Did not "finish" one language, and want to learn a New one

How you Deal with the wish to learn Another language, but you did not got The fluency in The current language you learning.


Do not worry about it. Study what you enjoy! If you need the language for a job, then continue to study that language, but otherwise, you can do what you want!


It may not be the language for you if you’re looking at another language, or else perhaps you’re OK with the level you already obtained. It sounds like you’re not. FWIW, you’ll never ‘finish’ a language, so leaving one to do another isn’t such a terrible thing.

That said, I’ve noticed that there are people who appear to be addicted to the ‘easy gains’ period in language learning, and jump ship as soon as those gains start to slow down, usually leaving them at around a strong A2/weak B1 in multiple languages.

I mean, why slog through a language, one that you probably didn’t even really need to use in the first place, when you can just start a shiny, brand new one and get those fast gains all over again?

That’s not to say it’s a bad thing (although I personally don’t see the value when you can’t function in a language), just that if your goal is to reach a genuinely high level in a language (in a reasonable time), that’s probably not the way to go about it.

Each to their own though, we all have different goals, and some people just enjoy the process of getting to a B1 kind of level. No matter what, you’ll learn things from every new language you tackle, no matter how far you take it.


I would question myself very deeply before changing direction.

@hellion already said some of the reasons, you might want to be careful with changing without having analysed what you are doing.

You need to understand very well which are the reasons you want to give up and which are the reasons you want to start a new language.

Both directions could be right and wrong, so there is no truth about it.

Random sentences:

  • you might want to set a deadline to achieve an advanced result and give everything you can before giving up
  • you did a wrong choice at the beginning and you could repeat another wrong choice if you are not sure about why you did it
  • you could develop a habit to fail
  • you could regret this choice in a couple of years

One thing: don’t rush the choice if in doubt.
If in doubt you keep going.
You need to be absolutely sure and calm in your choice, whatever it is.

Don’t trust your mind. Analyse your choice, write down pros and cons, write your questions on a paper and answer properly. Then wait and observe what’s coming up.
Be patient, you can always start a new language in few days or weeks, it’s not going to escape.

Hope it helps.


@hellion Honestly, I think the beginning of a language is where the ‘hard gains’ are, the ‘deep slog’. For me, listening to damn Mini Stories on repeat was a real drag, I gotta say… But to each their own, right?


i mean i dont think you ever finish a language there is still so much to learn. Its not the most optimal way to learn but if your just doing it for fun follow your bliss


You are never finshed with a language when you reached fluency. In my opinion learning a language is an adventure that can fulfill you and frustrate you a great deal. But it’s so worth the ride! Maybe you just need a break from.your first language and feel like learning a new one. Nothing wrong about that. I started 50 days ago to improve my Spanish, Hungarian and French. I stopped for a few days with Hungarian and French, but never stopped with Spanish because my goal is to achieve C1 level in 6 months. I enjoy learning several lamguages daily, but the intensity is different. Just follow your joy, make your own rues and see where the path woll lead you!


Haha, I can see that. Perhaps I should’ve said that we make the most rapid progress during those early stages. I agree, how we ‘feel’ when we’re doing what we’re doing is important. Hating the process can definitley make things a real slog. I still have nightmares about repeat watching of Peppa Pig many years ago. Whenever I hear that theme tune now, my body immediately starts the fight or flight response.:joy:


@hellion I know that some people believe that the most rapid progess is at the beginner stages. Maybe cause they just don’t have a way to measure the actual progress? For instance, yesterday was a long LingQ day for me. I read 20k words and marked 200 words Known. I know that marking a word Known generally means I’ve encountered at least the root word several times (or is a cognate of the English word), so it’s not exactly ‘learning’, but rather marking words I already know. But my process feels faster now than as a beginner. I’d say mainly cause the content is more interesting and so times flies. But maybe there are those who love Peppa Pig so much that they go into ‘flow’ watching it. xD Or maybe I’m not yet at the infamous Intermediate Plateau, in which these people talk about. :open_mouth:


Same here, the beginner phase is the one I dread the most and almost makes me quit immediately. It’s only with enough perseverance and exposure that something “clicks” and finally learning becomes fun.


I think Steve talks about the line of progress being like a hockey stick, at some stage, some time after the beginner stage, things kinda move at a snail’s pace. I swear I’ve gone 6+ months of barely feeling any progress before and I’m nowhere close to C2.

The easy gains can only be achieved from the low hanging fruit (i.e the most frequent words), which is abundant during those beginner stages. Every single day you’re grabbing fruit.

You’re right though, if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing during those stages, even if you’re learning new words left and right, then that’s an issue. I didn’t especially enjoy that beginner content either, but the speed of which I learned new words/grammar offset that and then some. We’re all different though.

I guess I’d have looked to jump into stuff that was probably too tough for me if I hadn’t felt that way. It would’ve make things more challenging, but if that’s your thing then I don’t see a problem with it.


I went through this for a long time, and resembled the serious A2/B1 learner @hellion describes. but its more that the honeymoon had passed, i didnt have lingq yet and didnt know what to do to get out of that phase, and by the time I wanted to try again it was no longer the one most relevant to my life. Using lingq for a fourth language I have a higher level than I ever did with the others, but I’m far from home and would burn out if I tried to race to fluency like I would have if I had known all this at 21. But I’m also more in the confident in the process, and care more about the long term realization of goals across a few languages than getting one the fastest I can. Ive actually been more motivated with all my languages since spreading the focus across two and sipping at another two, my enthusiasm-peak shifts between them, but showing up to study one means I will for the others, and can bank a victory even if I just keep the minimum streak with the one I’m bored with, taking gratification in what I can reach in ten+ years altogether.

To get really, really good, at a foreign language, takes a really long time; much, much more than to be, in contrast, pretty damn good. Some people I admire who are many years into one language they clearly are already dirty at, talk about wanting to really hammer it out before switching to another. Most others are happy to put operation B2->C2 at least on the lifelong backburner, so think about a realistic target in terms of hours and effort to B2, and whether you seriously want to give up before trying to hit it.

The main thing is to know the difference between jumping out of skiddishness and doubt of the process vs your long term goals. If you think this is something you want in your life, even if you’ve become less excited about it at the present moment, try adding a very small dose/easy level streak to the language tempting your wiles, and after a month or two if youre more excited to work on the other one, you can reverse the focus levels. But be suspicious of blind language greed posing as the one that got away; you will have your lulls and boredom and temptation by new ones when youre learning that one too.