Language Learning Goals after Relocation

General discussion about learning languages
User avatar
Decidida
Orange Belt
Posts: 218
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:58 pm
Languages: English (N), Spanish (beginner), Haitian Creole (sidelined), Latin (forgotten), Ancient Greek (forgotten)
x 285

Language Learning Goals after Relocation

Postby Decidida » Sat May 23, 2020 3:04 pm

Did anyone start over with all new language learning goals after moving to a drastically different geographic area?

On one hand, keeping your old studies going is a consistent thing to hang onto, when so much else has changed. And in this crazy world, who knows where you might suddenly move, next. On the other hand, very real people are in your face speaking languages that you do not understand, now.

A male relative booked me a flight to come live with him after he literally heard my living situation devolving into what he called a "Jack Nicholson movie", as we talked on the phone. I was in a Covid hotspot and not everyone chose to be a hero. My life is eventful if nothing else. LOL.

So ... I moved. I still do not have a home of my own and am still living with my generous and selfless relative, but each day, after I do everything I can to become independent again in this new place, I still have some time to learn a language. He thinks it is a no-brainer for me to study the language that is spoken by over 40% of the population. He is such a capitalist. LOL. All his reasons to do that are entirely based on making a profit. He smiles at me and just short of pats me on the head when I start talking about other reasons to study a language.

I don't think I can afford to go back to college until I have been here long enough to qualify for resident tuition rates. But still, I am looking at the languages taught at the college that I will most likely attend, at some point. Scheduling classes and finally actually graduating would be easier, if I study the 2nd most spoken language here.

I am curious what others did after a major move to a new place.
3 x

Cavesa
Black Belt - 3rd Dan
Posts: 3700
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:46 am
Languages: Czech (N), English (C1), French (C2), Spanish (intermediate), German (somewhere on the path), Italian (passive advanced, active basic)
x 11148

Re: Language Learning Goals after Relocation

Postby Cavesa » Sat May 23, 2020 9:23 pm

Yes, moving can change one's learning priorities. I moved just a few hundred km away, but still to a very different linguistic situation. As I am planning a new language much later this year, I consider totally new options. It looks as if German was a no brainer. Well, I'd like to get it to a solid level, but not because of the reasons everybody mentions, and I also think I will not get to use it professionally at all (contrary to popular belief), unless I'd move there. The languages that would be damn useful to me would be the languages of my patients from the important minorities. The most commonly represented in most French regions would be Romanian, Moroccan Arabic (and a few other dialects), Turkish. So yes, I am considering them. Moving to a different area is a huge change and adapting your plans and priorities is a normal (and necessary) reaction.

You would probably get tons of advantages, if you learnt that language your relative is patronising you about. Have you explored other sources of motivation? I used to hate German. It was the language everybody talked about only in the money context, never something entertaining. The Germans used to be the rudest tourists I kept encountering in my country and others, many fitting the stereotypes. And the pressure "if you want a second foreign language, pick German, French is worthless" was disgusting. But that changed. A decade or two later, I discovered they had a huge book market, lots of fantasy authors, and also the Germans started mostly behaving better abroad, with the typical ones becoming rarer and rarer. I also found out there were awesome touristy opportunities, and so on.

So, I think reconsidering your plans after a relocation is absolutely normal. Not changing anything about your life would actually be anormal. :-)

You have two main options, as I see it:

1.Resist it, learn what you want, accept the consequences and/or find other opportunites. That's what I did with French, and actually Spanish too. I proved others wrong. Even had I stayed in my country (and therefore automatically left my field), I would have made a living of it on top of all the non salary related value.

2.Learn it, but for other reasons. That's what I did with English and German (ok, I forgot the German basics again, but that is not the point now). Don't torture yourself with something you hate or with doing something against your nature and just for money. If 40% of the population in your area speaks the language, there must be tons of fun accessible in it, no matter what you consider fun. And also lots of content from other countries, if it is such an important language. You can learn it for a totally different reason and still reap the profits. It's actually much easier to do this, than to learn something you dislike motivating yourself just with a future salary you might get. Only some kinds of people are able to learn a language just for money, in my opinion, and the two of us aren't them. :-)
3 x

User avatar
Tomas
White Belt
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun May 10, 2020 1:07 am
Location: Portland
Languages: English (N), Spanish (low intermediate), Italian (lower intermediate) French (terrible!)
x 66

Re: Language Learning Goals after Relocation

Postby Tomas » Sat May 23, 2020 11:15 pm

I'm not sure I quite understand your situation. Are you saying that in your new area, many people don't speak English and you need to learn their language to be able to interact with them and/or to find work? Or are you simply living in a new area where English is the dominant language, but this other language is also widely spoken in addition to English?

