There will undoubtedly be people who disagree with my assertion – there usually are. Some people will naturally find language acquisition easier than others – and that’s alright – but it doesn’t seem fair to a less experienced or less confident learner to hold them to the same standards, or expect them to hold themselves to the same standards.
Stumbling upon articles related to languages and linguistics is often a delight. However, this article verges on shear silliness. Language learning is not about fairness, nor is the commentary by those that may find it “easy”. The ability – or lack thereof – to be fluent in another language has to do with several factors, to include, aptitude (some people can do a back flip, others can’t, some can do calculus, etc), general education (if you have a good educational foundation you are more likely to be able to learn new things), age (the older someone is the more difficult it becomes for most people to change the plasticity of thought), dedication (if someone wants to learn a few phrases for a trip to Italy, they are likely to succeed with a few hours of study, whereas to become fluent in Mandarin takes years of study).
The fact that this article mentions absolutely nothing about aptitude and instead focuses on inane facts like whether or not the reader would be willing to mimic Benny Lewis in the swearing off of alcohol is maddening.
I would never claim that language learning is easy, or difficult, but I would be willing to speak anecdotally and say that I find it fun, intriguing and quite rewarding. Obviously, by the tone of this article the author disagrees with that opinion…but rest assured, that’s all it is, an opinion.