https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB

The Real Reason I Learn Russian (What is the reason for learning your target language?)

LaurianaB
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Hello everyone!

People have posted many threads in the past and recently that ask our reasons for picking the target languages on which we focus. You may have seen a comment like mine or something like it....and as most of you know, Russian is my favorite language and my life-passion. Whenever someone asks, I always say that I have an "interest in the culture" and that it "sounds lovely." Well, that's true! I really love my Russian friends, their attitude, traditional views, and all this...and I really do think that Russian is highly underrated in the lists of beautiful languages.

But, because this is a group topic, I would like to finally tell the real reason that I fell in love with Russian. I haven't expressed this fully to many people in my "real life" before, but maybe it will bring up some nice stories from other members here. I think there is a freedom in that... I fell for the Russian language because I fell for a person first. :)


Many years ago, when I was 14, I heard Russian in person for the first time. And this language, like a few others (German being first in my mind) have been "villainized" to a certain extent in the media and other places. Just the other day, someone was telling me that Russian sounds "horribly yucky" and I asked if they had ever heard it anywhere but Cold War parody movies...(guess the answer). I don't demand that people love it, but I do demand that some research or consideration is made about it before passing judgement on whole languages...most of it, IMHO, depends on who is speaking.

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When I was 14, I also thought that Russian sounded kind of horrid or rough. This, my friends, was sadly a judgment that I made before I even met the lovely people of Russia and definitely before I met a very nice young man. I was at a sports camp by myself, in a room full of Russian speakers. This guy became my partner for the afternoon, as I did not have one, and we really hit it off. Having ended two very draining and toxic friendships just the night before, I was in desperate need of some sort of kindness...from anyone, really. I made a lot of friends that day, and this particular friend was a special sort of "godsend" for my emotional well-being. If a stranger can treat you better than your friends, you need new friends. These are probably the words at the pinnacle of any solid advice I am capable of giving.

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We spent the entire day together, he helped me understand what everyone else was saying...why, it was so nice that I forgot all about everything that grieved me the day before. Not only this, but it felt like we had known each other for years....it was perfectly honest and very candid. As the fast friends we were, we exchanged numbers and chatted on holidays and during the weeks when we wanted to share a story. It stayed this way for many months, and it was a refreshing thing to have someone actually care.

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I had never really heard anything so lovely before as that weekend when I heard Russian for the first time in person. (To me, it sounded especially wonderful when he spoke it, and we wonder why...:)) So, secretly, I decided that I wanted to learn Russian and surprise this guy of mine with it. I would stay up on days when I didn't have time and practice Cyrillic, try and say some basic phrases...it all made me happy that one day I would just be able to walk up to him and speak his first language.

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Well, many things happened to us during those times, and because of the distance and many other factors, we slowly drifted apart. Every now and then we would talk, but at that time I hardly spoke to anyone. Life was rough and I was depressed and suicidal. I didn't want to burden him, even though I really had no one to talk to. I took all of my feelings out on myself, temporarily ruined my own life, brain, relationship with my family...it was not a good time. I remember one specific point when I was considering committing suicide by overdose. At that moment, I thought of all of the things which were wrong, how many friends were not there for me, some of my most important family members dying or walking out on me...everything seemed hopeless! But then there was one thing that I really feel was not doing me some injustice...and this was that nice guy I met at the sports camp. He always cheered me up and made things seem funny and positive. He was an encouragement and a little light that made things seem less ominous. I really wished that I could pay him back for doing so much good for me, that he didn't even know. That was when I decided that I had at least one reason to live (and as I was blind to, I had many, many more that now I can appreciate more than ever).

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During this time of darkness, I had fallen away from my studies, lost motivation to do anything at all, talk to anyone, or see anyone. I felt alone and like I was a disappointment to this earth on which we walk. So when I made the decision that I would not die at my own hand, I picked up Russian again. Eventually, I came here. Many things got in the way, slowed me down, and caused me to regress....but I saw and still see my learning of the Russian language as a way to pay tribute to this lovely Russian friend of mine who did so much more for me than he could even understand.

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Of course, I still wish that I could somehow repay him for being so good to me....but if I do not get a chance to do this directly, I hope that somehow I will still have an opportunity to do so. It would mean the world to me.

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Thus, I fell for a person, for the Russian language, and the latter will be a passion I pursue until the day I (actually) die.


What is your "real reason" for learning one of your target languages? I would love to hear your story.

1 week ago

126 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/kirezatav
kirezatav
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What a lovely story. So glad to hear you're out of that dark place, I know first hand how awful it is to be stuck in a such a mindset, having attempted suicide myself. Let's hope you never fall back there!

For me, learning Welsh is a journey of healing. I've suffered from severe agoraphobia for around 6 years now and have been housebound for most of that time. I initially took up Welsh with the intention of teaching myself the basics so that I'd "qualify" for a Welsh course at my local college - the hope is that once I start recovering, I'll be able to slowly reintroduce myself back into the world of education (as I left school at fifteen due to my illness).

Studying Welsh keeps me going when nothing else does. It's the one thing I feel I've started to accomplish, the one thing that helps me feel good about myself. It's also a constant reminder to just keep going. Welsh goes hand in hand with my recovery - they invigorate each other. One makes me more determined to focus on the other, as my current long-term goal (going to college) is so heavily involved with both pursuits. It also helps inspire me to make more short-term goals to work towards - such as seeing a tutor or attending evening classes.

While Welsh isn't my true passion - my dream is to be an eskimologist/linguist studying the Greenlandic language - it's the one positive constant I have in my life at the moment. It's a reminder to hold on, and it's helping me to slowly reclaim my life.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Wow, it is so incredible to see how languages have brought you out of your shell. It really makes me so happy to see someone like you be able to be so honest and optimistic at this time because you are after one of your passions...cheers to you! Thank you so much for your comment. It is an inspiration to me. :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GregMorgan9
GregMorgan9
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I wanted to share this story on my 300 days streak but here you go.

I have CIPA and because of that I was physcially and mentally weak kid with no friends. Everyone considered me as a dumb and weak kid. My teachers said that i won't be able to pass middle school and my doctors said that i won't live for more than 5 years.

I had 37 surgeries, broke 17 bones and 8 fire accidents and all of these changed my physical look. I looked odd and people started calling me a monster. My neigbhors and relatives asked my parents to give me a mercy death when i was 8. I tried suicide 3 times. I changed 8 schools and i was bullied in every school.

My parents asked me not to go out, they bought a computer and various books and wanted me to stay in home. I loved reading stories as i liked living in a fantasy where i was not a monster. I read stories from different countries like Germany, Russia, Italy, France, Japan etc.

I wanted to learn more about various cultures so i decided to learn those languages. To be honest, i hated my surrounding and i wanted to find a place where people don't treat me like a monster. But soon i realised that i was not as dumb as people called me. I was able to learn new languages.

Now i can speak 18 languages (I don't consider myself as fluent in most of them). I created an alter ego in each language with its own character, lifestyle and story and for years those were the only friends i had.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Greg Morgan,

You are nothing but completely and totally incredible. I have so much respect for you and your life story. I really can't even comprehend how uncaring and inhuman the people around you were.....it must have been such a challenge. And yet, you climbed that mountain, you conquered your dragons, and now you realize that the way people treated you was wrong, you are not defined by what happened to you, and you are a unique and beautiful individual. Not only that, but very smart. 18 languages? I can't even dream of it...

All I can say is that I am so glad to see someone who can overcome such odds with your attitude and determination. May you reach the stars and never define yourself by your challenges. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. Blessings!!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GregMorgan9
GregMorgan9
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Thanks Lauriana. I just want to prove that anything is possible and never to worry about what other thinks. Especially to kids because kids believe in whatever others tell them and I know how it feels to be useless and worst person on earth.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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You are right; anything is possible! We should be good to children...when I was very little and struggling with health issues, my mother always reprimanded the doctors for saying I would never be normal in front of me. You have a great illustration as to why.... may you live long and prosper. ;)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jan355441
Jan355441
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CIPA means you don't feel pain and you don't sweat, right? I've read a story about a boy who cannot feel pain. He's only able to walk with a walking frame because he broke the bones in his legs so often, and he scratched away his nose during the night, he just kept scratching and scratching until he felt the bones under the skin. So yeah, it's really an awful condition, not being able to feel when something hurts you.

