Many people start to learn a foreign language only to spend years and years with a pointless struggle, or to give up almost instantly. In Hungary, it is compulsory for elementary and high school students to learn a foreign language, and many students have language classes every day of the week.
However, despite the efforts of the Hungarian education system, few students learn to speak a foreign language by the time they finish high school. Adults have a similar tendency of not being able to progress, causing most of them to give up.
Indeed, learning a foreign language can be a frustrating task. Most people know the feeling when you sit over your homework and cannot make sense of the sentence in front of you. But remember, it takes time to learn a new language and you need to persist. This is a very important point often neglected by language learners. Time and persistence.
Another important aspect is that learning a new language is hard work. There are those few derive pleasure out of the process but most will simply want to get to a level where they can start using the language. In any case, you absolutely must learn vocabulary. Grammar is something you can gradually put together yourself from sentences you have memorized (although some people prefer to memorize grammar too), but you absolutely have to learn the words of the new language. There is simply no way around this. There are no shortcuts here.
Therefore the secret rules of learning foreign languages is time, persistence and hard work. Motivation is perhaps the best trick to get you going but you will simply need to bite the bullet and keep going once your motivation runs out.
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