Too old to learn?
February 15, 2022 5:01am CST
After living in Greece for over ten years I have finally decided to bite the bullet and try to learn the language. It is a difficult one, and that is not just my opinion. However it is an interesting one and some of the medical words are already a long standing part of the English Language. I am finding myself rather slow at learning new words and it is obviously going to take a long time. I may not live long enough to become fluent at this rate! But I hope that I am not too old to learn even if I am too old to run a marathon, or even to run at all on some days.... If you have ever watched the film 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' you will remember the Greek father who was telling the British family that all the English words have come from Greek. Well I begin to think that this is partly true, especially of medical and scientific words. I think that the big advantage of the English language is that we do not have a division into genders which must be a welcome relief to people learning English. I have decided that repitition may be the key to learning a new language. Can anyone provide some practical tips?
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I'm quite surprised that you've needed over ten years to come to the decision to learn the language. When I go on holiday to a country whose language I don't know, I always learn some phrases which always pleases the locals and often lowers the prices! There are good online language learning courses. Check them out and try some. You'll notice which one appeals to you. I can't recommend a certain firm because each language course is made by different people. An advice which is often given is to listen to the texts as often as possible, for example while driving a car or even when lying in bed so that what you hear can reach your subconscious.
Initially I didn't think I was staying very long. Then it was difficult to find a class and soon I had made friends with people who spoke English or wanted to practice it. My husband only speaks to me in English so no hope there... Learning phrases was not a problem, or picking up odd words but speaking Greek means giving it quite alot of time. Which I do. If I had come as a young woman it would have been easier but I was already retired when I came.
• Bangalore, India
We are never too old to learn. And learning a new language is exciting and a good exercise for our brain cells. If you are learning only the spoken language,then listening carefully and watching more and more of shows in that language might help along with practice to speak it more.
I live in Greece but I don't have much connection with Greeks who can't speak English. I think t is a drag for them to try and speak to me if they are also older people. The young ones like to use the English they have learned at school so that is nice.
After moving to Portugal (I'm a Greek Cypriot), I started using the Memrise app for vocabulary. A few words a day helps a lot, but I found that if I don't practice it then I forget them easily. It can help immensely if you practice it by speaking to others in Greek daily (I remember back when I was using Facebook, there are groups which you can find people to practice the language with through video calls). Once you get the hang of our greek letters, you can also slowly try reading few pages (or even a couple of sentences) of Greek books or newspapers every day. I sometimes try to read my children's books from their school lol. My kids are already fluent in Portuguese. I'm still struggling (I even forgot most of my Greek as I haven't practiced them with anyone in 8 years now).
Learning a language is not easy per se. Some people have a gift for languages, others don't. It depends on the individual. I had diligent pupils who had great problems with foreign languages and lazy ones who picked them up without working hard.