Too old to learn a language

proud senior man in a graduation gown holding his 2022 09 16 07 31 36 utc 1 copy

English Online student, Kristina, argues that you’re never too old to learn a language in her winning blog.

One of the biggest trends nowadays is traveling.

Sometimes this can even lead to uprooting and living in a different country. As remote working becomes more and more popular, employees work from inspiring places instead of their homes.

There are dozens of reasons to go abroad, but there are a few that prevent us from doing so. The main one is… language!

Foreign languages reveal a whole new world of different cultures:

  • literature that hasn’t been translated into our native tongue
  • local fun facts and jokes
  • interesting people who eventually become our friends

However, even these reasons are sometimes not enough to persuade us to learn a language because we have one, tiny, but drastically annoying and demotivating thought, “I am too old to learn a language.”’

We’ve all heard our mum’s complaining about phone updates or features that they don’t know how to use. And we tell them that these features will make their lives easier.

But… don’t we all sound like our mum’s when we tell ourselves that we’re too old to learn new idioms or words? And even though we have so much time to plan our language learning schedule we end up believing the niggling voice that says: “It’s a bit too late to start”.

I have a counter argument for this. Our whole life is all about learning! There will be no day on earth when at least one Homo Sapien won’t consciously or subconsciously invent something new! The same goes for language. Every day new words, idioms and slang are constantly being added. We just can’t miss a day to stay up-to-date!

“Too old to learn a language” is probably an imposed belief from our surroundings, so psychologists suggest we tackle this belief from a logical point of view.

Why do you think you are too old?
Do you think that just because you haven’t needed a specific skill earlier in life, that you won’t need it now? Or, if you’re honest with yourself, is this what your inner procrastinator is telling you?

I’ve created the following list to show the positive impact of learning a language.
So, why should you continue learning a language even though you think you are “old”?

  1. When learning a language, we train and expand our memory! Don’t you want to remember your happy moments till the end of your life? Practicing a language will help you with this.
  2. As I already mentioned – it will help you to understand different cultures, including local traditions, jokes, inventions, and even slang because globalisation affects languages all around the world. I mean – who doesn’t use the words; “like”, “repost”, “google”, etc. when it comes to social media?
  3. Learning a language helps us be creative
  4. We are creatures who can’t live without interactions. When it comes to communication itself, foreign languages not only make us more interesting to listen to, but they also improve our pronunciation!
  5. Last but not least – learning new languages literally makes our brain work, which help us think faster and prevents us from getting a brain disease, for example Alzheimer’s!

You’re welcome.

Now, I know all these pros don’t really help much if you don’t have the inner motivation and a strong will to learn a language, so my suggestion is this: always ask yourself ‘why?”

Why do YOU need this language? What will it help YOU achieve? How will speaking a foreign language benefit you?

From my point of view, nothing is better than reading books or articles in the original language they were written in, and watching undubbed versions of “Friends”.

So, do you still think you’re too old to learn a language or will you finally unmask the excuse?