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Why are you learning the language you are learning?

I am learning German because I read a lot of books with german in them. By learning german, I can better understand the books I read.

August 27, 2017



I am learning Russian because, for the last few years, I have had a love and obsession for Russia. I want to know everything about Russia and I want to visit it. I literally could, at one point, tell you all the people who have ruled Russia from around the mid 13th century to today. Of course I forgot some of them, but I still love the country, so about a year ago, I decided to give the language a try. I tried it out for a while and fell in love with it. Everyone thought I was weird since I'm an American learning Russian, but I love it. I plan on becoming fluent in it and spending a few years of my life living in Russia. I also plan on reading War and Peace in its original language.


Dostoievski and Tolstoy are my favorite writers. But I don't know Russian. You should try Russain Today Documentary channel and website to learn Russian. once I had tried to learn.


Thank you! I'm always trying to find new resources and I haven't heard of that one yet! I haven't actually read anything by Dostoievski or Tolstoy yet, but once I learn Russian I'm going to read some of their books. Do you have any book suggestions by them that you would recommend?


There are a lot of good books of them. I can suggest for you "Crime and punishment- Dostoevsky", it is very good, at least I think so, it is better than harry poters.


Thanks! I've heard that that is supposed to be good, I'll have to read it in Russian once I become fluent.


I think it will be very long time. Because these books are very havy to read. Dostoyevski and Tolstoy are very important for Russian literature.


I can only agree with this recommendation. It is not just full of suspense; it also discusses provoking questions that are surprisingly relevant, e.g. does the end justify the means, what is "conscience" etc.


Thanks! I'll have to check it out!


I read War and Peace last summer and I definitely suggest reading it in your native language before reading it in Russian. I found it challenging enough in my birth tongue of English. I can't imagine trying to read it in a second language. Good luck learning Russian!


Well, the only version I could find still had the dialogue written in Russian, so I at least want to be able to read that without using the translations in the footnotes. Also, thank you!


You can get it for free all in English if you have a kobo. That's how I did it. The book was too heavy. :)


I'll have to check that out, thank you!


If you like Sci-fi, give Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky a try. I've only read it in English but it was pretty good. Can't imagine what it would be like in the original language. :)


Thanks! I'll have to look into that!


No problem! :D

If you like that, maybe try the Stalker film by Tarkovsky as well. It's based VERY loosely on the book, and it's very slow, but also thematically thoughtful and extremely beautifully shot. It recently (FINALLY!) got a Criterion Collection remaster, so it's now nicer too. MosFilms even put it up for free with English subtitles, though I don't know if it's the remaster or not.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuOnfQd-aTw

Full film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGRDYpCmMcM


Thank you so much again! I watched the trailer and it looks interesting, I'm definitely going to look into that!


Sure thing. Enjoy! :)


I'm learning German because I would love to visit Germany someday, maybe even go to university or live in Berlin. I also have a friend that speaks Plautdietsch, which isn't exactly like the German dialect taught on Duolingo, but it's the closest I can get and they learned to speak the standard. We can only communicate through the little Spanish they know, so I'd love to be able to communicate more.


I wasn't too happy to know only English, I wanted to learn one other language... it's been very hard! I chose French because it is likely the one most usable to me. I have relatives there who occasionally visit us, and I like to talk to my grandmother in French when I visit her.


because languages, culture, history, literature, and countries are amazing and useful. They connect us and broaden our minds and hearts.


I'm learning Hebrew, because I like Arabic and Hebrew languages (they sound nice) and because it's interesting how the ancient language of the Bible was revived (I know biblical Hebrew is different from modern, but they dont differ so much).




El japonés es muy dificil. :c


I am learning Spanish for no reason other than to learn a language


I'm learning German cuz I'm half German, I want to get through any highschool second languages as easy as possible, German's not like Spanish that nearly every highschooler takes just to get a second language done, and I'm proud of my German heritage.

Plus I get to yell at my friend's in German and confuse them. Probably not the best use of the lanuage but still.


