“It’s not easy when your mind is busy.”
A lot of people may think that being a part of the Foreign Languages Department is easy, but as fun, as it is learning a new language, this act can bring some repercussions. Whether you end up being a translator, an interpreter, a professor or even a journalist in a foreign country (while you’re still contemplating this idea) there are struggles you go through in your everyday life.
1. Deciding which language you’re majoring in:
This process might feel similar to choosing what you’re going to eat at a buffet, and it doesn’t only apply to freshman students. Life is short and the possibilities for the Bachelor’s degree are numerous. You want to choose your favorite language but then again you also want to try a new one or one with more speakers. A good way to decide this is to think what jobs you’re looking for after graduation, the income you want to have, which countries you want to focus on, what kind of people you want to reach out to, etc. Pro Tip: you can’t go wrong if you’re passionate about it.
2. Switching languages between sentences:
This phenomenon called code-switching is common in foreign languages’ students. For instance, there’s a variety of reasons behind this behavior but generally happens because the lack of proper wording to express something in a foreign language with the same emotion. This might hold you back a bit in the learning process but don’t feel burdened; it’s a natural act among multilingual speakers. Anglicism might become your best friend in most case scenarios.
3. Forgetting words in all the languages you’re studying (target languages):
What was “piccolo” in Italian again? How can I say “hungry” in German? “That thing! I just forgot its name!” are a couple of examples of what you might say once you start learning a new language. Sometimes it can be pretty difficult and stressful as this happens randomly and might affect the way you usually convey a message in a conversation. But lucky for us, there are a lot of people who are willing to listen until they understand everything clearly.
4. Wanting to learn more languages than you can take:
After you start, there’s no going back! Are you interested in Italian cuisine? Let’s take Italian classes. Do you enjoy the Korean music scene? Now you’re also taking Korean classes. Oh, and how silly of you to forget that Mandarin and German can look great on a resume? There are 7,099 distinct languages to choose from (including dialects) as counted by Ethnologue on their most recent edition, the 20th, released on February 21, 2017.
All hardships have recompense. It’s not an easy road, but you won’t regret anything once you start understanding the target language. Make the best of it and don’t be afraid to expand your knowledge.
Bye! Adiós! Arrivederci! Tschüss! 안녕!