Any linguists here? When are you just too old to learn another language?

(10 Posts)
IsLizJustTooOld Mon 17-Mar-14 10:10:48

I am on the brink of signing up for a babbel course to learn Danish. I'm going to Copenhagen later in the year. I speak Spanish fluently and I learnt a smattering of Irish at school. I can read French, so, I am all enthused thinking oooooh I can't wait to learn Danish. However I then remember I am in my 40s and it might be a bit different from when I decided to learn Spanish and I just did learn it because I decided to. I fear it will be different this time. I will put in the effort. But am I just delusional thinking I can learn a new language in my forties without living in that country? Danish doesn't seem that hard compared to Irish though, so I don't buy that it's 'too hard to learn'. I just wonder if my brain is going to be wired up differently now (ie, faultily)

Goblinchild Mon 17-Mar-14 10:21:43

No, there is no cut off age, especially if you already speak a language other than your own. OH keeps adding languages to his repetoire and he's considerably older than you.
It gets harder after the age of 8, IIRC! grin

castlesintheair Mon 17-Mar-14 10:28:54

I agree that if you already speak Spanish and can read French then it should be easier for you. Plus you want to learn it. My MIL moved to France in her early 50s and 20+ years speaks hardly any French. The reasons being 1. She never did languages at school or spoke any before 2. She doesn't want to learn or try 3. She hates the place!

outtheothersidefinally Mon 17-Mar-14 10:34:31

No age cut off! Go for it!

IsLizJustTooOld Mon 17-Mar-14 10:51:40

Thanks. According to some people it is just a different way of learning when older.

IsLizJustTooOld Mon 17-Mar-14 10:52:06

(Have been googling)

IsLizJustTooOld Mon 17-Mar-14 11:13:27

(Have been googling)

IsLizJustTooOld Mon 17-Mar-14 17:22:21

REceived a warning from Babbel for my profile picture. For god's sake. I thought it was a very helpful aid to non-english speakers. What a load of uptight petty shite. Not sure I want to stump up cash to this crowd now.

Eastpoint Thu 10-Apr-14 07:47:42

A retired doctor I know started learning Japanese in his early 70s. He is highly motivated as his DIL is Japanese and he wants to be able to speak Japanese with his granddaughter.

Shopgirl1 Thu 01-May-14 23:49:20

It's not really different, other than the fact you will have a grasp of grammar terms having previous language learning experience and that will make it easier.
Danish is related to English, which will also help. I speak Swedish, took it up 3 years ago, mid 30s and found it easy enough, i spent time in Sweden and progresses a lot then, exactly as happened with other languages I speak. I think Danish might be a bit tougher than Swedish as the pronunciation is more difficult, but still a relatively easy language for an English speaker.
I think the trick with any language is to get the basics down with grammar etc and then spend time in the country or failing that find a native speaker to practice with.

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