But, judging from your profile pic, you look pretty awesome to me. I'm glad you found stories and languages as your refuge and I'm glad you shared this story with us.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GregMorgan9
GregMorgan9
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Yes, you are right. I have the same problem. I have problem in my left leg because i broke 4 bones in my left foot. Doctor said that they have to ampute my foot but i am still walking with broken bones. I also lost my left eye and got plenty of stories to talk about.

Also, thanks for the complement. Although, i know its not true but it made my day. Thank you.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sher818015

I am very grateful to read your story. You sound like a gentle, kind person. You have friends here. I would be honored to call you a friend.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GregMorgan9
GregMorgan9
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Thank you

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Prussia1525
Prussia1525
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It's not often that someone's reason runs so deeply. I appreciate that.

I love languages, I really do. It's what I want to do with my life. There's nothing more important than that for me.

I was a little girl when I taught myself French (a language that I now find much less appealing and useful, but can still appreciate.) My ability has faded since, and I don't have any interest in picking it back up.

I started learning Japanese in school, as my foreign language. I enjoy the language and still study it in school, but it doesn't have the reason behind it that some of the others do.

I'm not a social person, I'm not so busy with people. They don't seem to like me. I have time on my hands.

I hadn't heard Danish before music was recommended to me by an acquaintance, and the lyrics were usually in this language. Bemused, I looked into the language, my inner linguist curious about its workings.

It was stunning, really. I still wish I could go back to a point where I didn't understand much of it, so I could once again appreciate the simple beauty of the language.

I locked myself in a room and filled pages and pages with notes. I didn't need friends! I had myself and a gorgeous language with letters I was learning to pronounce beautifully and a syntax to be jealous of! I was happy with my laptop, my notebooks, and roughly 20394984082 gel pens at my disposal.

German was another one for school, one I take along with Japanese. I made the decision to take two foreign languages because I loved them, but originally I had intended to take Spanish. (As much as I'm not a fan of the romance languages, you can't beat practical and easy.) I found myself switching out at the last minute to German, getting wait-listed but ultimately taking the class, because I had played around with it a bit on Duolingo and couldn't physically stop myself. How fun it was- the language was an odd thing, with changes and exceptions and amusing differences from English. Yes, I liked this one.

A German notebook was kept along with my Danish one, and I would copy notes until the late night. What else did I have to do?

Norwegian was next, then Icelandic, Swedish, Dutch, Russian, and more emphasis on my Japanese studies. I loved these languages. I spent hours and hours and hours of my life on it, and for once, nothing felt like a waste. I was being useful! I was learning languages!

Maybe my reason isn't great. I love these languages. I love that they are beautiful and expressive. I love that they helped me become alright with being alone. I love that I can do something I know I'm good at. I love using it and being proud, yes, I've done something right for once!

I do this because it makes me happy to do it, and maybe that's a good enough reason.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Prussia,

You have hit the nail on its head! And you didn't even know it....loving something for the sake of doing just that is a very pure reason. I'm happy to see someone who found a light to keep them from falling and to warm them when things became lonely. It is inspiring to me. Thank you for your comment and support!! <3

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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Dutch is not a language I ever considered learning. It's not that I didn't think I'd like it. Rather, it was simply just so far off my radar I'd never considered it. Then, the government started passing first one policy, and then two, and then a whole list of policies against people in my minority group. And, it's continued to do so. So, I started researching countries I could seek asylum in, just in case. I'm disabled and I also take very expensive medication. Without it, I'll die. Meanwhile, anti-immigrant sentiments are on the rise around the globe. And to top it off, I'm Queer. Combined, that crossed several countries off my list. Finally, I'd researched the Netherlands and it seems to be compatible. So, now I'm learning Dutch. A friend of mine in another country who has also been following the events has put away travel funds for my cat and I, and I know where to find the nearest embassy for when/if I need it.

Atrocities never start big. They always start small, a comment here and there, an attack, politicians scapegoating onto the group to build up their political campaigns, the public joins in scapegoating blaming various ills and imagined scenarios and projected on the minority group, the public is stirred up into fear and anger at the group, then loss of existing government protections, then government policies limiting the opportunities of the group and their access to public spaces, then state sanctioned violence... I know how it goes from studying it happening to other groups. And now it's coming for me. And honestly, I don't know if people en mass would actively stand up to this rising tide to reverse it. It's not actually all that easy to protest effectively here, in a way that creates resounding change. People risk losing everything if they do more than just march for a day. If there's push back by the government who calls in police or the feds to enforce their march forward into the mire, if people who aren't in the cross-hairs don't see change happen at a convenient speed, all but a few go back to life, work, family as usual and the cause fades into the background. This time my life is the cause. I don't think it's enough motivation for strangers against the risks they'd be facing of losing their jobs, going to jail, etc. It depends on the voters at this stage. So, I'm biding my time to see what will happen. I can worry about what's next once we know what's next.

It's one thing to volunteer with Duolingo and think, "This could really help refugees." And then it's 5 years later and thinking, "This could really help me because I might be a refugee..." I knew that life was unpredictable, but this, yeah I just wouldn't have guessed it. People who seek asylum have always other people, other groups, other countries. It's so surreal to think that soon it might be me. I'm just glad there is a Dutch course on Duolingo and to know some of the members of Team Dutch and have even met one of them in person. Every bit helps when things are so anxious and uncertain. I'm scared, and there is this little ray of hope that even if I have to leave home and the world I'm familiar with that I won't be totally alone, I'll have Duolingo with me. :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Usagi,

You always surprise me with your comments. Undoubtedly you are great at what you do and anything you pursue.

With the growing acceptance movements, I doubt you will ever be shunned...not only would it be wrong, but a terrible loss to wherever you live! Sometimes I get the opportunity to blink at the light of justice just when I'm near to screaming, "where is humanity?" You may experience the same thing. I sincerely hope things go well for you...

It is great to see your infectious passion for Dutch....I look forward to hearing about your adventures!! Thank you for your support and comment. I appreciate it!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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I am not so much worried about being shunned. It's more along the lines of being worried about my safety to a degree far greater than usual. :(

As for Dutch, WOW! I am really enjoying it, which is awesome since I needed to learn as much of it as I can retain whether or not I found it enjoyable. The course just has a hilarious tone to it. I've felt so far that it is characterized by sarcasm and incredulity. (I am about 10-12 skills in right now.) I shouldn't be surprised by how thoroughly awesome it is. The Dutch course builders I've met have been hilarious, intelligent, and big-hearted. Their personalities have combined to create an entertaining selection of sentences. :D

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Dutch people are some of the funniest people I have ever met...it shows. :))

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sea-mist

all I can say is wow, that is deep. I hope things stay okay for you so you do not have to end up worrying about having to move country.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GetUpStandGreen

LGBT represent!! (I'm LGBT too)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Emmeline856

Det finns reglerna för en orsak. Utan reglar finns det anarki. Personer är inte emot "invandare" - de är emot personer som tänker att reglerna gäller ej till dem - vilka är orättvis till legitim invandrare och flyktingar som gör rätt sak och tillämpa igenom korrekta kanaler.

Jag önskar att personer skulle sluta böja sanningen.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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1 Not all rules are good rules. We shouldn't obey bad ones when they hurt people. I feel it is our duty to seek to change those rules, unless we are content to consent to the abuses carried out under their protection. 2. There are multiple ways to accomplish things. So, how people opt to do things is revealing. 3. Some people are virulently anti-immigrant. Flat out. Some of those folks hide behind guns, others behind policy (plenty even shape said policy). 4. There is a difference between bending the truth and having a different perspective.

