There was this time that I went to a Multilingual café in an attempt to practisce my spoken French. It was tragic. I was mute most of the time because a) I couldn't understand 70% of what others were saying, b) I was being such an introvert, and c) I knew too little French to participate in a conversation. But there was a question that I did understood, and nonetheless failed to answer:
Pourquoi étudient-tu français?I seriously didn't know what to say, which was not just awkward, but downright embarrassing. (I mumbled something about watching YouTube videos but meh, when you barely have time to watch English videos alone, you won't even have the motivation find channels that suit your tastes.)
After I went home, I racked my brain to remember the reason why I started to learn French in the first place. (I may have kicked myself internally a few times in the process.) If I could choose again, I definitely would have chosen Spanish -- it is more widely spoken, and it's just such a beautiful language to listen to. (sorry, français, but you really don't sound that nice to me.) Anywho, I might as well share with you a few reasons my brain managed to salvage from the trenches of my horrendous memory, as to why I chose French in my young impressionable years:
1. Because I wanted to be a special snowflake
The first that came up was actually that I thought France is a country that sounds lovely and romantic, but certainly little me wouldn't touch anything that's remotely romantic, so that idea was soon defenestrated. The memory of finding out Spanish being the third-most spoken language in the world came to mind. Wanting to be a hipster who does not speak a language that at least 472 million people are speaking, I chose French (which is another most-spoken language on Earth. way to be a special snowflake.) But really, Melody? The whole point of learning a language is to be able to talk to more people in the world, jeez.
2. Because I couldn't roll my r's
I seriously thought that was going to be a problem back then. Turns out French has a sound that was harder for me to even imagine (the uvular r), plus a shit-ton of ambiguous vowels and really unpredictable spelling.
Oh, and actually, you can still speak Spanish even if you don't know how to roll the r's (something I've learnt in the language acquisition course last summer.) The only thing that matters is to get your point across, and it's not like every r in a word is rolled anyway. (they're more flapped than rolled)
3. Because my mum used to learn French
Don't even ask me why this could be a reason. It just sort of made sense in that little brain of mine. A lot of sense, actually, because that was probably what inspired me to start learning a new language. On second thought, at least I could access my mum's learning materials and notes? (nope, I never found them.)
Later in my life, some less stupid reasons emerged: my high school only offered French and Japanese courses, thus I continued my petit voyage of French-learning; I then decided to learn a language from each major language family, and the place in the Romance language has already been occupied, which is another blow to my Spanish-adoring ears, unfortunately. (I still love you though, français.)
So there you have it, la raison pour laquelle j'apprends le français. Now this whole post is waaay out of my French proficiency, so yay for me to be able to explain to that French guy next time (not)?
I originally wanted to write the reasons for my learning Swedish, Japanese, and Taiwanese, but later realised that that would become too long of a blogpost. So keep your eyes peeled for part 2, if you are so inclined to be informed of my not-so-glorious language-learning causes.
What languages have you learnt other than your mother tongue? How did you choose the language? Do let me know in the
Also, yes, HIIIII I'M BACK