I have a little bit of a dilemma to share with you guys today. It's a chronic one that visits me about 2 times a year... and I figured that my close friends and boyfriend were sick of hearing about the same damn topic... so I thought I'd bend your guys' ears. Plus, I know the audience of this blog is international (hello Canada, UK, and Singapore and Philippines!) so your guys' input will have that extra dimension.
I always wanted to be a polyglot. (Defining polyglot as 3+ languages.)
Even as a youngun' when they make you do those exercises in school of what goals you want to achieve "when you grow up," I listed that I wanted to be able to read my favorite novels in different languages. Actually that may be my number one reason for wanting to learn foreign languages, I'm a bookworm and I think it would be damn cool to have 3x more reading material.
That's why I studied Spanish for 4 years in high school instead of crapping out after the 2nd year (you fulfill the foreign language requirement after 2 years.) That's also one of the reasons I studied abroad in Japan, including a home stay.
But now let's wave away all the romance and glorious connotations of speaking different languages and international travel and culture etc etc.
Learning another language is HARD.
Here are all the reasons why it's hard:
- Learning a foreign language is, compared to other adult priorities, pretty useless. You can't deny that my few hours of spare time could be better spent learning how to cook for my future family, better prepare myself for my career, learn about personal finance and investing, or visit my mom or grandma. How do I justify all the time/resources/effort needed for learning another language??
- Learning another language is supposedly increasingly difficult as you age. In the language-learning game, I'm considered old. Funny how I don't really feel my woman's "biological clock" but I'm pretty depressed about my "language-learning clock."
- Oh so I guess there are only 2 reasons lol. But they're pretty big ones!
So what happened is, I came back from studying abroad in Japan with slightly intermediate Japanese. I tried to maintain it by reading Japanese books but ... it was really difficult to find reading material suited to my level. Either too expensive, topic too childish, or way too difficult. Sometimes all 3 at the same time lol. So my Japanese died. But every 6 months or so I'd suddenly get this whinge of longing for foreign language again, and do an Amazon search for Japanese material. And the cycle would run its course.
After a few rounds of this cycle I figured I should just let the dream die. It was just too hard to try to learn a 3rd language.
AND YET HERE I AM AGAIN. You all may know that I joined the YouTube community several months ago. Recently I discovered JAPANESE YOUTUBE! So obviously it stirred up my old dusty dreams of polyglottiness.
Should I make it one of my 2015 new year's resolutions to JUST COMMIT MYSELF ALREADY? I mean, given that I keep coming back to this over and over again -- maybe it shows that this isn't just a passing fancy, and I need to get serious about it or I'll never be at peace lol?
OR, should I go the rational adult route and LET THE DREAM DIE ALREADY. There's not even any real advantage or use to learning the 3rd language, other than "side benefits" e.g. coolness, opening your mind up to other cultures, flexing your brain muscles, etc.
It's great to be blogging & chatting with you guys again. I'd love to hear your opinions about this. Do you also have a 'fun aspiration' that you half think is worthless, but half really want anyways?
P.S. Btw, in case you missed my last video -- it's a fun one! It's about a designer handbag!