As someone who is observing how immigrants are being treated in my own country, I am afraid of being an immigrant. But, it may be safer in the future to be an immigrant than to stay in my own country. And if the safest option for me is to immigrate without documentation, preserving my life matters to me more than observing law. Laws do not benefit dead people.

If you are concerned about your English and that is why you switched your comment to being in Swedish, I want to compliment your English and say it read fluently. I didn't even suspect you weren't a native speaker until I arrived and saw that you'd changed the language of your comment. Please feel welcome to use English when conversing with me in the future. We are all here because we are learning languages. If you are worried I wont take what you say seriously because you make an error in English, don't worry. :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Emmeline856

Jag är en modersmåltalare på engelska, faktiskt.

Jag har bestämt att använda endast svenska i alla språklärning aktivitet jag göra. Jag glömde när jag skrev det där meddelandet, det är varför jag ändrade mitt meddelande från engelska. Du sa att du lär dig svenska i din språklista också, därav använder jag svenska.

Du har rätt när några ogillar invandare - men de är i jätteliten minoritet. För det mesta, nuvurande lagar låter vettigt. Jag känner mig att det är orättvist att några ignorera reglerna, när andra följer dem. Människor som gick från en krigszon har ingen pengar att betala en folksmugglar också - det är varför några personer litar inte dem.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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Emmeline, that's a really great way to practice your target language!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Emmeline856

Japp, precis! Det är därför göra jag det!

Jag har lärt mycket från att använda faktiskt språket så vitt som möjlighet, och med så många ämnen som möjlighet också. Det är svårare att få möjligheter med språket när man bor i ett annat land, därav försöker jag att använda språket på nätet nästan hela tiden.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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It really is much harder when not living somewhere the language surrounds you. Your strategy tells me you are dedicated to overcoming that challenge though. I wish you the best of progress with Swedish. ^_^

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Emmeline856

Jag försöker. Jag har en bra anledning att lära mig svenska, trots allt.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JackMartian

A truly inspiring story. You made the right choice, that is, keeping your presence on earth.

It is sad, how many people fall victim to depression, and suicidal actions. It is even sadder, that most of these people carry through and take their life, not having the strength to rise against it.

You are precious. Their is only one of you in existence, and one only. Remember that.

We must always stop and take a look around us. Most of us don't take time enough to appreciate the world around us and all it's goodness. When times seem dark, and no light, the defining point of everything we see, can shine through, we must remember, although it may seem hopeless, when we finally reach the light-not in death-it will be all worth it.

To forcefully remove your existence, will, no matter what, be a cause for a better world. How many lives would we figuratively take with us if we literally took our own? How many pieces of hearts would forever be shattered, even if we think there is nobody's heart to break? There is.

While you don't know how many people you may touch in your life, it will certainly be more than in death.

Even now, this story impacted on me a certain realization. This story will go a long way, be shared by others; and who knows, could save a life.

I hope you find someone just as special, or more so like this Russian.

I'm really glad you made the right choice. Always keep fighting!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Jack,

Your comment almost brought me tears. I wish I had someone when I was so low to say what you have written. And I wish that so many people I can think of could know and believe the same. I found this very uplifting, non-cliché, and down-to-earth and I appreciate it more than you can know.

So many of us define our worth by other people. This is a very dangerous thing, as I have learned. We must learn to generate our own light in order to thrive in darkness. And, something tells me I have already found someone...the right people always seem to walk in our lives just when we need them. <3

Thank you very much for your insightful comment and for the kindness and support. You are a star.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JackMartian

So many of us define our worth by other people.

I am going to quote you from time to time, if you don't mind. While that sentence is truth, it is the second part that contains both beauty and truth. It is a very dangerous thing to do.

Your family and friends are lucky to have someone like you in their life. Thank you again for sharing this story.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Thank you for being so kind. It is not very common. :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bookrabbit
bookrabbit
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Russia has always intrigued me. Being older I grew up when the world was overshadowed by the East West split, by the cold war, by the fear of what could happen. The way that the good idea that was communism got perverted into a totalitarian nightmare was particularly frightening but also fascinating. I wanted to understand how that could happen and so was drawn to Russian history and to books like Animal Farm and the Dispossessed.

When I was younger I thought that I was no good at languages. French was my worst subject at school so learning Russian never occurred to me as an option. But after I discovered Duolingo and learned how to learn languages and the Russian tree was released I was drawn to it and it has been my main focus ever since. The level of the challenge it represents is also an attractor. I like challenges and Russian provides a good one. Only after three years do I feel as if I am finally making headway. Apart from the interesting political aspect the wealth of literature and the sheer breadth and depth of the language mean that once I can properly read it, complete with an authentic voice in my head, I will have years of further discovery ahead of me.

I have been in a dark place in my life too. I have not lived in a way that has enabled me to meet like minded people. I am always on the outside so my inner life and learning is my main sustenance. Russian has become a very good friend and together with my other language friends has helped me build the resilience to drag myself out of a very deep hole and make quite a few positive changes in my life without which it is hard to imagine that I could have survived for much longer.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sea-mist

gave you an lingot as I thought you deserved with with how far you have come with all those languages.. wow

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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bookrabbit,

I believe we are very much alike here. A great reason to learn Russian is the literature! My ex actually took my favorite Russian book, Omon Ra, to read and never returned it no matter how hard I try... maybe he liked it as much as I do?? So when I re-bought a copy, I decided to get it in the original text. It's so rich compared to the English translation...I also enjoy poetry (mainly by Pushkin) more than anything. I read a poem every night before sleeping and it helps my brain think of something interesting..

There's another thing: at that time, when I went to a psychologist for a while to help me sort out my emotional torments, they told my parents that I "have an unusually-active brain" and "needed to do something constructive with it." Obviously the "regular" things I could do were not enough. So, I found languages as my passion. I actually sat in the waiting room with a Russian dictionary and memorized words. I'm not and I never was a helpless case. It's just that I'm...uncommon. Once I had something to do with it, my thought patterns were able to change and so did my life.

Thank you very much for sharing your story. <3

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jasonsudana
Jasonsudana
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I am learning Russian and German. So here is my story. Not so interesting compared to others'.

-

A few years ago, there is a news about the involvement of Russia in the war against terror (against ISIS). The news was all over. One day, there is an excerpt of an interview of President Putin on TV.

When I think of Russian, I thought that Russian sounds very coarse, and Putin must have sounded like Adolf Hitler (mind you, Hitler's speech are so powerful). I was wrong. Putin spoke so diplomatic, that I feel like dancing between the words. Russian sounds so elegant. I am impressed with the language. Wow. Just wow.

After entering senior high school, I get addicted to memes (school is hard). I also became a socialist (or Social-Democrat? I don't know), and with my comrades, we discussed history, the USSR, Lenin and such. After looking at some meme accounts that wrote "Play the USSR Anthem" as the caption of their posts, I decided to listen to the music. It is so fantastic that I hoped that it was my (our?) anthem. I decided to memorize the lyrics, and I did it.

I then saw my sister using Duolingo to learn Japanese (she loves Dragon Ball), which became the first time I know Duolingo. Interested, I took the Russian course. It sparked a big interest, and slowly, it became my habit (or lifestyle) to practice Russian in Duolingo. Я хочу уметь говорить по-русски.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Well hello there, comrade Jason...I am glad you have found Russian to be so fulfilling. Side note, be careful with the Communism and Socialism references and praising around people who grew up in the USSR. Some are quite bitter about how their family history went in those times!

I wish you the best of luck...udachi! :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rev._mother

You should read The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. It is a tough read even in the English but I understand it is mandatory reading in Russian schools. A slightly easier read is Koestler’s Darkness at Noon. They may give you a better background of Russia in the 20th century since you obviously didn’t live through it. I think its great you are enjoying Russian though.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OmegaGmaster
OmegaGmaster
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I dislike the USSR as much as everyone else, but it shouldn't discredit communism as an ideology, because the USSR was anything but communist.

That being said, take anything tankies say with a grain of salt.

