lushlala

Why do most people find it easier to write than speak a language?

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Maybe I'm a weirdo but writing is also the last thing I care about in language learning. I'm testing in Italian at the b2 level in reading and speaking but my writing is probably a2. Mainly I think for me I'm learning languages in survival mode, I need to speak, read and understand so those things take priority. The easiest for me is reading though, then understanding then speech and hopefully one day, writing.

I wouldn't say that makes you a weird at all. We all have different ways of learning as well as priorities. So you have to do what you feel most comfortable with, and that's probably the most effective way of learning, for you :)

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I have the same issues. I prefer writing than speaking when I use a foreign language. Mostly, my reason is because when I write, I can spot my mistake and correct the same. I still have the time to correct myself. While if I am speaking, I have already blurted it out before I realized the mistake I have made. Much more, I also worry with my pronunciation.

I think that's what most people experience, including me. Sometimes I wish I had the innocence of a child, they just say whatever comes to mind and don't care if it's right of wrong. I reckon that's why they tend to learn quicker and more effectively. They're not all that shy and self conscious LOL

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Along with being able to pronounce the words, one would feel mroe comfortable making mistakes. This comes from experience, when I was in ninth grade, I had to speak in Swedish, which I could not speak, in front of a Swedish guy. I absolutely refused and the teacher said its because I am afraid to make mistakes.

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That's an interesting opinion that apparently many people share. I disagree however. Speaking is much easier than writing. Although I do think that writing the language has accelerated my speaking the language and is a very necessary technique. The last thing on my list of what is easy about language is comprehension of a native persons speaking that language.

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That's an interesting opinion that apparently many people share. I disagree however. Speaking is much easier than writing. Although I do think that writing the language has accelerated my speaking the language and is a very necessary technique. The last thing on my list of what is easy about language is comprehension of a native persons speaking that language.

Saholy, you're in a very good position if speaking is easier for you! I wish I were more like you. Personally, I'd want to master the spoken language first and foremost, and then progress onto everything else. You must just be a naturally confident person then?

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I actually prefer speaking in a foreign language to writing, and that's mainly because most of the learning I do involves active conversation. Yes, it's totally true that I can express myself more eloquently on paper and yes, it's also true that I get more time to catch any mistakes that I may have made, but I grew up learning Chinese, my second language, by speaking to household members. In fact, many of the words that I use to express myself orally are words that I cannot write out in pinyin or characters. I think it all depends on how you learn the language, and most people learn through reading and listening to pronounciations rather than through regular conversation with native speakers like I did.

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I'm having this problem of speaking in Nihongo directly, especially when conversing with others.  It's kind of ironic since I don't have a problem with writing or speaking to myself.  I have to admit that I am feeling awkward when conversing with people in Nihongo, because if I mention the wrong particle I will either be laughed at or feel turned off by my skills.

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Writing is easier than speaking. It just is. I guess it's because you have more time to think when you are writing. There is no such thing as fumbling in writing.

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I recently had this same discussion with someone on a different forum. I was very surprised to hear him say he speaks near fluent English but struggles with writing. He says he never had any problems picking up the language or even confidence issues speaking it, but for some reason, he found it very hard to get his head around writing! So he decided to join the forum in order to practice. Certainly a problem I wouldn't mind having :)

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I get very shy when I am speaking a foreign language even if I know I am speaking correctly.  I am not sure why.  Granted, I get shy pretty easily speaking to strangers in English too, so it may be more due to talking to strangers, than the foreign language itself for me.

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I agree with the rest here. I think it has something to do with your pronunciation. When you're writing it, you don't actually have to pronounce anything and everything's correct when you read it. When you're speaking, it's different because you have the pronunciation to be cautious and pressured about. That's fine though, I think that's normal. It's not your native language anyways.