My best friend can speak Spanish so I want to have a basic understanding of it as well. (She's fluent)


I am learning Spanish, because I already know much about it. I was taught by a Spanish teacher for some time so it came naturally. I am learning Portuguese because I would like to visit Brazil someday and it is somewhat close to Spanish! :)


I know Portugues. Spanish is very similar with portugues and easy to learn by who knows portugues and then I have started to learn it.


I'm learning French because I was taught it from an early age (only the basics) and everything around me is labelled in both French and English so it's easy to practice. I decided I might as well finish it, and I hope I can use it when I visit Quebec or Europe again!


I'm learning Spanish because I'm forced to...


I'm learning Italian because my dad is part Italian ;)


Danish because my family is Danish and i want to be able to speak the language my great-grandma (and up!) spoke.
Vietnamese was one that i just stumbled upon and fell in love with :)


I started learning Spanish initially at a point where I was at crossroads with my life and wanted to learn as stress relief. Now I have an avid interest in Latin American culture, hopefully want to go there someday and even dated someone online I met on Duolingo (he was teaching me Spanish, and me English/Chinese) for a bit. Spanish is such a beautiful language that I want to master.


That's a very interesting motivation, do you mind if I ask which books you read?

Myself, it's tourism mostly - we have a couple of trips planned to Scandinavia over the next 18 months. I do have to add though that now I'm two weeks into duolingo, I'm actually starting to just really enjoy the hour a day I spend learning another language, and I can certainly see how it becomes something of a hobby for so many people.

Thinking about it, I wonder if it's one of those interests that appeal to something within us, like how some people are drawn to hike or sail. It's often said that more than half the world's population are polyglots, and as you go back in time, languages become smaller and more regional; I wonder if it's just our natural state to want to learn the language of our neighbours?


We live close to the Dutch border and in fact, we can trace our Family to Limburg. I like vacationing in the Netherlands and find it easier to address people in their native language. I work with Dutchmen and Flemings, it feels better to at least casually interact in Dutch with them.


I'm learning the languages that I want to learn because it is just so fun! And I want to learn more.


I am learning Portuguese to communicate better with friends. Learning more about Portuguese and Brazilian culture, specifically the music, is also a motivator.

Bossa Nova is my life.


I'm learning French because i have to and because i love duolingo and because i want to learn more languages better.


I'm learning French because it's so useful, and Welsh because I love it! Wales is a lovely country, and the Welsh accent is amazing! Plus I am half Welsh...


Is Welsh really so nice? I've Always liked it, but i don't really know how it is.


I'm studying German because I'm from Germany and used to speak German, and I want to move back to my home country and speak my native language again.

I'm learning Russian because I've had a really intense fascination and love for Russia for a really long time. I plan on visiting there often and reading a bunch of Russian books and such and so on and so forth.

My reasons for learning Japanese are the same as the reasons I'm learning Russian.

I'm learning Esperanto because it's cool and easy.


How's Esperanto by the way? I've always wanted to learn a constructed language but I don't know if it's useful except for gaining skills to learn other European languages...


Learning a conlang is mostly (in my experience, anyway) just a fun thing to do. It has some practical applications, though. Esperanto helps with learning other European languages, yeah, but there's also pockets of Esperanto speakers all over the planet, and that means I can talk with people in other countries even if they don't speak English and I don't speak their language. Granted, this is all mostly for fun and most uses for Esperanto exist as an excuse to use Esperanto, but there are things you can do with it.


I am learning Spanish because I am in a Spanish class, but also because I want to learn it to communicate with the people around me.


Cool. What books? I'm learning French because I have to for school (I'm a homeschooler in Canada). And I started German just because it looked cool (I've really enjoyed it.) My inspiration for learning Swedish was an IKEA page and I think that Spanish (as the second most spoken language in the world) would be really helpful to know.


I'm a homeschooler too.


Awesome! There are actually a lot on Duolingo.


I'm learning Swedish as I moved to Sweden earlier this month. While the Swedes have a better understanding of the English language than I think any other non-native nationality, I feel it is some kind of gesture towards Sweden to at least try to learn their language and take their culture seriously. :)


learning German bc of Nietzsche and Kafka

learning French bc of Camus

learning Spanish bc of Garcia Marquez

and for the same reason (literature) I intend to learn Russian in the future - Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy

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