Learning a new language Can I learn a new language by myself from scratch ? Has anyone ever tried it ? Is it doable ?
Feb 5, 2016 7:08 PM
Comments · 10


Yes, indeed, you can learn a language on your own. There is no doubt about it. Considering the availability of the resources on the internet, it is certainly possible. I have been learning English on my own. I have not got a morsel of help from any native speaker or anyone. I tried seeking help from native English speakers but I could not ever find it.  I read books, watch movies and try to understand the grammar, sentence style and pronunciation and then I try to emulate them. This is how I am trying to refine my English. Apart form that I have started learning Russian, it was one of my new year 2016 resolutions, and guess what, I have learnt some Russian sentences on my own. I will keep it learning from books and blogs on my own irrespective of whether I find any native Russian speaker to teach me or not. So, If you have determined that you will learn a particular language on your own then, I guess, you can. You might progress with a snails pace but you will be learning something. As it is said that Something is better than Nothing. However there is a big problem for the persons who learn language on their own and that is they can write it pretty well but cannot speak it confidently. I am not sure if it happens to everyone but for me It certainly has happened. I can write in broken English but I can hardly speak anything in my broken English. Now I am working hard on my spoken English, of course, on my own.

My personal opinion, Don't wait for anyone to teach, start learning on your own. Soon people will join you in your learning journey. 

Besides I would like to mention a dialogue from a movie which suits the occasion,  "no one gives it to you. You have to take it."- Frank Costello, The Departed (2006)

February 6, 2016

the same in brief: it is doable, even more, many people do it routinely (as my friend and so many of people on this forum do).
But normally they would be happy to have a good teacher.

February 5, 2016

The last option - 'without books' is the least likely to be what you meant, but it is the most interesting one) Hyacinth Bichurin, the guy who started Chinese studies in Russia once was walking around Beijign, pointing his finger at every new object he saw and asking its name (and the coresponding Chinese character). Or think about travellers of the past (or present), learning the languages of the 'savage' tribes?

That's the more romantic way to learn a language....
To have a friend or a girlfriend/boyfriend such, that you don't have even a single word that you both understand is even more romantic. It is so romantic that I would feel a temptation not to spoil this ideal:-/

February 5, 2016

Sahar, 'myself' means without the help of.... what? Practice, converstions etc.? teachers? books?

As to the first option, depends on what do you call 'to learn a language'. Basically any language I know to this or that extent (except Russian) I learned 'myself from scratch' in this sense. Alas, I forgot the ones that were taught to me:( When I need to read something, I just read and the language doesn't matter much. It means - if I had a sudden surge of interest in Burushaski, and you presented me a German textbook on Burushaski, soon I would be able to read in German (not in Burushaski). Try this - language textbooks are really easy reading. :))))
Untill recently, my interest rarely extended further than books and songs:)

A friend of mine, a philologist, he has been always taking languages a way more seriously, he has lived in France, Italy, Germany (and in Greece for some time), definitely he's fluent enough in French, Italian and German, speaks Greek and knows Latin and Ancient Greek and may be Old French.
Besides, he is always learning something like Polish or Spanish or ... on his own with audiobooks etc.

It must be far from 'fluency', but I believe, he's able to communicate with people in those languages (unlike me).

Now teachers... they can be really helpful:)
That is what the teachers meant to be, aren't they? If your teacher is a bad one, you study 'by yourself from scratch', if the teacher is good, you study 'by yourself' again, but the teacher helps a lot!
Hey, do you think some teacher taught Einstein general relativity?:-)

February 5, 2016

Well it is possible thanks to the power of the internet and mobile apps. :D

I would recommend you to use Duolingo to start learning new languages but it must be complimented with consistency and passion :D

February 5, 2016
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