The subconscious learning process

I had something quite surprising happen to me this evening when re-watching a German sitcom, when I was watching it in the past, I had to stop almost every time there was a new sentence of sub titles and google translate it.
Since then I really hadn’t been studying German that much but what completely surprised me was how much I could understand. Some of the stuff Steve has been saying here really hit home when he was saying how he could come back a month later and his Russian improved. Language learning can’t be forced, like Steve mentioned you don’t know when the fog will lift or when things will sink in, they have there own time table.

Congratulations! I’m so looking forward to experiencing this phenomena for myself! :slight_smile:

Thanks for sharing this experience. Been wondering the same thing myself.
Whenever I learn a new language it initially seems slow to sink in then all of a sudden it seems to click. I find the brain needs to “defragment”. It needs time to catergorise stuff. Sleeping is actually excellent for that.

Thinking about it though outside the language arena, if you can’t remember something like a name, a while can go by and your brain picks it out for you. That means it is there stored somewhere. I guess it must be the same principle at work.

Congratulations! That’s the kind of thing that makes (language) learning so exciting. I look forward to the phenomenon when I return to my languages.

I believe the brain can only process so much stimulus at once to protect itself. I know there’s people out there all the time who cram for tests and later can’t barely remember anything. I think with language learning it’s kind of a slow process to really store things in our long term memory. I agree with Marianne about the importance of sleeping! lol. It’s like working out and you tear little muscle fibers and slowly they get stronger, but sleep and rest is just as important as the exercise.

Not to discourage the ambitious, but sometimes I wonder how wise it is to have goals like I will be at a b1 level in 4 months for example or “know” 5000 words etc. Its like wanting to bench press 290 lbs in 5 months for example. Nobody knows when your body will allow you to do such things. That little experience of mine just made me realize I need to just relax and enjoy the process and not worry about levels etc, every little gain I make is a step in the right direction.