You are probably familiar with the great benefits learning a foreign language can give you. It trains your brain, improves your memory, increases your cultural awareness, and helps you connect with people around the world. Still, what holds you back from speaking another language? Below are 5 common excuses from adults who are hesitant about learning a new language. Have you made any of these?
“I’m too old.”
Many of us believe that language learning comes easier for children than for adults. You may even think it’s too late to pick up a new language now, since you didn’t study one in your childhood. However, children have only two benefits over lifelong learners. First, they acquire more native-like accents. Second, they do not suffer from self-defeating thoughts like ‘What if I sound silly to a native speaker?’ Overall, there is an abundance of people who started and succeeded in learning a foreign language in their 30s, 40s, and even after. Read more about learning a foreign language as an adult!
“I don’t have the language gene.”
Seeing how other people may speak two or three languages, you might attribute their skills to their natural abilities. However, you may not know all the hard work they put into achieving that level of mastery. Instead, you give the excuse that you are just “not good at languages” when you expect quick results with little effort. For instance, you believe you should achieve a high level of fluency in Russian in just one month. In reality, it takes quite a bit longer (unless you are a genius!). In fact, acquiring a new language takes time and persistence. It is totally okay to feel challenged and overwhelmed sometimes.
“The language I want to learn is too difficult.”
Absolutely, a language like Spanish may come easier to English speakers than other languages, and you may have already taken courses in Spanish and been satisfied with your progress. But imagine if you then decided to tackle Japanese or Russian! These languages are very different and require much more time and practice. As a result, you may give up on your Russian class too easily, giving the excuse that it’s just too difficult. However, it is possible to master a more unfamiliar language. As we already know, what’s stopping you is not lack of the “language gene” and it is not your age. You just need enough patience and discipline to consistently overcome challenges, look for answers, and practice, practice, practice.
“I don’t have enough time.”
As human beings, we tend to be busy. So many things require our time: work, family, and friends, to name a few. You think you cannot fit a language learning session into your already tight schedule. However, even though it takes hours to reach a certain level of fluency, just ten minutes of studying a day will do it. Yes, it sounds as if it’s not enough, but it’s a realistic start, since you are actually likely to free up ten minutes in your daily schedule. Then, after you stick with ten minutes a day for a while, you can extend it to 20 minutes, then 30 minutes. Do not forget to have fun!
“Everyone speaks English anyway.”
English has become an international language, and the tourism industry around the world largely operates in English. When you are on vacation in a popular tourist destination, you may find you can comfortably communicate in English with the people around you. Yet what if you don’t want to stick to the beaten path and instead prefer to explore places outside the tourist zone? In order to find hidden treasures, visit places only locals know about, and understand the culture from the local perspective, you will need to know languages other than English.
Ready to stop making excuses and start communicating with new people worldwide? Make the leap and learn a foreign language with Bridge in downtown Denver! Questions? Read our FAQs about foreign language courses.