Googling how long it should take us to learn a language…and deliberately trying to find the people who did it in the shortest amount of time, with the hope that we can replicate their results; despite only knowing one language fluently; is called the “polyglot…even though you’re NOT mindset”
This mindset is when your brain only processes the fact that they reached C2 in a language in just 3 months, but completely ignores they’ve been learning multiple other languages before hand for several years. They’ve had time to build language aptitude: Read more about the development of language aptitude here: Language Learning Aptitude Myths. - Language Forum @ LingQ They have had time to figure out methods that are efficient for them and methods that aren’t. They’ve had time to figure out how to time manage themselves better, so they can spend more time in the language, they’re more willing to take risks…which brings greater gains, because they’ve gained more confidence from previous experience.
This mindset is when as a “FIRST” TIME LANGUAGE LEARNER. You will go to websites that boast about 3 months, but ignore the websites like the foreign services institute, which say that it actually takes the average learner 8 months to reach a B2 in a language close to English in the group 1 category.
As a first time language learner this mindset can hold you back. I know of too many people who only just dabble in stuff. Because they’re too busy looking for the method that will get them to achieve what those 3 monthers did. In all honesty you could copy their language learning habits in every area and you still won’t be as a quick…because what works for them might not work as efficiently as you, and because they’ve been learning languages longer; their language learning aptitude, more than likely, is going to be higher.
As a first time language learner there is nothing wrong with giving yourself the amount of time “fast” language learners complain about. Benny Lewis once said “The foreign services institute is wrong it doesn’t take 2000 hours to learn a language.” This is in regards to Chinese, that it can take 2000 hours to reach advanced fluency, however as a first time language learner…you should give yourself 2000 hours to reach advanced levels in Chinese. WHAT’S SO WRONG WITH THAT? You don’t have to expect things to be done in 3 months, just because other people say that’s how long it should take. And some people even learn Chinese alongside another language, because it can take a while, even for experienced language learners.
One day there will come a point when your brain will be developed enough to learn languages faster…but for your first language “double” whatever amount of time a so called polyglot said it took them to achieve X level in said language. The double is NOT BECAUSE YOUR STUPID…the double is extra time for you to figure out what works and what doesn’t work for you, until you set into a nice comfortable routine.
Also if you say it took you 6 years to reach, as an example, advanced fluency in Chinese…most people aren’t going to say “Oh wow how slow…it should of only taken you 3 months.” Most people would say “WOAH YOU FREAKING SPEAK CHINESE!!!”
Or any other language for that matter…you could say it took you 2 years and their reaction would be YOU SPEAK FRENCH???
To me 2 years is a reasonable amount of time. I don’t feel this pressure to have learn French in 3 months. And if I do get a C2 in French in 2 years, I will NOT be embarrassed to say it took me 2 years to get there. And I’ll feel proud of myself. I won’t sit there hiding in some corner, keeping silent about how long it took me; just because it didn’t take me “3 months”.