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https://www.duolingo.com/PixieBelleee

What is your motivation to learn languages?

Hello everyone! :)

I have just started Duolingo again after a long hiatus. I thought it would be fun to share our language learning motivations with one another. I feel inspired reading peoples' stories on language learning - it really feels like a boost to my own motivation!

Personally, my motivation is fuelled by my SO, who is a native French speaker. We are currently in a long-distance relationship, and I would like to learn in case I immigrate to his location one day. I also think it's important to learn about your partner's culture and hope to be able to speak with his family fluently one day. This is not to mention that the French language sounds so incredibly romantic to me, no matter what you say!

Anyways, what is your motivation? :)

4 years ago

65 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Darren_Mart

I'm learning French because: 1) I believe it's the most beautiful language on the planet. 2) It's a challenge, and I finally realized it's not impossible for this "old" dog to learn new tricks. 3) As cheesy as it sounds, learning a new language is almost like being a kid again, slowly opening your eyes to a whole new world and getting a completely different perspective.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/curlyeric
curlyeric
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After all these years it finally clicked that it was more about attitude than aptitude. All this time I though I was bad at languages when it was just that I lacked motivation.

My second reason for learning the language is to show my wife a good time in Paris for out ten year anniversary.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/maggimunro
maggimunro
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Now that is a lovely, romantic reason that will have all us married ladies sighing! Good for you.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/curlyeric
curlyeric
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The wives I've spoken to have all said "You should talk to my husband". Two weeks in Paris in an undertaking, but it will be worth it.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mel_Wolf

With the right tools and mind set, a dog can learn anything. (:

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
annika_a
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I want to be able to listen in on tourists' conversations on the tram.

Well, to be a bit more serious, that, and to read literature in the original, watch tv without subtitles and generally have a better insight into other cultures. And to have a lot of languages on my CV. But the listening (in) when native speakers are talking, and being surprised by how my you understand, really is something worth striving for.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/s-g-lafollette
s-g-lafollette
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So I can join the Peace Corps! :-)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mel_Wolf

Good for you! I wanted to join the Peace Corps right out of high school, but I didn't think I had enough credibility for them to want me, or for me to even be useful; instead, I've joined the Navy for six years. Afterwards, I either want to join the Peace Corps or backpack. Haven't decided which yet. Either way, wonderful decision!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Chsake

Peace Corps is a excellent institution, I know some Peace Corps' volunteer when I did my volunteer project in West Asia. Best wishes.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/eskepple
eskepple
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For me, there are many reasons for me to want to learn different languages. I don't travel much but I love learning about the different aspects of other languages and cultures (reading, writing, speaking, behavior, etc.). It makes me feel like I'm being more aware of the world. I've been a nerd for as long as I could remember and I just like learning things for learning's sake. Although I'm still not completely sure about my career, I want to consider interpreting and translating foreign languages. Even though I'm not fluent, I am currently learning Spanish, Japanese, Indonesian, Italian, French, German, Portuguese, and even American sign language. Someday I wish to start a career involving computers, write a couple of books, and learn as many different languages as fluently as possible so I can take on translation.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Chsake

Oh, friend, I agree with you. For me, learning is a habit, I cant stop learning. About the language, it is really a good way to realize another culture, how they think and what they feel. Now I am learning French, it is a little difficult for me to learn it by myself, but the challenge is interesting, I will keep going! PS: Every time when I think I can speak the most difficult language in this planet, Chinese, I feel it must be easy to learn other language. A joke haha.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/eskepple
eskepple
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I kind of have the similar problem. I know a decent amount of Spanish so I think it would be easier for me to learn Portuguese and Italian but I was wrong. Anyway, I'm glad to know that there's another person out there who likes to learn different things as a hobby, whether or not they're good at it.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Thiromar

My motivation is that I want to be able to converse with the natives of the places that I wish to visit. I've been on this earth for 24 years now, and it was only a couple of months ago that I first went abroad, to Italy. I had learnt a tiny bit before and during the trip but I felt like I was being rude, being in this country and not being able to speak their native tongue.

