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Is your favorite language a guilty pleasure?

My favorite language is French. I've loved French since I was a child watching the Adams Family and Pepe le Pew on Looney Tunes. However, I do not have a practical use for learning French. I simply enjoy how the language sounds.

Then there's Spanish. There are thousands of Spanish speaking people living in my area of the U.S. They are from Mexico, Colombia, El Salvador, Peru and perhaps others. I have a practical reason to learn Spanish. I can't seem to fall in love with the language.

Anyone else in a similar situation?

January 13, 2018



Not really a guilty pleasure, but I honestly have no reason whatsoever for learning Japanese.

Sometime a while ago, I forget whether I was testing a problem, or if I decided I was bored with Spanish and French so I wanted another language to learn, or if I accidentally added Japanese and thought, "Why not?", but whichever it was, I'm very glad I did it.

I have no reason whatsoever for learning Japanese. I don't know any Japanese people (actually, one of my former school teachers was a native Japanese speaker, but their family moved to America while my teacher was a toddler so they don't remember a lot,) I don't have any Japanese relatives or blood, I don't watch anime or read manga, I'm not planning to live in or visit Japan, I literally have no reason, yet I love the language as I never loved French (though I love Spanish almost as much.)

Ah, whatever.


Woof, I relate :^) Japanese seems like a difficult language to learn. Some of my friends on Duo also love the language. I hope that you are able to travel to Japan one day. I am sure they will appreciate a tourist who has made the effort to learn their language.

Did you get a level 25 in a language? Continue to enjoy your relationship with Japanese ;^) Let me know if you find someone to speak the language with you :-)


Thanks DreamingOdelia. That really motivates me :)

To answer your question, I actually haven't achieved Level 25 in any language - yet. I edited a Level 25 picture and replaced the flag with the Thai flag since I really want Thai to come to Duolingo (I'm in a similar situation with Thai as I am with Japanese, but I like Japanese a little more than Thai.) Originally, I had a Thai golden owl, but it didn't turn out very well, so I replaced it with the Level 25 picture.


Happy to motivate ;)

I love your ingenuity. Your edited flag picture keeps your goal front and center :)


ehhhhh ! lol I can abstractly see your point....Japan is quite an inward looking society.....not surpri9sing that years ago there was a number 1 seller called something like "the Jews and the Japanese" showing how much they had in common.

I teach English here, and there are shared shrugs about the prevalence of "English hating Japanese English teachers" In other words, Japanese who have an attitude towards English like Natsume Soseki, the novelist.. BTW I highly recommend reading one of his novels...and a bunch other novelists.....in translation.


Yes! I really like Romanian but live in Atlantic Canada, so no use for Romanian at all, but there's a lot of exchange students at my school from Spanish speaking countries and my neighbour is Spanish. I already speak French, but Spanish isn't interesting to me at all


Are you in a French Immersion school? :)


Yep haha but my mom is also French so I learned from more than just school


Quand que j'ai pris le teste sur Duolingo pour voir comment bien que je peut parler j'ai seulement eu 53% en fluidité car j'ai fait tant de fautes de grammaire haha


Actually, illuminati666, kids in Canada are require to take French from 4th grade to 8th grade. French is the second offical language in Canada. So there is no purpose for an immersion. There are Spanish immersion schools though.


There is purpose for immersion, the mandatory French is extremely basic, not much more than colours and animals, whereas French immersion every class is in French and you become fluent


True, most people from public schools can only have basic conversations.


Actually Bourg19, kids in Canada only learn Core French, (from 4-8), Core French is not the same as immersion, it only gets you to an A1 level of French, really. There is also Intensive French, which goes deeper into learning French. Immersion is immersing in French.


Why only A1 for 4 years? That does not make sense.


Where I live (NB) you either go into immersion in grade 3 or grade 6, and if not you take PIF (post intensive french) from grades 3-9 and immersion goes until grade 12


And the PIF students that I've talked to can't keep up a conversation in French but they understand about half of what you're saying


Ok maybe I was exaggerating, but it doesn't really delve deep, that's all I am saying. Maybe A2?


