Avoid Language Envy

Every now and again I hear a story about someone who was able to learn Turkish 6 months. Now they speak as well as native speakers and are doing post graduate studies in a Turkish University program. People often tell me these kinds of stories and can’t believe I am not using the method the person they know used. Whether it is an 8 hour a day formal class. Or the total contradictory method of not using any formal curriculum and just talking to people and watching movies. Today’s post is about how avoid language envy.

The last thing we need to do as language learners is react badly when someone is taking an interest and wants to help us with our language learning.

  1. Use it as motivation and don’t get discouraged. The last thing you need to do is to get discouraged when you here the story of someones success. Don’t let yourself start telling yourself that you are failure since you are not doing as well as the other person. The first thing you should take away from their story is that the language is learnable! Some one else did- so can you.
  2. They are learning different skills then you. Learn from them. These other language learners are learning the language differently than you. This means they are learning different skills than you are or at least they are spending time mastering different skills than you are. Some of them may focus on everyday conversation. Some maybe focusing on grammar and understanding. If you hear about some excelling because of some program they are using- figure out what skills they are mastering that is helping them and work on those.
  3. They have opportunities you don’t have. We all have different language opportunities from each other. This can because of time, money, and location. Some of us can take lots of classes. Some of us get the chance at immersion (like me!). Some of us can afford private lessons and some of us can’t. All of these things help our language but they all help differently and at different speeds. So it would be unwise to compare our learning to someone who is learning in a very different way- that we would not even have the chance to.
  4. Everyone is different. If you can’t resist to compare yourself with the language genius you are hearing about just remember, everyone is different. People have different learning aptitudes and skills. You are better at some things than other and some people will be better at you in  regard to language learning. Take heart though you are probably better at language learning than this language blogger.
  5. They could be wrong. Finally if all else fails remember that these people you are hearing from could just be wrong. They may think they know how and how quickly this person learned the language but they might just be wrong.


  1. I’m glad I got to see this post.My friends are one cycle above me(because I failed the first one xD)so I always feel like I’m moving really slow compared to them.But I guess,I should be looking at my own progress instead of theirs.
    Good luck in your test!


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