For me, it's the total opposite. I find more confidence in speaking the language rather than writing it. Probably because I find it difficult to spell some of the words and when I speak it, I don't have to worry about the spelling, just the pronunciation. But I guess it differs for every person learning a foreign language. Either way, I think what we need is practice. :)

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I have to say I really envy those of you who have a preference for speaking over writing a foreign language, because speaking for me is a lot harder than writing! I'd even be happy just to ace the spoken language and take my time learning how to write it. Put it this way, I wouldn't be in a huge hurry to learn how to write it.

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Writing is also much easier to learn than speaking. It's possible to learn how to read and write a language from books, but it's very hard to learn how to speak a language without talking with someone fluent in it.

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I was thinking of this the other day, when I originally replied to this thread I was having in mind only the pronunciation issue, but I had left out the fact that formulating sentences in your mind then speak them can be hard too. I never experienced this before, until I started learning dutch... now I fully understand! With english I had no doubts before saying something, hence I stressed over pronunciation things right, but with dutch... I've to think long and hard about the words and their order.

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It's probably easier to learn writing rather than speaking because conversational language involves learning to speak to another person in a language we don't yet understand fully while written languages mistakes can be scrutinized by your own personage; in other words it's basically a form of 'stage fright'.

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I feel the same! I'm really insecure about my pronunciation and I prefer writing than speaking too!

But I have learned that if you don't practice your pronunciation isn't going to get better and you are going to stuck in your comfort zone, I know that's scary but there's not other way to improve your pronunciation, I'm working on it too.

Good luck!

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Based on my logic, writing is just like reading because all you need to memorize are the characters that are actually the letters. In speaking, there are unique ways of pronunciation for each language and dialect. Like the word MA in Chinese, I think there are 10 meanings depending on how you pronounce it.

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I think a lot of people find it easier to write rather than speak because writing can be less immediate. When we are speaking, if there are awkward pauses or things don't flow it can completely throw us off. Sitting and writing in a language gives our brain a chance to process stuff in a different way.

I also think that's why some people can listen to a language and understand it, but respond in their mother tongue. For instance, my grandparents were born in Italy but my mom was born abroad. My grandparents spoke both Italian and English, but my mom would never speak Italian - she understood it 100% though because she would answer any question they asked her in Italian, just in English back to them!

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That might have something to do with the pronounciation bit. Many people do not want to make fools of themselves saying words the wrong way, I guess.

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we all have this problem, writing any language is more easier because you have all the time to think about what you are going to write, also you can see what you wrote before so you can finish your sentence easily, but when you speak you have to think and speak in the same time that what makes it harder !

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I find it quite easier to speak a foreign language than to write it. I can correct myself right away in case I made a mistake. Whereas when writing you have to be sure your spelling and use of special characters are correct plus you have to follow the rules of grammar. When you speak these are not evident most of the time. If I hear someone say it I can parrot him quite easily

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I think speaking in a foreign language requires a lot more confidence, and to write you just need to know the basics of the language. Even if you write something wrong, it won't be as uncomfortable or awkward if you make a mistake. As well as this, speaking means that as well as the language itself, the pronunciation, accent and fluency are also heard, so it can be a lot harder for some people.

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I agree with a lot of the replies here - it is the time. You have more time to think and phrase and rephrase what you need to say when you are writing - not to mention the use of dictionaries and other tools. But when you're speaking, you have very little time to generate the right words in the right order and the right context to put forward what you're thinking. I also think that this lack of time makes people nervous, which makes it even more difficult to think fast.

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This is because you will not be pressured to speak up and you will remain relaxed and comfortable in writing on your own and in ones own term as well. Also, writing can loosen certain rules of different languages. For example, you will not worry so much about the intonation and spelling and even stressing out words as strictly observed by other languages. And in the absence of such, you can communicate with others just as long as the other individual understands the language even through writing only.

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I think it is always the case with langauges. Speaking and learning how to speak a languages, has a lot to do with audio learning. As in, by what you hear, and repeating patterns and sounds. But if you really want to master a language and how to write it, it is a totally different matter. Take Hungarian for example. Learning to speak it is quite easy, but writing and reading it, is extremely hard, due to the fact that what you speak out, is totally different when you write it down.

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