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What's your biggest problem now that you are learning a new language?


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I was just thinking the other day about this... I've been feeling that my biggest enemy right now (while learning dutch) specially in the last few weeks is me.  Well, it's no secret I have a serious neurological problem that actually affects my memory, but that's not the reason I say I am my own worst enemy right now. I say it because I tend to get distracted so easily :P   I find it hard to focus in just only one thing for a long time.  And yes, since i do most of my study online I often end up doing something else :rolleyes:

Another obstacle I've found while learning dutch it's the fact my partner is not really good at explaining things, he doesn't correct me when needed and his English is not good. So I avoid asking him anything, because I know he will end up confusing me more. Another thing that annoys me is the fact that when I try to study and ask him for help he takes it as a joke or some sort of silly game :(  

Now obstacles regarding the language:  It's nothing like English... many phrases can't be translated word by word into English and i basically need to stop thinking in English so much while learning this language.  I need to get this into my head: Dutch is not English and I need to stop that nasty habit... always trying to translate everything to English in my head.

So guys, what's your biggest problem or obstacle right now?

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The biggest obstacles are always inside ourselves :) I'm not an exception - I'm lazy by nature and it always takes effort for me to start doing anything, including things I enjoy, like languages. When you are back home, after a long day of work, it's so easier to do something mindless - as opposed to actually making some mental effort to learn new things. Sometimes I just let it go and play some stupid game on my phone. When there's a bit energy left, then I remind myself about some clever French man who said that "happiness is never easy" and do something more ambitious, like learning or reading a book on some complicated subject.

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Food or the thought indeed :)  Lol, it's so true!!  It feels so good to just do something ''mindless'' after a long day at work or school,  rather than doing something that requires mental effort and concentration :mellow: I'm so guilty of this! I tend to procrastinate a lot!   I will think about what you say... happiness is never easy. I do need to make an effort, after all this exam is very important and I don't want to let anyone down. Thanks for the food for the thought :) 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Mostly, my biggest problem is just simply pronunciation, plus sometimes the spelling but other than that, mostly what I have to deal with is making sure that I don't end up pronouncing something wrong trying to say one thing and end up saying another thing really offensive...  Plus since 2 out of 3 of the languages I'm studying are of the Asian dialect, I have to be extremely careful when pronouncing certain words. So I don't cause a curtural misunderstaning and have people mad at me...

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For me the hardest part of learning a new language is learning all the different verbs.  I find it easy to understand past, present and future tense.  However, I feel that even if I were to study a language for years there would still be so many new verbs I would have to learn.  In addition, the fact that two words in one language may be the same word in a different language.  

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Right now, I am trying my best to re-learn French. Since I have already forgotten what I learned before, I am back to the basics of the language. My biggest setback though is finding time to do it. Perhaps if I need to learn it due to work-related reasons, or settling in purposes, or whatever urgent reasons there may be, I could see myself moving mountains just to learn it! But right now, I just do it at my own pace. Time and motivation plus energy are debilitating factors for me to finally give it a go. After that one beginner's session, I have never moved forward to the next one. Sigh! 

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I'm reaching the point in my Japanese studies at which I'm not quite a beginner, but still far from proficiency. I didn't have to worry too much about that learning English because of my traditional classroom education that carried me through a structured path to basic proficiency (I was, and I still am, kind of rough around the edges, but it's an appropriate level for 95% of my needs). So it's not so much about learning as it's about self-learning; and on top of that, self-learning a wildly different language such as Japanese. I know what I want to achieve, but how to get there is the tricky part. Do I just continue what I'm doing and hope for the best? Should I study some more grammar? Maybe focus on increasing my vocabulary? Hardcore immersion? It's tough. No matter how many resources you can find on the internet, ultimately it's all up to you.

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I'm reaching the point in my Japanese studies at which I'm not quite a beginner, but still far from proficiency. I didn't have to worry too much about that learning English because of my traditional classroom education that carried me through a structured path to basic proficiency (I was, and I still am, kind of rough around the edges, but it's an appropriate level for 95% of my needs). So it's not so much about learning as it's about self-learning; and on top of that, self-learning a wildly different language such as Japanese. I know what I want to achieve, but how to get there is the tricky part. Do I just continue what I'm doing and hope for the best? Should I study some more grammar? Maybe focus on increasing my vocabulary? Hardcore immersion? It's tough. No matter how many resources you can find on the internet, ultimately it's all up to you.

If you're using the method outlined in that post, expect a challenge. It routinely falls into disfavor by it's followers after a year or two. What I'm looking at is basically the old AJATT method. There are some critical flaws with it, the main one being that it requires too much anki work. Almost every successful self-learner radically changes her learning style at some point along the way, so don't be afraid of doing that if you feel it's necessary. That being said, a small percentage of the people who start it take it all the way to their goal. Good luck whatever you decide to do.

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  • 3 weeks later...

That I am around native speakers in this country and I keep getting anxiety over my pronunciation and I don't like to talk around my friends who speak Romanian because I am afraid that I will be laughed at.

So many embarrassing mispronunciation, so so many.

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I'm a bit like anna3101, I'm a tad lazy at times LOL. So for me it's finding the motivation to keep going, learning and improving my skills. I'm ok learning and picking up the language. Even if I can't exactly say it's a breeze, that for me is the easier part. The challenge comes when I have to exercise my new found skills in speaking. I seriously lack confidence in that area. I fare way better in my written skills, to the point where my French speaking friends have always expressed their shock at finding out how much better I write!

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Sometimes the problem is to decide what to learn exactly. Do you want to just understand the language? Do you want to read it? Do you want to talk to people? Or is it important for you to write letters or e-mails? Most people are, however, perfectionists and want to learn everything at the same time and so they get struggled with their learning process, they haven't got enough time, they don't like their learning much and they quit after a while. What about setting a goal first and then decide what is important for you personally? I wrote an article on this topic for the CourseFinders blog (in German language) - perhaps it might be interesting for some of you!

Here's the link: http://coursefinders.com/de/studentlibrary/2185/die-vier-fertigkeiten-lesen-schreiben-horen-sprechen-was-ist-wichtig-fur-dich

Kind regards Christine

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I think the biggest problem, when first starting out learning a new language, is getting used to it. To its feel, the different pronunciations, and most importantly, the grammar. That is even doubly true when starting to learn a language that is not from your usual language family. Like, say, learning Italian as a German native. Totally different language groups.

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