I Learned a Foreign Language and Then Forgot It

Personal Stories, Advice, and Support 1,020 People


    In 2007 I worked in Angola where the official language is Portuguese. Only a very small percentage of the people could speak English so I was forced to learn Portuguese, the problem was that they spoke a mixture of European and Brazilian Portuguese with a local flavor added. So...
    RichardsDick RichardsDick
    46-50, M
    2 Responses Nov 1, 2012

    Spanish and French

    Well, when the year starts again i'll probably remember it again but summer has started and my mind is too preoccupied to think about what this means and what that means...
    stripesANDsunshine stripesANDsunshine
    18-21, F
    Jul 11, 2008

    4 Years Of Spanish

    I spent four years in high school busting my butt in honors Spanish. Just to graduate and not use it and then forget it. "If you don't use it, you loose it" lol Has this ever happened to anyone??!!
    colormegrey colormegrey
    22-25, F
    1 Response Jul 29, 2013


    In high school I took a year of German (my first choice). The next year we didn't have any one to teach German.  So, I took Spanish to fulfill my second year of foreign language requirements for college prep.  In my Senior year we finally had someone to teach German again, so...
    lyricaldemise lyricaldemise
    41-45, T
    1 Response Aug 3, 2012

    Hebrew, Shebrew

    I went to an all Jewish day school for about 7 years of my childhood--we studied Hebrew intensely and I could speak it pretty well. In fact, once I left that school and started studying Spanish, I wouldn't even think in English. I would translate it to Hebrew first, then...
    GonzoRain GonzoRain
    Aug 28, 2008

    I Was Only Little

    When i was four me and my dad moved to sweeden, so i learned to speak sweedish. We went back when i was five. And now i don't know more than a few sweedish words...
    Hejsa007 Hejsa007
    18-21, F
    Jun 20, 2013

    Nihongo Y U So Hard?

    So, I self taught myself Japanese. No not the weeaboo crap. I actually bought several reference books, learning books, and work books on the Japanese language. I memorized the entire syllabary and began working on Kanji. I soon fell into procrastination and within a month I...
    ModernSimplisticDesign ModernSimplisticDesign
    18-21, F
    2 Responses Oct 6, 2011

    Start Back From Scratch

    WAY @ the beginning. Preliminary, before Lesson 1 of Beginner's. I got a BA degree in Spanish & have nothing to show for it. I was never fluent, anyway, but I WANT to become fluent.
    otad12 otad12
    31-35, F
    Oct 3, 2008


    I studied German for five years in school. I found the grammar was difficult and my accent was never very good. But eventually I could read and write the language, and speak and understand conversational German. However, living in North America there just aren't any opportunities...
    MagnusRobotFighter MagnusRobotFighter
    46-50, M
    1 Response Mar 14, 2013

    Lost My German

    I lived in Germany, and went to school there as well.  I spoke German as I speak English now. Ummm... now I don't know what those Germans are ever talking about.
    naturali naturali
    26-30, F
    Aug 6, 2009

    Simple Words.

    I've learned simple words in French ,Japanese ,German ,even Greek and then about a few months or so ,I forget them! these were words such as objects or places ,I still remember how to say hello and all ,But It had only  been more or less a Month! and i completely for...
    Lhiannan Lhiannan
    13-15, F
    Aug 6, 2009

    Sign Language

    I had always been fascinated with sign language and decided to learn how to sign. I joined the Deaf School as a part time student and suddenly surrounded with deaf people I was forced to learn to sign fast. I loved it and felt like I had learnt a secret language. But once I had...
    soopasal soopasal
    31-35, F
    1 Response Dec 12, 2007

    My family lived in South America

    for a couple years when I was just starting school. I was fluent and spoke to all my teachers and friends in Spanish. Came back to the States, and forgot all of it in a manner of months. Really mad that my parents didn't keep it up at home.
    deleted deleted
    Aug 31, 2014

    I Use to Be Fluent In Spanish,...

