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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jaw1605

Does Anyone Ever get a bit Embarrassed about their Hobby of Learning Languages?

So earlier today, I was talking with my friends and they were asking what I actually do when I'm at home (because I don't like to play on my Xbox or watch gaming videos on YouTube) and then one of my friends said "Do you just go on Duolingo 24/7?" He didn't mean it offensively but the thing is I do admittedly spend 1-2 hours per day (sometimes even more) working on my Spanish xD

Don't get me wrong, I love learning other languages and would never in a million years stop just because of something someone else has said. But still, it's not something I'd freely admit because, for some reason, people tend to laugh at what people do as long as they're not on their Xbox all day or keeping up to date with YouTube drama.

So I'm just wondering, does anyone else get slightly embarrassed admitting that they enjoy learning languages? (And I mean people who spend 1+ hours per day - I wouldn't count it is a true hobby/passion if you just spend 5 minutes per day learning a language)

September 11, 2017

37 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rebecca622484

I used to get laughed at for listening to music in different languages but I don't I feel embarrassed. Be confident ! If you like something, it doesn't matter what other think. Let the whole world know, you might find someone else with the same passion too :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thomas_Wesley

No. I'm an adult and it doesn't really bother me if someone else doesn't like my hobbies. Your friend was probably just teasing. You'll be smarter for what you're doing, so keep at it!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fds152117

It's good for brain building. Maybe people would think that I'm smart if I were to tell them.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/xipetotec

No, why would I? But I'm of the age when most people aren't "on their Xbox all day or keeping up to date with YouTube drama", so there's that :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jaw1605

Thanks for your comment :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MernaOsama1

Your friends are missing a great time here :D It's nothing to be embarrassed about. Tbh, I get only slightly embarrassed when I talk about it too much that I feel people are starting not to relate and gradually not participate in the discussion.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DaphneTheSnail

People think I'm weird when I practice Swahili when we have free time at school. They ask what language it is and they had no idea that Swahili is even a language. Some people (especially my parents) think learning Swahili is dumb and I shouldn't go to Africa because "It's a bad place." I feel a little embarrassed but then they realize how passionate and talented I am at it and I feel proud.

I also love having conversations about languages with my friends. I learned that I have a friend who knows Russian. I have a friend who speaks Spanish. I have a friend who speaks French. I even have a friend who speaks Uzbek, Turkish, Russian, Azerbaijani and is learning Spanish in school. If I was embarrassed by loving languages, I wouldn't know these really cool facts about my friends!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/belstar128

Im not really embarrassed by it but i don't feel comfortable talking about my ambitions of trying to learn as many languages as possible they will think im insane also most people think you need to go to a school or read terrible books for years and they don't believe me that i can learn by just watching videos and playing video games in different languages.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bill-de-la-Isla

Not at all. I live in an area where Spanish is commonly spoken and when I tell Spanish speaking friends that I'm learning it, they are very encouraging about it. Which, for me, adds to the motivation to keep focusing on it and to get more fluent. If you ask me, I think it is an invaluable endeavor we are pursuing. Keep up the good work and be proud of what you are doing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PSLHelstrom

I had to study way more than 1+ hours a day to get an A in my Japanese college course. (Which I did get, by the way.) It's not embarrassing. It's impressive. My college habits have caused me to learn various languages for 4 - 5 hours per day, except for weekends. (Then it's bumped down to 1 - 3 hours.) I wouldn't care what others would think of me for that. Definitely own your dedication to languages and stay confident.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarbaraCha360905

Yes, I am a bit embarrassed by it. I have studied 20 languages so far, and usually I don't tell people that. When I had only studied ten, I did tell people, but now it seems a bit weird. If asked, I just say I like to study languages, but don't say how many. Of course, when I am talking to other people who also like to study languages, then I don't feel embarrassed.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EliasPitts

accually, being on Duolingo and liking to learn languages does not exactly mean that it is your hobby. Although I must say that Duo has made learning languages a great thing in his site. I used to only do French in less interesting, ussual kind of language learning books, And now that I do Duolingo I have much less to groan about!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/c.elise.t

So what defines someone who pursues language learning as a hobby according to you? To me, as soon as you take joy out of language learning, then you can consider yourself part of the languages are my hobby gang. So yes, liking to learn languages DOES mean it is your hobby.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nusete

I was. But now I am not embarrassed at all. I was before my family and mates knew it - after that not. My best friends knew it from the beginning. I was maybe because.. it was Japanese at first.. if it will be more popular language I wouldn't be so shy with that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anneysha7

Never. :) Although multilingualism is common where I live, people are impressed if they know you are learning a language or two. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

Actually, when it comes up that I'm working on some languages, it boosts self-esteem. And it also allows me to ask what languages the other person speaks. If they are monolingual, it gives me the chance to ask, if they could learn any one language, what would it be? And from there, I tell them about Duolingo. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jaw1605

Thanks for your reply :D I'm in now way ashamed of enjoying language-learning. But honestly it's not something the average person does and it's something that some people I know consider, for whatever odd reason, a bit sad.

