Does your age make it harder to learn another language

2
votes

I know that young children learn other languages quickly. Can older person learn Spanish as easy as a child??

4364 views
updated MAR 25, 2010
edited by MeEncantanCarasSonrisas
posted by arabellanivar
Hi arabella, welcome to the forum, please use correct spelling on this forum;)
changed language to languages and fast to quickly

10 Answers

2
votes

I wish I learned Spanish when I was a child, hihi smile maybe there's a bit of true - older people usually are expected to be constant and not so open for bigger changes. But I would like to believe it's just a rooted stereotype, about learning. I even would love to learn more in old age. More spare time, mmm...

updated MAR 25, 2010
edited by swing
posted by swing
3
votes

It all depends on what you mean.

The older you are the more likely that you have an education in your first language, and that education makes it easier for you to transfer over knowledge from one language to another (this is called BICS - Basic Interpersonal Communicative Skills - and CALP - Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency).

However, while younger people tend to learn languages slower in the short term, in the long term they show a higher mastery of the new language complete with better accentuation.

updated MAR 25, 2010
edited by Nathaniel
posted by Nathaniel
2
votes

I would say definitely. I've been learning Spanish since 1st grade and I picked up on it pretty quickly and I'm still an A-B student. My mom learned Spanish, but hasn't gone over it for a while. When she helps me study, she pronounces many of the words incorrectly (I don't care though ;D ) and when I tell her that the vowels only make short sounds in Spanish unlike in English w/ short AND long sounds, she still doesn't say them quite right. My dad never learned Spanish, and he's pretty bad at it when I try and speak it with him.

So anyway, I would say it's a lot easier if you start young, but you can learn Spanish as an adult if you keep on practicing and work hard on it.

updated MAR 25, 2010
posted by 1Mudkip88
Thanks for voting me up. :)
2
votes

Interesting discussion and I enjoyed reading the posts. The one thing I did not see mentioned that I read recently is that children do have an easier time learning a foreign language in terms of pronunciation. They are able to replicate sounds easier than adults.

I wish I had learned that double-r sound when I was a kid!

Welcome to the forum!

updated MAR 25, 2010
edited by h1deaway
posted by h1deaway
2
votes

Interesting discussion! Most research shows that if you learn a language in a foreign land i.e learning Spanish in England your age does effect how quickly you pick it up. Generally children's language learning is seen as being sponge like but only if they have constant access to that language. On the other hand, because (educated) adults have a greater world knowledge they can apply this to a new language and then it is easier for them. In general I would say that it isn't so much the age but a willingness to learn combined with a natural aptitude and an inquiring mind. Personally I learned German at school and really struggled but I picked up Spanish a lot easier from living in the country and really having a reason to speak the language. The most important thing is that it's fun and opens doors around the world. grin

updated MAR 25, 2010
posted by kirstymcw
2
votes

Ultimately, it depends on the person learning. It is generally a bit easier to learn when you are younger, but that is because you haven't learned all the grammar rules of your native language. There are some things in other languages that are formulated differently that English, such as sentence structure. Once you get used to that particular sentence structure for so long, it's a harder habit to break, but not an impossible one.


For example:

By the time you're, let's say 50, you get used to saying "I like pizza". For "I like pizza", you have the indirect object (I) followed by the verb (like) followed by the direct object (pizza). In Spanish, it is "(A mí) me gusta la pizza" which has the indirect object (a mí) followed by the direct object (me) followed by the verb(gusta) and then the subject (la pizza). 999.9999% of the time, a mí won't even be used..... See my point?


Have you taken another language? If so, taking Spanish won't be as hard because you would have had to 'get out of the habit' already.


Lastly, good luck!!

updated MAR 24, 2010
posted by MeEncantanCarasSonrisas
1
vote

Hi and welcome,

It all comes down to the amount of time you have available for learning and the level of perseverence you display wink.

Most members are adults who enjoy learning Spanish or English and enjoy this site.

So good luck and have fun!

Saludos, Chica

updated MAR 25, 2010
edited by chicasabrosa
posted by chicasabrosa
1
vote

The older you are the more likely that you have an education in your first language, and that education makes it easier for you to transfer over knowledge from one language to another (this is called BICS - Basic Interpersonal Communicative Skills - and CALP - Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency).

On the other hand, the older you are, the more likely it is that the patterns/habits of your first language will have become fixed and that you will believe that there is only one/ a "natural" way to say something. This sort of "rigidity" can be a serious impediment to learning a second language.

updated MAR 24, 2010
posted by samdie
0
votes

.hola creo que es más difícil para una persona mayor de aprender otro idioma.

creo que es más difícil para las personas mayores para aprender otro idioma

updated MAR 25, 2010
posted by arabellanivar
0
votes

Creo que es mas difícil que aprender un otra idioma para las personas mayores.

(please correct any errors)

updated MAR 25, 2010
posted by Petirrojo
una otra idioma
El idioma - (un) otro idioma. | "Creo que es más difícil aprender otro idioma para las personas mayores."