Why Is It So Hard to Learn a New Language?

Learning a new language is not as easy as you may think. You have to put a lot of hard work before you can grasp another language. Yes, during your childhood, you master your first language quite easily. So, your brain understands the commands in that very language.

However, when you try to learn a new language, you are once again starting to learn it from scratch. Because of this, it becomes very, very difficult to grasp that language as quickly as you want it. Though it may seem very difficult, learning another language is very much possible.

It can be difficult as an English speaker to learn another language due to the way English grammar works in comparison to other languages. However, once you start to learn a second language it tends to be easier to learn a third and fourth language as you start to pick up grammatical patterns.

But, you will see many people opting out from learning new languages because they think they cannot do it. As a matter of fact, if you know why it is so hard to learn a new language, then you will have a fair share of an idea as to what you need to do while learning the new language.

If your main goal is to learn a new language, then you just cannot afford to lose focus. Once you are focused on doing something, you will surely succeed. That is why it is important to know why it is so difficult to learn a new language.

Once you know why it is tough, you will not get distracted and you will have the focus to pull off the hard task of learning a new language. So, in this very article, let’s have a discussion now on why it is hard to learn a new language and how you can make it easy.

Why Learning Another Germanic language is easier?

The English language is a part of the Germanic group of languages. Therefore, you will find lots of similarities between other Germanic languages such as German, or Swedish or Spanish or French. So, if you are a native English speaker or speak any of the Germanic languages fluently, you will be able to learn another Germanic language quite easily. For a native Germanic language speaker, it will be difficult to learn languages like Hindi, Arabic, or Japanese due to different roots of such languages.

Why Is It Harder to Learn a Language as an Adult?

When you are learning a new language as an adult, there is one thing that you should keep in mind and that is you will have to learn new grammar rules as well. Also, on top of that, you have to take care of the pronunciation which makes the matter worse.

Also, as you grow up, the brain cell division becomes lesser which hampers your memory power. This makes the task a lot more difficult. That is why even if you learn the language; you will struggle to achieve proficiency in that language like a native speaker.

How Long Does It Take to be Fluent?

How long you need to get fluent at a language will depend on which language you are studying. Basically, there are 4 groups of languages which are;

  • Group 1: German, French, Indonesian, Portuguese, Italian, Romanian, Swahili, Spanish
  • Group 2: Burmese, Bulgarian, Hindi, Greek, Urdu, Persian
  • Group 3: Cambodian, Amharic, Finnish, Czech, Hungarian, Hebrew, Polish, Lao, Russian, Thai, Serbo-Croatian, Vietnamese, Turkish
  • Group 4: Chinese, Korean, Arabic, Japanese

According to research, you would need 480 hours to grasp the basic to group-1 languages, and for groups from 2 to 4, you need close to 720 hours. So, if you study the language for 10 hours a day, then you need 48 days to learn group 1 languages. Similarly, you can calculate for the rest of the languages.

How Mindset and Attitude Plays a Role in Language Learning

Your mindset and attitude towards the language you are learning plays a crucial role in helping you to learn the language. So, when it comes to learning a new language, the thing you should work on is your attitude and mindset towards that language.

For example, you don’t like a particular language. But, you have to learn it due to professional reasons. Now, the language will become harder to learn for you because your mindset will prevent you from learning the language quickly.

However, if you work on your attitude and mindset, you will be able to learn that language quite easily. That is why keeping your brain in good health is also very important to learn a language very quickly. A sound mind and a good attitude will facilitate your learning of the new language.

What You Should Do to Make It Easier

Although it may seem very difficult to learn a new language, there are certain steps that you can surely take to make this learning process easier. Remember, you can solve any problem by approaching it properly. So, here is what you should to learn a new language quite easily.

Build a Study Plan

When you are starting to learn a new language, the first thing you need to create is a study plan. Without a sound study plan, your road to learning a new language and becoming fluent at it will become stiffer. You need to pick the right study materials so that you can learn faster.

You need to learn the words of that specific language and also if you learn the grammar of that language, then your leaning will be complete. So, set your plan in a way that you will be leaning a new word of that very language every day. It will help you to stay motivated to learn the language.

Setting Goals

Apart from creating a study plan to learn a new language, another very, very important thing that you have to do is goal setting. The goals you set will work as a signpost indicating that you are on the right track towards learning that language properly.

When you first think about learning a new language, firstly, you get very excited. However, after some time, you feel overwhelmed because of the number of words you have to learn and memorize. Also, you have to learn the pronunciation which is a whole new ball game altogether.

However, with the right goal setting, you can make the leaning a cakewalk. Here is what you should do while setting the goals.

Focus on Learning Instead of Timing

Most people while setting goals don’t pay heed to what they will learn. Their main focus is always the amount of time they will spend. It will create too much pressure on yourself which can discourage you from learning the language. So, you can set a goal such as learning 30 vocabulary word of the language that you want to learn within a week or so. It will help you to have robust learning.

Avoid Long-Term Goals

You will be more inclined towards creating long-term goals. Yes, it is very good to have an end goal in mind. But, the gigantic task of achieving this goal can make you feel overwhelmed. So, it’s better to break that larger goal down into smaller goals. As you go on achieving these smaller goals, you will keep on striving to get closer to your end goal.

Push Yourself

You cannot learn anything whether it is a language or anything else by just being in your comfort zone. That is why you need to keep pushing yourself by setting small goals. Increase the toughness of the goals as you achieve one. For example, if you learn 30 words this week, then you will learn 40 next week. In this way, learning a new language will become a game.

Write Your Goals

Whether you believe it or not, writing down your goals with a pen and a notebook will help you to be more committed towards the task of learning a new language. Also, you can stick that piece of paper in your bedroom so that you can see and visualize your goal of learning the new language properly. It will help you to learn the language amazingly.

Go to that Country

A language bears the cultural heritage of a particular area. Knowing that culture deeply will aggravate your leaning of a new language. One study showed that those who understand the cultural backdrop of a country can learn the language more quickly. That is why it would be fantastic if you can pay a visit to the country where the language you are learning is spoken widely. It will facilitate your learning like nothing else. The learning of that language will be more comprehensive than ever for you and hence, you should go to that country.

Finding a Good Language Learning Program

One of the best things that you can do to learn a language faster is by joining a leaning program. Whatever the language you are trying to learn, these days, by using the internet, you will find a good leaning program through which you will learn the language easily. Furthermore, you will have proper guidance and technique to learn that language. Without any doubt, joining such a learning program will make your stiff journey smoother.


Finally, learning a new language for an adult can be an uphill task. However, if you approach this uphill task smartly with the correct mindset and attitude, you will easily crack the code of learning the language. Apart from that, you should have a good study plan and shorter goals that will lead to your ultimate goals of achieving proficiency in that language. In this way, you will make the learning a cakewalk.

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