Anna
polyglot's key What do you think makes that some people know many languages (polyglot) and others can't cope with learning one for a long time. What is a key for success? It is talent, hard work or good materials? Maybe something else? What is your opinion about that?
Jun 3, 2018 3:37 PM
Comments · 3
Talent and good materials certainly help, but I think the most important factor is the amount of time that a person invests into language learning. So, I suppose you could say that "hard work" is the most important variable, except that you're much more likely to put in the time if what you're doing doesn't feel like hard work. ;-) And that (spending a lot of time on languages without it feeling like hard work) is much more likely to happen if you legitimately like language learning. 

So, I think the most successful language learners are those who legitimately like languages. I'm not saying you can't learn otherwise (of course you can). But learning a language when you'd rather be doing something else will feel like an uphill battle, and that's likely to affect the amount of time you spend on task. 

And yes, I realize this is an oversimplification. :-) Even if you love languages, there will still be some tasks that are important for long-term language learning success that you'd rather avoid. But if you like 70% of the language learning process, are indifferent to 20% of it, and positively dislike the remaining 10%, you're far more likely to succeed than if you like 10%, are indifferent to 20%, and positively dislike 70%. 
June 3, 2018
The main factor is motivation.
 If somebody has the best learning materials, superb teachers and a lot of money to pay  them without a limit, but hasn't real motivation, he is another a long-term pupil.
If your desire as strong as possible, you will possess a language quickly without any teachers etc.
Those, who really want, always find out a way to the goal.
Others will convincingly explain you, why they didn't.
June 3, 2018
In addition to what Irena said, your first foreign language will often take much more time to learn than other languages you learn later. Especially if that first one happens to be a language that you dislike but have to learn, and if you want to learn all the others. I thought I was a complete idiot when it comes to languages while I was learning English, but later all other languages were much easier.
June 3, 2018