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You Know You're REALLY Into Languages When...

Hello! Since it is Christmas break (or simply the holiday for those who don’t work or go to school), I have been trying to complete more lessons than usual. However, I have noticed some things about me concerning language learning and I realized that I have particular… Behavioral patterns. When I actually contemplated on these behaviors/actions, I realized that I had them for awhile, but I just never noticed them. I assume these are signs that I am really into languages, since I would have never have these behaviors before my interest in learning languages. So, I thought it would be fun to just post this discussion and see if anyone can relate to some!

You Know You’re Really Into Languages When…

1) You find a 1928 Latin book at a book sale and drop every book you already planned on buying just to buy the Latin one. This actually happened last month. The same thing happened again with a French novel. My family looked at me as if I had just wasted my money, but I don’t care. I love this book! If I had seen that book before my interest in languages, I would not have given it a second thought.

2) You see a word that you have to translate, but you already know the definition of that word, even though you have never seen that word before. This has happened to me on multiple occasions and I always thought that I had had prior exposure to the word. But, then there were some words where I was sure I had never seen them before, yet, I knew their definitions. Plus, there were no clues as to what the meaning could be (for example, the French word “téléphoner” clearly means “to call on the telephone”).

3) You only listen to music in your target language(s) and not your native language. I swear, Jpop, Kpop, and French music are taking over my life.

4) The only “social media” accounts you have are language learning ones (Memrise, Duolingo, Lingvist, Lang-8, Clozemaster- not really a social media, but still a language learning account). I say “social media” because even though these aren’t like Twitter or Facebook, you still have the ability to communicate with others.

5) You give the languages you’re learning on Duolingo a personality. So, this is more like a weird one that may only apply to me. But… I gave the flags of the languages I’m learning each a personality because… Well, no reason, exactly. To demonstrate this, the Romanian flag has a serious, no nonsense personality that is slow to warm-up to. French is flamboyant and loves to flirt (sort of based on the Hetalia character “France”). German is a bit like Romanian, but has a hard time showing his emotions (yes, I also gave these languages genders and they’re all men). On my other account, Japanese is a logical thinker and is passionate in the arts. Korean is a shy character who can be very outgoing when he gets to know someone. Yes, I’m peculiar, I know… I’ll shame myself later.

6) You only planned on learning one language but end up learning four more. I know for some this results in learning ten more languages, but I think all I can handle is four (technically three since I plan on giving up on German).

7) You pronounce English words in a Japanese or French way. This can really apply to any language, but I’ve noticed that I do this particularly after studying French and Japanese a lot, as opposed to Korean or Romanian.

8) You are writing an essay and you suddenly begin to write in your target language. So much time wasted just erasing the French I was writing without realizing…

Well, that is all I can think of for me right now, but I may add some later if I think of more. When do you know when you’re really into languages?

December 15, 2017



I can relate to almost all of this.

For many years my play list on itunes was completely and totally dominated by Bollywood tunes. I mean, I think I might have had a few Springsteen songs and some MIA and perhaps Mozart, but otherwise hundreds and hundreds of Hindi/Tamil/Bengali filmi tunes.

And yeah, I buy random Italian books with voraciousness. Just bought a book in Italian on architectural criticism at a used bookstore that is probably too hard for me to struggle through, but I'm super excited anyhow.


1) This sounds like something I would do, but I haven't been in such a situation yet.
2) I've done this several times, mostly with Chinese since meanings are easy to deduce.
3) I have yet to reach this stage. I am not willing to give up my High Quality Rips just yet.
4) This right here. I've tried having other social media accounts and I couldn't bear it anymore, so I deleted them. Language social media is the only kind for me.
5) I enjoy and occasionally draw Polandball comics... does that count? (The ones I draw are usually on language differences.)
6) This right here. I think I do this but on steroids. A while ago I decided to learn Kazakh, but now I want to learn Kyrgyz, Turkmen, Tajik, Tatar, Chuvash, Karachay-Balkar, and Uyghur.
7) I've tried avoiding pronouncing Kyrgyz with Kazakh pronunciation, but it's really difficult, since Kazakh's vowels are so different from all the other Turkic languages' vowels.
8) THIS. Whenever I do school work of any kind I find myself writing in some language every time. All my work for the past 4 years has some foreign language written on it somewhere. Lately I've been doing this with Cloud and Rain.


