Learning the German language plays a central role in the integration of refugees in Germany. However, older refugees in particular often face learning difficulties, hindering their efficient integration. Based on qualitative interviews with five low-educated older refugees, five highly educated older refugees and five language teachers, I find that the core of the problem is the meaning that policymakers ascribe to refugees as a homogeneous group and to the need to teach refugees the German language as a temporary phenomenon. Moreover, there is a contradiction in the meaning that the language teachers and the older refugees ascribe to old age. While the language teachers doubt the ability and the readiness of older refugees to learn due to the difficulties that they face, older refugees do not attribute a negative meaning to old age and they do not doubt their ability or their readiness to learn the German language.