One of the most common questions I get asked is, “What is the easiest language to learn? What is the hardest?”

My answer is rarely what the individual expects, nor is it usually the neat, tidy, TV-friendly answer they hope for.

The easiest language is…the one you really, really want to learn!

And the hardest? The one you don’t.

When we’re excited and motivated to learn a language, we more easily overcome obstacles, stick a daily study schedule, and have the courage to practice communicating with native speakers. When we lack excitement and intrinsic motivation, we easily quit, study only sporadically, and usually lack the will to overcome our fear of speaking.

I am not saying that learning a language is only about feelings and psychology, but the right mindset is a critical ingredient of reaching fluency. Yes, you have to put in the hours. Yes, you have to give it effort. Yes, there will be sacrifices. But when we’re fired up, have a strong enough WHY, and genuinely enjoy the process, those hours will slip by more quickly, the process will usually feel effortless, and learning will feel like a treat instead of a chore.

 

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