Crap at learning languages

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goron20
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#1
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#1
I'm from a non-english speaking country.

I am so embarassed that I can't speak English smoothly, despite the fact I've been in the UK for 6 years and my husband is a native english speaker. As well as speaking, I find my English writing so terrible.

I have met many people who have been here much shorter than me, yet they speak better than me. I feel I'm really stupid when I hear my 2yo nephew speaking it perfectly. I wonder if I am simply bad at obtaining foreign languages. Any advice will be appreciated.
Last edited by goron20; 9 months ago
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SyedN
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#2
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#2
(Original post by goron20)
I'm from a non-english speaking country.

I am so embarassed that I can't speak English smoothly, despite the fact I've been in the UK for 6 years and my husband is a native english speaker. As well as speaking, I find my English writing so terrible.

I have met many people who have been here much shorter than me, yet they speak better than me. I wonder if I am simply bad at obtaining foreign languages. Any advice will be appreciated.
From this post it seems like the complete opposite! Give yourself more credit I think your English is pretty good!

Just keep practicing your spoken English with your husband and you will get better, all the best!
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Meduse
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#3
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#3
(Original post by goron20)
I'm from a non-english speaking country.

I am so embarassed that I can't speak English smoothly, despite the fact I've been in the UK for 6 years and my husband is a native english speaker. As well as speaking, I find my English writing so terrible.

I have met many people who have been here much shorter than me, yet they speak better than me. I feel I'm really stupid when I hear my 2yo nephew speaking it perfectly. I wonder if I am simply bad at obtaining foreign languages. Any advice will be appreciated.
Everyone learns things at different rates. Don't give yourself a hard time by comparing your abilities to others'. Comparison will get you nowhere. You just need to focus on you. I can completely understand how you're feeling though, as a language learner.

Do you feel able to fully express yourself in English? What is it about the writing and speaking elements that you struggle with? If you let me know, I may be able to suggest some things.

P.S. if anyone ever shames you for not getting everything 100% correct in English, they're ridiculous. Don't listen to them.
Last edited by studygirl388; 9 months ago
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goron20
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#4
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(Original post by SyedN)
From this post it seems like the complete opposite! Give yourself more credit I think your English is pretty good!

Just keep practicing your spoken English with your husband and you will get better, all the best!
Thank you.
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goron20
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#5
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#5
(Original post by studygirl388)
Everyone learns things at different rates. Don't give yourself a hard time by comparing your abilities to others'. Comparison will get you nowhere. You just need to focus on you. I can completely understand how you're feeling though, as a language learner.

Do you feel able to fully express yourself in English? What is it about the writing and speaking elements that you struggle with? If you let me know, I may be able to suggest some things.

P.S. if anyone ever shames you for not getting everything 100% correct in English, they're ridiculous. Don't listen to them.
Thank you.
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artful_lounger
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#6
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#6
Your written English is flawless from the above so that isn't an issue I think at all! Of course, speaking and listening skills can develop at a different rate to reading and writing skills. So don't worry too much if it feels like you are more advanced in one area than others, as long as you keep working on them all you should be able to develop them all to the same high level eventually

In any case, learning English as a second language isn't necessarily an easy endeavour and there are lots of quirks of English which make it hard for those whose native tongue is a different language. English has a number of phonemes that are common in English but uncommon in other languages, and I think it also uses lots of auxiliary phrases and prepositions and so on to express otherwise simple concepts (to make up for the lack of a case system). It also has a very large lexicon I gather, and there are lots of idiomatic phrases (as with any language) which can be difficult to get used to when speaking English "in the wild".

There's literally an entire (large!) section on wikipedia about common difficulties for non-native English speakers in learning the language! So don't feel bad about it by any means. Learning a second language is always hard compared to learning your first language, because you have to also learn the explicit rules of grammar and parts of speech which you just unconsciously developed for your first language.

So hopefully, stick with it Also I understand that learning third (and further) languages (regardless of your first and second languages) becomes easier as you will have the "apparatus" of language learning (and associated knowledge of grammatical terminology etc) from learning your second language, and can make connections between your first two languages to potentially more quickly develop a third one, I gather.
Last edited by artful_lounger; 9 months ago
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goron20
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#7
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#7
(Original post by artful_lounger)
Your written English is flawless from the above so that isn't an issue I think at all! Of course, speaking and listening skills can develop at a different rate to reading and writing skills. So don't worry too much if it feels like you are more advanced in one area than others, as long as you keep working on them all you should be able to develop them all to the same high level eventually

In any case, learning English as a second language isn't necessarily an easy endeavour and there are lots of quirks of English which make it hard for those whose native tongue is a different language. English has a number of phonemes that are common in English but uncommon in other languages, and I think it also uses lots of auxiliary phrases and prepositions and so on to express otherwise simple concepts (to make up for the lack of a case system). It also has a very large lexicon I gather, and there are lots of idiomatic phrases (as with any language) which can be difficult to get used to when speaking English "in the wild".

There's literally an entire (large!) section on wikipedia about common difficulties for non-native English speakers in learning the language! So don't feel bad about it by any means. Learning a second language is always hard compared to learning your first language, because you have to also learn the explicit rules of grammar and parts of speech which you just unconsciously developed for your first language.

So hopefully, stick with it Also I understand that learning third (and further) languages (regardless of your first and second languages) becomes easier as you will have the "apparatus" of language learning (and associated knowledge of grammatical terminology etc) from learning your second language, and can make connections between your first two languages to potentially more quickly develop a third one, I gather.
Thank you for your response.
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