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Are there people who will never learn how to speak another language properly?


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Have you ever tried learning a language but for some reason just couldn't make any real progress even after weeks or months of study? I mean in terms of remembering grammar and vocabulary and speaking the language? I am asking this because I have a Russian friend who just doesn't seem to grasp proper English, no matter how much I try to teach him. He developed his very own unique language that I call "pseudo-English" back in Russia and is very hard to understand. He wants to be understood, and he makes an effort to learn proper English but always keeps falling back to his own particular style of English.

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Yes, there are people who never learn to speak another language properly. I know Russian-speaking and Spanish-speaking people who have lived in the United States for many years and still speak English improperly. I think this is partially because of a lack of desire to speak properly. Many people say, "As long as other people understand me, I don't need to speak perfectly." So they don't try. Also, some people form bad habits or improper speech patterns when they are first learning a language, and it become very difficult for them to "unlearn" these after they are ingrained.

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@PashaR, I completely agree with you. I have met a loooot Spanish speakers living and working in the house for decades and so far they haven't even a basic knowledge of the language, they can't definitely communicate with English speaking people!  Some of them have learnt the basic, but many of them don't.  I also blame it on their laziness, since a lot people over there speak Spanish, they can work and live that why so they probably thing... why bother then? I but they'd have better opportunities if their learnt the language.

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Have you ever tried learning a language but for some reason just couldn't make any real progress even after weeks or months of study? I mean in terms of remembering grammar and vocabulary and speaking the language? I am asking this because I have a Russian friend who just doesn't seem to grasp proper English, no matter how much I try to teach him. He developed his very own unique language that I call "pseudo-English" back in Russia and is very hard to understand. He wants to be understood, and he makes an effort to learn proper English but always keeps falling back to his own particular style of English.

Yes, Dora. There definitely are people out there that no mater how much they try thy will never learn a language at all or properly. Many times isn't their fault entirely tho, since not everyone has the talent or sill to learn a language, even with all the motivation in the world.  If the motivation and desire is there, but the person isn't making progress despite the person dedicates his or her time to study then is definitely not their fault.  It can happen.

Of course there are people who cant learn because they're just plain lazy. But that's a different story.

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I could be wrong, but I believe that anyone who wants it bad enough will be able to learn a new language eventually, given enough time. However, some just might have a bit more trouble with it than others, comparable to how some find math more difficult to understand than others.

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I think it's lack of will and desire that prevents people from learning a language well. The other reason could  be lack of practice or opportunity to speak the tongue. I remember when I was trying to learn French, I had no one with whom I could converse in the language, and the bookish knowledge of grammar and sentence structure didn't help me in the long run. So my attempt didn't really succeed. There has to be will and opportunities for conversation for someone to master a language.

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I am wondering how much effort people who have the opportunity to learn the language and never succeed really put into it. Maybe for some reason they learn but don't practice and so they have a more difficult time remembering the language. I think if that friend erases all he ever learnt in that Russian-English and start a fresh he would better succeed.

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Yes, this is very possible. It doesn't equate to them being completely ignorant of understanding the language. Some people adapt to certain methods to express an opinion in that language using a phrase comfortable for them. I don't take issue with it. I had a friend in Bangladesh who would do this. Whenever she said a phrase I didn't understand, we would break it down little by little until I got what she was saying. It was no big deal for me.

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I have spent a lot of time with people who have learned/are learning another language, including Russian, Ukrainian, Spanish, French, Vietnamese, Hmong, Chinese, Arabic, Haitian Creole, Cambodian, Karen, Hindi, and others. My experience is that relatively few people have a "talent," or natural disposition to learn a language quickly. Those who progress, do well, and approach fluency are those who work hard, study hard, speak the language as much as possible - in short, those who are dedicated to learn the language, not necessarily those who have a "talent." For the vast majority of people, this is the only path to speaking a language fluently. You have to be 100% committed for the long term. Those who come up short are usually those who just don't work hard enough at it.

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