You’ve heard all the importance of language learning. Does that mean everyone should pick up a foreign tongue? Not really! Why? Let me explain the rationale behind my reasons why you should not learn foreign languages.
Don’t get me wrong — I enjoy learning and teaching languages for the past 14 years. And I’ll undoubtedly, continue to do the same for a long time to come. In fact, this is the only thing I do.
In this ever-connected world, international lingos can upgrade all aspects of your life — be it immigration, careers involving languages, study abroad, social and personal life. To sum up, the prospects of foreign tongues are becoming more gratifying, lucrative, and rewarding.
I’m sure you also like the thought of language acquisition. And to my knowledge, there is no cons or disadvantages of language learning. But do you actually need it?
While many have such a requirement, but you may not be one of them. After replying to over 10,000 questions, I feel nearly 20% don’t have any such need. But since it usually demotivates others, I decided to postpone this article until now.
Table of Contents
- 9 Genuine Reasons Why not learn foreign languages
- 1. Too many choices make decisions harder
- 2. Lack of Motivation and Interest
- 3. You don’t have enough time to study
- 4. You don’t have any requirement
- 5. Language learning is difficult
- 6. Languages classes are Expensive
- 7. You’re too old to learn a foreign language
- 8. Lack of languages resources to help you
- 9. Language learning takes a freaking long time
- Final Thought
9 Genuine Reasons Why not learn foreign languages
I used to be the man on the picket fence, constantly arguing in favor of acquiring a second language. But, over the years, I have come to realize that learning how to speak and use a new foreign language is not a necessity for many. For some, it doesn’t revolutionize your social and professional life. In short, it is not worthwhile.
The truth is — life is short, and you shouldn’t be wasting time, money, and energy for something that is not helpful in your life. Learning language just for the sake of it rarely works!
I know there are many pro-second language learners out there ready to pounce on me and give my basket mouth a smash on the lips. Well, before you give me a Bruce Li’s kick, take a moment to hear my side of the story. Well, if you are not yet convinced, here are nine reasons you shouldn’t bother to learn a foreign language.
1. Too many choices make decisions harder
According to Ethnologue, Of 7,111 known living languages, 33 different tongues have at least 50 million speakers. These account for nearly three-quarters of the world’s population. So which one should you consider?
Some argue that since English is the global language, thus, no need to pick another one. Of course, this argument is not valid since roughly 80% of the world population doesn’t speak English. There is also a genuine case of choosing famous European tongues like French, Spanish, or German.
The Chinese language is in demand, so that is a great option. K-Pop and K-Drama are fashionable among girls, so youngsters wish to study the Korean language. And if you’re into Anime to Yakitori, then learning Japanese is intriguing. Then, the cultural aspects provide compelling reasons to learn Italian, or if you wish to go to Russia, studying Russian implies the right judgment.
With a growing interest in over a dozen foreign tongues, it is tough to come to any conclusion which one is more suitable for you. The opinions also vary from one linguist to another expert because of countless variables. Although the ability to speak a second language opens a world of possibilities, however, your life does not stop if you don’t.
The fact is, over 90 percent of the world’s populations are monolingual or bilingual with limited fluency in the second language. They are happy, being monolingual, and they seem to get by as larks comfortably speaking only one language. Many who know only one language are successful in their respective fields, have families, lead a happy life. They travel, eat to their satisfaction, and oblivious to the reality that others communicate and express themselves in different tongues and ways.
So, if such a significant number of people can be successful in life by expressing just one language, why shouldn’t we go with our individual language amid different discourses?
2. Lack of Motivation and Interest
Motivation and interest are two essential components for gaining a second language. Most people don’t have a genuine passion and lack in the relatable clarity. Language is just a medium to achieve some goal, like lucrative language jobs or extra points for gaining a visa or permanent resident in Canada. While it is not a bad idea to further your career, but it is not as motivating as having an interest in the language concerned.
While this may seem strange to you, the fact remains that you can only succeed in mastering a task if you have an interest in it. If you lack passion for languages, then you do not have the enthusiasm to study a different language for a long time. Heck, there are so many other essential things to do with your life, and the last thing you want now is spending countless hours and resources studying a foreign language that will yield very little or no benefits to your life.
Life is short, why waste the little time I have on frivolities. Are you thinking this way, too? Think aloud, buddy!
3. You don’t have enough time to study
Let’s face it: can you succeed in any set task without devoting adequate time to it? No, you can’t, and that’s just one reason you shouldn’t bother about studying a foreign language.
Let’s assume you have a full-time job. With a demanding profession and a family to look after at home, do you think you will have enough free time to spare to learn a new language? Will you able to spend 50 hours every month for the next three to five years to achieve higher competency in an international language test?
Oh, I know you would say, “Hey, some people do it.” Of course, some do. But have you observed the success ratio? It would be close to 5% who have accomplished any meaningful high proficiency level, a prerequisite for a high-paying employment opening.