If it's a matter of needing to learn a new language just to be able to interact with the people around you, that would be a big motivating factor for me and I would try to look at it as an ideal immersion opportunity. After all, there's no reason you can't go on to learn other languages later after you get survival skills in the one you need right now, and learning this one might actually help you to learn additional languages in the future. Moreover, once you dig into it, you might find you really enjoy this language, even if it wasn't the one you might have picked otherwise.

OTOH, if you don't really need the new language in order to get by, then there's less pressure to learn it, although you might still find it very rewarding to do so.

My apologies if I misunderstood your post.
2 x

User avatar
Decidida
Orange Belt
Posts: 218
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:58 pm
Languages: English (N), Spanish (beginner), Haitian Creole (sidelined), Latin (forgotten), Ancient Greek (forgotten)
x 285

Re: Language Learning Goals after Relocation

Postby Decidida » Sat May 23, 2020 11:50 pm

I did a lot of asking around about the languages spoken here, first confusing people, and then they sort of understood, but not really.

In my old location, I studied the 2nd and 3rd most spoken languages, vastly preferring and prioritizing the 3rd language, even though I took the 2nd language at college. I am not sure if there is a 3rd language here that plays the same role as the 3rd language in my old location.

I find it interesting to discuss 3rd and 4th most spoken languages with people, who had never thought about anyone learning them as a non-native language. They go from confused, to interested, to dismissive and frustrated with me for wasting my time and theirs on such a weird and unprofitable idea. The discussion is worthy of 5-7 minutes discussion, but then it quickly becomes obvious to them that there is a reason they have never discussed this before: it is unprofitable and ... not socially valuable. The discussion ends with me being lectured about the lack of social graces of "those people" and their responsibility to learn the dominant language. Sigh. I find it fascinating to go to a new area and watch the same stories play out with different characters. Humans are not very inventive.

I will probably study this 2nd language, but just don't want to commit too quickly. I wanted to toss it out here, quickly, before deciding anything. I value the opinions and BTDT advice of the people here.

This recent move was so sudden and so crazy. I have made some sudden moves in some surreal situations, but this one is different. When my life imploded in the past, It was just my life that imploded while everyone around me judged my surreal moment from a place of safety and disconnect. This time, at varying levels, we are all experiencing this. This is giving me a opportunity to evaluate my old moves along with this move with a chance to disregard the expected focus on person responsibility and believably that was forced on me previously.

We cannot predict the future. We have NOOOO idea where we might end up next month. More than ever, I see the futility of planning my studies on the idea of staying put anywhere that stays the same. But I am here now, and find my current location fascinating. I want to experience it all. I am as hungry to experience the new as I am homesick for the old.

Sooo... I will probably learn this 2nd language.
4 x

User avatar
Decidida
Orange Belt
Posts: 218
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:58 pm
Languages: English (N), Spanish (beginner), Haitian Creole (sidelined), Latin (forgotten), Ancient Greek (forgotten)
x 285

Re: Language Learning Goals after Relocation

Postby Decidida » Sun May 24, 2020 12:01 am

Tomas wrote: Or are you simply living in a new area where English is the dominant language, but this other language is also widely spoken in addition to English?


English, my native language, is the language spoken by the government, but a second language is well over 40% and taught in the schools as a mandatory subject for all students, I think.

Signs are often bilingual and sometimes in the second language only. The words on the yellow police tape, preventing people from entering areas due to social distancing rules, seem to be in the second language even more than English. I find that interesting.

I am not so much trying to hide my location or situation, as much as I am wanting to keep the conversation wide and not focused on me. I like to listen to the stories that OTHER people post. I like to listen to a giant buffet of experiences and taste it all.
1 x

User avatar
Decidida
Orange Belt
Posts: 218
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:58 pm
Languages: English (N), Spanish (beginner), Haitian Creole (sidelined), Latin (forgotten), Ancient Greek (forgotten)
x 285

Re: Language Learning Goals after Relocation

Postby Decidida » Sun May 24, 2020 12:11 am

Cavesa wrote: there must be tons of fun accessible in it, no matter what you consider fun. And also lots of content from other countries, if it is such an important language.


Because of Covid, I have not had a chance to experience this yet. I am expecting this, but haven't had the chance to enjoy it yet. I overhear snatches of conversation, but with my hearing muffled by the face mask that presses on the earbones. I click through telephone and online prompts that make me choose which language, but I pick English and that ends quickly.

Covid makes everything different.
1 x

Online
User avatar
Denzagathist
Yellow Belt
Posts: 69
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 11:18 am
Location: Germany
Languages: .
• N: English
• C: German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Croatian
• B: Greek, Italian, Turkish, Japanese, Russian
• A: Persian, Swedish, Polish
• Dormant: Mandarin, Dutch, Romanian
x 273

Re: Language Learning Goals after Relocation

Postby Denzagathist » Mon May 25, 2020 11:50 am

I'm not totally sure whether this is what you're asking, but I've certainly reorganized my language goals/priorities based on where I was living at the time. Before I moved out of my hometown, my priorities were based primarily on my degree of interest, but in recent years I have moved around quite a bit -- I've lived in 5 different countries since 2013 -- so my priorities have also shuffled accordingly. When living abroad, my top priority has consistently been the local language, but then that language might suddenly become my lowest priority after I move again. For example, I moved from Japan to Germany in 2018, and so Japanese disappeared almost completely from my life, despite having been my #1 priority while in Japan. Reviving and polishing my German (and French, since I live right on the border with France) has been my priority since moving here, and it's only recently that I've begun to shift more focus onto other languages, now that I've been here a while and feel comfortable enough with my level in the local language(s). But I don't stress about it too much.

