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There’s a thing in statistics that goes like this. Take a dice, throw the dice 100 times after ignoring any time you throw a 5 or a 6. Starting from the centre of a piece of graph paper move upwards one square if you throw a 1, downwards one square if you throw a 2, left one square for 3 and right one square for four. Where will you be at the end of your 100 throws?

The intuitive answer is right back where you started. The correct answer is the square root of the number of throws from the starting point. Exactly why that is the correct answer is a bit complicated and my rusty A Level statistics isn’t up to the job of explaining it.

What’s my point?

If you don’t take care to be very systematic about how you learn a language your progress will be very much like the “random walk” as it is called. You will make progress but it is both a fraction of the rate of progress of which you are capable and it gets steadily worse with time. For instance after 16 throws you would have made 4 squares worth of “progress” but it will take you 64 throws to double that progress and 256 throws to double it again. In other words your progress to effort / time continues to get worse the longer you “stick with it”.

There are specific ways in which randomness is your friend when learning languages but generally it works against your interests rather than for them.