Your language exploration seems based on geography Haha


More like language family, which in turn ends up based on geography as well. :]

[deactivated user]
    1. I'm pretty apathetic when it comes to books, which is not a good thing...
    2. I can relate.
    3. I listen to a lot of vaporwave, synthwave, and psydub where the lyrics usually don't play much of a role...
    4. This definitely applies to me.
    5. This applies to me but with voices instead of flags.
    6. This definitely applies to me.
    7. This applies to me with courses with mic exercises.
    8. This has never happened to me before, but I will write in other languages when I'm bored.


    I'm pretty apathetic when it comes to books, which is not a good thing...

    Same here, tbh.


    I have a reading addiction that I have yet to overcome... XD


    I have some Russian books (children\pre-teen books) which was put out on the curb to be thrown away... I took them when I knew I was starting Russian course (I stopped with it for now- but might pick it up again?).


    1) Not yet.

    2) It's happened a couple times.

    3) That point is yet to come.

    4) Oh my gosh yes.

    5) YES.

    6) WAY more than four.

    7) YES. I have a habit of saying the Japanese "r" instead of the English "r. "My name has an "r" in it, and it's also hard for some people to say. I was breaking it down the other day for someone because they were having a hard time pronouncing it, and I'm pretty sure they thought that I said "di" instead of "ri" :D

    8) It's definitely happened, but not very often.


    I'm pretty sure they thought that I said "di" instead of "ri"

    This happens to me all the time. No matter how many times I repeat the sound, people always hear a "d" instead of the Japanese "r." I don't even think I'm making it too much like a "d"...


    I tend to say my French r's like Japanese r's, which can make a French word sound incredibly obscure. Also, I say Korean words like Japanese words since I'm more familiar with the latter. Ah, the struggle. ^ ^


    I know when.... 1.) There is a large group of friends together and we're bored so I get up and teach a "class" of foreign language basics. 2.) I fall down and blurt out a cuss word in Russian instead of English and deep inside I know how bad it is but no one knows what I said anyway. 3.) Someone buys me tickets to the Moscow Ballet and I go hysterical for happiness. 4.) I'm telling someone, "Hey, get over here quick" or "Gimme that" and it comes out in another tongue. Then i get mad because they're staring at me blankly and then i realize it wasn't in English. 5.) My dogs know a lot of commands in other languages. 6.) Someone makes a joke with saying Spanish words wrong and everyone else laughs but I go into a lecture about the history of the word and why it's offensive to butcher someone else's language instead of learning it properly. 7.) When someone with very little foreign language knowledge says something insulting to me in Spanish because that's all they know and I eat them alive in Spanish, for the heck of it. 8.) When I meet people and one of the first things I ask them after "How are you?" is, "do you speak __ by any chance??" 9.) When mutual friends ask if I was born in the US or if my nationality is something other than American. 10.) When I start translating songs into my target languages, even if the syllables don't fit.


    Your tenth point is me in a nutshell when I have time alone. I like translating Korean or Japanese songs into French, and I typically don't care if the syllables match the tune. I just want to know what the overall product looks like.

    1. I don't have a whole lot of spare money to buy books, but I often read samples of Japanese books and manga on Amazon (reading manga is at least 4 times easier)

    2. I can do this sometimes if I can recognize the kanji of a word.

    3. These days I listen almost exclusively to the soundtrack of 君の名は (Your Name). It's so good.

    4. I have exactly two active social media accounts: my Duolingo account (on the forums), and Reddit (but I am subscribed to r/LearnJapanese)

    5. This actually isn't that strange. Polyglot Tim Doner said he does this a lot. For me, this usually is the result of my vocabulary/grammar knowledge and skill with the language. Japanese is very outgoing and likes to share his opinions (though this can make him/me a bit whiny at times), Chinese is very logical and generally only makes statements based on fact, and Hebrew is really afraid of speaking and tries to stay as quiet as possible at all times, and Norwegian is kinda in the middle ground between Chinese and Hebrew (unsurprisingly, the language I'm most comfortable/knowledgable in is Japanese).

