Language help!!


This is more like a question…Ok it so it is a question, In one of the How to ADHD Videos was there a mention of how it is hard for us brains to learn a language because we use the right side of our heads more or am I just imagining it?? I am taking Latin right now and I am starting to slip a bit in the class. THANK YOU!!!


I’m undiagnosed still so take this with a grain of salt, but I speak 3 languages fluently; Swedish, Finnish and English, as well as some Spanish. I can also understand bits and pieces of several other languages.
I’ve personally never had issues learning new languages, in fact, knowing languages is one of my best skills.

I think when it comes to languages, what’s more important is when you learn it.
I grew up in a bilingual family (Finnish-Swedish) and my best friend growing up was Australian, so I essentially grew up learning three different languages.

I also learned Spanish in middle school and was very good at it at the time (although this was 10 years ago now and I’ve barely used it since som uite rusty now).

Children’s brains are very malleable, and they absorb information and skills like sponges. The older people get, the harder it generally is to learn a new language, or any skill for that matter. Our brains typically stop developing around ~18 years of age, and because of the decreasing amount of cerebral growth and stimulation, it is harder (though not impossible by any means) to create new neural pathways (so learning new things).

In order to create new neural pathways, the brain requires repetition (something I do think ADHD brains struggle with). So the persistence of reworking the same material repeatedly, to ingrain the knowledge.
This can be laborious and boring, but there are ways to try and make the process easier and/or more fun.

Granted, I have an unfair advantage of already speaking so many languages (and playing various instruments, and types of music, which are ”languages” in their own ways). But I have found, that the best way for me to learn a new word/grammatical rule/phrase/concept, or anything else, is to relate it to something I already know. I think this is something that ADHD brains are exceptionally good at. Making seemingly random connections.

Try and see if what you’re trying to learn relates to something you already know. A word might sound similar to a word you already know in English, even if the semantic meaning is entirely different. There may be some grammatical rule that makes you think of a story of something that has happened to you that helps you remember the rule. Or if you’re really struggling to find any existing connections, make up new ones. The brain is essentially a computer looking for patterns, and if you can’t find any, you make them. Come up with something that rhymes, or allitteration, or a vivid mental image that describes a concept - whatever works for you personally.

Edit: this gets easier the more languages you know, because you start seeing so many connections between the languages. The more languages at your disposal, the more words/rules you have to relate new information to.

I may have rambled here a bit and not sure this was relevant, but hope this was of any use :slight_smile:


I remember there being a video that discusses this. I think people with ADHD are really great at learning anything that fascinates them. We can also be terrible at learning things that don’t interest us. I have heard MANY accounts of people with ADHD finding learning languages to be difficult. There could be a bunch of reasons for this, not just the interest/motivation angle. Many people with ADHD have audio processing difficulties.

Perhaps you need to find a way to learn Latin that resonates with your particular style of learning. There are TONS of resources to learn languages that can supplement your current Latin education. They say the best way to learn anything is to engage as many senses as possible. Maybe try something that combines visual and audio education. There are apps and computer programs that say the word, show a picture, and show the written word. That is a great way to get down vocabulary. Also, practice your Latin in every day situations. Talk to yourself in Latin. YouTube videos in Latin. Make it fun. Good luck!


Same here. I speak three, and bits and pieces of a couple more. Currently I am trying to learn Russian and German but my progress is very slow as I spend only a few minutes once in a while. I use Duolingo & Memrise. These programs seem to use spaced repetition technique I talked about in another post. But I am not sure if these programs get you very far.

At least I can read the Russian alphabet and sound out words as it is a phonetic language!

I am currently reading a book called “Moonwalking with Einstein” which is about memorizing. The claim is that anyone can learn to memorize by essentially creating connections. The author, a journalist, not only learned these techniques but he did so well that he won the USA Memory championship and set a new record! They do things like remembering the sequence of cards in a whole deck of cards aftre studying it for 3 minutes. There are other tricks like the Memory Palace that are similar.