So that is why I persist every day in learning French, as my girlfriend and I will be hopefully going to the south of France later this year. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jenga_Jane

I'm doing a linguistics degree at university and I'm sick of people asking me what language I'm studying. :-P

In all seriousness, I just love the idea of being able to communicate with more people. Duolingo is all about languages for the world. If I do get into being a social worker and working in migrant support in my city, how cool would it be if I could communicate with clients in their language? I don't expect I'll ever be good enough at any language to not need an interpreter, but it's still a nice idea. :-P

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Klgregonis
Klgregonis
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Oh brother. I have a decades old and mostly unused linguistics degree and when people ask me what I studied in college they always ask how many languages I speak. I've given up explaining. But I too love learning languages just to learn them, also to get somewhat the same experience as the ELAA learners I tutor get when they are learning English.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lunatyk
Lunatyk
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Similarly, I like to learn languages so that I know what it's like for my students to learn English... but I do it mostly because I get bored easily...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/12345ann

OF COURSE you will be able to speak without an interpreter. Me too, I am a linguist and it is really useful to have this theoretical background to learn languages. I am German native, speak English and Swedish quite fluently, can hold conversations in Russian and French... I thought I would never be able to speak Russian because of all the cases and stuff but as soon as you go to the country (especially to a country where almost nobody speaks a foreign language) you will just have to speak and you will speak! You will make mistakes but after a while you'll speak it. Just go there, force yourself to immerse :-)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII
BastouXII
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Forcing yourself to speak with people not knowing your native language is the best advice one could give to learn a language! I went to Spain alone for a month after studying the language for about a year an a half (lazily). I always tried to speak, read and listen to Castillan (Spanish from Spain) even when English or French (my native language) was offered, and at the end of my month there, someone asked me if Spanish was my first language! If you want to learn a language, you'll have to leave your comfort zone at one time or another, that's a fact.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/esperanzaninja

I want to be able to communicate with people and not have a "language barrier." I'm trying to learn Spanish and Italian. Spanish will also help me tutor.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/anaee193
anaee193
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I want to travel, that's a dream of mine! I'm already very good in English thanks to school and, well, my laptop lol. But really, I came accross Duolingo thanks to the App Store 3 days ago, and when I read the description I found it so interesting that I downloaded it, and it's really a great opportunity since it's free. I am actually French (I won't hide the fact that I still don't understand what people like so much in this language, haha), so I learn the languages from English. I'm enjoying Portuguese a lot, hearing a Rio 2 song in Portuguese triggered my liking for it and I have a friend who lives in Brazil too. I think I'm getting sidetracked, sorry. Anyway, I really want to travel and I think the minimum for that is to know at least the basics of the country you plan to visit, even though English comes in handy for that. Honestly, I just enjoy learning different languages, it also keeps me from getting bored. I even told my sister about it because she's been wanting to improve her English for a while now, I can thank Duolingo!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII
BastouXII
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I already spoke French, English and Spanish when I met my wife. She's Italian, but her mother is German, so I learned Italian to speak to my in-laws and her friends when we visit and I'm now trying to get German into my head, which isn't easy at all. I've come to think that French was the hardest language that I know of (and English by far the easiest), but German beats it easily ! At the speed at which we both learn, I believe my 3 year old will be able to teach me German before long (she speaks French and Italian almost flawlessly, well considering she's a 3-year old, and can already say a few words in English and German!).

