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What is the biggest challenge you feel that you face in becoming fluent in your target language?

May 29, 2017



Speaking is the hardest skill to master, I find.

But the challenges in getting to fluency are (for me)

a) laziness -- it takes a lot of hard work

b) a lack of focus: I like to study several languages at a time, and since I don't neeeeed to learn any of them, I advance slowly in each of them instead of getting really good at one

c) a lack of time: with other languages I already know and want to keep up, and all the real life things one has to do, there isn't actually the kind of time left I'd need to really immerse myself in a language and get to fluency


My biggest challenge would be not giving up. Sometimes I feel like quitting when I want to achieve being fluent in my target languages.


Try to determine and then achieve some intermediate goals for yourself. For me, Duolingo's gamification has worked wonders, but not everyone likes having a green cartoon owl track their performance and boss them around.

Depending on what your skill level is, could you set some goals like "read one book a month" (you can always start with really simple ones, and be prepared that the first pages and books are going to be hard going), "read one Wikipedia article in your target language on a topic you are already knowledgeable per day", "go through this textbook within three months" (and then reward yourself with something after that!), "watch one movie in your target language a week", etc?

Anything that keeps you going, really. The road to fluency is really long, and it's important to score some victories on the way.


That's often the biggest challenge. What makes you want to quit? Loss of confidence? Boredom?


My biggest challenge is speaking the language, I struggle with understanding the other person and then sometimes I find I am at a loss of words. However I do much better in American Sign Language.


Grammar is always the biggest hurdle. You can't make the words work if you don't understand how they work together.


For me, it's resources. I have determination and time to do it, but I struggle to find enough resources to help me to lean to be fluent in the specific language that I'm learning. For Russian and Italian, I have resources. For Finnish, however, it's just Memrise for now. I'm hoping to expand my Finnish learning if I can find a few other good resources besides it (like books and audio/visual stuff). Keep on learnin'!


My biggest challenge is hearing in the language. I have a hearing problem that cannot be solved with a hearing aid. That means I'll never fulfill my dream of sitting down and watching a telenovela in Spanish. It's challenging because I still need to find the motivation to continue. So far, so good, but at some point I'm going to hit a brick wall.


Could you find one with subtitles in Spanish? That would take you part way there, I'd think.


That's what I use in Spanish and my native language. Still, I'd like to be able to listen without subtitles.


Overcoming shyness and fear of making mistakes. I don't easily talk to people anyway, but when I'm afraid that I'll make embarassing language mistakes, I become completely tongue-tied.


Ok, that's a good one. Overcoming shyness and fear of social situations in a new language.


Speaking is my biggest challenge.
Because Vietnamese is a tonal language, the best way to master it would probably be to have conversations with native speakers.
If only i didn't have anxiety :(


Just do it. You can be an awful speaker of the language, but after a few times with natives you get used to it and less scared.


It's easier said than done.
I have issues talking with my immediate family,
much more with someone i don't know well.


Well, I'm saying it from my experience. I remember my first Skype call I was really scared and forgot everything during the call, though now I'm used to it.


It really depends on both your personality and the language in question, though.

For some reason, I don't mind sounding like an idiot when speaking Spanish, but I am much more scared of speaking French, although my French is better and I have more experience communicating (mostly successfully, even) in French.


I can speak French more or less fluently with regards to pronunciation and grammar, but what I am now in the process of doing is just growing my vocabulary and trying to remember idiomatic expressions and the like. It is especially hard to be able to speak and understand everything in French because there are several different registers of language such as: soutenu (fancy), courant (normal), and familier/argot (informal/slang).


Great point. Super challenging, honestly.


I feel lucky that I am only interested in "courant (normal), and familier/argot (informal/slang)" so I can just not worry about fancy French. Fancy French just hurts my ears and head =)


One of my main problems ( other than vocabulary and grammar ) is trying to understand a language without making the constant effort to translate whatever I'm listening to into English.

Something else that I have a big problem with that I don't see discussed all that often ( or maybe I'm not looking in the right places ) are sentences that could be used mid-conversation. Such as : "I was wondering about...", "What do you think about...", "Umm...", "In other words..., "In fact...", or "Well according to...". Does anyone know where I can find a collection of these phrases in other languages?


http://context.reverso.net/translation/ is great for short snippets like those


Pretty much Grammar. It is hell no matter which language i'm learning.


Finding material in Russian that's simple enough to understand with a limited vocabulary. In Romance languages one can often read things about history / politics / economics because of all the common vocab. That works substantially less well in languages further afield, and children's books, even picture books, can be hard because they're often about animals (which you don't know the words for) doing everyday-ish but not actually that common things: gardening, lounging around on the porch, which you also don't know the words for.

At the end of the day, the answer I think is that you're just going to be looking up lots of words. Immersion was great as an interface to support that (even though it was still tons of work that very few even tree-finishers seemed willing to take on). I miss it.


Very difficult not to give up but to keep an interest. I have no particular use for the language I'm learning now, so am very prone to giving up. I have already lost interest on another platform (italki) some months ago. I saw a video on YouTube by "LingoSteve" who, I seem to recall, recommended plowing through a Duolingo as a first step toward a new language. He as a second step recommended simultaneously listening to an audiobook and that very same book as a paperback, listening while you are reading. I once learned to read German by plowing through the book "Ganz Unten" by G√ľnter Walraff (very much talked about at the time), where I started at page 1 manned with a dictionary, but this crude method is not something I would recommend anybody... https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganz_unten


I really like that idea of reading and listening at the same time.


Understanding what others are saying.


Listening comprehension. I pretty good at reading Spanish


when you can not practice, the language you learned, you forget some words.

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