Word-Finding Difficulties? Learning a language might help.


One of our contributors with FND started learning Spanish using the duolingo app to help with word finding difficulties.

A green owl above the word duolingo

One of our contributors noticed they were having more difficulty with word-finding (also known as anomia or anomic aphasia). They were struggling to find the right words and resorting to “you know the thing?”. Or the wrong word was coming out by accident. Like many FND symptoms, it was worse when they were fatigued, in lot of pain or feeling strong emotions.

You might not know that when learning a new language, most people switch back and forth between the new language and their native language – translating rather than thinking in the new language.

With this in mind, our contibutor started using the free version of the duolingo app to learn Spanish. They practiced at least 15 minutes every day. Every time they read/heard a sentence in Spanish, their brain translated it into English. Then they would think of the answer in English and translate it back into Spanish.

At the time of writing this post, they have a 364 day streak and while their progress in learning Spanish is slower than it might have been pre-FND, they have seen real improvements in their word-finding (in English).

If you have a strategy that has helped you with word finding, please share it via our Contact Us form or email [email protected].

Please note: This site is created by people with FND and we do not claim to be health professionals. The resources and strategies on these pages are generously shared as by our members as things they have found useful. Please consult with your treating practitioners to make sure they are right for you before before trying them out yourself.