This is the list Irish Benny Lewis, the person behind Fluent in 3 months, has compiled about the excuses learners come up with for not learning a language.
Drop by Fluent in 3 months, and read the reasons underlying each excuse and the way we can overcome each of them.
1. I’m too old to learn a language
2. I don’t have any time to learn a language
3. I can’t travel to the country
4. I can’t afford it!
5. I’ve got no language gene!
6. I haven’t found the right language learning technique for me yet!
7. I’m not ready to use it yet, and may not be for years
8. I don’t want to
9. This language is too hard
10. I’m not even sure which language I want to learn, or I want to learn several and can’t!
11. My memory is terrible for learning new words
12. I’m going to frustrate native speakers!
13. They only speak English with me when I try to use their language!
14. The entire world speaks English, so why bother?
15. I’m too shy to approach people for language practice!
16. I will never be able to learn that foreign pronunciation
17. I’ve tried X and it didn’t work, so I’m a bad language learner!
18. I still can’t decide which course to invest in
19. I have a particular problem with a specific aspect of this language
20. I did get somewhere, but am stuck at a plateau now
21. Fluency seems just so out of reach, and I’m so far away from it. Why even bother continuing?
22. I’m just not confident enough to use my language
23. I get sidetracked too easily with vaguely similar tasks every time I try to work on my language skills!
24. No one around me (friends/family/significant other) supports or encourages my language learning endeavours
25. I have a learning or physical disability others don’t have
26. I’m not sure how or where to start – if I start wrong, I’ll sabotage the entire project!
27. I’m too negative / lazy
28. I won’t understand people when they speak back to me!
29. What I am doing in the language is too boring, and I lose interest quickly
30. With technological advances, within a few years learning a language will be obsolete and automatic
31. When I compare myself to other learners, I feel too inadequate
32.I’ve been exposed to the language since I was a child and STILL don’t speak it!
Benny Lewis explains his attitude to language learning and his story as a language learner in this TED talk in Warsaw.