I will, however, admit that the USSR had great music.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rev._mother

Yeah sure. And Germany just gave national socialism a bad name too. Everywhere its been tried its ends in tyranny, poverty, and mass murder. How much evidence do you need to be convinced? Denying the laws of economics, the fundamental forces governing markets, is about as rational as denying Darwinian evolution. Because they operate on the same principles, diversity and competition. But you true-believer types cling to your faith in spite of all facts to the contrary.

I agree Russian culture is great and has managed to survive in spite of the gray-minded, souless socialism and its ugly legacies like Brutalism.

Agree to disagree. Till the revolution anyway. ;-P Hope you are doing well.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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National Socialism aka Nazism isn't socialism. And you've been around for that whole bit in more than one discussion. So, why you're still putting the two together leaves me with the impression that you don't care whether or not it's true.

In 1930, Hitler said: "Our adopted term 'Socialist' has nothing to do with Marxist Socialism."
(Carsten, Francis Ludwig The Rise of Fascism, 2nd ed. University of California Press, 1982. p. 137. Quoting: Hitler, A., Sunday Express, September 28, 1930.) Google books.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Prussia1525
Prussia1525
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Taking a moment to ignore whatever Hitler said, it'd true that the two are different. Nationalism + Socialism is just what it sounds like. Socialism alone (as much as I and many others might not be completely alright with living under a system of government such as that) has nothing to do with anything but how big the government is and what it does with taxpayer money. "Marxist Socialism" (wow, Hitler liked to get specific) is not defined by the slaughtering of minority groups or stripping of personal opinions.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OmegaGmaster
OmegaGmaster
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Ngl, but you lose all credibility when you call Nazis socialists.

And the "communist" countries of the 20th century weren't communist. This isn't the "nOt TrUe CoMmUnIsM" argument, but the actual reality. Read up about what communism actually is, and then try to see if it applies to these countries. You'll be surprised.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/J_J_max
J_J_max
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I have ancestors from Ireland, and since the language is endangered, I thought I would honor them.

=D

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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J_J_max,

You have a beautiful reason! Thank you for sharing it. :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rev._mother

Mise freisin!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sea-mist

I'm learning the language I am due to its my heritage on one side of my family. I feel very lonely in life and like I do not have a family so it makes me want to connect to my heritage in some ways when I think of cultures and how people feel like they belong somewhere.

I tried to research my family tree and could not even communicate with relations in Germany. So this all started my want to learn the language.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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sea-mist....

Wow, all I can say is that I'm very sorry that this is your situation. But, even though it is difficult, we must realize at the end of the day that everything in our lives happens for a reason, and that timing is not on our clocks. I hope this can give you some faith...

Also, I really hope that you can accomplish any dream of yours, including German....my family is far from perfect and I used to resent it. Now I see it as an extra potential to grow. The universe has dealt with me kindly in this way, maybe...

Good luck! Thank you for sharing your reason. <3

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheEeveeLord

Wow, that's... I'm at a loss for words. I thought my passion for Japanese was fairly personal and strong, but this... wow. All I can really say is that I'm really glad you're in a better place now.

My own story with Japanese is a lot simpler and less emotional, but I recently wrote about it here: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/29499487

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RhinoBug
RhinoBug
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I've just read your post. And I am cheering for your journey! 日本を愛してくれる人がいてうれしいです。日本はあなたのような先生を必要としているのできっとあなたの夢はかなうと思いますよ!がんばってください!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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TheEeveeLord,

Thank you so much for your comment. I appreciate it. And I really enjoyed reading your Japanese story...it is no doubt inspiring. Keep it up!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TurningAway

I started out using Rosetta Stone. But after that didn't work, my mom switched me to Duolingo. Here I wanted to continue learning Spanish.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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TurningAway,

I hope you find Duolingo a good tool for Spanish. Don't be afraid to branch out and find methods that suit you! Best of luck. :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jordan571880

Rosetta stone dosn't work.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LendMeName

My main reason to learn French is my journey to start understanding other people.

I also live in Canada, and I wish to embrace this other Canadian part of me.

I want to be that guy to help someone who can't understand the vernacular (which sounds weird).

And French is part of the romance languages, it's one of the keys to learn Latin, too.

Hopefully, I can eventually become a polyglot and (maybe) become a linguist teacher.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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LendMeName,

Great goal! I am sure that with hard practice and a longsuffering commitment, you can reach the stars. Best of luck!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LittlemissLia

Thank you so much for sharing your story, the love you express for your friend and for the Russian language inspires me to be just as passionate as you are. I’m glad you found your way out of your dark place. God bless you, and I hope you find success in your studies, as well as happiness in life!

My focus language is Mandarin, and my original motivation to learn it was simple (and a probably a little stupid). My grandparents are both Chinese and my mother speaks Mandarin, so I’ve grown up hearing it but never understanding. This lack of comprehension frustrated me so much I decided I would learn the language whether I liked it or not. And you know what? I do. I love learning Mandarin and I can’t believe I never realized how beautiful it was before. I know that I’ll continue to study it not just to understand it but because I love it.

Although I can’t speak or read very well now, I know that one day I’ll be able to understand much more. I hope that I’ll be able to go to China and be able to have a real conversation with my family who lives there. And maybe along the way, I’ll finally be able to figure out what my Grandma and mom always talk about. (Joke’s on me though, they both speak Shanghainese too...)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Thank you! May you find blessings coming your way as well. <3

That's a perfectly wonderful reason to learn Mandarin. I hope that you not only make your relatives and heritage proud, but most of all that you are able to be proud of yourself. It is not an easy task!

Best of luck!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jan355441
Jan355441
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Wow, that's quite a story. My "real" reason is much more profane. I like traveling and I like traveling to scandinavia in particular. I've been to Iceland and the Faroese Islands in 2014 and thought about trying to pick up either icelandic or faroese, just for the fun of it. But as things often go, I never actually started to learn the language.

This year I was in Norway. My wife actually wanted to learn norwegian when she was younger, she even picked up some material, but also never got around to it. While in Norway, we realized how very close german (our native language) and norwegian are. I could make out the meaning of simple texts, even though I've never been in touch with norwegian before.

After we where home from our trip, I downloaded a few apps and finally ended up here on Duolingo. I'm on a 65 day streak right now, and so far I'm still motivated to keep on going.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Jan,

That's a great story! I believe you should be fluent one day. Keep up the great work and don't be afraid to come here for inspiration. :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Fire_Archer

I know a German girl... Need I say more?

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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No need, Fire_Archer....you're understood here. :))

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OmegaGmaster
OmegaGmaster
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I started studying languages to distract myself after getting grounded and losing my ability to play games with my friends. Over time, my passion for languages grew twentyfold, but so did my depression and anxiety, which was also another reason I took up languages: to hopefully escape those feelings, which I was starting to feel at the time I started.

Truthfully, I have never really been a social person, and another one of my goals with language learning was to maybe work on that, at least a little. I figured if I couldn't express myself well in English, maybe I could do better in other languages.

Things... went the opposite of how I expected them to. My parents berate me for studying languages that aren't Spanish (they want my Spanish to be as good as my English). Plus me learning how utterly screwed the world really is has led to increased pressure for me to do well in school so I don't starve in the future, leaving less time for me to pursue my interests.

All of this, combined with thoughts of self mediocrity, has led to my depression and anxiety overtaking me. I haven't genuinely studied any language in over a year, despite my brain constantly screaming at me to do so. I also have a tendency to scream at myself for being a walking piece of contradicting human garbage. I suffer from a simultaneous superiority and inferiority complex, and adore languages despite being extremely antisocial as hell.

I have had suicidal thoughts before, but the reality is that there are people who would actually miss me if I did it, which sucks. That's one of the reasons I'm still around. Other reasons include my fear of pain (and death), and the hope that things in general will get better. (They haven't.)

TL;DR I took on languages to distract myself from depression and anxiety; depression and anxiety end up overtaking me.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Hello Omega, nice to see you again!

...combined with thoughts of self mediocrity..