Other than that, I'm interested in people and cultures, and I believe someone cannot truly know about any culture without mastering the local language to a certain degree. If I ever succeed in learning German and can refresh my Spanish a bit, the next ones on my list are Japanese, Russian, Latin, Mandarin, Greek and Arabic.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lilithly
Lilithly
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I started French because it was the only language on duo (at that time) I considered worth learning. (I already know German (native)) - Italian I took just for fun and haven't really practised it in the last 5 months or so. Now that there are other languages like Dutch and Japanese I've started learning those, since they are the languages I actually want to know. I'm really looking forward to their reversed versions and the Korean one :) I'm studying Korean and Japanese in University so my motivation for these two languages is pretty high^^

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ambipath

I'm learning French because I want to move to the city that stole my heart - Montreal!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/VanillaRixCam15

Learning a new language(s) would surely give me the opportunity to travel all over the world

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mel_Wolf

I want to back-pack through Europe in a couple of years, and they say French is the most spoken language, with German behind it (which I plan to learn afterwards). That and, oddly enough, I'm into French rap and pop. Most of all, I think, I just love the way French is written. It's very beautiful.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/maggimunro
maggimunro
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Actually, you will find most northern Europeans will talk back to you in English....because they want to practice! For me, learning languages is all about people, not the academic skill ( which is why I dropped out of my part time French degree last year). I have French friends and I know they really appreciate it when we speak to them, in their country, in their language. The fact that you are trying to communicate with them in their language is really appreciated.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mel_Wolf

Thanks(: I can understand how, when in France, the French would appreciate me at least attempting to talk to them in English. I noticed a lot of Americans (or at least, my group of friends) get offended at this, but I've seen them treat the immigrants from the south with the very same logic, so I'm not offended with the French wanting me to try to learn some French.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/S0S_90
S0S_90
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Hey, the most spoken language in Europe is still German! ;-) It's spoken in the biggest country of Europe, Germany, in Austria and in parts of other countries.

But I guess it's more necessary to learn French when traveling Europe because most people in Germany can speak English quite well and will be happy to speak English to you whereas the French are said to not want to speak English (even though they of course understand it) because they are so proud of their country and language.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII
BastouXII
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I also thought German was the most spoken language in Europe, but mostly because it's as useful for business as English is in other parts of the world.

Also, many people in France won't talk to you in English simply because they don't speak it, or they are so ashamed of how bad their English is. I found out only a very few people in Quebec don't want to speak English for ideological reasons. For the vast majority of the people who don't want to speak a language, the reason is simply because they don't speak it! I'm not sure about France, but my guess is the situation is similar over there.

My first language is French, how silly would you think I am if I said you (or anyone else) are rude for refusing to speak to me in French? Once you realize it's not every one who can learn a second language easily (i.e. English), you'll understand a lot more about the behavior of many people.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/S0S_90
S0S_90
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I didn't want to say the French are rude because they don't speak English to foreigners. I was in France last year and all the people I met there were very nice. I think it's a kind of prejudice that they don't want to understand you even if they can but as many prejudices there is a real core of it.

It's just a different culture between French and Germany. In Germany everyone expects you to speak English no matter how you learned it. I once did an internship in a pharmacy and if English speakers come there it's expected of everyone to understand and help them. In the working groups in university German is spoken only if no one from another country works in the group. As soon as there is one person who is not able to speak German the whole group will switch to English. The result of this is that there are people in Germany for 5 years or more and they don't even say things like "yes", "no", "good morning" or "thank you" in German. And if you - as a German - don't speak English well you get problems everywhere (some fellow students have such problems so it's not like it's super-easy for Germans but either you learn it or you don't succeed).

I don't know much about France but I guess that have about the same amount of English in school. But I think they don't have the same pressure to be able to speak English after school. I can't image a whole French working group will switch to English just because of one member that doesn't speak French but would rather not employ this person (correct me if I'm wrong).

So I don't say it's better in one country or another. It's just different (of course these differences have historical reasons, that can't be denied) and these differences (and sometimes bad experiences of single persons) lead to prejudices all of us like to tell about the others. I think a compromise between the two ways of dealing with our own language and foreigners would be the best. It's good to give someone from another country the chance to start living and working here without knowing the language but I'd expect this person to at least try to learn the language if he or she is planning to stay here for more than a year.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII
BastouXII
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Well, I said this because I know there is a deep prejudice about French people in America, and maybe Quebec doesn't help it either (I'm from Quebec by the way), with all this secession and culture talk. There isn't a month when I don't hear about an incident related to English vs. French matter in either Quebec or the rest of Canada (like a Montreal bus driver getting angry at a tourist for not being able to say something in French).

