Why is learning spanish hard when your older?
No mucha esperanza para mí entonces.
Voy a tener que retirarse con gracia.
Not much hope for me then .
I'll have to bow out gracefully.
I am 70 and started learning with some seriousness two years ago. I had had a smattering of Spanish in my 30s, but then did not even try to remember or speak it until 35 years later.! Yes it is hard, no denying that, but SO rewarding. My level is Intermediate and I "get by" in most situations, but not all. If I am speaking with a Spaniard, I can certainly get the gist of the conversation, just miss out on some fine details. But how I wish I had started 20 years ago or even earlier.
I too had a lapse of memory in a shop recently. I was trying to buy a feather pillow and for the life of me could not remember the word for feathers. There I was at the age of 70 doing an impression of a chicken to help the understanding of the assistant. It worked!! But they didn't sell feather pillows, so all in vain! hahaha!
How old are you Achu?? I am 58, I started learning Spanish when I was 53. I have come from nothing to a level of fluency in 5 years. I'm not saying it hasn't been hard, it has, but we do not lose our ability to learn just because we've gotten a bit older. Yes, we get distracted with life, something that children don't have to deal with, that's one of the reasons that is seems harder for older adults.
Achu, you've only just started learning it. I'm 56 and just started a couple of months ago. Yes, it's hard, but keep going and REPEAT stuff you don't get. I read somewhere in one of the other threads that it takes 50 times of repeating a word til you learn it. As you continue with the lessons, lots is repeated so you don't have to just say something 50 times.
Try applying as you are learning, like downloading a few easy Spanish books. Lots of them are free from Amazon. Also, try watching Spanish TV programs. I try to watch about 1/2 hours of that a day. I still am just picking out words, but as I do more lessons, I'm able to pick out more words, and even though most of it is gibberish to me it's bending my ears enough to get used to the way it sounds.
Get yourself a notebook and take notes as you listen to Paralee on the Lesson videos. I listen to every lesson at least twice, and take down all the flashcard words as well. Writing makes your brain slow down and you can take it in better.
Also, try to get involved in some of the Q&A comments & games and you won't feel so isolated. There are people around here who help with grammar as well.
Try making up a Flashcard set here on Spanishdict.com with words that interest you, or look at sets that other people have made up. I enjoyed learning words for gardening, spices and walking the dog (so I could practice with the little Latino kids that always approach me when I walk the little dog).
Talk about struggling to remember... The other day I was in a store and a Latino guy came up and asked me what time it was. Dang if my mind went blank and I couldn't remember the number 12 (and I'm in the Lesson 2.5)! Of course, when I got home I sat down and reviewed my numbers and telling time (Lesson 1.8). Son doce y media!! (It's 12:30).
Don't give up!
The brain is most flexible when you are a child. You begin to to lose that by the age of 8-12. I just did a presentation on this so I know quite a bit I would say. The brain at a very young age is so receptive of languages because that is the age at which it is programmed to learn languages. Kids can learn multiple languages at once and even begin to sound like they are of native tongue. However, I don't think you are ever too old to learn! It just becomes harder when you are older because it doesn't come to us naturally. It is so good for you at any age to learn a language though. It stimulates your brain and can even improve your memory. It's good for your health- a study has showed that people that studied foreign languages developed signs of dementia (sp?) much later than those who didn't (I realize that statistic is a bit vague...however still an interesting thing to think about). Also, once you learn one language, it gets easier to learn others. Next on my list...french or italian
It helps to do puzzles every day. The last six months I started doing crosswords and a daily Sudoku. I noticed when I learned new Spanish words, it stayed with me longer. When you learn a language as a child it is stored in a different part of your brain than when you are older. When you are older, you have to stimulate the neurons in your brain. That's where the puzzles come in. Also, it helps to eat fish and take fish oils. The omegas feed your brain. The more things you learn, the faster your brain processes new information.
Here's another idea. Today our church had a big yard sale so I went down to have a rake through the goodies. We have a large Latino population around here (Las Vegas) and when I looked through the books there were loads of childrens' books. I was thrilled and bought 16 for under $4. Okay, so I'm 56, but I still enjoyed the book about the puppies so far! There's even a music book filled with Spanish songs.