Leaving it midway is a waste of time, and you’ll have only yourself to blame when you if you fail to learn the target language. Don’t take unnecessary stress since there is a limit the intellect and body can take.
Consider all the aspects before you start this exciting journey. If you’re determined and confident, begin by all means. And If you know you don’t have enough time on your hand, forget the idea of wanting to become a pro in one particular foreign language.
4. You don’t have any requirement
Why should I learn a foreign language when it is unnecessary to climb up the next promotion ladder at my workplace? I’m being considered for a good-paying job in the fashion industry, and the employer didn’t ask me to sit for a language class in Italian. Please, tell me, why should I register for a course to clear an Italian language test?
You may not find something good enough as far as the combination of your academic qualifications, experience, and language skill are concerned. Besides, you may not know which foreign language will be in demand for your next responsibility.
Here is the catch: if it isn’t an essential condition in any area of your human endeavor, think twice before enrolling in any foreign language courses.
5. Language learning is difficult
Let’s go back a bit in memory lane; how did you perform in classes? Were they easy or challenging languages to learn?
While many linguists want you to develop an optimistic mindset so you can learn a foreign tongue more comfortably, the fact remains that no foreign language is easy to learn.
Optimism never eradicates the fact that many language students struggle throughout with vocabulary, syntax, grammar, morphology, dialects, and tones. The experience can sometimes drive one to the point of insanity, and it’s no surprise when you come across many language learners shouting, “this language is way too hard” or “it ain’t straightforward or manageable enough.”
6. Languages classes are Expensive
When you think about expensive courses, you will understand why language learning is a money-consuming machine. Don’t be deceived; you cannot learn a language without spending much on it unless you’re not keen on mastering the language in question.
Cheap or free materials online will never do you much good compared to the well-packaged and structured format and formulas offered by recognized and expensive language programs provided by educational institutions and experienced teachers. If you know you cannot afford such classes, exams, and resources, you have no business delving in at all.
Dust your bag and pocket and say goodbye to that foreign language, or be prepared to shelve other critical necessaries in your life, or starve your belly and fight World War 3 with the warms therein.
7. You’re too old to learn a foreign language
When you grow older, your level of assimilation and the brain’s cognitive resonance recede gradually. Yes, you haven’t lost your intellect, but on a standard scale, you can’t compete with the way a kid’s brain will grasp facts at a specific time.
While children have shallow reasoning, they can easily digest and recall new information with breathtaking ease, compared to an old brain that appears to be saddled with all the responsibilities of leading an adult life. Why should you put your old mind to the stress, unless if you want to knock and pack it up like a faulty vehicle engine in Mumbai?
8. Lack of languages resources to help you
Tell me; what can a farmer that goes to the farm without a cutlass do? That’s precisely one of the primary reasons many people who have no resources chose not to learn foreign languages.
You want to learn Korean in Mumbai, or Dutch in Delhi, or maybe Turkish in Hyderabad? Guess what? To my knowledge, there is no language institute offering these courses in the respective cities. It can quickly become frustrating when you feel like your advancement is stagnating for a shortage of adequate resources.
You need to invest in the best learning centers and resources if you want to achieve success in your language learning. With the right cash and time, you can invest in software, apps, books, and instructors. You need a foreign language teacher, so you can listen to and learn how you can pronounce words and follow a systematic approach in the language you chose. The customized contents will assist you to strike your first conversation in the new language you are learning, in as little as seven days.
If you have no access to these and other similar resources, grab your ideal new language learning thought by the jugular and toss it deep under the bed. When you have no support, it means it will be challenging to achieve your new language dream, and you should forget about it altogether.
9. Language learning takes a freaking long time
People can be very impatient when they begin a new language. Everybody fancies the quick solution!
You might have come across various clickbait advertisements selling courses and apps that guarantee to teach you a language in a few months. Don’t fall into the trap! If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
So, How long does it take to learn a new language from scratch?
Depending upon language complexity, your native or related tongue, language learning techniques, enthusiasm, and resources, it usually takes 3 to 5 years to achieve the advanced level in any foreign tongue.
Language education takes time, and miscalculating the time required is one of the main reasons for language learning failure. Do you have the patience, perseverance, and persistence to study that long? Well, only you can decide!
Foreign language learning may sound enjoyable and thrilling to the ears. However, there is more to it than meet the eye. There is a lot you’re not being told.
With so much diversity in communication, the world keeps moving on. So stop wasting your time and resources if you don’t need to learn foreign languages. Why do if that has very little or nothing to offer to improve your life?
If you genuinely want to learn a language despite the reasons mentioned above, I completely appreciate your inspiring endeavor. If you do not share my new views, you can always read my old articles on the advantages of language learning, and let the comments flow like Swahili.