Monday, June 9, 2014

The highs and lows of studying a foreign language

HIGHS:
- For me, there is nothing more satisfying than understanding everything going on around you. I think this comes from me moving to Hong Kong at a young age, and obviously not being able to understand everything, so I've always had this drive to learn languages in order to understand the world around me.
- I know this sounds evil, but I get endless amounts of pleasure catching people out when they are talking about me/my friends etc. in another language that they assume I don't speak. This can be fairly common when abroad, and boy is it funny seeing their faces when they realise. #lolz
- Extending on my previous point, you get to eavesdrop a lot more.. hehe.
- The pleasure you feel when some aspect of a language that you've been working on for years finally clicks is indescribable. 
- New languages = the possibility to make so many new friends! There are billions of people out there who you can't necessarily communicate with because you don't share a common language. Two of my best friend's first language isn't English, so if they hadn't moved to the UK and learnt English, I never would have had the opportunity to meet them and get to know them so well.
- No matter what anyone says, language is usually key to fully understanding a culture and it's history. I have loved studying Russian history, and speaking some Russian has really helped me to understand it that much better.
- It gives you a great excuse to travel, and when you do, you can get so much more out of it! Take this past year for example - I've lived in both Russia and Spain and had so many amazing experiences, some of which would have been virtually impossible without some knowledge of the languages.
- When you see that proud look in someones eye when they realise how far you've come and how much you've learnt, the first time you dream in another language, and when you finally start to think in another language = pure satisfaction.

LOWS:
- You're going to feel stupid a lot of the time. I'm not going to lie, it can be slightly soul-destroying, but it's worth it in the end.
- You never seem to learn as quickly as you want to.
- Sometimes it can get so overwhelming that all you want to do is retreat into the fetal position and stay there for a year or two.
- You will 'hit a wall'. A lot.
- You never finish 'learning a language'. No matter how hard you try, you will never master it, and that can be somewhat demotivating. I know this is the same with anything, but you really have to keep up all aspects of a language at all times, whereas with other subjects you can let things slide.

Do you guys have anything to add? Let me know in the comment section!

10 comments:

  1. I've started learning French and given up so many times before, but I think you may hav inspired me to start it up again for good this time! :) I'd love to be able to go to France and be able to speak fluently to so many new people x


    Megan / pixiecrop.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. "- I know this sounds evil, but I get endless amounts of pleasure catching people out when they are talking about me/my friends etc. in another language that they assume I don't speak. This can be fairly common when abroad, and boy is it funny seeing their faces when they realise."


    THIS. There is nothing quite like looking like an English girl, talking like an English girl and understanding what everyone is saying in Spanish. Hilarious. xx


    Katy | www.littlemisskaty.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  3. Grace from Amble.travelblogJune 9, 2014 at 11:55 AM

    Soooo, I see you have Colloquial Russian 2..........any chance you want to scan the vocab lists and send them to me??? :P I'll love you more than forever (cos I already love you forever obvs) :P

    ReplyDelete
  4. Go for it, I'm certainly not a natural linguist so I know how much work it involves, but the benefits are so worth it. If I can help in any way, do let me know! x

    ReplyDelete
  5. Haha I'm glad you liked this one, I think it's secretly my favourite perk of speaking Spanish!! x

    ReplyDelete
  6. Glad you enjoyed the post Grace lol. Will do, I'll add it to my to-do list now xx

    ReplyDelete
  7. Grace from Amble.travelblogJune 9, 2014 at 12:33 PM

    there should be a like button on these comments :P

    ReplyDelete
  8. Definitely. I do it all the time haha! x

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hey Isobel! I love your blog and your beauty tips. They are awesome!
    I also have a blog, I even mentioned you in one of my posts (http://mariabim.blogs.elle.es/2014/06/10/lo-que-he-aprendido-al-tener-un-blog/).

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hey Isobel! Just wanted to tell youthat I really like your blog and your beauty tips. They are awesome! I also have a blog. I even mentioned you in one of my post (http://mariabim.blogs.elle.es/2014/06/10/lo-que-he-aprendido-al-tener-un-blog/).
    Besitos ;)
    María (http://mariabim.blogs.elle.es/)

    ReplyDelete

BLOGGER TEMPLATE MADE BY pipdig