5 reasons NOT to learn a language

Yes, you did read that correctly. We’re always telling you why learning a language is one of the best things you can do – so today, we’re examining a few of the main reasons why people choose not to do it. How many of these do you recognise?

1. I’m not good at languages

We’ve all said this at some point. What it really means is ‘I didn’t do well at languages at school, so I must be bad at them.’ (Remember that time in Spanish class when you accidentally said you were pregnant when you meant embarrassed, and everyone laughed? Nightmare.)

But we all learn differently and at school, we were only taught one way. So maybe it’s just that you haven’t found the right way for you yet…

Everyone's good at languages

2. I can’t afford it

Learning a language doesn’t need to cost a fortune. You could read newspapers online in the language you’re learning. Or find a friend to chat to, either in person or via Skype. If you’re a creative type, make yourself some flashcards and use them to practise your vocabulary.

For more tips, visit Alex’s article on learning a language on a budget. And check out our special offer at the end of this email…

3. I don’t need to learn a language

This is one that’s often heard among English speakers: ‘But everyone speaks English!’ (Apparently 33% of Brits think speaking English with a foreign accent is the answer. It really isn’t.)

And while it might be true that a lot of people now speak English, that doesn’t mean we should stop making the effort. By knowing just a few words like hello and thank you, we show respect and probably end up having a better experience as a result.

4. I haven’t got time

We all lead busy lives, and it can be hard to find time to do everything we want to do. But learning a language doesn’t have to mean studying for hours on end. Break it up into small, manageable tasks and fit it around your daily life – on the bus to work, for instance, or waiting for a meeting to start. You may be surprised how much time you actually have.

Finding time to learn a language

For more advice, check out our blog post on making time to learn a language.

5. I’m too old to learn a language

You’re never too old. It may be true that children’s brains are better suited to picking up new languages, but it doesn’t necessarily follow that adults can’t do it. Just look at Benny Lewis, who hated languages at school and now speaks seven fluently. If he can do it, why not the rest of us?

So let’s stop making excuses and start learning a language now; in a year’s time we’ll be glad we did…


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