Is it harder to learn a foreign language as you get older?
I'm 53 years old and trying to learn spanish, and it seems so difficult. Is it harder at my age?
Tengo setenta y uno. Sigo siendo optimista! Estoy mejorando un poquito más cada día.
Sorry to say this, but yes, over the age of 40 it is more difficult to learn just about anything. The body stops producing all but a minimum amount of myelin, the fatty substance that acts as insulation on nerve cells, resulting in far less retention. The phrase "nerve cells that fire together wire together" may be true, the the cells are so frayed that they no longer are an effective system.
Can you do it? Sure. It's just not going to be a joy ride.
you will learn quicker by visiting or living among speakers of that language. Put it in your daily life & and you are forced to learn and your brain will acquire it in rapid fashion. me entienes?
I have to dispute your hypothesis on aging. Recent research by the National Institute on Aging has disproved your comments. To read more go to: http://www.nih.gov/news/WordonHealth/oct99/story02.htm
That article actually says that senile dementia and mild cognitive impairment are not part of normal aging.These have to do with forgetting old memories rather than creating new ones, which is the key factor in learning. If you do a little more research, you will find that the current scientific research that supports that NIH article also indicates that declines in some types of memory are in fact part of the normal aging process, and that episodic memory is one of those most affected. These studies also show that the ability to encode new memories also declines with age. In other words, the ability to remember names of people you just met and to learn new things like a foreign language do decline with the normal aging process.
I think it's lovely that you are endeavoring to learn another language! It may seem like a hard road. . .but i think that it is only because as we get older. . it doesn't matter if we are 20 something, 30 something. . or 100 and something, all adults set up barriers in their own minds. the key to learning anything, even if at first it is difficult, is to cultivate the mind of a child. if one has the curiousity and desire to learn that a child has. . .nothing is too hard to learn.
Me personally, I think it is harder to learn Spanish older rather then learning it young. When you grew up around a certain enviroment you adapt what you know. I hope i have helped sorry if i didnt
¡Sí -es más difícil,pero es vale la pena! It is important to keep the brain active as one ages and the challenge of learning a language is one of the best ways to do this!
Why, you young whippersnappers! I'm 69 and have only been studying Spanish for a couple of months and already I am fluent!
I hope nobody believes that!!!!
One of my biggest problems is rolling the 'rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr's. But it is fun and I am enjoying all of it. I think Paralee's videos have helped me the most.
Hola a todos y Feliz Navidad!!! Well I can tell you something. I am 38 and I have done a few things in my life. I have done my pilots licence, a diploma in video, film and editing production and a few other shorter courses that I have completed. Out of all of the things I have done, spanish is the hardest thing I have ever attempted to do. I dont know why or how to explain this. I have felt at times where I have just wanted to give up because I thought I wasn't learning enough or getting the jist of it. I find that I am just too hard on myself sometimes. I have been learning spanish for about 14mths now and if I dont understand something I get angry with myself. I find if I feel this way I log in here and get tremendous support from Nicole-Baile, Heita and everyone else. This puts me back on track again. I too, have a long way to go and I try quite hard and one day I will master it. So as most people have said, it is the time and effort which you put in that will dictate how much you learn irrespective of age. Buena suerte!!!!!
It's not impossible, but it is hard for all of us. Too bad we can't see any success stories. "I came to Spanishdict last year and now I'm already fluent!". I'd love to see that.
Yes, learning gets harder or perhaps slower. However, I have found lately that through self-taught Spanish lessons my ability to concentrate has improved over-all. So with practice the learning has gotten easier again.
But there is also the factor of having many other things to worry and think about as an adult, whereas when I was growing up I was mentally freer to recite things like Spanish numbers and the alphabet without having other pressing matters to think about.
Yes, learning a language does become more difficult as you get older. However, the difference between the ability of a 53 year old and a 22 year old such as myself is far less than the difference between a 5 year old and a 10 year old. Language tends to be quite complex and the study of linguistic processing indicates that we would be unable to learn language without an innate ability to categorize syntax and vocabulary. Some studies have suggested that it is easier to learn and retain foreign language skills by attempting to learn new languages in a similar method to how we learn out first. The process is rather difficult to explain, but in essence, it is full immersion. Personally, I do not possess the means to immerse myself in an environment where only Spanish is spoken. Nevertheless, learning a new language is similar to becoming literate in any new field of study. You wouldn't expect to take a single semester of biology and be able to immediately read about and understand complex experiments to the point being able to critically review them. Such a task takes years of intensive study. Such is language. If you dedicate yourself, I am confident that you will make significant strides toward your goal.
Unfortunately, it's harder to learn anything as we get older. That being said, if you have an ear for languages, or if you can easily mimic sounds, or if you're a musician, you will always have an advantage over others for learning a language.