ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Six More Reasons Why You Shouldn't Learn Another Language

Updated on April 26, 2012
Yeah, something like that.
Yeah, something like that.

Recently I read an article by spanishbynative that got me thinking.

(Linky time :D http://spanishbynative.hubpages.com/hub/6-Things-They-Didnt-Want-You-to-Know-About-Learning-the-Spanish-Language) This got me to thinking about an article I wrote about 8 months ago (Shameless self-plug http://flagostomos.hubpages.com/hub/6-Reasons-why-you-Shouldnt-Learn-a-New-Language)

Spanishbynative's hub showed a six step list of how to gauge where you are at in language learning. After analyzing this, I figured I placed myself in the step 5 category, intermediate fluency. But then I started to think, at what cost did this fluency come?

So I decided to add a few more pros and cons of my own to learning another language. Let's start with six more reasons why you shouldn't learn another language.

1. That inner voice in your head? Yeah, try getting it to shut up now.

When I first started learning Spanish, something I did to keep myself occupied was translating stuff in my head. Song lyrics, movie lines, even my own thoughts. This eventually helped me get to the point where I could actually begin to think in Spanish, though it came many years down the road.

Now that I consider myself to have a bit of fluency with the language, I don't feel like I need to continually translate stuff in my head. But try telling that to the voice in my head. I was watching an older episode of Deep Space Nine last night and I couldn't stop translating what they were saying. I don't even have to translate it, I just know off the top of my head what they are saying and how you would say it in Spanish. But I can't stop myself. I can't even stop my mind from saying my thoughts back to me in Spanish. I already have a problem calming my mind enough just so I can sleep, now I have to get my Spanish mind to calm down too.

2. People expect you to be one hundred percent fluent.

The other day, someone came in the store where I work and was wanting to do some project at their house. I can speak daily conversational Spanish fluently, but I will admit I don't know every term related to constructing a house. Or medical terms. Or musical terms. I don't know how to explain to someone how the stock market works in Spanish. There's just a lot of those kinds of terms you don't learn on your way to fluency. I have begun to work on building my vocabulary in other areas, but I honestly believe you can be fluent in a language and still have gaps in your vocabulary.

3. People aren't as impressed as you'd think when you can speak another language.

I was helping a couple the other day in Spanish at the store. They asked for me to go with them to the checkout counter because they wanted to make sure they got the deal I was giving them. The lady at the checkout counter also spoke Spanish. And when she found out I was stepping on her turf, she was not happy. I think people who are used to translating for us white folk have gotten kind of comfortable having that sort of "power" over us. You would think they would like having us helping instead of relying on them to translate. But they seem to take personal offense to it.

The Spanish people I talk to as customers are also not impressed. I get a lot of customers who almost seem to expect me to be able to talk with them in their language. I don't mind doing it, but it would be nice if you could acknowledge the hard work I've done trying to be able to speak to you. Which reminds me....

4. When someone is rude to you in that language, do you speak up or just let it slide?

This happens to me on a daily basis. Someone I am trying to help at the store will say something rude about me before they realize I can speak Spanish. I've heard, "This idiot doesn't know anything" and a wide array of insults. Which always makes me feel put on the spot. Do I tell them that it isn't very nice to insult people in another language? Do I bite my tongue and just let it slip?

Usually I don't. All I need to say is, in Spanish, "You never know who can actually understand what you're saying.

Hoo boy are they nice after that!

If I didn't speak Spanish, I would never even be in that situation in the first place.

5. It becomes a burden to maintain.

Fortunately, I have the means to be able to continue practicing and expanding my Spanish abilities. But I know a few people who don't have access to a regular source for language practice. And after six months of never getting to practice, you start to forget things. So you either have to listen to foreign language tapes, watch TV in your target language, or go out of your way to find someone to practice with. Like everything else, language is something that has to be used or be lost. If I even go a day or two without practicing, I start to feel a little rusty the next time I go to open my mouth.

I would never be able to pick this man out of a lineup.
I would never be able to pick this man out of a lineup.

6. The more of the language you learn, the more of the culture you have to learn.

When I meet new people, they want to talk about where they are from or tell me about their cultural past. I love learning about this kind of stuff, but I simply just don't know where Guadalajera is on the map, or how big of a star Pedro Infante was. It seems like sometimes, they even get exasperated with me because I don't know. It's almost as if they forget that I am an American who simply has taken the time to learn their language. I'm not Spanish, I'm not Argentinian, Puerto Rican. I'm an American. And that has nothing to do with pride, it's a simple fact.


So there you go, six more reasons why you shouldn't learn Spanish. This list more applies to those who have begun to have a measure of fluency, but if you're just starting off, maybe these six reasons will give you more of a desire to quit. ;)

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • flagostomos profile imageAUTHOR

      flagostomos 

      6 years ago from Washington, United States

      Thanks for the comment torys ten! I experienced something similar when i first started. All of the Spanish speakers wanted to practice their English so they never wanted me to speak spanish. I had to find a feller from Puerto Rico who didn't speak a word of English before I could really get in some good pratice. Keep at it if you can, it's very rewarding!

    • Torys Ten profile image

      Torys Ten 

      6 years ago from Central Utah

      I really enjoyed this hub.It was informative and humorous. I have always dreamed of learning Spanish. I took it in college, studied the Pimsluer method, and so on, but today I still can't speak Spanish.There real problem is there are only English speakers around me or the Spanish speakers speak English better than I speak Spanish. I applaud your hard work to accomplish what you have. And keep letting the rude ones have it! :)

    • flagostomos profile imageAUTHOR

      flagostomos 

      6 years ago from Washington, United States

      @againsttheodds and janisimus Thanks for the comments!

      @Kieren Gracie My sister has the exact same problem. She's afraid to use what little Spanish she knows because that gets people excited to talk to her. Keep at it man, it's well worth it.

      @ Blawger I wouldn't say I've had a terrible experience. I completely agree with you, learning a new language is completely worth it and the benefits outweigh the cons. I have made new friends I never would have otherwise, learned to be a more fun and caring person, and just in general has made me a better person. The purpose of this hub was simply to show that some cons do exist.

    • Blawger profile image

      Bahin Ameri 

      6 years ago from California

      Interesting point of view. I'm sorry that you have had such a bad experience. I think a person's experience depends on the language they learn. For example, speaking Spanish in the U.S. is common so it makes sense people wouldn't be that impressed. But I think learning a new language is totally worth it. It has been shown to halt the age-related decline in brain function because it causes the nerve connections in our brain, the connections which help us think, to multiply and get stronger. I think that is reason enough.

    • profile image

      Kieran Gracie 

      6 years ago

      I am slowly learning Portuguese, which is more difficult than Spanish (so I'm told). The problem seems to be that, as soon as I mutter a word of Portuguese, my audience assumes that I know it fluently and rattles off a whole string of sentences before I can say 'please speak slowly'. This doesn't really work because, as soon as they realize that I'm not fluent, they shake their heads and walk away! There doesn't seem to be any halfway point!

    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 

      6 years ago from Pune, India

      Great thoughts. I think learning other languages is easy only in a multilingual society.

    • againsttheodds profile image

      againsttheodds 

      6 years ago

      Good insight. I still think the hard work is worth the result.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)