  1. i comes before e except after c.  – there are at least 542 words that don’t follow this rule.  One word being – ancient
  2. Ending a sentence with a preposition.
  3. Beginning a sentence with and or but.

There are more rules that are like this, but when using a language it should be used in the way it sounds and the way it is spoken.  This is completely my opinion and I am not a linguist by no stretch of the word.

So, this is to say that many other languages words are pronounced how the letters in their alphabet sounds. Because of this, it makes it hard for other language’s to learn how to speak “correct” English.  Even we, as native English speakers, do not speak “correct” English, and a lot of us barely passed English class and this is the only language we know.

If you have been learning English your whole life and have not mastered the language because of all of the rules and exceptions of those same rules when you try to learn another language you are expecting the same.  Where they have rules and many rule exceptions, which lead you to being skeptical and waiting for your other language teacher to tell you but there are exceptions.

Learning another language is going to be tedious take a long time.

I think this depends on a couple of factors.

  1. Who’s teaching
  2. Your capacity to learn the language like a baby – meaning forget the language you already know and stop trying to translate in your head.
  3. Your reason for learning
  4. If you are trying to communicate vs have perfect fluency.

Learning can be fun and exciting but this is directly affected by your reason, your teacher, and your goal.

Influenced by other opinion of language learning.

I think this may be the biggest problem with learning another language.  If you know someone who say’s they tried to learn another language and they said it was just so hard or they said it’s really complicated.

When you are creating your mental picture of learning a new language based on another person’s challenges with learning the language can create a blockage when you are trying to learn.  So don’t ask other what they think about what you are trying to do when taking on a new language.

Native English speakers think everyone should already know English around the world so there is no reason I should learn any other language.

Native English speakers tend to have an air of pride when it comes to language learning.  Everyone does not speak English and truth is everyone shouldn’t speak English, unless they want to learn it.  Usually what happens is when a native English speaker travels out of the country they expect everyone to try to understand their language instead of at least trying to communicate in the native language of the country you are visiting.  It is a big world out there and you should visit it all, but to do that you are going to have to step out of your English box and learn some new languages.

Once you take that mindset and take on the challenge you may find that it is fun and with each new language it opens up a new place to visit in the world.  You may find when visiting it is a place you may want to stay for an extended about of time.  Learning the language of the country will enhance your experience anywhere you go.

Let me know in the comments of any challenges you experience when trying to learn a new language or any pointers you have learned while doing it.

What's your perspective?