Who said that being mediocre at anything was bad? Why are you beating yourself up for not being the best? All that matters is that you find a way to do the best that you can do. You don't have to be a superstar.

I haven't genuinely studied any language in over a year, despite my brain constantly screaming at me to do so.

Well, your brain knows what you need to be happy and feel fulfilled. Listen to it....I suggest you study enough Spanish to show your parents that you care at making an effort (it's really useful, anyway, and not even difficult)...then study Circassian or whatever floats your boat. You need an outlet....sitting around and thinking about how you want to do something and "can't" takes so much more time than getting the boring things done and hitting hard whatever you want to pursue. Your outlook seems skewed...it seems you have put yourself in a box and are sitting on the key. I'm not being cruel, but I care about this and want to be perfectly honest with my "outside" view.

I also have a tendency to scream at myself for being a walking piece of contradicting human garbage.

Oh come on...you're a perfectly fine person. Would you feel that something was off if you saw a person call someone else a piece of human garbage? Genuinely, would it disturb you? If you wouldn't say it to someone else, don't say it to yourself, or else you will become your own tormentor. Leave that to others...it comes and goes. You are a unique individual with the same kinds of struggles as everyone else your age. So, you're special, and you're not at the same time. Hopefully that makes sense...you aren't entitled to abuse yourself freely just like no one else should be able to treat you that way.

...but the reality is that there are people who would actually miss me if I did it, which sucks.

Does it? I would have given so much to be able to see more than one reason to live when I was sitting on the floor with pills in my hand. Trust me, I've been where you have been and I have done what you have done. And to me, I don't have any sympathy for that side of myself. If you let it control you, where is your freedom? You know, the actual captives who were locked up and abused in many cases who lived spent time building their will and their minds. They were not broken. Those who spent the time pitying themselves or dwelling on all the dark things in their limited lives at those times did not do so well, as we know from all the stories about...wait, there aren't any. No one wants to hear about someone in a bad situation drowning in self-pity. What is inspiring about survivors is that they were able to persevere through a seemingly-insurvivable situation. I believe in you, and you can do the same.

Thank you for your comment. I hope that I have given you a little faith in your existence...be good to yourself, won't you? I wish you the best of luck. <3

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rev._mother

You are definitely not mediocre or inferior, that is clear. You are a highly sensitive person, which makes you good at many things but is often a curse. Wish I had something constructive to say after living with similar issues for several decades— I don’t. But you’re not alone. All my sympathy to you, guy. Hope things get easier for you soon.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sea-mist

Omega. I find it sad that your parents have pressured you instead of just allowing you to enjoy learning the languages you are drawn to. I hope things improve for you.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Grace471839

I tell people i want to learn Chinese because of career opportunities, but really i just want to make friends with lots of people and thats hard when they speak a different language. I want to learn every language so i can make friends all over the world.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Great reason, Grace! Keep it up!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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Making friends is a great reason to learn a language. :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Yves88541

That was a powerful story, and brave of you to share it. I believe there is an order to things that we don't usually see, but sometimes we can just glimpse it. The author Vladimir Nabokov describes it as like a Persian carpet - on the rough side we see only threads and knots sticking out, but if we could turn it over we would see the incredible pattern and picture. I would say that the Russian language, the young man and your experiences are woven together into a unique design that in time will unfold, and show itself to you. When a person feels that kind of connection and passion, it's a matter of destiny. I also have a deep relationship with Russian, and it has woven its way in and out of my life for more than thirty years now. It's a wonderful - although sometimes mystifying - thing to have that.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Yves88541,

Thank you so much for your gracious and insightful comment. It means a lot to me! I think it is true, what Nabokov said...everything that happens is a part of the fabric we weave and that which is woven for us. At the end of the day, there are ugly parts which are alone. There are beautiful spots...but what gives it amazing character is the combination of these things that makes us who we are.

I am happy to hear that you are another lover of Russian...I hope to see you around and about more often! Maybe one day it will not be much of a mystery for me...it led me to the most wonderful people I know.

May you be satisfied on your path. :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RhinoBug
RhinoBug
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It was a very touching story. I believe your Russian friend was/is a God sent. May your passion lead your way!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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RhinoBug,

Thank you so very much. I know it was, if only to be temporary...without an interest in it I would not have ended up here and I wouldn't have met some of my dearest friends from East Europe. Thank you for your kind words and I wish you all the best! <3

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kathy336369

how wonderful that the right person was there for you at the right time. I too love Russian. My grandparents came to the US from Russian. I don´t have a problem with the cyrillic alphabet, I like it, kind of like a secret code. However, unfortunately, I don´t have a talent for languages even though I love them. So I have decided to concentrate on Spanish and try to become proficient. Then I might move on to Russian (again, I studied it years ago) I think that Spanish is beautiful. I hope with duo´s help, that I can finally succeed.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Kathy,

I used to think Russian was impossible...Spanish is my second fluent language and Russian will be my third. You will find that after the first you have mastered how you learn and it makes things so much easier...I have no doubt that you can pursue anything to which you can commit! If it is in your heart, you can accomplish it, "talent" or not...it was like this for me and piano, for example...or figure skating. Да ты можешь!!

Thank you for your comment. I wish you the best of luck!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RowanM.1
RowanM.1
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The first foreign language I learned was French. Main reason: it was the only language available to me at my school! During the first year or two, it was mandatory for everyone, but after that it became optional. I discovered that I had a knack for the language, and additional motivations to learn it included having visited France for a week and having one or two French friends.

At university, I majored in French, managing to get First Class Honours in it. Also studied German, Spanish and a little Latin, and discovered that I picked those up with about the same ease as I had French initially. After leaving university, I became a freelance translator, a career I am still pursuing. So I guess part of my reason for coming here is to further expand my horizons. The more languages you know, the more job opportunities, not to mention the more the world opens up to you.

Additional reasons for studying (or at least trying out) specific languages:

French/Spanish/German: Mostly just revision, staying sharp in languages I'm already familiar with.

Italian/Portuguese/Romanian: Rounding out the Romance languages (although Romanian is a good deal different from the other ones!).

Danish/Swedish/Norwegian: My mother comes from the Shetland Islands, which are almost as Scandinavian as they are British (many words in the Shetland dialect bear a closer resemblance to Norwegian than English). So I find Scandinavia a rather intriguing part of the world, and these languages are closely related and have quite similar grammar and syntax. I find them fairly easy to pick up (so far, anyway).

Dutch: Fairly close cousin to German. It just interests me from that standpoint. But it has some similarities to the aforementioned Scandinavian languages as well.

Russian: This was actually available at the school I went to, but I was in the wrong stream for it or I might have done it. Russian is kind of an "expansion language" for me. It goes beyond the Romance and Germanic languages I'm most used to, and also uses a different alphabet (although of the world's non-English alphabets, I would rate the Cyrillic one as just about the easiest to learn). So it offers me a few new and fresh challenges.

Polish/Czech: Slavic languages that are somewhat similar to Russian, but use a mostly Western alphabet. Again, these are sort of "expansion languages" for me, but I don't know how far I'll go with them. Just learning some of their most basic structures is fascinating though.

Hungarian: I once had a Hungarian friend. This is another language that I probably won't go that deep with, but for now I'm enjoying getting a feel for some of its most basic vocab and grammar (and if I ever see that Hungarian friend again, I'll now be able to say "szia!" - before starting the Hungarian course, I quite literally didn't know a word of the language).

Greek/Hebrew: Languages of the Bible.

Japanese: One of Asia's major languages. I'd love to get to grips with at least one Asian language, and I must say I really like how the Japanese course starts off (giving you a decent introduction to hiragana rather than throwing you straight into a language whose writing system is completely unfamiliar).

Swahili: Similarly to Japanese, I'd love to learn (or at least get a basic mastery) of one of the major African languages. It's a challenge in that there are so few cognates, but the grammar is quite fascinating.

Irish/Welsh: Again, expanding the horizons kind of thing. It's just fascinating to explore, if only a little, a couple of languages I have virtually no familiarity with, and yet are spoken in a part of the world where many of my countrymen have ties or ancestry.

Sorry that I don't have any particularly inspirational stories related to my language-learning motivation. For me it's mainly about the joy of picking up new languages and getting a grasp (even if only a basic one) of how they work. But I'm still enjoying reading others' far more interesting reasons!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Rowan,

Ah, so you are a translator! How very wonderful....I am glad that you are able to share your love of languages and use it in such a beneficial way.

You have great reasons for each...I really enjoy Serbo-Croatian as you do Polish, because it has the Latin alphabet. After looking at Cyrillic for hours, "hard" things like German seem like a piece of cake. :)

Thank you for your comment! Buena suerte!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/carbsrule
carbsrule
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日本語:高校で勉強し始めました。その時に勉強しなければなりませんでしたが、その後、好きになりました。大学で勉強して日本に一年間住んでいました。でもそれは8年前で、今忘れてしまっています。

Esperanto: Mi iel sciis ke ĝi ekzistas, sed fakte sciis nenion pri ĝi. En la universitato, dum mi studis lingvistikon, mi trovis ke ĝi ja ekzistas, kaj estas uzata ĉirkaŭ la mondo, kaj estas tre facile lernebla. Mi pensis ke ĝi estas stulta ideo, sed nun mi amas ĝin.

Русский: Я не знаю. Только мне нравитса этот язык, хотя я не могу говорить по-русски.

Español: muchas personas lo hablan en el mundo, y yo quiero hablar con ellos.

Others: German because some of my ancestors spoke it, Indonesian because I live nearby, Turkish because my cousin lives there, Korean because it's similar to Japanese and I like it, ...

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MissSpells
MissSpells
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It always starts with a boy doesn't it... ;). Very moving and honest. I wish I had such a strong passion for languages. For me, I always liked poetry Spanish poets were my favourites.. so that was my initial reason to learn Spanish. I started learning Irish with duolingo because it was something different I suppose.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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It does. Well, this one's for you, you hopeless romantic!! Lol

Spanish poetry? Pablo Neruda might be my favorite. You're doing a great job with Spanish and one day you'll tocar la luna because of it. Thank you for sharing!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/xXUrMumFatXx

I am starting a entertainment career so I am forced to learn Spanish.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Ahaha, good one! Buena suerte!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/xXUrMumFatXx

You too.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GuzziBresilien

Yeah, great story, i read in a few seconds. Always have someone to make you happy, its just a matter of time to find, and the times will be better. I agree with you of Russian, its sounds nice, but i dont have this history hahaha. I watch the cold war movies and I wanted to understand these letters in cyrillic. Recommend russian music for you: Макс Корж and МЫ, so much good. I'm also learning italian, because my mom talks and italian is pretty and have some similarities with slav languages too hahahaha

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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GuzziBresilien,

Thank you very much for this comment. Also, I think it is important to be happy while in solitude. It's a skill that takes a lifetime to learn, but it will help you survive when there is no one to help you but yourself. :)

Thank you very much for the recommendations. I have heard some from МЫ and liked it considerably. I think you might enjoy Misha Marvin and MOT...the latter has a very interesting and unique style!

Good luck to you in Italian...I hope you make your mother very proud. <3

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GuzziBresilien

Thanks! And i will hear your recommendations

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/uphilldweller

Russian was one of my pre Duo languages. I got quite handy with the alphabet and then, as usual, forget nearly everything. One of my friends is Russian so sparked my interest. Funnily enough I was idly checking out a Russian site this morning before coming here.

So a long winded answer to say that people can in someone else unknowingly create an interest in the world beyond.

(I'm deliberately not going to comment on the personal part of the post as would struggle to find the right words in any language).

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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uphilldweller,

So you are a fellow Russian "lunatic"....that's absolutely great. :)) I really don't think I could live without it.

Thank you for reading and for your comment and support. :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ShayKenniburg

I am learning to speak russian so i can move to Россия

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Alright Shay, go for it. You've my support! Ypa... ;P

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JasmineK2016

Everyone has such exciting stories for learning a language! Mine is so boring in comparison - I needed to take a foreign language for school. I started with Japanese, but it proved to be too difficult, so I switched to French and found that it's just fun and challenging to speak!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Good luck with French, Jasmine! You have plenty of time for good stories in the future. Thank you for sharing. :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Victoria_S9
Victoria_S9
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I love learning foreign languages. Studying new things has been my escape too. It is a productive one, as not only does it switch my attention from an unpleasant situation that I may be going through, but also gives me a new perspective on things, perhaps even changes me. When I took psychology, I remember running into a topic dedicated to languages and how speaking certain language may shape one's thinking process. I have always loved French language for its elegancy. French language is a music to my ears, and I feel special when I speak it. I have also enjoyed German, as it disciplined me (perhaps, the way I see it has also something to do with our German school teacher who was quiet strict, but whom I have fond memories of). Being my native language, Russian will always be my number one; as I am able to understand and feel it better than any other language. It is very near and dear to me. Reading positive comments coming from those who are studying Russian makes my day. Thank you, guys, for your feedback! I hope you will find in this language or any other language(s) that you are studying what you are looking for. Studying is an amazing journey that changes minds and hearts. I wish you to enjoy every bit of the process!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Privyet, Victoria!

That is absolutely great that you find languages as a safe haven. So many of us do! And I am happy to complement your native language and culture. Very best of luck to you, and much love to Russia and her people <3

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Victoria_S9
Victoria_S9
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Спасибо!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FrenchRemastered

My story isn't inspiring or magical as many others, but I'll share anyway

I got the chance to learn a language starting in my freshman year of high school. The choices were Spanish, Sign Language, or French. Spanish is a really common language, especially here in Florida and in my school, but I chose French. I already knew what Spanish had in store for me, but I wanted to learn French, seeing how it is known to be a beautiful language and even used in films and stuff. I had little to no knowledge of how the grammar, syntax, etc. of French works, even the words. I only knew oui, non, and moi. Starting off, I didn't love learning the language per se. I remember my French teacher (who is actually Haitian and Canadian) asking my "Comment t'appelles-tu" to me and I didn't know despite learning that a day before. That really annoyed me. A few days later, I decide to get into the language more and I started to enjoy it. I read the textbook on simple French grammar and words and even started to go beyond to the more advanced parts despite the fact the class wasn't learning those parts yet. Plus, I watched many videos and read many articles on the French language. I'm a senior in high school now in AP French. I hope on improving my speaking and hearing ability with French. It's the hardest for me.

Merci pour votre histoire. Que vous continuez sur le chemin vers la maîtrise de la langue russe. // Thank you for your story. May you continue on the path towards mastering the Russian language (or at least till you are fluent) :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Bonjour, FrenchRemastered!

I am so glad to hear your story, and I found it interesting. Thank you for that and for the good wishes to me in my Russian journey. I hope to see more of your progress soon! It must be very exciting for you. :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DonutStuf

Hello there. I'm pretty new to this site and was going to call it a day... Then I saw this discussion and realized that I want to learn a new language not to impress someone or for a better resume. I may not have a lot of spare time a day, but thanks to this I have come to find that I want to learn more about people and their cultures. Sure, knowing another language can help you, but it just seems satisfying in its own way when you master one or even considering the progress you've made.

Cya around, Donut

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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DonutStuf,

What a great epiphany! I am excited for you. Best of luck to you on your languages...do not be afraid to come here for inspiration. :) Thank you so much for your comment!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Emma_L_a

Korean- Ever since I was little; I had a passion for singing and dancing and acting. My first job I ever wanted? Not to be a Disney Princess, not to be a superhero: I wanted to be an idol/singer.

As I grew up, my mother discouraged me from such activities and I started to get interested in becoming a doctor, but even then being a singer stuck in the back of my mind.

In 6th grade, when choosing courses for Jr High, I saw Chorus and immediately knew that's what I wanted for my music choice. So when I entered 7th grade, I was terribly excited 4th period for Chorus class.