Because everyone I know says that one day they'd love to learn Spanish, German etc. and the moment I tell them I spend 1-2 hours per day studying they think it's sad and a waste of time xD It honestly makes me want to know what they think language learning is. You can't expect to learn Spanish 5 minutes a day and be fluent in a couple of months!

(Also I absolutely love Duolingo so I thank you for being a moderator for helping out and making what Duo is :) I've recommended it to my friends but whether they actually dedicated their time to learning a language is different story)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

Wow, I can't follow their logic either. I wonder if it is a regional thing. The response where I live is very different. The fact that my language experience isn't limited to just English makes me more interesting to people where I live.

I've recommended Duolingo to some of my friends as well. The ones who have used it on the website tend to stick around longer. Though, I think only one has completed a tree (Spanish). And, they are currently working on their second (Japanese). Yay! Still, the website ones are also more likely to return, then leave again then return. The ones who decided just to use the app... they do for a couple of days and then drop off. :P

Thanks! I accepted the invitation to become a moderator four years ago because I love the Duolingo dream and assisting the community where I can.

The company's new partnership with Pearson (a company that heavily exploits students for profit in the US) broke my heart. The volunteers didn't know the partnership was happening until it was announced as a done deal. And, Duolingo even volunteered some of us to work for Pearson, free of charge, without asking us. That, along with some other behind the scenes stuff, has left me questioning whether or not I'll continue to volunteer for the company. I'm still thinking it over. I still love, love, love our community and Duolingo's initially stated dream. I'm just shaken and feeling exploited. A few volunteers have already left and a few are seriously considering it. I hope the company decision makers will do some soul searching. I'd prefer to stay. Long ago, I learned my lesson (twice over) about staying in unhealthy relationships. And, if the company continues down this line, I can't go with it. :'(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Merrowmic

I'm never embarrassed about it. I used to be when I was starting out with my first languages many years ago, but now I am grateful for my passion, talent, and skill in language-learning.

I spend most of my free time either actively or passively learning languages, and two thirds of my academic time is spent on actively studying two languages at a university. It isn't a hobby to me, it is a lifestyle.

And regarding those who prefer doing 'other fun things' with their free time and judge those who use that time to improve their language skills - at least people learning languages have something valuable to show for that time spent.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jaw1605

True. I suppose the fact that us language-learners can enjoy our hobby and it actually is really helpful is great :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/isnottogive

I have to admit that this is something I generally only tell to my best friend and to my family, specially my mother, because she is the one most supportive of my learning language habit, and even then she only knows about half of the languages in my list (English, French, German, Italian, Danish, Korean, all of them because I have taken previous courses; and High Valyrian, this one mostly as an excentricity of sorts and because we are GOT fans).

The rest of the world, even when I just list the first six, varies from awe to ❤❤❤ reactions, so well, I do my thing and follow my plan, and I'll surprise them when the use of the language is necessary. XD


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/akunosama

Looking at Baltic Prussian is a little bit weird since people could get the wrong idea, but otherwise I'm pretty cool about language learning.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/seelian

I always be proud which I could learn a language from Duo, and proud with the duo learning system also, I also keep encourage my friends to utilize the duo webs but too bad that is not much friends indulge to learn it. =(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hjh414399

Hi there, I am not embarrassed at all but then I am retired and so I can do whatever I want! Have brain, will learn. For some stretches of time I have done 2 hours a day, other days much less but I do work at it every day. The advantage of being older is that quite honestly you realize that what other people think of you is none of your business and you don't care anyway! Xbox? Entertainment. Duo--a life skill! I tell people I am ding it and recommend it to them too. Keep going!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OwLeho

A lot of people just laugh when they don't know how they're supposed to react, like a default. So just be confident, calm and steady. You'd be amazed at how fast some of those people will change to respect or even admire that you have a regular hobby and actually do something you know a lot about. And many people will see it as being something that is interesting about you.

It doesn't always feel that special, but when you think about it: Everyone goes on facebook, but not everyone learns something they don't have to, let alone another language. So it's unusual, unexpected, different and... interesting. So yeah, people may not know how to react at first, may say it's weird just so that they have something to say when it comes up.

But if you are calm and confident about it, then people will takes their cues from you. Many will go from 'weird' to 'but also kind of cool' pretty quickly. People are pretty complicated, but how you present yourself will shape how other people react to things. If you present your language learning as something weird or to be apologise for or hide, then people will automatically look for flaws with it. But if you present your language studies as something you really enjoy and that you feel accomplished and excited about because you want to do it, then people are far more likely to see it as a good thing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LiamTugwoo

not me i hope you are ok

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