I’ve been blogging about language learning for 6 years, teaching languages for over 10, and learning languages myself for 15. During this time, I have heard lots of excuses (and made a fair number myself I must admit) about why one/I cannot learn a language well. The most common three by far have been:
- I don’t have enough time.
- I don’t have enough money.
- I’m not good at languages.
Now I don’t want to imply that these are completely invalid reasons why one fails to learn a language. Sure, having more free time would certainly make it easier to fit in the requisite hours needed to reach conversational fluency. Bags of cash would make it much easier to visit countries where the language is spoken, pay for tutors or classes, and buy the best resources available. And being a savant like Daniel Tammet would make the language learning process go much faster than us mere mortals (he learned enough Icelandic in 7 days to handle a media interview in the language!).
But it is imperative that would-be language learners understand that:
- Anyone can make at least a little bit of time each day to spend on language learning.
- Everything you need to learn a language can be found online or at your local public library for FREE.
- Everybody can learn a foreign language, even if it takes some of us longer than others.
The gap between making the above excuses and making serious progress in a language is not time, money, or ability but motivation. If you really want to learn—nay, must learn—a language, you will find the time by cutting out less important things, you will figure out how to acquire the necessary resources, and you will eventually get used to a language’s pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, etc.
The hurdles are inside your head, not on the clock, in your wallet, or within your genes. Now stop making excuses and start making progress.