Is It Too Late To Learn a New Language?

Discussion in 'Education & Learning' started by John Donovan, Feb 21, 2015.

  1. John Donovan

    John Donovan Active Member
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    I have always wanted to learn Japanese, but I always postponed it because it felt too difficult. Now, I am thinking of finally learning it, but I'm wondering whether or not it's too late.

    I will probably never use it anyways - I'm old, so I'll probably never go to Japan or never make a pen pal from Japan.

    What do you think?
     
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  2. Ina I. Wonder

    Ina I. Wonder Very Well-Known Member
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    John, your only 54, that's not old. Check out a Japanese forum, and learn the language.
     
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  3. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    My older brother, who is twelve years older than me, which makes him about 75, is trying to learn Japanese. I'm not sure how far he has come with that, but I know he hosted a Japanese exchange student for a couple of years.
     
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  4. Pat Baker

    Pat Baker Well-Known Member
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    You are not too old to learn a new language, it may take a little more work than it did 20 years ago but you can learn what you want to learn and 54 is not old. My granddaughter is taking Japanese in high school right now. Good luck.
     
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  5. Ruth Belena

    Ruth Belena Active Member
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    My mother was in her fifties when she started learning Russian and she achieve a high level of competence in the language. In the 1960s she and my father visited what was then the USSR and the Cold War was still on.

    I don't see that age should stop you from learning anything. I was over 50 when I graduated with a college degree.
     
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  6. Helene Lawson

    Helene Lawson Active Member
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    Well in my opinion it's never too late to learn a new language, but the younger you are the more easier it is.
     
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  7. Michelle Stevens

    Michelle Stevens Active Member
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    I've always believed that when people fail in their studies, it's because they're not really interested in what they're studying. If you want it badly enough, you'll succeed.
     
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  8. Fran Jensen

    Fran Jensen New Member
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    Here is my take on the question: Sometimes the older you are, the easier it is to concentrate and retain. The only thing you might have a small, and I do mean small, is the formation of the words in your mouth so that you don't mangle their language too badly. We are used to holding our mouths and placing our tongues in certain positions in order to form our vowels and consonants, and with any new language, it's just a matter or re-training our mouth and our brains to place the proper emphasis on each syllable.
    Don't worry. You'll get there. What a sense of accomplishment when you start, and then such deep satisfaction as you continue, even if it's slowly....
     
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  9. John Donovan

    John Donovan Active Member
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    Thanks a lot for the replies! Even though I know I am younger than most of you, with most of the things today directed towards youth, I can't help but feel old, and feel like my time has passed.

    However, after your encouragement, I told my son about my wish to learn Japanese, and he found me a lot of useful websites and lessons online.
     
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  10. Adam Fields

    Adam Fields Member
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    I don't believe that it is ever too late to learn about anything. Of course it would probably be easier to someone younger but it is certainly possible. All you have to do is find some good resources and really crack down on it. Some people don't learn most of the things they know now until later on in their life.
     
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  11. Teresita Campaner

    Teresita Campaner Active Member
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    I learned Nihonggo, the Japanese language, as i took it as cognate subject to a graduate course I was enrolled then. But with no one to practice conversationally, i forgot all about it after just a few months of taking it.
     
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  12. Rufus Holen

    Rufus Holen Member
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    I think it will be harder for you to learn a language at your age when compared to a younger person. Having said that it's never too late to improve yourself, with dedication anything is possible. Also when you learn one extra language, it makes it a lot easier to learn a second. Maybe Japanese is just the start for you, you still have plenty of good years ahead of you!
     
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  13. Richard Paradon

    Richard Paradon Well-Known Member
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    It is never too late to learn anything, John! I am slowly (very slowly) learning Thai. It is very difficult for me and my pronunciation is terrible at best, but at least I can pretty much speak and understand enough to get by here. Age:69
     
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  14. Bill Boggs

    Bill Boggs Very Well-Known Member
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    I was always going to learn Spanish because most of my life I have lived within a few miles of Mexico but never did. I learn a little Mex-Tex so I could communicate with what used to be called wetbacks who worked on the farms and ranches. Not it's too late for me. Memory is not that good. I suppose it''s no longer something I want to do but fair to say it's beyond my grasp now.
     
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  15. Ina I. Wonder

    Ina I. Wonder Very Well-Known Member
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    Hey Drifter, Good to see you here. I think you'll enjoy the laid back atmosphere you'll find here. You will be a welcome addition to our small forum. I find it more personal and cozy than most. I'm looking forward to your input on the many post. Here's waving at you.

    image.jpg image.jpg
     
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  16. Bill Boggs

    Bill Boggs Very Well-Known Member
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    Thanks, mi Lady. It looks like a good place. I'm trying to get used to it but may take a while. Thanks for the greeting.
     
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  17. Tom Locke

    Tom Locke Very Well-Known Member
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    I seem to be one of those people that knows quite a lot of words and phrases in a variety of languages, but never managed to settle on a second language to learn proficiently. I'm okay-ish in French and luckily my partner speaks French fluently, so sometimes we decide to have a 'French' day, whereby we can only speak French in the house. It's just a bit of fun, but it helps me pick up a bit more each time.
     
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  18. Val White

    Val White Active Member
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    Funny thing is, our everyday mother language is changing and evolving so rapidly that it's enough keeping up with that.
     
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  19. Tom Locke

    Tom Locke Very Well-Known Member
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    This is very true and comes in handy when anybody ribs me about my monoglot qualities. I point out that having studied English at university, at least I am proficient in one language, a task that seems to be beyond large swathes of so-called native English speakers...
     
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  20. Val White

    Val White Active Member
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  21. Tom Locke

    Tom Locke Very Well-Known Member
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    New words will always appear. I have a dictionary that was published in 1913 and there is a list of new words at the end. One of them is 'aeroplane'.

    One new word that I like doesn't appear in that list:
    Nonebrity: a 'celebrity' who is famous for nothing other than being a celebrity.
     
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  22. Val White

    Val White Active Member
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    Now that word is really going to blow students minds Tom :)

    [​IMG]
     
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  23. Tom Locke

    Tom Locke Very Well-Known Member
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    Not just students. I remember being foolish enough to use the word 'stoical' a few years ago in the office where I worked. Precisely nobody in a team of eight people knew what I was talking about. They had never heard the word. All of them were born and bred in the UK and all of them were aged 30 or over. I felt profoundly depressed.
     
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  24. Val White

    Val White Active Member
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    Growing concern at being Axed a question. Depending on who is axing this and whether they resemble a potential serial killer, I usually enquire "May I axe if you mean ask" and hope for the best, but am usually met with a blank look . Axe it is now :(
     
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    Last edited: May 15, 2015
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  25. Michelle Stevens

    Michelle Stevens Active Member
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    Oh no, I thought that Adamant was a musician. And I'm not even a student.

    And gubernatorial must be referring to the early career of Jimmy Carter.
     
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