So here we are with a question that I answered in Quora many times already. Now it’s time to get into it, in a bit more detail.
I would like to start by asking the person who is reading this, the following Question:
What is your mother tongue? Or do you have 2 ? Like me…
- Are you a POLYGLOT? A person that speaks multiple languages? If not, then it is not any harder for you to learn any other language then it’s for people who speak multiple languages already. Really.
So depending on your answer and if you already speak 2 or more languages, or not, I will start by saying that ANY language can be learned. Depending on you background or to be more specific, your mother tongue/s it now depends on WHAT language you would like to learn. Some are a bit easier to learn then others, but it really depends on your mother tongue and your AGE. There is no magic gene that makes things easier for some people to learn languages, but there is determination and age. Time is of course another important factor.
- Just like me, my daughter is now learning her 3rd language. She is 8 years old. I am also teaching her a fourth language, and on top of that she is fascinated by LATIN. One of those languages which is slowly disappearing, but will always be around since many languages have their roots in Latin. And the Catholic Church still uses it on a daily basis.
If, your mother tongue is English, it’s one of mine, then learning languages like German / Dutch / Danish /Swedish and Norwegian will be fairly simple to learn.
- If, your mother tongue is Spanish, then the following languages will be of ease for you to learn: English / Italian / French.
- If, your mother tongue is Chinese then we are talking a whole new ball game. Obviously it will be a bit harder to learn French or any European language, if your a native Chinese speaker, but it’s definitely very possible, and doable. It’s a matter of DETERMINATION and the will to learn. If you set your mind to it, you will be successful!
WHY do you want to learn a particular language?
- What is your personal motive to learn a new language? Is it “personal”or is it “business” related? Or is there another reason?
The reason to why, is just as important as the how. This is a huge motivational tool for most of us. If you were transferred or have moved to another country, like me, at an early age, then the why is simple: You have to learn it, since you are now in a country that no longer speaks your native language at school. I personally went thru that 3 times as a young child. It’s absolutely doable and it’s easy, since you JUST DO IT.
- When I visited the city where I graduated from Senior High School from, which is Vancouver, Canada, in 2015, I met a very nice man. His name was Tim. He was originally from Vietnam and he was running for the office of Mayor of Vancouver. He came to Canada about 25 years ago and when I met him he was around 60 years old. When I started to talk to him, I was amazed how “BAD” his English was, especially after 25 years living and working in Canada.
- After a while we talked about that, and he explained to me WHY his English was as bad as it was. Sorry Tim, but you could have done a bit better…nevertheless he was OK with it. His explanation was easy: When he still lived in Vietnam, they taught English in school, BUT his English teacher was not a native English speaker, so he and his classmates learned “bad” English from the beginning. And that is hard to correct at that age when he immigrated to Canada.
- Not that you could not understand him, but when he pronounced specific important words, his pronunciation was really bad. So IF you are running for Mayor, certain words have to come out and sound right! The rest is not important, since Vancouver and Canada is build on immigration, and I know how hard it is to learn a language when you already have a somewhat “bad” or false foundation.
WHICH language would YOU choose, IF you could choose one?
- Depending on which language you would choose, here are my favorites.
- SPANISH, because more people speak Spanish then English worldwide. Over 400 Million that is.
- ITALIAN, since it’s a beautiful language with all kinds of beautiful “things” they have in Italy, like cars, fashion and food to name just a few.
- LATIN, since it’s one of the first language and also a BASE language. Many languages have their roots in Latin. Maybe that’s why the Catholic Church to this day teaches and preaches in Latin. A lot…
- ENGLISH is definitely one of them, since its so widely used that without it, you better don’t start to travel. Wherever your private or business life will take you, without English, you will be kinda lost…WHY you may ask? Well, because it’s the # 1 business language of the world. Please see this post to find out more: https://englishfastfun.com/7-reasons-to-learn-english
HOW FAST is FAST? Or how fast can I learn a language? Not fast enough…well it does take time.
Well, it depends on your AGE, your DETERMINATION and your available TIME. Then of course we can not forget about your learning environment. Are you now living in the country, where you will learn this new language?
Or, are you in a school environment in your own country and/or you (your parents) just want you to learn another language? Or just maybe, do you have a private tutor? All these factors combined determine HOW FAST she/he or you will learn.
- Please note that most schools teach a 2nd language as early as grade 2 or 3, sometimes even in grade 1. Is the earlier better? Sometimes, because we are ALL individuals and there is no perfect solution for all. But the earlier the better. A NO stress environment is usually best. Meaning: PLEASE start with numbers. To learn numbers first, is important, since they are part of our day to day activity when we have to use money to pay for “stuff “.
- If you’re a young child between the ages of 2 and 10 you will learn really fast. In about 3-9 month you are probably speaking, understanding and have perfect or near perfect pronunciation. This of course in most cases, not all. There are also ” other ” variables in play, that might affect the ability of learning a language in a positive, but also in a negative way. To get deeper into these variables, would be too time-consuming, and I hope you, the reader understands.
- My own daughter is also learning English with NYC. Well just because its really FUN and in school, most kids do not speak good or very good English. They think they do…but they don’t. And after school they go back to their dialect.
- So the older you get, LEARNING a new language usually gets harder, but then again, everything gets a bit harder when you get older. Especially learning a NEW language. Some exceptions also apply to this rule.
- REPETITION is a key word when learning a new language, and IF you have the time to repeat the things that you learned on that day more then twice, then you will get the JOB done much faster.
- Also, try to WATCH / LISTEN / WRITE and try to SPEAK in the language that you are trying to learn with native speakers, as much as you can. This will help you with your pronunciation, for sure!
Different APPS to learn different languages
- Here are some of the most common apps to learn different languages other than English. Some are for Free, depending on your operating system, while others do cost money.
- The ANKI app. On windows its free, while apple charges you $25. Not sure…since I got rally confused with all the google results, only 358,000 results. https://www.ankiapp.com/
- The Duolingo app. Its great for BEGINNERS. At this point I have to be honest, I did not try or use it, jet. But if you use different search engines, you will, as usual, find many different opinions and answers. Duolingo can learn many different languages to a certain point. Than I would recommend someone or something else. So lets agree to disagree? Thanks. Here is it: https://www.duolingo.com/
- Here is an interesting one that is supported by the European Regional Development Fund. It supports and teaches 13 languages, so not bad. I looked into it myself and its really not bad. Try it out to learn German,French, Italian, Spanish and many others. Here it is: https://www.babbel.com/
- Last but not least. Busuu. It supports 12 different languages and its FREE. So go ahead and try it out: https://www.busuu.com/
Just in case you want to LEARN English now, please CLICK on the pic below and it will take you to the NYC Shop. A Coach is also included for many countries, depending on what your mother tongue is. Please see below and CLICK.
Please leave me a comment, if you feel that I am wrong or right about something here. Or just let me know what YOU think about my post.