This is a big generalization and it's certain you can find plenty of individuals who aren't like that, but from what I got to understand from French people (from France), they are both very proud people and very inefficient in learning foreign languages, including English. This leads to what you observed (or guessed) being different in the attitude between Germany and France. Another thing would be how close the German language is to English (I'm learning German right now and it really feels like English is a very simplified German language with French and Latin words thrown here and there ;-)).

There are some advantages to both ways of seeing the level of English needed to work in a country. The French way makes it way more simple for French people, while the German way is a lot easier for foreigners. But as you say, someone living for a few years in a country and not even being able to say 3 words in the local language is blatantly shameful, it's possible in Germany, but hardly in France.

The Quebec province used to be a bit like Germany, but not out of choice : since the conquest of New France by England in the 1760's, the English controlled the political and economical spheres. One had to master English to get any job other than farmer. When the French speaking people of Quebec painfully built their pride back, some 200 years after the conquest, they realized just how much their culture was threatened and made laws to force bigger companies to have their administration in French, to display commercials in French bigger than any other language and children to attend public school in French unless one of their parents or themselves had gone to a public English school in Canada for a certain number of years. All of those rules constitute the much debated bill 101 and guarantees that the province remains French not only in theory but also in practice and our culture is safeguarded for at least another generation to do whatever they please with. Now French in North-America is clearly threatened, it's quite the contrary in Europe (where do you think the term lingua franca comes from?). So someone speaking only English in Quebec would normally get around easily in any city over 50 000 inhabitants, and would be able to find some work in select regions (mainly Montreal and near the Ontario, New Brunswick and US borders), but the majority of the population can find work speaking only French.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lunatyk
Lunatyk
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> (I'm learning German right now and it really feels like English is a very simplified German language with French and Latin words thrown here and there ;-))

If you look at England's history, that makes a lot of sense...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mel_Wolf

Yes, I've heard from some that it's French, and from others that it's German. I'm not really sure why the schools stress learning French over German. There's not a school in my county that teaches German, but the majority of them will teach French.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII
BastouXII
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Well, if you get out of Europe, or if you consider history, French as much more reach (I believe it's one of very few languages, if not the only one, to be spoken natively at least somewhere on all 5 continents). Many International institutions have French among their official languages, like the international Olympic committee. That might explain it.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII
BastouXII
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What country are you from?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ddbeachgirl
ddbeachgirl
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hence the term "lingua franca" (which is ironically now english...)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/herrdoktor

"lingua franca" comes from the middle ages, when crusaders (mostly French) stormed Palesitina. Also the Arab name "ferengi" (european) has the same origin. Ironically - as fa as I know - lingua franca was mostly ancient Italian with some Spanish, Greek and Arab in it..

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JBibeau

I am studying abroad in Lille next year! Also just knowing another language will help in areas I can't even imagine right now.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/frenchle

My kids are in a french immersion school. I want to learn the language so that I can help them with home work and also read to them in french. Let's see how I do with the challenge.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/barbz.nz

I am learning French because I now have some free time. I hope to visit France one day. But it is a long way from home, I live in New Zealand

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/clairejen1

I studied French at A level, but that was a long time ago. I want to become more fluent, improve my ear and remember those blasted genders. Phrases which stick in my mind, no matter how stupid, help with this. We visit France frequently and I love to chat, working through Duolingo and watching French films help my comprehension.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/midnightauro

I've always had an odd fascination with French, even when I was little. I started learning in High School, and got decent at writing (Still not great, but sentences that made sense and such) by my fourth year, but once I left, life got in the way, and I let it slip away. I'm trying to get back what I lost. (I was enjoying writing in French, my handwriting looked so much better since I had to think about what I was writing so much!)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/karla.ma

My reason is simple. I want to learn all the posibles languages in my life, because "you only live once". I speak spanish, but i learned english here, and i try to learn French right now.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hjweds
hjweds
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As for me, I like the feeling of learning something new and useful. Not only languages, but also computer skills and so on.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JcPOH7KHrmmA4gpm