    6. I have literally no reason for learning Chinese, Norwegian, Russian, and Spanish other than "they're interesting." Even Japanese, the language I've essentially devoted my life to, was initially a "why not?" decision.

    7. I like to think I have a talent for figuring out the Japanese equivalent of English words. I've just gotten used to the patterns.

    8. Not quite, but in Hebrew class, I often can only think of the Japanese translation of the word I'm looking for. Just yesterday, the urge to say あまり in the middle of a Hebrew sentence was very strong.


    Have you heard of the Japanese group called AAA? I recently discovered them and they are amazing. I like listening to artists like Utada Hikaru, SID, Kalafina, Ali Project, Piko, and Nissy. Though, I tend to listen to anime scores, such as the Bleach soundtrack (I adore Shiro Sagisu so much!).

    My Christian scriptures class really got me interested into the Hebrew language. If Duolingo ever makes a Hebrew course, I would definitely try it out. But yeah, in that class I have a habit of translating certain Hebrew words and phrases into French. I actually wrote some on the side of my notebook.

    [deactivated user]

      Duolingo does have a Hebrew course. (⌒‿⌒)


      Quel est mon problème?! I had no idea! Well, I guess I have a new focus.

      Thank you!

      [deactivated user]

        C'est un plaisir. ❤


        Good post. Good choice off languages, too.

        > You find a 1928 Latin book at a book sale and drop every book you already planned on buying just to buy the Latin one. This actually happened last month. The same thing happened again with a French novel.

        Okay, so don't hold us all in suspense. What were the two books?


        The Latin book was a second-year course Latin textbook called "Latin for Today" and the French book was called "Les Champs D'honneur" by Jean Rouaud. Technically, I bought three foreign books because the third one was another French book called "Tout se complique", but it was just an art book.


        I think I know I'm REALLY into languages when I stalk the Arabic page even though it hasn't been released yet just to look at it and know it's coming. I don't know enough Spanish to be able to read in it quite yet, but will be able to soon.


        Your first sentence describes me when the Romanian course had not existed. I was so ecstatic when I got the fated email of its release.


        Seriously, I was so excited.


        1) Yeeeeahhhh... I have a lot of books in English but since I moved into an apartment I had to leave most of them home so 95% of all the books I brought with me aren't in English. Every time I go into a bookstore I either live in the Language section or the Philosophy section xD Heh. I have an addiction to books....

        2) Yup. This happens a lot in French.

        3) It's not even my target language anymore because my boyfriend is Algerian and knows 7 languages fluently I have music in a LOT of different languages... I don't think I could even list off all the languages.

        4) I will get on the app store and look for new language related apps on a regular basis XD Annd I have an Instagram dedicated solely to language learning. Plus every time I get on Netflix I have a tendency to just watch movies in another language. If I can't watch it in one of the languages I'm learning I have a habit of just not watching it at all.

        5) I do this. I also take on different personalities based on which language I'm speaking.

        6) Originally I started with Japanese. Then I started French. I planned to just stick to those two but got addicted and started doing German and Romanian too. I have MANY more languages I want to do but I have to stick with this for now because I want to get to Intermediate/Advanced levels in all of them.

        7) Does just talking in the language count? I will completely forget English after completely immersing myself in French for a day. It also becomes a pain in the butt to try and write in English...

        8) Yup. I had to write a 6 page essay in French once. Lets just say, English wasn't my friend afterward. I was so confused on which language I was in.


        Yes, I have an addiction to books, too. I also have an addiction to creative writing, in which I am gradually writing more things in French than in my native language. ^ ^

        For the seventh point, I will say that whenever I try to think of a word to describe something, I am able to find the word I want in French, but not in English. I don't understand how that works, but...


        I love creative writing ^^ But since I am in my final two years of university and planning a study abroad trip, I haven't been doing it much anymore as I've been trying to talk more with my native French friends as much as possible which has destroyed most of my free time. I have a story I started about 8 years ago, I started creating my own language and my best friend was helping me but he passed away suddenly...I haven't been able to convince myself to work on it since. (Sorry this is kind of dark, I'm getting better it just takes time.)