    I use to be fluent in Spanish, but now no hablo espanol.
    deleted deleted
    Nov 9, 2007

    I Feel Like I Forget My Second Language Every Year!

    When you read it, some of you may think that it's a joke, but I feel like I forget English non-stop. It is my second language which I learned in my late teens and in the very beginning of my learning experience things were going very well, and I thought that something I am...
    itdoeshappen itdoeshappen
    3 Responses Feb 16, 2010


    Four years in high school, two years  of which were advanced level....I work and live near people who speak Spanish but I forgot pretty much all of it so I can't communicate....I am convinced it is stored in some far corner of my brain, just waiting to be poked out...
    Generika Generika
    31-35, F
    Oct 25, 2008

    Lost My German

    I lived in Germany, and went to school there as well.  I spoke German as I speak English now. Ummm... now I don't know what those Germany are ever talking about.
    naturali naturali
    26-30, F
    Aug 6, 2009


    I worked in Kosovo one summer a few years ago, and prior to this undertook evening courses in the Albanian language.  I travelled for over two hours two evenings a week to attend them for what seemed forever and got to Kosovo that following summer, used a little and then...
    deleted deleted
    1 Response Jul 11, 2008

    I took German in high school

    and forgot most of it. I can count till 19 and remember a few select words but that's about it. But that's not the point. I've met people online who speak languages other than English and thanks to Google Translate I can talk to them anyway. What I really want to say is a big...
    Catherdra Catherdra
    26-30, F
    Nov 28, 2015

    A Huh!

    Sure did. Several as a matter of fact. Now, I remember some of all of them. So it allows me to say so much and confuse so many. Fun, isn't it. A bit of this and a smattering of that. I understand them better when hearing them as opposed to my actually speaking them. Just...
    Josie06 Josie06
    56-60, F
    5 Responses Nov 6, 2008

    If You Don't Use It, You Lose It

    I was in Israel for a year some years ago & learned to speak Hebrew, I mean, I could understand people and express myself generally. Then I left and never came back to it again. Forgotten. I studied German at school for a while. It wasn't the best training, but I could do...
    misasja misasja
    26-30, F
    2 Responses Mar 19, 2008

    22 years ago I went to a Spanish school

    because I really loved the Spanish language (and I still love it!). When I have finished this school I spoke Spanish almost fluently - but since this time I never had a person where to talk Spanish to, and now I´ve forgotten almost everything. Now my knowledge of the Spanish...
    Loretta78 Loretta78
    36-40, F
    1 Response Oct 5, 2015


    I used to be conversational in German. 2.5 years of High School German with a great teacher. I then decided to use the skills I gained to teach myself Japanese. 10 years after starting to study, I'm fluent. However, I can barely understand the German I knew so well... I'd...
    Geza Geza
    26-30, M
    1 Response Dec 12, 2007

    A Shame

    Hehehe, I was taught Irish by my Nana, but as I've never really gotten round to using it it's sort of slipped my mind so I can't speak a word of it anymore. It's a shame though.
    Luangi Luangi
    18-21, F
    Jan 20, 2008


    I took four years of French in high school and by the end I could read and write it pretty well, and speak it okay. But now, four years later, I can barely get past "Bonjour". I regret not keeping up with it.
    the4thfury the4thfury
    22-25, F
    1 Response Jul 21, 2007

    My Brain Dosen't Get It Unless It's Fun

    In high school back in the dark ages "the late 60's " we were given tests to see what language we should take Lucky me I scored high (probably the only time) and got doomed to Latin for 4 years, the lower scorers actually got to learn and speak Spanish, I wish...
    mflatham mflatham
    56-60, F
    Sep 5, 2007


    when i was 6 my mum packed us up and took me to germany, mainly to get away from my dad. we lived in a tiny village in the south, in the Schwabian region. i learnt fluent schwabish, a dialect of german, from teachers, friends, and my childminder withing about two months...
    Tesse Tesse
    18-21, F
    Oct 3, 2008

