Language learning is not always easy…
Through the ups and downs of being a language learner, there are certain comments that you will come across time and time again. And we don’t like it. The truth is, unless you’re learning a new language yourself, you just don’t get it!
Here is a countdown of some of the most frustrating examples:
10. How long does it take to learn a language?
This is often followed by, ‘…like, a year..?’ or some other ridiculous figure. It’s not like driving a car; there is no end to your learning!
9. Say something in [X language] !
No. My mind is as blank as it has ever been. How do I choose what to say?
8. Are you fluent yet?
Look buddy, I don’t think you get it. The truth is, I may never be fluent, and besides, the idea of ‘fluency’ is subjective.
7. You’re so lucky; I’m terrible at languages!
This was not luck, my friend. I worked really hard to reach this point! And so can you! Learning languages should be for everyone.
6. You speak [foreign language]? Oh let me introduce you to my [foreign] friend!
Ahhh!! I was not coming here thinking I’d be put on the spot like this. Don’t get me wrong, practice is great – but with a surprise like this all my vocab has gone out the window.
5. *Friend hears complicated phrase in [language]* *Taps you on shoulder* “What did they just say?”
I wish it were that simple. I wasn’t even slightly concentrating. Also, because I’m learning a language, doesn’t mean I’ll understand everything someone said.
4. Polyglots are always teachers or translators
Please. Every industry needs languages at some level. The sky’s the limit in language learning.
3. Well anyway, only machines will translate in future
Have you ever tried translating with a machine? And how did that go for you? Thought so.
2. The only language you need is English
Whether it’s your first or second language, English is useful. But it is not the be-all and end-all. Language learning is about more than just ‘getting by’!
1. What’s even the point in learning a new language?
You never need to ask this. There is always more to learn, more ways to grow, new cultures to experience and understand. Life + more languages = improved.
Are you learning a new language? What comments have you received from friends and family that have frustrated you?