Is it possible to be too old to learn a language?

Research gives a clear answer. Check out what polyglots and scientists say about “late learning” and how it relates to the opinion that only children can learn quickly.

While we can’t go back to childhood and absorb language like a sponge again, we can use another proven method that gives us relatively quick and lasting results.

Using extended adult memory, logical thinking and so-called prefabricated language skills, if we so desire, we can master a language regardless of age.

To get started, we’re giving you a six-month special deal to see for yourself what advantage you gain by using Taalhammer compared to other apps. Take advantage of this one-time offer and forget about monotonous grammar and impractical words.

Recent studies (e.g. Ellen Bialystok, Helen Abadzi) and various examples of people from the polyglot community show that learning a language is possible at any age.

Two of the best examples here, for example, are Professor Tim Keeley, who has mastered more than 30 languages, and Alexander Arguelles, who speaks 10 fluently but can read 30 languages. The latter is also the developer of the Shadowing method, a slightly modified version of which we adapted for Taalhammer’s students.

The critical period of language learning 

One of the popular theories circulating in the language learning world is the concept of the so-called Critical Period Hypothesis, or CPH for short. This theory states that the first years of life represent a time when language develops easily, after which language acquisition is much more difficult and ultimately less successful. Similar phenomena are known, for example, in birds, which, if they do not learn to sing early enough, later lose the ability to do so. 

The problem with the critical period

Well, as humans we have developed more than birds (OK, let’s say in most cases😋), so unfortunately we can’t hide behind the excuse that age hinders us from learning a language. 

It is worth mentioning here the research of the aforementioned Ellen Bialystok, who showed that although there is indeed a phenomenon of a slight decrease in language skills with age, it does not have a significant impact on the ability to master a foreign language proficiently. Especially at a time when technology is making it easier than ever to learn languages. 

Taalhammer’s unfair advantage

In Taalhammer, you can alternate between several well-proven learning techniques, such as spaced repetition, interleaving, testing, the shadowing method and formulaic sequences.  

Thanks to our proprietary algorithm based on artificial intelligence, in Taalhammer we have improved the above-mentioned techniques to make them even more effective. 

That’s why within the application you get: 

  • Creator AI, which is a simple editor to easily create content tailored to your interests (practice shows that we learn fastest when we are dealing with things that interest us). Sound like a lot of work? Nothing of the sort. Taalhammer has a database with access to 10 million example sentences – all you have to do is search for relevant examples and save them in your lesson.


  • Language Radio, which is a “hands-free” listening mode, so that you train not only memory, but also listening comprehension (based on the aforementioned Shadowing method).

Why is it important? By learning based on the latest scientific models, you are sure to simultaneously develop both passive (reading, listening) and active language competencies (speaking and writing). 

In addition, by listening and repeating practical phrases and sentences you learn to speak without a foreign accent, which is often a huge barrier to being understood by foreigners. 

The more mistakes the faster the development  

Many learners avoid conversation because, of all methods, it is conversation that exposes errors and deficiencies the most. Such people hope that one day they will just start speaking. Such an attitude, unfortunately, only delays the progression dreamed of. 

What does such thinking result from? Most often it comes from learning with methods that impose an artificial program on us based on things that do not interest us at all. 

With the aforementioned Taalhammer editor, you gain the ability to create your own content related to your interests and everyday situations. 

This approach makes you quickly gain confidence in speaking because you are talking about topics that are close to your heart.

Join the revolution in language learning and try Taalhammer in a limited 6-month offer, i.e. 6 months of using the full functionality of the app for only €39!