There is also research that says people can remember an incredible number of things and we do not know if this is limited. I don’t know how all of this applies to ADHDers but this is certainly I will be trying.

I think age is certainly a factor in making it harder to remember but I don’t quite believe learning languages is harder because if you think with the right side of your head. It may be that different people learn differently.

So, @ADHDMonk, you can try different things and see what works better for you!


My particular flavor of ADHD and languages is that I want to learn too many. I’ve dabbled in French, German, and Japanese. I took a few courses of each in college. I read a book in Latin (once, lol). I know a tiny bit of Korean. I’m pretty good at languages but I cannot for the life of me focus long enough on one to get fluent. I’m even considering adding a Spanish minor to my degree! I don’t even know Spanish. But Spanish would be a good language to know as an occupational therapist.


I love Duolingo! Even my kids get into learning new languages on their app. Unfortunately, they don’t do Latin. They’ve been talking about adding it for awhile, though.


Yeah, but you’re Finnish. I don’t think I know any Finnish person who doesn’t speak at least three, more often four langauges. Which, considering that you have two official languages and I can’t speak either of them so I can only communicate with those who can also speak English or something, I guess there’s a risk of confirmation bias here… :grimacing:

To me, engagement is the key to learning a language. I need to have some use for it, right away. I practically soaked up English at school because I loved rock music and wanted to understand the lyrics. Later, I wanted to read comic books and watch movies without a translator getting in the way… My French, on the other hand, suffered because neither French rock music nor French comic books were easy to get in Germany at the time. It’s easier now and I’ve re-discovered a few of my old French favorites via the internet, but I still prefer French movies with subtitles rather than without. I also picked up bits here and there from Dutch, Spanish, Slovak, Slovene and (there it is again) Swedish from hanging out with people from those countries and in those countries, but I never learned those languages because that would have involved doing the boring stuff, too - learning the grammar and words that didn’t come up in conversation. Those things I could only do as long as a teacher forced me to. So I guess I needed both these things - direct engagement on my own terms as well as some outside structure driving me to focus on grammar - to actually learn a language.


As a music educator, I had to learn pronunciation of a bunch of different languages. Could I tell you what the words I said mean? No…


I only just started high school and I know English pretty well. Last year I got my C1 qualification certificate after entering the FCE exam done by Cambridge and now I’m learning German. I’m hoping I’ll be able to get my A1/1 and A1/2 certificates this year and I believe my ADHD has helped me learn languages much quicker because it helps me multitask really well.

I would definitely suggest opening videos in your target language while doing anything in your native language. It helps a great deal in terms of understanding what you listen to as a cohesive sentence rather than word by word. I hope this helps!


So do you guys want to do my Latin homework for me :grin::grin::wink: Actually I know some Italian because my grandparents are Italian and my grandmother use to speak it fluently. Thanks everyone.


@ADHDMonk, have you tried the LingQ system? They do provide on line Latin learning:
It was founded by a guy who speaks 16 languages fluently and LingQ is supposedly used by over a million people. He has a YouTube channel with lots of videos that should be of use. In particular this video talks about various methods of learning a new language and how it is more important make sure it is an enjoyable activity.


Veni. Vidi. Vici.
Ciao, pizan!


Thank you khagen!! I will give that a try!!


Ora pro me Anonymous1! PAX


Ora pro nobis!!
Always, man!!
Just remember:
Audaces fortuna iuvat (Fortune helps the strong is the literal translation). Where fortune leaves, the Almighty enters. And HE NEVER LEAVES!
Praying for you, Monk. Be cool!!


Deo gratias, truly means a lot Anonymous!! Oreamus Pro Invicem! + + +


Don’t worry, I suck at languages too!

I’m my school we are (being forced into) learning Gaelic and French. I despise them both…

Gaelic had always seemed pointless to me. I mean, why learn a language that pretty much no one else in Edinburgh can speak? What is the point?

French is alright, but I just suck at it, which may be why I hate it…



More things are wrought by prayer in this world than man will ever know!!