Too often do I encounter people who bring to me scientific “proofs” that it is impossible to learn a language beyond a certain age / impossible to learn X amount of languages / impossible to get a native-like accent beyond a certain age.
This frustrates me to no end, because these studies only act to discourage people from even trying. And even when people do try, if these studies are taken seriously by people, then the learners will be holding themselves back, and severely so.
A few days ago I was told by someone that it was impossible for the brain to learn more than nine languages. The fact is that there are people with human brains who can process 9+ languages, and I have seen and heard it happen (with people other than myself, obviously), so obviously such an idea holds no weight because demonstrable phenomena in the real world disprove it.
In both my other blog and this one, I find myself in constant struggle with forces from mass media that serve no other purpose aside to shut doors on people’s dreams.
I myself had thought that I would never be a true polyglot because I believed those studies at one point. Now I don’t believe them and neither should you.
Among people who have spent time in countries other than the United States, the idea that learning a language is impossible beyond a certain age is just simply not believed. All who are reading this (or have the ability to read this) should take a similar stance.
Among scientific literature journals, there are lots of opinions to be found that can prove almost anything. Earlier this year I found a quote from a Norwegian linguist that said that Greenlandic was the world’s hardest language (on account of the dizzying amount of suffixes, or so he says).
Actually having studied Greenlandic, I find many words in the language to make more sense than equivalents in a Germanic language like English or Danish, and this is precisely because of the suffix system that was derided as being “impossible” in the study.
What am I trying to say here?
There will be some teachers that will open doors for you, and there will be others that will close doors for you.
Too often in the United States do I see that doors are being closed for language learners.
My job is to open them to you.
Will you come in?