Have you ever progressed far into a language only to lose it?
What are some of your examples of learning a language and becoming either proficient (or comfortable) only to lose it later on in life -- by choice. Do you regret not keeping it up? What was the purpose of learning in the first place for you? Did you try to re-learn later on, or did you choose to let it go completely?
Jun 20, 2020 3:11 AM
Comments · 8
Hola Marlana!
When I was a child I started learning German for 3 years because I am of German descent, I never really was 100% fluent but I was conversational and had a decent understanding of how the grammar worked. I eventually stoped because nobody here speaks German and it really wasn't that useful for me and I got to the point where i didn't enjoy it.
Do I regret it? - Yes, as I already stated I had a conversational level of German I probably could have been able to speak it really well if I continued.
Will I ever try to relearn it? Maybe - part of me wants to because I think I could pick it back up easily (and I come from mainly German/Scotch-Irish descent, so for personal reason I would like to learn as well) but I am too busy with Spanish which I enjoy way more than I enjoy German, and it is 10x more useful for me.
June 20, 2020
@Andrés Привіт мій друг!

I feel the same way about French. I learned it in school, but it was mandatory so I resented having to learn something I really didn't want to. As soon as I could drop it like a hot potato after Grade 10, I did. But looking back, that's five, solid years of French that I took, learning it whether I cared about it or not.

Thirty years later, I wish I could have just progressed a few more years. Perhaps it would have made a big difference with some sort of breakthrough in the learning process. The kids in elementary school and junior high were just in classrooms, but in senior highschool, students were taking trips to Quebec to immerse themselves in a French-speaking society. That might have just been the tipping point from feeling like a kid learning because she had to -- to actually advancing in to something more mature: using a language in a practical setting.

In Canada, French is around us whether we want to see and hear it or not. It would be great just to pick it up again since the foundation was already built, and it would just be a matter of remembering what I had been taught. But the highschool girl in me -- who was resentful for having to learn something she didn't want to -- prevents me from actually <em>wanting </em>to learn it.
June 20, 2020
@Miriam - you don't feel the motivation to pick up Chinese again because of your husband? My husband's family language is an indigenous language that he knows very little of. If he did, I'd be all over that. (My husband doesn't have the love for learning languages like I do.) I had a German ex and all I ever wanted to do was walk around with him and speak German, fantasizing that people around me thought we were a German couple.

(Side note, I looked at your profile and saw that you didn't add any proficiency to your Japanese or Chinese languages at all. I also wanted to add you as a friend but I can't click the Add Friend on your profile.)
July 23, 2020
It's a bit like that with me and latin, every year I'll get like 3 months where I'm super motivated to learn until I loose interest because of a lack of conversation partners. I'm gonna loose pretty much all my progress and start again the next year because insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results, I guess.
July 23, 2020
I once felt as comfortable in Japanese as in English, so I was pretty advanced in Japanese. Then I moved to China and married my Chinese husband and stopped using Japanese. My level has dropped significantly (over the course of 17 years). I’d only call myself upper-intermediate in Japanese now (if at all). Unfortunately, I also dropped Chinese after moving back to Germany and after nine years of hardly using it, I’m also only intermediate at best, even though I had a quite solid level, when I lived in China. Chinese and Japanese are still my “strong” languages. I feel comfortable speaking them, but I forgot so many words and all the hard work I invested in them, seems wasted. I do regret having stopped working on those languages but life and eventually other languages got in the way. I hope I can find some momentum to go back to these languages.
July 23, 2020
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Language Skills
English, French, German, Ukrainian
Learning Language
French, German, Ukrainian