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Feeling embarrassed for your passion for languages + Stuff language nerds say

Do you sometimes feel a little embarassed of your passion for languages?

Sometimes i'm afraid to get too enthusiastic when speaking about languages, or to tell others that I'm learning less "important" languages and I'm enjoying it ...

PS: Aren't languages so fascinating? :)

"There's a word for that in German!"

"Did you know that the Chinese character for ... is made up of ... and ... ?"

"Oh! I just realized that this word in this language is related to this word in this language!"

" Semitic languages have a really cool root system"

"Japanese loan words are just adorable!"

explains the interesting origins of random words


May 11, 2017



I feel embarrassed of my lack of proficiency in said languages.


Squash that – try to not be embarrassed, because being embarrassed makes it harder to learn. Just keep building on your knowledge, and enjoy yourself. It's ok to take some chances and make mistakes, the main thing is to keep learning!


It does get kind of old when people constantly associate my languages (Arabic, Farsi, and Turkish) as "terrorist-related" languages over and over again. I get why they say things like that, but I just wish they'd be more creative with their jokes....

That being said, my Arab friends love that I am learning their language and help me.


Arabic sounds like a really interesting language, and I'm sure those languages open lots of worlds (people, culture, literature...) You're luvky thag your friends help you.


that's a real builder of friendship, when you learn another person's language


No never be embarrassed about your passion for anything besides a passion for language is amazing you become smarter and get exposed to other cultures that's nothing to be ashamed of! ;)


I think it's a matter of social grace to not gush too enthusiastically about something about which an interlocutor has little interest (something hobbyists or aficionados of many a stripe would do well to take to heart, it seems to me). Should the topic come up, yeah, I probably reference more familiar-seeming things like Russian or Latin quite a while before I mention my efforts in Georgian and Guaraní.

People really ought to understand, "I just find them fascinating," though. Why do people knit? Spend so much time watching sports on TV? Sing and dance? Play video games? I'd be tempted to suspect anyone who was too vociferous in their disinterest or claims of uselessness of being at least somewhat motivated by regret of their excessive time expenditure in mindless channel surfing.


You're totally right.


Why would I be embarrassed by something I'm passionate about?


Right?! If you want to learn something you've been wanting to learn, keep going! Don't give up just because of what other people think.


I am very passionate about learning German that I once brought a CD player to school so that I can listen to German audio. I got so many weird looks from other students here, but I don't care what they think, because German is something that I want to learn. I am passionate about it. That is what counts.


You don't have to be afraid or be ashamed about this or anything. It's awesome and incredibly cool. The more languages you learn the easier it gets to learn new languages and to see patterns that are similar in certain languages... Language allows you to actually communicate with the people who live in other countries and to learn more about them, the way they live... To me there are no "less important" languages, there are only languages that are spoken by more and languages that are spoken by less people. People may disagree with me, but I think that it is much easier to connect with people and learn more about their culture if I know their language. Therefore it is never useless to learn a new language, no matter how many people speak it.

By the way, I chose to learn ancient greek and latin in high school for years additionally to French and English and absolutely loved it. Now that I'm finished with school I have started learning the scandinavian languages (I intend knowing all of them at some point). Sometimes people think I am strange, but most people understand and are very supportive. Everybody is passionate about something and languages are something that's definitely worth being enthusiastic about, because they're absolutely amazing:)


Thanks for your long answer :) Wow! Ancient greek? That's a dream :o


no u should be proud


Be who you are and don't be afraid to shine.

Learning laguages and speaking them fluently can lead to big piles of money... just saying.

Be who you are and don't trry and hide it.


I get that way sometimes, but I can't help how much I love to learn about languages! They're so freaking amazing! What's your favorite? Mine is Swahili.


I love them all, especially the ones that are more different from what I'm used to, but my favorites would be English and 日本語.


nihongo — Japanese


Vraiment le français:)


I'm the same way, actually. No one has an interest in learning languages where i live, so i feel a little embarrassed.
Except one girl, but that's because she's learning her girlfriends native language.


Espiraden, Bravo! I salute your consistency and interest in learning! You are one very studious Duolingoer, because it's not a simple thing to build a 226 day streak when there are no other people around you who share that interest! Good for you!!! :-)


Thank you! That's really kind of you to say :)


People around here only learn other languages if they have a good excuse (husband, work, anime, immigration...), which I lack. They dont understand why would someone do it "for fun" :-/

PS: congratulations for the streak both of you :o


... one would learn languages for fun for a million reasons! Because language is the key to the world. Language is the logic of communication. It is sound. It is patterns. It fosters understanding of culture and history. It is the basic of music (or maybe the other way around, who knows, I'm just letting my passion run with me...! ) :-)


I do it because of passion for french:) your not alone


thank you! There's a streak hall of fame, you can enter when your streak is 300 days or more.


Do you have a tumblr? there is a big language community there.

Sometimes, but when most people find out they think I am intelligent and ambitious.

Languages are amazing are super fascinating and it's nothing to be ashamed of, many people wish they could be into it.


Is there? A community for language nerds on tumblr? :o

PS: Great. After having resisted tumblr for so long, I'll have to finally create an account.


Yes, it's the only reason why I use tumblr! haha.


I created an account, but don't know where to start. Can you recommend some langlr(?) blogs to follow?


The only thing I can think of is that people tend to overestimate my language skills.


"Oh! I just realized that this word in this language is related to this word in this language!"

This is so true that i jumped on my chair.


That's a good thing! If you want to learn many languages, go for it!

[deactivated user]


    oh! I hope you also can find some people who share your passion. It makes it much easier to enjoy it when people understand!


    cries in multiple languages


    Voici un mouchoir.... !


    Don't be embarrassed about any of your passions. The people who shame you for it should be embarrassed they're not as awesome as you.


    I never felt embarrassed about it, though it is at times a bother to explain it to people who just don't "get" that someone would learn a language for fun.


    Hobbies (if I'm allowed to call it this way) are ofttimes inherently a bit "embarrassing" since they often include / start with an amateur level and therefore come with a connotation of "amateur". While people often make fun of the "amateur" hobbies of others they forget to think about their own hobbies. Thus, simply do what like / want to do (what else are hobbies for?) and ignore other people. It's also a good idea to keep in your mind that whatever you like, somebody else might not, thus it's generally a good idea to not overly "pressure" them with it. A comment stemming from your personal hobby is ok to mention once / occasionally but not for the 9001st time (unless the person shares the same passion). Certainly when it comes to things like learning languages, where it's likely to be perceived as a "humblebrag", something many people dislike (especially when done repeatedly) - just something to keep in your mind.


    Yes, people think I shouldn't learn Spanish and be passionate of it because of my race. Maybe they're right. :/


    oh, by the way: Anyone who thinks you shouldn't learn a language... they are NOT right! Not maybe, no. You can learn languages, enjoy, study, learn, as much as you feel like. (Unless you're stressed out and piling on too many things, then ok, maybe it's not the time.)


    I don't know about "race", but learning a language is a great thing, and it would help you connect better with your culture and your family :)

    (If thats the case)


    It's just a stigma here in the U.S.


    Under the conventional U.S. conception of "race," I've met native Spanish speakers of all of them.


    For me its like: "AH! There are so many languages that I want to learn! I should be working on my German, but I should improve my (very much neglected) Spanish. But I also want to learn French and Japanese and Korean and Swedish and- goes on for about half an hour talking about language goals"

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