Too Old To Learn? | SpanishDict Answers
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9 Vote

So,

I'm in my 30's and back in school going for an M.B.A. I decided that it might be wise to learn to speak some 'conversational' Spanish,' as I have noticed that many, many corporate postions have the 'Spanish-speaking-is-a-plus' addendum added to their job postings!!

Anyway, the class that I signed up for is called Elementary Spanish I. It deals only with present tense grammar; however, there are over 100 words a week we are required to learn, and at times it is very daunting. With that, so many of the verb conjugations all seem the same, and I get confused very easily.

Now, as I said, I'm in my 30's and the rest of the class falls between the ages of 20-27. They seem to be doing OK. Makes me wonder if I am just too old to learn new ways.

Anyone else out there feel, or have felt the same? How about you younger cats; any advice for an old dog learning new tricks??

  • Posted Apr 7, 2012
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  • Welcome to the forum. =) - NikkiRivera Apr 7, 2012 flag
  • Welcome to the forum Chris - pmikan-pam Apr 7, 2012 flag
  • 30 !!?? not a chance in H**l mate - There are people on here much closer to 80 :) - ian-hill Mar 14, 2013 flag

16 Answers

8 Vote

All I can say is you are never too old to learn, in fact, I think that is what keeps us young!

7 Vote

Hi KingCrispy,

In my humble opinion, no one is too old to learn anything, especially a new language. I learned French late in life and was able to master it to fluency. Adults learn differently than children. Children take new things in and make them their own. Adults tend to want to relate new learning to what they already know.

My advice to adults learning a foreign language is think of the new language as an extension of your own. That is, you now have two ways of saying a word (House in English and Casa in Spanish). Trick your brain to relate to the image of a house whenever you come across the word casa. The rest just requires patience, memorization. and good disposition.

Last, the ability to take constructive criticism and not being afraid of mispronouncing or making a mistake is also capital when learning a new language. The fact that you may speak with an accent is a clear indication that you already speak more than one language, which is an advantage over people who only speak their native language.

Welcome aboard!

7 Vote

I am 68 years old, so retaining what I learned isn't always easy. However, I try to review what I previously learned. I use flashcards for the more difficult verbs, and I take lots of quizzes on this site and on others.

How badly you want to learn Spanish will determine how much time you spend in this endeavor. When I take a train, or if I have a doctor's appointment, I take a book or flashcards with me so I can practice my Spanish. I watch a couple of Spanish programs and spend an hour or two on Spanishdict.

So engage your heart in your challenge to study Spanish. I guarantee you that it will finally click, and you be glad you didn't give up. It's such a beautiful language.

  • Good for you. Eres una gran inspiración y el mejor ejemplo. And very kind. Thank you. - igual2 Mar 15, 2013 flag
6 Vote

Thirty is old???? Uh-oh, I better throw in the towel... ;o) The first piece of advice is, "don't compare yourself to anyone else, learn at your own pace". Keep the reason for your learning at the forefront and as long as you are progressing, no matter how little it seems to be, you are heading toward that goal. You may also have family concerns at 30 that 20 year-olds may not have, and won't be able to move as fast.

2 years ago I could only say Mexican restaurant foods and a few Spanish words that all Americans know like 'hasta la vista'. I'm not fluent, but I can now put sentences together and express myself in a way that is understood and can also understand most of what is being said to me, missing only some details. It's easier to learn at 30 than 40+, so don't give up.

The first 6 months are the hardest because you are learning the scaffolding of the language so everything will be absoultely new. When something is new, it takes time and repetition for it to become common to you.

But once you get some vocabuary down, get a general idea how to use nouns, and then verb tenses that go with them, it will give you something to build on instead of starting totally from scratch, then it gets easier. Many beginners give up on a language because this 1st six months seems so overwhelming.

  • I also want to add how much Spanish has changed my perspective of everything. Although I'm only in 8th grade, I think totally different than how I did two years ago. It's such a rewarding feeling to finally understand a concept that had been so troubling! - 5454CkMac Apr 7, 2012 flag
  • Good for you CK! Wonderful answer Katy!:) - rac1 Apr 7, 2012 flag
  • I agree with you CK! I am in 9th grade and started seriously learning about a year ago. I love being able to understand people who are speaking in a different language. - t1funnyface Apr 9, 2012 flag
5 Vote

Wow, thank you all SO MUCH for your input; I think I am going to like it here!! So far, I am maintaining an 85 average in class, so I'm doing OK, but it does get overwhelming!!

Thank you all again, so much!!

By the way, mi nombre es Chris wink

4 Vote

I know we have people in their late 70's who are learning Spanish here. If Ray 76 was not on vacation he would certainly have a lot to say about this. I myself am no spring chicken, so do not let your age stop you. It is never too late to learn a language and you have the great benefit of the fact that language learning is very good for the mind because keeping your mind active is a way to stave off Alzheimer's. It's a step by step process. Do something every day and don't give up. It's worth it.

Bilingual brains

4 Vote

In my Spanish class we are all over sixty, except for a thirtysomething young lady.

3 Vote

Its never too late to learn!

It all may seem confusing at first but trust me it will get better.

One tip that I have is listen to online podcasts. There are plenty of podcasts online for beginners that will use simple grammar and vocab. Another tip is in your free time, check out the grammar videos on this site. They helped me when I just started out, as well. As your vocab and grammar expands, you might want to start reading books in Spanish or watching Spanish TV. And about flashcards, I read somewhere that it only takes about 10 times of repeating the word to get it in your brain. Try printing out pictures of the definition and associate them with the flashcard, that will most likely help you with your memorization.

Who knows, you might find that you like the language and will want to learn more even past a Elementary level!

Good luck! -Brady

  • They helped me too Brady!:) - rac1 Apr 7, 2012 flag
2 Vote

Not to be rude in any way, but if you are finished in your 30's - then you`re in real trouble!

Of course you`re not too old grin A good tip is stop comparing yourself to others, younger or older, we all learn in a different tempo. Remember it's not a competition, it's about learning grin

As long as you have:

  1. MOTIVATION
  2. STAMINA

you will be fine grin

Good luck!

2 Vote

si se puede! no te des por vencido!

  • Good advice! This post has been an encouragement to me too.:) - rac1 Apr 7, 2012 flag
2 Vote

I'm almost 63, and someimes it seems things just don't stick in my mind like they used to. You just have to keep plugging away. On the verbs - it's actually a good thing that regular verbs all follow a pattern. If you had to learn 16 or more tense conjugations for each verb, it would be impossible! All you need is the patterns, and try to remember those that have irregularities.

Hang in there, and buena suerte.

2 Vote

You are never to old to learn!smilesmile

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1 Vote

I am not going to tell you my age, but it is over 30. It is never too late to learn.

Some people find learning a new language easy. Others, like me, find it difficult. However, I keep in mind that everyone eventually learns their native tongue, so it must not be impossible. One needs more words, more grammar rules and more practice, practice, practice. This site can help you with all three.

Rome wasn't built in a day. Once you learn a word, you learn it forever. It's like you are building a brick house and every word is a brick. If you just keep adding those bricks on top of each other, eventually you will have the walls built.

If you make excuses and never learn the words and how to use them, you will lack comprehension and the ability to express yourself. You literally will not have the words.

1 Vote

I'm 50 years old. Am I too old? I don't think so.

0 Vote

30 !!?? You must be joking mate ha ha

There are people on here much closer to 80 smile

old people photo: OLD PEOPLE imageHEAVENFR.jpg

Entiendes?

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