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Can't decide on a language to learn.

I'm a English speaker from Texas, USA and have been wanting a 2nd language for a long time. Spanish is a very practical language for me to learn, but I don't really like it or enjoy it. I liked the sound of Russian and the look of the cyrillic alphabet, but like any other language, I don't know if I like their culture or country or food or etc. I think I would hate how cold it is, in Russia.

I guess I'm having issues finding good motivation to learn a language? I was thinking Spanish could be a 2nd language that I try to learn, but have some other 3rd language that I was more interested in and probably better at?

A big factor in wanting to learning Russian was that Its a popular language for gamers, according to Steam surveys. Chinese Mandarin is said to be the most popular language and I noticed it was in beta on Duolingo, so I thought I would try it.

Another thing, I don't know if I would ever visit a foreign country. I have the internet for movies and tv and chatrooms or something. Probably wouldn't be too hard to get books in other languages... Although I've spent $200~ on books and haven't gotten more then a few pages through probably all of them. They're primarily education books, languages to programming.

November 25, 2017


  • 1733

All you have to do is follow your heart :) Learn a language you would like to know. There is absolutely nothing wrong with learning a language simply because you would like to know it. You liked the sound of Russian - then go ahead and try it! I would also suggest to learn a language that will benefit your finances/career. Is there a language that will help you at work, in your industry, etc.?

I think I would hate how cold it is, in Russia.

I was born and raised in Moscow, Russia. I visited 28 countries (Europe and the Middle East), studied in Germany and lived in Israel for a while. And what can I say: despite stereotypes, Russia is not the coldest place on earth (Tel Aviv can get quite cold in January, I remember feeling terribly cold in Oslo last December, in Amsterdam last February, and it was freezing cold in Brussels in Feb'15. It was definitely colder in Stockholm than in Moscow on the same day in January). Long story short, that's not a reason NOT to learn Russian :)


You say you want to learn a second language, but WHY? Once you answer that question you will know what the right language is for you. You must have a passion to learn it, or inertia will take over and you will plateau out and stop.

Some people learn a language to watch films without subtitles or to read books in another language, with no intent to travel. Some for economic advantages. Some for travel. Some to speak to those in their area and expand their sphere of community. Some for access to cool stuff that isn’t translated (manga, games, etc). Some to win a lover or improve a relationship with one of another culture. Some to understand their heritage. Some for the food and general enjoyment of a culture.

Find the reason and you will find the language.


I think I would hate how cold it is, in Russia.

I know right. I feel cold just looking at this

Palm trees? What is that, Siberia? It looks like you could host the Winter Olympics there. Oh, wait...

On a more serious note, even if we recommend a language, you're not going to stick to it just based on that. You could try several options here or on memrise and see what you like. No harm in trying something and abandoning it later on. Or do some research on several options and see how they look and sound, what kind of grammar they have etc.


Russia is a great place, people are great and the weather is lovely. Go with your gut.

While spanish might have a ton of speakers in the U.S. that does not make it needed, far from it as there are a ton of bilingual folks already.


There are warm cities in Russia, for example Sochi, Krasnodar, Adler. It is not cold everywhere.


Maybe Spanish would be useful in Texas, or maybe you can learn Guarani and go to South America and become a link between the native indigenous people in the Amazon and some terrible nature destroying oil companies like Chevron Texaco to get the oil in their lands :D but yeah first you have to learn Spanish, because the Guarani course is in Spanish here. Otherwise just take Spanish or Russian.

How old are you ? I was curious because you said you haven't visited any foreign country :D how is that possible and have you visited many US states then instead ?


I'm 21 years old. I've lived in Indiana and Texas. I've been to Illinois, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Hawaii. Maybe a few more. Usually when I travel to a different US state, we drive. So I've technically been in more US states, but that wasn't where the vacation was taking place. I haven't traveled in a year or two. I don't think traveling to a different US state compares to traveling to say Canada or Mexico.

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