In addition to wishing like to be able to read Camus, Sartre and a few others in originals it'd be nice to be able to strike a conversation in France using the local language.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynuxe

Hello eveybody I have wanted always to learn a language because I think it's necessary when we travel. We can communicate easier with a lot of people and exchange ideas. See you soon...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ksopuff
ksopuff
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I'm attempting to become a polyglot. I only have three languages under my belt (English, Arabic, Spanish), but I'm hoping to add French, German, Irish, and Polish. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lunatyk
Lunatyk
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why Polish? (if I may ask)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ksopuff
ksopuff
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Heritage. I'm Irish, German, Polish, and English (aka a mutt). The German's more to read my great grandmother's cookbook, and Polish... just because it'll be a fun one to learn. Speak ALL the languages of my forefathers. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lunatyk
Lunatyk
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that's really cool :) let me know if you'll need any help

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ksopuff
ksopuff
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Thanks ^_^

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/S0S_90
S0S_90
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I believe I remember to have read somewhere that you are a polyglot when you speak three languages...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ksopuff
ksopuff
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I consider 3 trilingual. anything more is polyglot to me. shrug

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII
BastouXII
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Technically, even with two languages one would be polyglot if you follow strictly the definition : one who can speak many languages. Many = more than one.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sarahjosua

My motivation is to know another culture and to be able to watch and read things in french, without subtitles or translations!

I just love learning new languages. Unfortunately I don't finish learning them. haha I started learning italian, swedish and french since 2011 and I never got out of the basic level. Not because I'm no interested... it's because I don't have so much time to dedicate myself to study languages. I have to study for college and do other stuff. :(

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dawn_Jennifer02

I am only a young adult and I want to become a doctor one day with that you never know what might happen or who you might meet. It would be great to have learned two or more languages so you can use them later on in life. Also I so love learning and since I am currently taking band in middle school there is no way were I can take spanish. My last reason (for now) is I think that if you have learned a new language or can speak more than one language fluently than that is amazing.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Green_Duo

Several years ago, I vowed to myself that I would someday learn a language in a fun, stress-free way. Duolingo is like a dream-come-true! Now, I can actually say basic sentences in Spanish!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tbvjshqk017

b/c I am tired of learning l'anglaise.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jabdallah

I teach English to speakers of other languages. The majority of my students speak Spanish. It helps me with my very low proficiency speakers. My students also feel encouraged to study English when I share my journey in learning Spanish. Since we are all language learners, it helps me create a safe learning environment. After Spanish is done, I hope they have an Arabic for English speakers because it's my husband's first language.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rayxi2dot71828

For me, I'm picking up French because of its closeness to English (which is my second language). I thought it'd be easier to get to a reasonable proficiency level compared to, say, Mandarin ;-)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KeepingUp

I have 2 and soon 3 kids in French Immersion, want to be some help with homework! Do not want to rely solely on my husband for that side of their homework. Plus we live near the Quebec border in Canada and it would be good to be able to communicate better on trips.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GinnieNolan
GinnieNolan
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im learning Spanish coz I was bored and I thought it was a game at first but it turns out im learning from it :/ now if only they could teach me to spell id be grand lol

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fateme191

I started to learn french cause i think this language is amazing for me and it is close to my feelings. i love paris so i love french.. it's the most beautiful language after my native language of course ;)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lgarratt2

Making some good friends from Europe, siblings starting families with multi-lingual partners and the desire to have at least partially multilingual kids myself. But most of all the fun of the challenge, I find DL really, really addictive and the idea that this addiction is beneficial to me makes it all the more glorious!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DropTherapy

I'm learning (or trying to learn) Esperanto as a stepping stone for other languages. I think I might be trying to learn too fast because i'm at level six and I can't remember half of the stuff that I was taught. To be honest, i've run out of motivation for today and should wait a few hours, but I can't stop.

9 months ago