At first I was only semi-passionate, due to the fact all my popular friends couldn't care less about it and were just on Instagram during class hiding their phones behind their folders, soon I followed suit. But in the second quarter of the school year, when I was moved away from them, I noticed than I actually wasn't uninterested.

I became more invested and grew in my singing capabilities. Then I discovered BTS.

At first I thought they were just what stereotypes society had taught me: Gay korean men, who sing and dance and hip thrust, dye their hair weird colors, sound like girls, and look like girls. Then they popped up in my youtube recommendations. James Corden, "Flinch."

Immediately, one of them caught my attention- the man in the second group to go who didn't flinch at all. And it didn't hurt I actually found him more man-like, and he was kinda hot.

So I re-watched DNA, with fresh eyes. The song was actually pretty bopping. Thus, a new ARMY was born at that. But I was still pretty skeptical, so I was like, "Let's just listen to a few more songs, and learn their names." It's not that simple.

I watched Blood, Sweat, & Tears: I was HOOKED. Everything- the vibe, the concept, the outfits, the raps, the dance, the vocals-- it caught me totally off guard and captured me in like a prey to the predator. I was totally ARMY, and after a few months I invested in other boy groups, eventually gravitating towards girl groups.

Around March, I realized how perfect this situation was. I want to be an idol, I love singing and dancing, and I'm not half bad. If I maybe audition for a k-pop entertainment industry, I can have a chance to get in, train, and debut as an idol; pursuing a career that can grant me a good living as well as my family, and that I love and will have passion in.

So first things first-- learn the language. I already knew some phrases due to variety show watching, meme videos, watching lyric videos, hearing phrases over and over and subtitles.

Now for spanish: much simpler story. World languages this year. Got interested in spanish. Is planning to take spanish in high school. I love the language and it's easy.


*Edit: another thing about stereotypes: since I'm chinese-american I got racist comments about asians and how the men are gay and look like women so you know- that's what was ingrained in my brain.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Wow, Emma! I am glad you took a second look. It seems you have found your "thing"....follow that star until you touch the moon. I believe in you! Thank you for your comment!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CorbinLaFee

I'm attempting to learn Japanese for multiple reasons. I always adored the landscape and the culture of Japan and I've never been able to fit in anywhere I've gone. When I finally leave the US I'll try to find a nice community in Japan, maybe even move there. I hope I won't seem like a freak to the people there...

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Corbin,

Japanese are usually very open and friendly to anything American (and I assume you are?). As long as you respect their customs and attitudes and culture in addition to the language, do not worry. Thank you for sharing your reason with us!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FrenchKitten03

I understand what you mean how people are prejudiced to Germans and Russians, and it sickens me bc I am part Russian. I even have a friend who knows Russian and I think its beautiful. Anyways, my target language is French otherwise my parents will make me do Spanish. I wanted to learn French bc its different and I know it is just below Spanish in popularity in America. I also chose French bc many many old scientific documents and books are in French which I was inspired in the "vault" and lectures at the Linda Hall Library.

But if I will pick a second language it would be Russian. :) thx for your input

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Hi, FrenchKitten! Good going with your French...keep it up!

There are great native speakers that can help you so much with Russian when you decide to pursue it. :) Udachi

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NickLaCascia

That was a very touching story, and I appreciate you telling it. I don't have nearly as deep of a story to share; I learn Esperanto because I think it's the best attempt of a international second language. I think that if the whole world knew this second language, the world would be a lot less divided - being able to communicate effectively with one another, even with someone from another country. I also have heard that Esperanto has helped people pick up a third/fourth language more easily, as it incorporates elements from a lot of different languages. I have a great desire to know how to speak many different languages in my life.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Thank you, Nick! Good luck with Esperanto...it's lovely. :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ErikRabbit

I was so furious at the Brexit vote I decided to learn German. As a kind of futile gesture of solidarity with Europe.

I’ve always liked the sound of the language anyway, and especially the music. (The Alternative and New Wave stuff in particular)

The more i study The more i realise how European we (the U.K.) really are. The language and culture have so many similarities.

I’ve visited a few times now and there’s nothing like the thrill of being able to speak to the people I met in their own language. I never lose my sense of wonder that i can communicate.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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ErikRabbit,

German is great! I love it more with every day. I take a few minutes after dinner to learn and my friend in Germany is always slipping in new words for me...he's crazy. XD

Best of luck with Deutsch!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sadlameo88

Mine is because I’m part Norwegian and I plan to move there when I can

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Wonderful :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Proginoskes
Proginoskes
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That's a really nice story. I understand where you're coming from.

The reason I'm learning German (or more accurately, relearning) is because I'm originally from Germany. I've lived in America since I was eight, and I've never gotten used to this country. It's just not a good fit for me. I also forgot how to speak German, and that's been an immense source of existential anguish for me. So, around 2013, I came to Duolingo to relearn my language. However, I was super depressed at the time and couldn't stick with it. In 2014 I started reconnecting with my home country again, and in 2015 really started relearning it. Shortly after that, I decided to move back home, and now I'm relearning my language and slowly taking steps to accomplish moving back. I'm autistic with dyslexia and severe social anxiety disorder, so this is easier said than done.

I'm learning Russian because I've had an intense fascination with Russia since I was a kid. I like the history, I like food and culture and people (in general), and I'd like to visit there as much as I can (I don't want to live there though for a few reasons, but mostly because I don't like living in the taiga). I also write things, and I have loads of Russian characters, so I feel the need to become fluent in it because of that.

After I get good at those (I can't study more than two languages at once, as it turns out), I'm going to focus on Japanese, Korean, French, Latin, and a few other things.

Japanese and Korean interest me because of friends I used to have, because I'm fascinated with the cultures and histories and would like to visit those places too.

French interests me because I did part of the French course here on Duo and found it surprisingly enjoyable and fun. I was taking a break from German and Russian and keeping up my streak with other languages, decided to try French out and really enjoyed it. So I decided to learn it.

Latin because when I was 14, I took the Latin class in school. I couldn't get the hang of it in class, half because of depression I had been dealing with since leaving Germany finally became unmanageable and because learning a language for a grade isn't learning a language at all. But I actually made friends with my Latin teacher, so I want to find her on facebook and say high, then say "Oh by the way, I taught myself Latin," in Latin and have a conversation with her in it. But even if I never see or speak to her again, I think she's be happy that I learn it anyway. Plus, I ADORE the Romans. I love them so much. I must speak their language.

And that's pretty much it for now.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Proginoskes

You've overcome some incredible obstacles...cheers to you. I applaud your resilience! I hope that you can achieve all of your language goals as well as others and find a place where you are truly happy. Udachi :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/olerinskaya
olerinskaya
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I am from Russia and being a USSR-born child I never thought about travelling abroad and I just dreamed about having pen-pals in other countries. Now I am happy to learn languages with duo and to be a part if this loving community. I think that people here are very kind to all the nations and highly appreciate it.

Swedish: Many years earlier I had to take a new language course in University and accidently I strated to learn Swedish. Some of the students from that class became my great friends and it really changed my life. Now I decided to learn Swedish better just in gratitude. Maybe one day I can go to Sweden and practice it in real life, who knows.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Olerinskaya,

Great! I am glad you like it here. I never knew when I was a child that I would come this far with the help of my international friends. Never be afraid to branch out! May you reach the stars...thank you for your comment and good luck! :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/UlzzangKyutie

Well, I'm a shy kid at school and I like to be alone but I have a few friends here and there. I had Anxiety aswell. I don't like to speak often, and I'm innocent if that's what you call it. So I don't really like people that much and prefer to talk online sometimes. I love KPOP and I'm not learning Korean for that, Most people think I learn Korean for the sake of the culture and the music. I really don't, I think it's a wonderful and beautiful language for me, such as from Asia. Me and my girlfriend are going to South Korea in 3 - 4 years, since it's the most beautiful place to live there. People just started to doubt me when I said I'm learning Korean. I'm not letting them lose my motivation honestly.