    3 Years of Spanish

    but I can't really understand much spoken Spanish.  I can pick out words here and there.  I can read pretty much of it and understand.  I never got good and pronouncing things probably because I didn't practice.
    shuttermagic shuttermagic
    36-40, F
    Feb 16, 2008

    Two Languages

    Spanish. Of course I didnt overly exert myself to remember that one anyway.All my hispanic friends speak english and I still know the words I need to know anyway.Like the bad ones;) The secomd one I studied was Latin.   Enough said.
    blackcat blackcat
    22-25, F
    2 Responses Jul 27, 2007

    Only Bits And Pieces Left.... :-)

    Narrator: 'In a galaxy far far away...........' :-) Director: "No, cut!" :-) Director: "Wrong script!!!" :-) Director: "We´ll try it again!° :-) Staff member: "Only Bits And Pieces Left.....the 2nd!" :-) Director: "Ready?" :-) Director: "Action." :-) Narrator...
    deleted deleted
    1 Response May 25, 2010

    I've Been Learning Spanish For 6 Years But I'm Not Sure If I Know It Well Enough. Lol

    I've been learning Spanish in school for 6 years and I think by now I should be pretty good at it. However, My spanish just goes into dormancy whenever I go on vacation because I have no one to converse with to keep it flowing. lol. thus its not that good. I just wish I had...
    pauls09 pauls09
    18-21, F
    2 Responses Aug 18, 2010


    I took french for 2 years in Jr. High.....Yeah it's all gone now except I can sing the alphabet!!  Even the counting, I can't remember lol!
    cordialcherry cordialcherry
    22-25, F
    Jan 6, 2008

    Whats That Backwards R?

    I managed to forget about 90% of everything I learned from my Russian classes. I can still sound most words out, but I don't know what they mean.  There was a time when I could conjugate verbs in my sleep. Now I can't even remember the pronouns! I do remember how to order...
    Twillback Twillback
    31-35, M
    2 Responses Jun 11, 2010

    Como Say What? Me No Habla Espanol!

    I forgot lots and lots of Spanish - nearly everything I was taught throughout my school years, well up until 8th grade. That's a lot of Spanish though! I knew the colors, the animals, numbers, how to ask to use the bathroom, how to say you didn't speak Spanish, how to tell time...
    mixedview mixedview
    18-21, F
    1 Response Jan 19, 2008

    Well Kind Of...

    Well kind of... it was ASL (American Sign Language)
    rescue3 rescue3
    31-35, M
    2 Responses Aug 27, 2008


    i took french for 6 weeks in 5th grade. then took it high school frosh thru junior year. five years later i found myself in paris. i managed to eek out enough to get a bus pass and find a potty. but all the lovely words i had once learned....gone. just. gone. meh, it happens ;)
    springfieldrocks springfieldrocks
    22-25, F
    1 Response Nov 3, 2007


    From the time I was about 5-10 I took Spanish classes with a family friend. My dad put stickers on EVERYTHING in the house, from the ceiling fans to the cabinets. They all had the English and Spanish word for the object. I was doing well until I stopped going to class, and by...
    deleted deleted
    Oct 15, 2011

    Esperanto Seemed to Make Sense

    After forgetting three years of high school French, all of the bits and pieces of Spanish that I've picked up from Sesame Street and beyond, the Italian that I self studied for two years, the Japanese that I took an immersion course in and only can remember one word from, the...
    Gimyk Gimyk
    36-40, M
    1 Response Nov 9, 2007

    Sprechen Sie...um...i Know What Comes Next, Hold On..

    I was born in Mannheim, Germany, so when I went to High School and German was offered, I eagerly took it. I took 3 years and learned it well.. Now, two years later, while I can hear and translate decently, I forget how to say all but the most simple things. I have to take a...
    kittenoftheblade kittenoftheblade
    18-21, F
    2 Responses Oct 3, 2008
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