        Oh yes. That happens a lot. I am to the point in French where I can go without using little to no English for DAYS so I actually have to force myself to use it xD I also talk in my head in French and to my cat.


        I'm sorry to hear about your friend... That actually brought up memories of my twin sister and I. We created our own language and wrote many stories together in our youth. But, she was hospitalized and died unexpectedly. I haven't gathered the courage to finish any of our stories or our language (though, our language was obscure, so perhaps it was for the best). So, I understand.

        I have never spoken French or any language for an entire day, but that would be a cool challenge for language learners! I'm very introverted, so on most days I'm not doing college work, I just sit in my room and think to myself. Before I know it, I'm thinking in French.


        Thank you, yeah it hurt because in our last conversation we had a giant fight and I never got the chance to apologize. It's taken a long while to even convince myself to write or draw because we used to do both together. He is also what got me set on the language path because he knew French and Spanish fluently, he was learning Thai, Chinese, Japanese and Arabic. I am sorry about your twin sister. That's rough.

        Most of my friends live in foreign countries and so we end up doing video chats/ texting for most of the day. It is fun! And it makes it even more entertaining when you call a family member (or they call you) and just start talking in French and they have to tell you you're using the wrong language xD


        So do I! I am a Wattpad author.


        1) Never happened to me but I've been tempted when I've seen a German dictionary in a shop. 2) Happens to me. To be honest in Spanish I've kind of noticed patterns in words so I just can guess the meanings e.g. I knew "forma" meant "form" before I'd ever even come across the word. 3) Well, I used to listen to a Spanish band to practise my Spanish but now I just listen to the band because I genuinely really like their music. 4) Not the only ones but I use them more than Instagram which I practically never use xD 5) I've never tried to make a personality for each language but I can't help but be a Spanish-speaker who enjoys a good laugh - neither did I try to be a cold French speaker xD 6) Came into Duolingo just to learn the basics of Spanish, came out speaking Spanish, French, German, a bit of Turkish. 7) Never really happened to me :/ 8) I've been in the middle of class and to practise my Spanish I'd translate what I'm writing in my head into Spanish but usually end up with 2 sentences in Spanish xD


        1) I think it would happen if I would find an interesting book.

        2) Always!

        3) Every day in Macedonian mostly. :) Okay, in my native language too.

        4) I don't have many accounts so I can't agree.

        5) Not just the languages on Duolingo. Sometimes.

        6) Well, it's apparent. :D

        7) No, not really. Maybe sometimes inadvertently.

        8) It could happen. :)

        It's a cool post anyway!


        All of these happen to me! Thanks for sharing!


        Yeah, I signed up here to work on Russian...

        On my last trip (and first in a long while) to the used book store I bought... Latin textbooks. And enthused over a copy of Sir Gawain and the Green Night, which, the preface promised, isn't in the familiar, urbane Middle English of Chaucer's London, but a more exotic variety from the provinces!


        So relatable. Currently I am doing Spanish and Esperanto and I'm loving them both so much. Spanish is more useful because a lot of people speak it where I live, but Esperanto is easier to learn and prettier.


        1) Saw a large objects rubbish pile and started to mentally name the objects it was made of.

        2) Woke up in the middle of the night, phone showed 2 o'clock- my brain then played the announcer's voice telling the time (I also use another website with videos)- followed by a random "TORTOISE !" and "GREEN!" .


        I can only relate to 2) a bit and virtually not at all to any of the rest... I guess I'm either not REALLY into languages, or just being a grumpy git :-p

        9) you spend most of your "winding down and relaxing" time playing around on Duolingo with whatever language the owl has thrown at you, regardless of whether you have the slightest interest in it or not.


        I mean #6, maybe, just a little? ;)


        Me again! :P I am American but had a British accent for a long time since I watched a lot of things that were British. Now I have a Spanish accent XD


        may i know why you give up for germany in the first place?


        Simply a lost of interest in the German language.

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