However, in all of these cases I had a legitimate interest in learning or improving my skills in the language of the place where I was living. If that's not your situation and you don't truly need the language, then don't force yourself. There's nothing worse than making yourself learn a language that you don't like out of a sense of obligation -- that will ruin the fun of language learning altogether.
3 x

User avatar
Decidida
Orange Belt
Posts: 218
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:58 pm
Languages: English (N), Spanish (beginner), Haitian Creole (sidelined), Latin (forgotten), Ancient Greek (forgotten)
x 285

Re: Language Learning Goals after Relocation

Postby Decidida » Mon May 25, 2020 6:02 pm

Denzagathist wrote: When living abroad, my top priority has consistently been the local language, but then that language might suddenly become my lowest priority after I move again.


This move required crossing multiple time zones. Another much shorter hop would land me in a whole new world of languages. I feel like I walked through a gate; more seems possible than ever before. The pattern is that I keep moving, and the moves get bigger and bigger. For all the crazy of my life, I never imagine what is coming, and it is always a shock. Me, little me, finds myself in places that I don't dare talk about for fear of being called a liar.

I am a female version of Forest Gump. “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

If I do not know what is coming, learning a common language seems logical, for many reasons, but as you and others have said, if I am not enthusiastic about my studies, then this won't go well.
0 x

User avatar
lavengro
Green Belt
Posts: 480
Joined: Wed May 24, 2017 1:39 am
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Languages: ENGLISH (N); FRENCH (A2 - conservatively self-estimated); SPANISH (A1 - recklessly self-asserted); ITALIAN (non parlo italiano - yet - but getting closer); ITHKUIL (only in my nightmares); GERMAN (ich bin ein Anfänger - currently A0); JAPANESE (against my better judgment - barely A0); GÀIDHLIG? (Chan eil drathais orm); LANG BELTA? (Walowda ámolof fo kowl beltalowda).
x 1022

Re: Language Learning Goals after Relocation

Postby lavengro » Mon May 25, 2020 7:52 pm

Decidida wrote:....Me, little me, finds myself in places that I don't dare talk about for fear of being called a liar....
Unless you were to say "Narnia" I promise I would not call you a liar. But I strongly suspect I would not entirely believe you....
1 x
"I talk a lot. So I've learned to just tune myself out."
- Kelly Kapoor

Italian : 199 / 330
German : 117 / 605
French : 80 / 780
Japanese : 26 / 460
Gàidhlig : 23 / 170
Heisig : 440 / 2200

User avatar
iguanamon
Black Belt - 1st Dan
Posts: 1764
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:14 am
Location: Virgin Islands
Languages: Speaks: English (Native); Spanish (C2); Portuguese (C2); Haitian Creole (C1); Ladino/Djudeo-espanyol (C1); Lesser Antilles French Creole (B2)
Studies: Catalan
Language Log: viewtopic.php?t=797
x 9083

Re: Language Learning Goals after Relocation

Postby iguanamon » Mon May 25, 2020 8:49 pm

Yes, language priorities can change with relocation. Life brings opportunities all the time, whether one relocates or not. Whether or not to capitalize on them is down to the individual. Sometimes the opportunities are too much. For example, I could learn- German; Russian; French; Arabic because I know multiple people who speak those languages. The fact is, at present, the opportunity to learn those languages doesn't motivate me.

It's self-motivation that plays the most important part in language-learning. With it a learner can accomplish great things. Without sufficient motivation a learner will struggle greatly. So regardless of where one is at the moment it's the learner's motivation that matters.

I was motivated to learn Ladino, despite not being Jewish, despite not living anywhere near any speakers and without any real-life ability to converse with native-speakers. I was motivated to learn Portuguese despite not having any nearby speakers. So, my answer is that if you feel that you want to keep learning languages that interested you before the move, then keep doing that. If you want to learn a new language that is more useful to you where you are now, then do that. The main thing is to have the motivation.

Also, you should try to learn at least one language to a high level- at least B2. Doing so will mean that you will be able to maintain the language and not lose what you will have learned. Also, having had the experience of getting a language to at least B2 will help with learning other languages as you will have the how to learn part mostly learned. Ultimately, do what you want to do for you .
5 x


Return to “General Language Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Denzagathist, nagoyana and 2 guests