The linguists and psychologists still continue this perennial discussion: whether people are born with the certain abilities to learn a language or they acquire them on their life path through toil and persistence. All the research work doesn’t give the accurate results because it is hard to distinguish a boundary between physical and psychological. As it is the typical case in psychology science…
Personally, I think that if one is determined enough to achieve a goal he has set he can take on the world. Although there are some abilities which will give you confidence to strive for a polyglot title if you are lucky enough to have them. Or a little (!) excuse not to learn a bunch of languages if you lack them.
1. Logical thinking. That is a tricky one but probably the most essential. It seems that languages are for those with humanitarian turn of mind. That is a myth. You need to structure sentences in your mind using the logic of grammar rules. Also an inductive way of thinking will bring you a success as you apply general grammar rules to individual examples. I know people who won contests in languages in their school time and they all entered math or IT departments. So put your left brain hemisphere on guard!
2. Phonemic awareness. It is the ability to identify individual sounds and manipulate them. People with this ability are not only good at speaking different languages but also at learning a variety of accents.
3. Huge memory capacity. That is not a surprise, isn’t it? Some specialists say that you have to learn at least 10 foreign words a day just to keep your mind fit not to say to learn a new challenging language.
4. Impersonating skills. Being a good actor will help you to delete all the barriers you have in speaking a foreign language. Because we basically play a role of a person of another culture and nationality while communicating in a different language. Not a surprise some actors are fluent in many languages. Let Viggo Mortensen be your role model from now on!
I won’t bother you with official science anymore. If you haven’t found any special talents you have from the list above you can still see if your star sign in astrology gives you any chances (don’t take it too seriously, remember there is no excuse to your idleness! 🙂 ).
The star of all the stars in languages is Gemini: communication is like breathing air for them. The ability to capture information in a flash of a second and reproduce it makes them crave for a new foreign language again and again.
Pisces and Leos tend to learn the most romantic languages: Spanish, Italian and French because they go well with their poetic and dreamу nature. French will also suit sophisticated Libras.
Cancers and Scorpios will be drawn by the mysteriousness of the Eastern languages and Virgos’ ability to remember incredible amount of information will help them with hieroglyphs.
Virgo, Aries and Capricorn will conquer the tricky German language with their perseverance.
Aquarius’ thought: “I can’t get the world’s power and set my own justice without knowing a bit of English”. Sagittarius dreams about travelling to every corner of the Earth and needs English to communicate; Taurus just thinks it is useful and practical and wants to know one language thoroughly.
Still you are not convinced that you are a born language-learner? Just grab a dictionary, a good grammar book and some original movies, make a bet with yourself and prove the opposite!