Am I Too Old to Learn Spanish?

Picton Reading Room
Nunca eres demasiado viejo para aprender. (You are never too old to learn.). Photo by Beverley Goodwin; licensed via Creative Commons.

Someone has said that the maximum optimum age range for easily learning a foreign language is 12 to 14. I started studying Spanish was I was 14 and went on to take some college courses, mostly in literature. By the time I got to my junior year in college, I knew a lot about the language and literature but still had problems speaking and understanding it when spoken. Fortunately, I met two Latinos who were not there to study English, and because of other common interests we became friends. In a month or so I was understanding practically everything and speaking with facility, although not without errors.

I am now retired and somewhat older than you and spend most of my time studying one thing or another, including piano and French. I admit another language doesn't come quite so easily at my age, but it comes.

I recommend you just plunge ahead as long as your interest will sustain you. Find some good books in Spanish and have a go at them. Read Spanish newspapers, watch Spanish TV, and if you have the time, take a Berlitz or similar course a couple nights a week. Of course, if you can find a Spanish-speaking friend, all the better. And don’t worry about your age.