Why is it impossible to master the pronunciation of new languages ​​after the age of ten?

Acquiring speaking and self-expression skills, and learning languages, are very complex things that we go through in different years of our lives, whether that is your mother tongue or an acquired foreign language.

Most people grow up with their mother tongue innately and implicitly as they acquire and learn it from their environment, and while language experts assert that learning it at a very young age can make a person sound as fluent in the second language as a native speaker. Conversely, when the language is learned at a later age, performance and pronunciation – not just vocabulary and syntax of sentences – may reveal that that language is not the mother.

For example many Spaniards, despite speaking English clearly for years – may still pronounce the “V” sound as “B”.

In a previous study on foreign language acquisition, scientists determined the age at which your chances of achieving full language fluency drop, which is 10 years.

have found studyingPublished in Cognition magazine, it is “almost impossible” for language learners to reach fluency if they start learning a second language after age 10.

Says غوشوا هارتشورن“Your ability to learn begins to decline at age 17 or 18,” study co-author, an assistant professor of psychology at Boston College.

The results of the paper indicated that those who start learning a new language a few years after the age of ten may become very good at the language, but are unlikely to reach full fluency.

It’s still unclear why the reduced ability to learn occurs at the puberty threshold, Hartshorne says. Possible explanations could include changes in brain plasticity and lifestyle that may be related to entering work or university, or an unwillingness to learn new things, which increases with age.

The study, which was conducted on an unprecedented number of people in a data set of 669,498 individuals, showed that students were better off when they learned a new language through practice and contact with native speakers, not just in the classroom or books. And if you can do this, it is entirely possible that you will become adept at conversation, even as an adult, if not quite fluent.

It is almost impossible for language learners to reach the level of fluency if they start learning a second language after ten (Pixabe)

Fluency or correct pronunciation?

Previous study should not discourage you, you may be fluent in the language but you may not be as fluent in some sounds as native speakers, which does not necessarily mean that you have failed to learn.

Even if you care about the correct pronunciation of vocabulary in foreign languages, native speakers only care about the logic of your speech and the smooth flow of phrases.

according to Search Purdue University, achieving competence in speaking a foreign language may depend more on developing fluent speaking patterns and less on correct pronunciation seen as similar to native speakers.

Steps to improve

If you need a little encouragement, the British writer, with Polish roots, Joseph Conrad, author of Heart of Darkness, a landmark of English literature, didn’t speak English until his twenties and became one of the most famous English novelists of all time.

A group of Tips Which may help you professionally learn a new language, even after the age of ten.

Even without writing, you can improve your writing language skills by reading as much as you can.

Reading develops vocabulary and a good understanding of how language is used, and it does not mean that you have to study grammar rigorously, on the contrary, your syntax will become automatic and easier.

  • write as you speak

You can generally improve your writing fluency and ability to read by writing the way you speak. This doesn’t mean writing a lot of slang, but think about how people use plain language when they speak and how natural it sounds.

This step aims to give your writing the same easy flow of speaking as well.

  • Learn new words

This is an essential step in learning any new language. It may seem obvious, but it often needs to be emphasized. Learning more words will give you confidence and skill in choosing words while writing or speaking.

Language experts advise writing down a personal dictionary, by writing down any words or expressions you come across that you don’t know. Write it down, translate it, and start using it in your writing and conversations.

Experts advise writing a personal dictionary by writing down any words or expressions you come across (Pixabe)
  • Make it a daily habit

Practice leads to professionalism, so the only way to improve your writing over time is to keep doing it. Committing to writing, for just 5 or 10 minutes a day, will help you improve your new language.

Try blogging or journaling in the new language in a blog or even on your Facebook account.

Keep a diary, and after a while you will find that your language skills have improved greatly.

  • Check for errors

When you write something, the last thing you do is read it carefully to make sure it’s written in a logical sequence and syntax, and that you haven’t made any mistakes.


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