What is the reason why subsequent language learning decisions are so often unsuccessful? These are misguided goals, expectations or misconceptions about language learning. Find out about the most common myths.
“If I had lived here, I would have learned the language in 3 months!” Many people say that living in Norway is enough to learn Norwegian. However, people who live here know very well that you need to have quite a good knowledge of the language in order to start communicating. Otherwise, your conversation partner will switch to English. There are many more misunderstandings of this kind. Each is worth rethinking.
17 myths about learning Norwegian:
I have no talent for languages.
Only a few people have one. This is not a reason to give up. Everyone can learn if they put some work into it.
You have to start learning the language in childhood.
It is well known that language learning should start as early as possible. But this is not a condition. Starting as an adult you can also learn the language properly. Even your pronunciation can be beautiful if you work on it. The level of language depends only on you.
I am too old to learn.
It is never too late to learn. There are many older people who have managed to learn a foreign language.
Isn’t it the case that we young people are creating more unnecessary limitations instead of getting down to work?
Interestingly, research shows that people who learn languages have a brighter mind in old age and a lower probability of senile dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
So much time has passed since school that I don’t remember how to learn.
Making systematic learning habits is a big challenge for everyone. A school finished long ago is another excuse. After all, your brain is still fit and able to develop. Learning a language is about looking for your own ways, not duplicating school methods.
Electronic translators will soon translate everything for us.
I especially do not recommend translating whole sentences on google from English to Norwegian. It is better to write something simpler, with one’s own, short sentences than to entertain someone with one’s ignorance.
Ray Kurzweil, a pioneer in the field of machine translation, says that in a few years’ time computers will translate as well as people. At the same time, however, he emphasizes that they will not replace man in making semantic decisions, such as whether a given word matches what we want to convey.
As in other fields, the computer is a tool to facilitate translation, but it will not replace our personal skills.
Only learning in private school brings results.
Group or individual classes – all the same. Each can be helpful. But it is only your workload that determines the results. You have two options:
1. learn by yourself,
2. learn from the course + learn by yourself.
An expensive Norwegian course is a guarantee that they will teach me well.
Whether a course is expensive or cheap has nothing to do with what you really need. You should learn in a pleasant environment where you feel safe and comfortable.
Of course, the best place is where the teacher prepares material especially for you and is open to your creativity. The rest depends only on your attitude.
The truth is that a wise person can learn a lot even from a weak teacher. This does not mean that I recommend poor teachers. Just start looking for a course based on your own needs.
To learn Norwegian you have to live in Norway.
Daily conversations in the Norwegian language can speed up your learning process. But you can do it from any place in the world. If you are already at least intermediate level, you can actually benefit more from staying in Norway, because you will practice the language at every step.
What if you are just starting out? Then it doesn’t really matter where you are learning. It’s important how you do it.
If you are just planning to go to Norway, start learning in your own country. This is a much cheaper solution.
I don’t have time to learn a language.
This is the most common excuse. Behind this statement there is a problem related to the willingness to learn, not the lack of time. Think about what you can give up on and plan your learning time here.
Shy people will never break the barrier of speaking.
Most people have such a barrier and sooner or later they can deal with it. In most cases it is a normal process, not shyness. As a child, you also had different barriers. Today they are outdated. You can cope with this too. It is enough to want and constantly try.
Grammar is not necessary, it is all you need is to learn like children.
Well, it is not enough. I am not saying that grammar must be the most important. But remember that grammar is there to make learning easier, not more difficult. And children? After all, they focus mainly on developing vocabulary and speaking. They don’t think about grammar, because they use it all the time.
Note that over time they also have to learn grammar. Without this, they will not learn to write correctly. Think how many years it takes them to learn the language. Do you want to learn Norwegian for several years, like they do? Or is it enough for you to have the vocabulary of a 6-year-old?
It is best to learn only with a Norwegian teacher.
At an advanced level it may be worth it. As long as you want to speak more like your teacher (i.e. his dialect).
At a lower level, any other teacher will suffice (assuming he has the correct pronunciation, of course). You will master the rest in your everyday life while staying with many Norwegians.
Classes twice a week are enough to master Norwegian.
Many people sign up for the course thinking that this will solve the problem of the lack of time to learn at home. This is why some schools emphasise that they do not need to do homework. True, that sounds promising? But this is what we want to hear, not an effective method of learning.
I won’t read Norwegian books or articles because it’s too early.
With this approach you will never be able to do it. The earlier you start, the better. At first it is always difficult – regardless of level. But you will quickly appreciate the results.
You need to use the best method to learn effectively.
Mhm, but it doesn’t exist. You have to discover the most suitable methods of learning a language yourself. There are no shortcuts.
To sum up
Don’t expect someone to teach you a language with a supreme method if you don’t have the willingness to work and openness to try something new.
Even if everyone around you repeats that learning a language is too hard, when they are surprised or do not believe that you are learning such a “difficult” language (another myth!) don’t let it restrict you.
Don’t postpone learning because a more appropriate time may never come, and you will regret in a few years’ time that you haven’t done anything.
Even if, once again, you feel that you haven’t reached the level you had planned, don’t give up learning, because only the persevering ones achieve success.
Do you know other myths related to language learning? What is your opinion about these myths?