Has anyone ever told you that you "shouldn't be" learning the language you're learning and why?

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Joined: 09.04.2017
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Going off the "why did you learn a language" post and hearing all the beautiful stories, I thought I'd talk about the other side of the spectrum. Has anyone ever given you a reason for why you shouldn't learn the language that you're learning, what was their reasoning and did you prove them wrong?

Moderator in constant evolution
Joined: 05.04.2012

In Brazil, people look at you differently (in a not good way) when you tell them you're going to study a language at college. Most of my family gave me congratulations when I told them what I wanted to be (I have a licentia docendi/Licentiate Degree in Languages-Portuguese/English), but there are always those people who say that only the less-smart ones take that as a career choice as Brazil doesn't respect its teachers very much and that I should have taken something that would bring me more money, like Administration, Medicine or Engineering. The only problem with that is that I'm not really into Math and Medical Sciences... It's very bad people want only to see you being rich and have much money, but not doing what you love. They didn't understand that I knew too much of English not to do anything with it...

I graduated with a higher-than-the-average grade and with several praises from teachers/college staff, and that proved them wrong ;). The only thing they got right is that I wouldn't get a job straight after graduating, but as I plan to enroll in a Master Degree program, this is not a big issue for me at the moment.

Joined: 09.04.2017

Yay! Good for you, that's really impressive! At least your family was supportive!

Guest
Alma Barroca wrote:

In Brazil, people look at you differently (in a not good way) when you tell them you're going to study a language at college. Most of my family gave me congratulations when I told them what I wanted to be (I have a licentia docendi/Licentiate Degree in Languages-Portuguese/English), but there are always those people who say that only the less-smart ones take that as a career choice as Brazil doesn't respect its teachers very much and that I should have taken something that would bring me more money, like Administration, Medicine or Engineering. The only problem with that is that I'm not really into Math and Medical Sciences... It's very bad people want only to see you being rich and have much money, but not doing what you love. They didn't understand that I knew too much of English not to do anything with it...

I graduated with a higher-than-the-average grade and with several praises from teachers/college staff, and that proved them wrong ;). The only thing they got right is that I wouldn't get a job straight after graduating, but as I plan to enroll in a Master Degree program, this is not a big issue for me at the moment.

I've heard similar reports from Brazil! A friend of mine who is a translator in Rio has spoken to me a lot about this very same topic.
She is caving in to the pressure, and it stresses her out, and she thinks she should change careers because
of it.

It's good that you aren't letting it get you down!!

As for me, I do not have a choice---I've never been attracted to the scientific world or the technological world other than to use it to do what I like. Some people are just not meant to do the jobs that are so approved of by others.
I'd rather enjoy my work than count the hours at work each day.
It isn't idealistic---I just can't survive otherwise, personally.

Guest
opulence wrote:

Going off the "why did you learn a language" post and hearing all the beautiful stories, I thought I'd talk about the other side of the spectrum. Has anyone ever given you a reason for why you shouldn't learn the language that you're learning, what was their reasoning and did you prove them wrong?

I've never met someone who told me anything to my face about this, but I've read disturbing internet commentary on how languages should all disappear and everybody should adopt English. What a horrific perspective, but some people do believe in this .... and they are otherwise sane. It doesn't necessarily mean they have many strange ideas. They're just simplistic.

Joined: 09.04.2017

That is horrible. I know a ton of people who feel that way though and it makes me so sad. But it's a really common way of thinking here in America Sad smile

Super Member
Joined: 02.03.2013

I've tried (and failed) to learn finnish, and I guess the main argument people have had against even attempting to learn that language is the grammar (15 cases!)

Joined: 09.04.2017

Yeah Finnish grammar is pretty hard, I've tried learning it myself and I couldn't do it.

Joined: 09.04.2017
opulence wrote:

That is horrible. I know a ton of people who feel that way though and it makes me so sad. But it's a really common way of thinking here in America Sad smile

This comment would sound a lot better if the comment before it hadn't been deleted

Super Member
Joined: 22.04.2014

My mother does not want me studying her language. He says I spend time on something that is not useful in life. In Russia people want to know only Russian and English. And forget their native languages (we have more than 180 indigenous nations). And in Russia everyone tells others how to live and what to do!!!

Joined: 09.04.2017

What language is it?

Super Member
Joined: 22.04.2014

Mari.

Joined: 09.04.2017

You should learn it, save those indigenous languages!

Super Member
Joined: 06.02.2016
Uklet usud po meni pao
Joined: 28.05.2013

My family discouraged me from studying languages in general. They wanted me to learn English but they did not want it to be my life. I was good at physics and chemistry so good that my teachers in high school begged me to study science butI kindly refused as I was into English. Then during my second year at the high school I started learning Bosnian. Little did I know was that the Yugoslavic languages would also become a part of me. My mom was agaiinst me learning Bosnian, my dad was shocked but there I was learning. Then I started Macedonian almost 3 years ago. In the end they let me be. Meantime, I also studied Romanian and got certificate for it. And currently I am studying Russian. I am aiming for Bulgarian. Regular smile

Moderator Polyglot Scot
Joined: 26.07.2013

In high school I told the guidance teacher I was applying to study Russian at university (I did anatomy which I'd wanted to do since childhood but I applied for languages too just in case!) and he told me not to bother because Russian economy was declining and that I should learn Mandarin instead as the markets were increasing. I told him I wasn't studying the languages for economical reasons, lol. And funnily enough I am studying Mandarin now anyway!

Also I have been told not to bother with languages like Slovenian because they have "so few" native speakers.

If I had time, I would study every language possible, so people can never really discourage me Regular smile

Otter in disguise
Joined: 19.09.2016

When some colleagues of mine found out I was studying Japanese on my own, they laughed and told me it was just too difficult and that I should be using my time on "more useful things".
A friend I used to have also that told me that learning more languages was a waste of time because I was already good at English "and that was enough".

I really can't understand why some people think learning another language is Crazy and/or A Sin of sorts. I mean, you can be okay with only knowing (a) certain language(s) and that's cool, but there's no need to shame or discourage people who are interested in learning more, y'know.

Member
Joined: 03.12.2016
Rezz wrote:

When some colleagues of mine found out I was studying Japanese on my own, they laughed and told me it was just too difficult and that I should be using my time on "more useful things".

Learn Japanese anyway. It's a beautiful language.

Member
Joined: 03.12.2016

Well, I'm from Estonia originally and I speak Estonian natively. My mom is from Korea and she has very strongly encouraged me to learn Korean and she used to get really upset if I wanted to learn something else. I'm at a very low intermediate level in Korean and I can understand way more than I can speak and that's ok with me. I much prefer Japanese. I told my mom I wanted to learn Japanese because it interests me more and she was actually upset. She still tells me "It's the wrong language for you, Ebba." and "You're not Japanese." or "Stop thinking you're Japanese."

Otter in disguise
Joined: 19.09.2016
Ayano Aishi wrote:

Learn Japanese anyway. It's a beautiful language.

That's just what I'm doing. I'm actually getting ready to see if I can go for N4 Teeth smile

Member
Joined: 03.12.2016

Good luck! I'm still a beginner but that's really impressive Regular smile

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