Does a language start to 'click in to place'?

I heard Steve saying its a long road from B1 to C2, I think I am somewhere in there, but is there a point where you start to get everything with the language?

I myself have found that its a lot of hard work and I even feel that I should be further ahead. Lately I have found that my study takes a lot more effort and I am struggling a bit trying to motivate myself. I find myself picking up a different book and going over the easier material I have seen before than going forward with the newer material I have not seen before.

What do LingQers think???

“I myself have found that its a lot of hard work and I even feel that I should be further ahead.”

Let´s do some math: A 20year old native speaker of Spanish has spend 7300 days (almost) completely immersed in Spanish. About 146,000 hours of Spanish. 100,000 if you don´t count sleeping. And some 20year olds still sound stupid when they´re speaking their native language. How many hours have you spend learning Spanish? Enough time to rightfully think that you should be “further ahead”? Did your English “click” at some point?

PS: If you perceive what you´re doing as “hard work” then you´re probably doing something wrong. Try to “study easy”. Do something fun, in Spanish. Use cloze deletion instead of “normal” (i.e. difficult and boring) flashcards. Play a video game, read about your hobby…stuff like that. Having fun is a serious thing in language learning. The only way to fail learning a language is giving up, and most people who give up do so because they work to hard, expect too much and don´t even try to have fun.

PPS: This post might not sound “nice”, but I assure you that I wrote it to help you :slight_smile:


I don’t think there is a point where you will ever get ‘everything’ with a language, even your own native tongue.

I am sure, however, that there will come a time when you can read well enough to be able to enjoy what you are reading or listening to. As Paul89 puts it, learning a language can and should be fun! And ‘the only way to fail learning a language is giving up’ is absolutely true.

Have you tried importing short and interesting texts from the web using the import bookmarklet? I personally like geographical articles and science-based articles very much. When I was learning Spanish at uni a few years ago, I had to do a presentantion with a student from China. As his Spanish was better than his English, we did all the preparation in Spanish. Because the European space program was one of the topics of our course, and China had just put their first manned spaceship into flight, the topic we chose was the Chinese space program. We used sites such as BBC Mundo for our material. We had a lot of fun and gained good marks.

Now I am learning German and have recently started Mandarin. My mistake with German was probably not starting to talk early enough - I left it so long that I became scared, even though my pronunciation is not too bad, I think. I only occasionally remember how to put the endings on nouns, adjectives and such and forget words that I can easily understand if someone else uses them. I, as well as you, have trouble with the ‘should be able to’ nonsense. So, I am telling myself “Get back to talking on LingQ!” and “Forget about feeling like an idiot!”.

Anyway, these are only some of my own highlights and difficulties with language learning. The journey is what matters, enjoy the scenery and have fun!

Hey Paule

its true i have not been doing learning that is fun really but i have been using methods that i think that have been efficient, for example i have been using Assimil but the lessons got pretty heavy after lesson 60, and they are a lot longer so it has been a lot harder to get through a lesson each night, I know i don’t have to get through a lesson every night but it was a goal that i was working towards. It is true that learning has to be fun and I should try and make it more fun. However I was hoping to finish Assimil, and my linguaphone course and then start working with films, i think that watching films would be pretty hard for me now and i would not get that much from it. However I am going to have a think about what could make the learning more enjoyable

As far as Assimil goes, a certain accomplished linguist (in the academic sense: a person who studies the structure of languages) and polyglot gave what I think is really good advice: take 2 to 3 days per lesson. One lesson a day in Assimil seems to be too fast a pace for many people, even among those with experience in language learning. I would read the lesson while listening to the recording until I’m comfortable understanding the recording. Then I’d continue listening to the recording over and over for the next couple of days…


I never used Assimil but I agree that words and patterns and whatnot need some time "to “sink in”.


I think I will do that, it seems like the logical thing to do, I have made a lot of progress with Assimil so I guess there is no harm in spending 2 days on a lesson,

Just to add to the above, I think your brain switches off when you are not enjoying the activity, whatever it is. So even if you believe a particular activity is ‘efficient’, it won’t be if you don’t enjoy the experience.

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