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What would you do if you could never travel?

Posted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:28 pm
by Djedida
Say that you're stuck in your country or state with no opportunities for traveling abroad, whether its for financial or familial reasons, would this have an impact on the languages you learn, if any? Maybe even a step further, what if you could never move from the town/city that you're in now?

Would your choices in language change? (Maybe one more local)
Would your values change? (heritage vs. interests in traveling)
Do you learn languages for yourself or to connect with others?

My own choices wouldn't change, but I also live in a touristy city where I can meet all sorts of language speakers. And yet, I am actually a bit introverted and learn languages mostly for my personal amusement rather than with any real desire to talk to others.

Re: What would you do if you could never travel?

Posted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:40 pm
by jeff_lindqvist
I rarely travel. It hasn't stopped me from studying languages. Even if quit using online resources, the physical material I have would keep me busy for years.

Re: What would you do if you could never travel?

Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 12:21 pm
by garyb
I'd likely quit Spanish or at least just put it into maintenance. 5-10 years ago it was a very ubiquitous and accessible language in my city, but that's no longer the case and my only real motivation now is prospective future trips to Spain and Latin America. I'd keep up Italian as I have enough social contact and interest in the culture, even if from a distance, to keep me interested. French would probably stay in its current state of maintenance and occasional practice. I'd focus a bit more on Greek as it's a family language. I doubt I'd have many reasons to study others; the only other that really interests me now is German and that's mostly for travel.

Re: What would you do if you could never travel?

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:49 pm
by Xenops
What a depressing idea.

Re: What would you do if you could never travel?

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:30 pm
by eido
Djedida wrote:Maybe even a step further, what if you could never move from the town/city that you're in now?

Would your choices in language change? (Maybe one more local)
Would your values change? (heritage vs. interests in traveling)
Do you learn languages for yourself or to connect with others?

I don't foresee moving out of my town for a while, at least five years. I've lived here since I was one years old. But my language interests have been relatively the same since I was 13. I've only picked one language because it was common. I'm kind of afraid of traveling, so I don't see myself traveling for a while. But that never stopped me from learning Icelandic or more "exotic" choices. I've wanted to go to Iceland for a long time, even if it's expensive. Hell, I'd even live there if I could.

I learn languages for the challenge. I like to communicate with others, but I'm bad at doing that, so I tend to learn just to show off how well I've learned the logic of the language and how fast I can type out a response. But I'm trying to overcome that. It's time I did, since that's a bit of a "beginner's thought process" if you will. When I've spent more time learning seriously, I doubt I'll have those thoughts anymore.

Re: What would you do if you could never travel?

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:01 pm
by Morgana
Djedida wrote:Say that you're stuck in your country or state with no opportunities for traveling abroad, whether its for financial or familial reasons, would this have an impact on the languages you learn, if any? Maybe even a step further, what if you could never move from the town/city that you're in now?
You ask this as if there are not people here who already live under such circumstances.

Re: What would you do if you could never travel?

Posted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 6:16 am
by Tom
I very rarely travel. I'm learning language as a hobby, because it interests me, and it's something I wanted to do when I was young, but was never able to.

Re: What would you do if you could never travel?

Posted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 8:00 pm
by 白田龍
Learn languages at home :D

Re: What would you do if you could never travel?

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:02 am
by cathrynm
I get 10 days off a year aside from holidays, and that includes sick time, so I have to save some of that for getting sick and other random life events. I went to Japan for a week, walked around, came home, that was okay, but hard to imagine learning Japanese just for that. For me, practically, Japanese is mroe about Anime, maybe news and some Japanese business and politics, travel is part of it, but it's just another thing on the list.

Re: What would you do if you could never travel?

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 3:29 pm
by Cèid Donn
I already have to deal with this. I'm disabled, unable to work a regular job, I can't get health care coverage in my state (Texas) to help me improve my health so I can work more, and so my income is extremely limited.

One reason I started studying languages on my own was to cope with this situation. People do not often realize how socially isolated disabled people can become, especially when they older and have to live in poverty, and likewise, they don't realize how much boredom we struggle with on top of health and money problems. So I was looking for something to keep me sane, basically. My two primary languages are heritage languages, so that does factor into why I concentrate on them. But other factors include having an interest in that culture and wishing I could travel that country, Other times, I just want a challenge, like with my occasional forays into Russian. :lol:

An issue that I have to deal with, being an isolated learner, is it's easy to feel restless when just studying one or two languages. Languages by their nature are means to connect with other people and sometimes having to always create your own ways to use your languages to connect with others, always having to make that extra effort, can get to you. And consequently when things don't go well with your attempts to connect--people agreeing to meet on Skype but don't show, or people online being unhelpful, for example--it can be more exhausting because you don't have a larger community to connect with to keep you buoyed when you are dealt a disappointment like that. So I have to come up with coping strategies for that, too. One is to study other languages for bit, and then cycle back to my main languages.

Djedida wrote:My own choices wouldn't change, but I also live in a touristy city where I can meet all sorts of language speakers. And yet, I am actually a bit introverted and learn languages mostly for my personal amusement rather than with any real desire to talk to others.


I used to live in Houston, TX, and while not "touristy" like, say, Galveston (where I went to high school), Houston is very international with many immigrant communities that still use their languages. I was going to uni when I lived there, and studying Latin, Classical Greek and Biblical Hebrew at the time, so sadly I didn't get to exploit that as much as I wish I could have (although I was starting to learn Vietnamese, thinking I was going to live there for a while longer, and I developed a better ear for understanding various South American dialects of Spanish).

But I did spend a lot of time with French expats there in Houston and that helped a lot in encouraging me to continue my French. It also helped that every once in a while a random French person who I had never seen before would just walk up to me in bookstore or grocery store and start asking me for directions or something in French. (While I'm technically only 1/4 French, from my father's New England French/Canadian French side, apparently to some French people, I look French enough that surely I must speak French :lol:). But even if I didn't get to indulge in that wonderful diversity as much I wish I had (I'm very introverted myself, so that wasn't on my side either), it was still a wonderful experience.

Now I live in a Texas city where roughly 60-65% of the population can speak Spanish on some competent level, so my Spanish slowly improves from sheer exposure and necessity, but there's not much here for any others of my languages of interest. So much of my attempts to connect with others has to be online. Or when that gets to be too much to deal with, I just settle for my study materials and various media, like books and music. :geek: