If you could learn any language without considering outside factors...

General discussion about learning languages
aledda
Yellow Belt
Posts: 68
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:26 pm
Location: Uruguay
Languages: Español (N)
English (C2), Português (C2)

Studying now: 日本語 (N4->N3), 한국어 (beginner)

Dabbling: Italiano (beginner), Deutsch (beginner)

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Language Log: viewtopic.php?t=5561
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Re: If you could learn any language without considering outside factors...

Postby aledda » Fri May 18, 2018 3:56 pm

heartlandexpat wrote:I was thinking about this the other day: if there were no outside factors, what language would I want to learn?

By outside factors I mean: usefulness, ease of learning, where it's spoken and its culture, etc. In other words, focusing solely on how the language's sounds and its intrigue.

(...)

What about y'all? What language do you find really pretty/interesting and would learn if you didn't have any outside influences? Why? Do you think you'll ever learn it? I'm curious!

When I was little I wanted to learn Portuguese and Italian because I loved how they sound, and Greek and Latin because I found them interesting/fascinating since they were so "foreign" to me. I don't think I ever considered the "usefulness" when I said I wanted to learn any of them... maybe the ease of learning for Portuguese or Italian, but it wasn't the main reason.

I don't think I would spend my time studying a language that I don't like or that I don't consider interesting (English being the exception since my parents made me study it... now I like it). For me, those are the main reasons to learn a language. The "outside factors" just help me decide which one I want to start learning first.

That is why I haven't learned French (I only learned some basic sentences when I went to France) even though it has such a rich culture. It's not that I hate the language, but I don't love it either, and since it's similar to Spanish in so many ways, it doesn't even arouse my curiosity.

Just for curiosity, I would learn Ancient Greek, Latin, Esperanto and probably Arabic too. Another language I find very interesting is Mapuche/Mapudungun.

tastyonions wrote:With Portuguese, on the other hand, I always loved the way it sounded, and that has not worn off one bit after studying it. :-)

Same here.
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