Kids really pay attention to their language classes in school. :P


Ok. My brother in an immersion French. It goes up to 5th grade.


That depends on the province actually. I had to take french from grade 1-10.


There are some Romanians in Quebec from what I know, you could find migrant groups that do stuff together.

I have relatives in Canada too, but in Ontario.


Quebec is not Atlantic Canada


I started learning Swahili with absolutely no intention to ever visit East Africa or use my knowlegde. I just do it for fun.

The same goes for Japanese. At first, before I started the course, I didn't even really like the language. I got curious one day, and bored, and thought taking a look couldn't hurt. Now I kinda love it.


I want to get into learning French so bad, since it's my ancestral language, and I would actually have a practical use for it, living in a bilingual French and English speaking town in Canada, and occasionally driving through Quebec. It's strangely hard for me to like learning it though, I think that having been taught basic French in primary and middle school turned me off from the language.

I usually keep my interest in learning languages secret from people in real life, so I guess they're all guilty pleasures. It has come up a few times with my family though, and my conservative mother would look at me weird for wanting to learn languages like Russian and Turkish. One time she seriously asked if I was planning on joining ISIS when she knew I was learning some Arabic and talking to an Arab friend over the internet. She seemed supportive of me learning Spanish though, which I took as a high school class.

Now I'm learning Irish. I ordered some books on Irish online, and my mom noticed when I got them, making a comment that it was a useless language. Ironically, it's one of the few languages I have a justification in learning beyond "Well, I'm just interested in learning it or visiting their country", but I couldn't reveal the reasoning to her. I guess Irish is another guilty pleasure language to me.


"I usually keep my interest in learning languages secret from people in real life..."

Same here. I've found in most cases people will usually not be interested, which makes it awkward, or they'll be too interested, which makes it very awkward.


I live in rural England. I'm studying Hebrew. What cha gonna do?? ¯_(ツ)_/¯


We're gonna cheer you on and wish you luck with Hebrew.


I second that! ;^)


good luck flootzavut!


For me, Hebrew and Romanian are guilty pleasures, in a way. They don't have many speakers (~9 million for Hebrew and 30 million for Romanian); most of them are concentrated in one country. Therefore, the only practical use would be if I really want to work in that country specifically, it wouldn't make sense. The former would be good in terms of Middle Eastern politics (though I would also have to learn Arabic to balance things out and add Persian to it as well), while the latter is simply for me.

For some reason, I don't know what, I think learning any of the Scandinavian languages would be a guilty pleasure all into itself. I've heard many Scandinavian people learn English in school, and therefore it wouldn't be necessary to learn. I had plans to go study in Denmark, so I learned Danish for that, but with that in the gutter, I'm not sure if I would continue. For Swedish, I thought about learning it for fun, though I would end up reading Stieg Larsson's novels in the original language. I'm not sure if I would ever learn Norwegian.


Maybe all of them- I am too antisocial in real life to speak even in my native language. :)


I love Irish and Welsh. And picking up Cornish (of which a total of about 1,000 are fluent/learning in it) None of these are high profile languages. So my interacting chances with others in those languages, at least where I live are slim to none. LOL

At least French is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, a second language to many countries. It is very big as a first language and as a second language,

From a French website, "220 million French speakers worldwide". Pretty big language.

Welsh is something like 600,000, Irish less than 100,000. So, yeah, these languages are definitely a guilty pleasure.

I am learning French and Italian, both spoken in so many parts of the world. Which I had known the languages when I had been in the Navy. LOL

But I like learning new languages, digging into the history of cultures. Find it fascinating and an insight into how people from different languages think in their unique ways and how their languages reflect that in the structure and even words of their languages..

[deactivated user]

    French is kind of a guilty pleasure language for me, too. I came to Duolingo with the intention of improving my Indonesian since I go to Indonesia every few years to visit my family there. Plus, I speak it at home. When I found that the course for the language wasn't ready yet, I browsed through the languages and saw french. I was learning a french song in choir class, so I thought I should do french. When I have the chance, I'm going to go to France and use my french-speaking skills, but that's going to be a long time from now. ^^;


    I so appreciate your question/comment, DreamingOdelia. Spanish would be much more practical where I live and work as well, but here I am studying French. I don't think that my "impractical" choice has anything to do with the Spanish language itself, however (I think it's a beautiful language, too). Probably has much more to do with the mystique (real and imagined) of the French language and culture that I picked up on early in life. When I was a kid, I saw Jean Cocteau's La Belle et La Bette in the theater. I was mesmerized! Josette Day's Belle cried diamonds! So began my love for all things French. No, it's not practical. So strange that we now feel guilty for pursuing intellectual growth for its own sake--that we DESIRE to learn a language is somehow not the "right" reason to learn it. Now we must attach some quantifiable payoff. Let's give ourselves a break and just feel grateful that learning brings us joy.


    "Let's give ourselves a break and just feel grateful that learning brings us joy."

    Here, here! <3


    Why would your liking of French be a guilty pleasure? It's okay to like one language more than another. Also, I don't think much of Spanish, but maybe if I were immersed more in the language I would reconsider it?


    The reason I say that learning French is my guilty pleasure is because I have no one to speak it with whereas I do have Spanish neighbors I could speak Spanish with. I feel that I should be learning Spanish in order to help my neighbors feel more at home. I feel guilty about not making the effort.


    i super love icelandic but its kinda dying and not really used much outside iceland itself, a country i am very very far away from


    Thanks to your love of Icelandic perhaps the language might survive longer


    that's the hope, anyway


    Mi favorito lenguage es Frances tengo amor Frances desde yo era un niño viendo los Adams Familia y gente banco de la iglesia en Looney Tunes.Sinembargo,yo no tengo una practico usod de aprende Frances.Yo simplrmente disfrutar como los sonidos del lenuage

    Entonces hay Español.Hay son miles de gente que habla español viviente en mi are de U.SEllos son de Mexico,Colombia,El salvador,Peru quizas otros yo tengo un practico razon a aprender Español.Yo puedo parecer a otoño en amor con el lenguage Nadie mas en una similar situacion?


    I live in Japan, and barely learned the language. I became really interested in Russian culture and thought I would retire there. But the present conditions for a US citizen dealing with small city Russian bureaucracy is not ideal. So I decided to marry a French -speaking woman.


    I've been doing french on duolingo now for over a year. I wouldn't say that it's a 'guilty pleasure' DreamingOdelia, but I've always loved the sound of French and just the 'logic' (i guess you could say) of it's structure and conjugations and stuff. At school i had to choose whether to do Spanish or French as a language study. Even though i had had minimal practice in both languages, i still chose french (and also for a GCSE) as i found that it just made more sense to me (?), despite me not being french by any family or anything, and half my family being partially Spanish-speaking. <3


    Yep. I'm learning French purely just for learning it because languages fascinate me. I don't have any close friends who are French and even if I visit France one day, I honestly don't think I'll say much more of it than simple, necessary phrases to get by because I'm just not chatty enough to talk with strangers... ¯_(ツ)_/¯


    Yup, I love everything about Hindi and Punjabi and yet I have no use for them. Except I take that back. Knowing someone's language typically builds instant rapport... because it demonstrates that their culture is of such importance and/or interest to you, that you're actually willing to spend months/years learning the language. That says a lot.

    One time I got an (amazing, fun, easy) job just for enjoying a small conversation in "useless" Hindi with the owner of the store! So languages/knowledge is never useless! ;P


    I am just so in love with the language and the culture. And it does sound really lovely to my ears and I would want nothing more to impress the people in my family. Because they are interested in it but others could care less in my family.

    Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.