The reason why I'm on Duolingo? Well, it changed my life honestly, I have different conditions and intelligence is one of them. I don't want to talk about my quick intelligence because it's bragging and I'm really self conscious, even writing this reason is making me feel like I'm bragging. >.<

Anyways, I don't learn Korean and other languages just for the sake of their culture and music, I learn it because I think it's worth it. Duolingo helped my Anxiety and boosted my confidence to speak more openly at school.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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UlzzangKyutie

You can do anything to which you commit yourself! May you go far with Korean. Thank you very much for your comment. :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lily868968

Lauriana..... I gave you a lingot because I am truly speechless and in awe of you and all the other people who have shared their stories on this discussion. Reading through all the comments below, I have concluded that you are a truly wonderful person(that sounds creepy), you have given so much feedback to other people, and I have found it helpful even though it's not to me. I have grown up in a family of 8(myself included), I have 5 siblings and 2 wonderful parents. Now you might think that growing up with 5 other siblings would be super fun, but siblings aren't always the nicest. Going in order of birth, I have an older sister, 3 older brothers, and a younger sister. Many times I have cried myself to sleep because one of my brothers is always super mean to me for no reason(I just guess he doesn't like me) and to this day I purposely try to find ways to avoid him so I don't interact with him at all costs. Now that's impossible because we live in the same house, but still. He has made me think suicidal thoughts about overdosing and other ways to kill myself. Now I know I can't kill myself because my parents have no idea about this, and many other people would miss me. I have thought about leaving a note and what it would say, which is sometimes the reason for crying myself to sleep.

When I first started taking spanish about a year ago, I truly hated it because my teacher was terrible. She teached right out of the textbook and even if she hadn't she still would've been terrible for me. Now I have a teacher who is so much better and have grown to love the language. Because I am currently doing Spanish on Duolingo right now, I want to master the whole language first before starting a new one. All of these posts here have inspired me in what languages I'm gonna take next, so hopefully I'll master spanish soon.

Presently, I have gotten over my "depression" without anyone else knowing about it in the first place, but still going about to avoid my brother. Even though I still have some days where I really cry because of him, my love of the language has not failed.

I also hope you and your friend get back to being closer like you were. I think your story about him was very sweet:)

Now I don't know what else to say so posting.....

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Lily!

I am so glad that I returned to my post to see if there was another comment. I'm shaken by your words about the relationship (or lack thereof) with your brother. Family is meant to build each other up...now, most of my relatives actually care nothing about me. So, I understand some of the dysfunction. My sister and I had a rocky start to our relationship, but it got far better as we grew older and were able to accept each other's differences.

Please, never define yourself, your worth, or your happiness by other people. I did so many times and if I had kept it up, I would have been dead many times over by now. There are people who love you, care about you, and admire your spirit. Never forget it. And even if there weren't...your worth is already decided and no one on this earth can change it. That's good news for all of us. :)

I would suggest what Davey said...talk with your parents. This is no way for you to live, even because of a family member! I also suggest maybe to go to a family counselor...they might have a key to healing that botched communication between you two and stop the hurt.

I'm glad you're in a better place...and most of all, I wish you all the success and happiness in the world. You deserve it. :)

And thank you for being so kind to me. I try to be helpful if I can. By the way, if you ever want to talk somewhere else, I can set you up.

Buena suerte with the Spanish! <3

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lily868968

I truly agree with you about how family is supposed to build each other up. My relationship with my brother is actually the opposite of you and your sister's. Me and my brother actually had a fine relationship when we were younger, but it has just gotten worse over the years. I don't know why, but I think it is actually because of all my other siblings. Usually how it goes in my family and household is all the siblings(besides my oldest sister because she is married), gang up on each other in arguements that are none of their business. Now both my parents and I disagree with the ganging up on each other, but I'm afraid nothing will change until all of us really grow up.

The second paragraph of your response has truly made my day(or evening). Nobody has ever told me that or shown me that without saying it before.

Also, you're welcome, I try to be kind and helpful too. Good luck with all of your NINE(that's a lot to me) languages on Duolingo

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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I am glad to have said something that could help, Lily. But genuinely....I mean it. I actually keep a dollar bill under the protector on top of my desk. A dollar bill is just paper, but it is given worth by its maker and it means so much to people who need it. Someone could tear it in half and it would still be regarded as equal to the maker as all the other dollar bills. Its worth was already given to it, and it cannot be changed. I think this is also true of people...

Thanks for the luck...gladly I am only studying 4 languages at the moment (Russian, German, Portuguese, and Serbo-Croatian in that order) ...anything else is too much! I try to focus on the primary ones daily. :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lily868968

You're welcome :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Davey944676

Lily, I'm really glad you still love learning. Indifferent or truly bad teachers can ruin that, and it's good that you have that solid core to your personality - that will always be there with you. As for your brother, I have no idea why he's being so nasty, or whether he even realises the degree of pain he is causing - the only thing I can suggest is that you plan a time to talk to your parents (very calmly, but firmly - prepare what you are going to say first, and say it all).

As, naturally, your first instinct is to protect, and not make things worse, or cause upset for others, I know this is a big ask, but you have to come first here, at least whilst this is sorted out. I promise you, the reality will not be as bad as your apprehension.

I don't know what else to say either - I am older and male and relatively-clueless. Whatever you decide though, keep coming here and enjoying your learning.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lily868968

Davey, thank you. I think those are the kindest words anyone has said to me. I really don't know what so say to your response, but I will try to talk to my parents. I will also keep coming here. :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JtheZombie

Hi there :)

As many others, I'm happy that you're still around and hope you won't leave in future. The reasons why I learn the languages I learn, don't have such a beautiful yet heart breaking background. I was always interested in Irish due to Irish heritage and because I love the sound of this language so much. After I figured out that Duolingo teaches it for free, I thought (though also having a book to learn it) it couldn't hurt to try it. It works pretty well for me :) I'm getting better and better. People tend to say you should learn a "useful" language and Irish doesn't count as "useful". But I couldn't care less, I have fun and I like it and I will learn it (and probs never use it XD) as long as I want to.

The other languages I learn are Norwegian and Russian--and it has a practical background. My partner and I are planning on to visit Norway next September. Funny is, he learned Swedish long time before we met and became a couple, and I started to learn Norwegian before we met :D It's quite useful, he Swedish, me Norwegian. We both love the Scandinavian countries and though people up there speak English fluently, for me it's paying respect to them by learning their language, to show interest in their culture, and language is culture. Learning Norwegian is even not that difficult for me, I'm German and speak and write English fluently (what means I have to learn Irish and Norwegian via Duoling with English XD There is no German version yet). Irish is more challenging and it's pretty funny.

Russian has two reasons. A) I love the language for its sound and melody as you do :) I hear it often, we have many Russian-Germans here and I kinda grew up with this language (no, that doesn't mean that I understand it, unfortunately). I'm a librarian and a year ago I was surprised with: "You are going to be responsible for the Russian books we buy!" Me: "I ain't speak Russian, can't read it, too!" Chef: "Here the list how to transliterate Cyrillic, you don't have to understand it, just translate the letters." But I have a higher goal. I want to know what I do :) Cyrillic I learned quite quickly, I can't read it fluently (still sound like a preschooler) but I can. And that's the actual reason why I learn Russian, not very exciting ^^"

Now I wish I could learn Finnish here too :( A crazy language with 15 cases and some more for certain verbs, sounds like fun, doesn't it? >:D

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Hello, JtheZombie!

I am glad to hear that you have found joy in languages (and thank you for the kind words). I'm sure you can accomplish anything you set your mind to...your outlook to me seems positive and your future is bright. Keep up the study! I look forward to seeing your progress....good luck. <3

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GetUpStandGreen

I am learning Indonesian for a close friend, I will never meet. I surprised him 2 weeks ago and told him and I'm still learning strong.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AaronD.2
AaronD.2
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I had only heard the Russian language from movies and games where they're portrayed as villains, but I still think it sounds pretty awesome.

5 days ago
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