Are you a hare or a tortoise?

Hare and tortoise

When learning a language do you try to learn it as quickly as possible? Like a hare you hurry through the language ignoring anything that might slow you down, like good grammar and pronunciation, perhaps thinking that you can go back later and tidy them up.

Or maybe you take your time like a tortoise, trying to learn every aspect of the language thoroughly.

There are parallels with learning music – the other day a friend who is learning the violin said that she tends to focus on getting the notes of new tunes right at first, then goes back and pays attention dynamics, bowing and so on. She realised that maybe it would be better to learn those things from the beginning. I certainly try to do this when learning tunes on my various instruments.

With languages I like to take things easy and try to learn things quite thoroughly, though might ignore seems aspects of language that don’t seem relevant.

This entry was posted in Language, Language learning, Music.

One Response to Are you a hare or a tortoise?

  1. Zeppelin says:

    I tend to first learn about a langage in a superficial, piecemeal “fun facts” sort of way, focusing on the things that are new or weird or different, and then follow the paths of investigation that those interesting titbits open up.

    I don’t have much of a choice in this though, as I’m just miserably bad at systematically memorising arbitrary data. I need some sort of explanation or story to link every piece of information to, or it’ll just go straight out the other ear even if I look at the verb table (or whatever) a hundred times.

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