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How important is learning a language? - November 17th 2010, 11:30 AM

I dropped out of french classses pre-gcse. Namely because i really struggled with learning a language.

At uni, we've been offered a free chance to pick up a language for a year. I went for it, and have done about 5 lessons of french. But i feel totally out of my depth. Because i struggle so much i spend too much time on language rather than my degree work.

I'm really tempted just to quit and give up on learning a language. It really doesnt seem worth all the stress it's causing me... the number of nights that i literally just start crying with frustration.

But i wanted to know other views? How important is it to learn a language- bearing in mind that i'm never going to get qualified or fluent.

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Re: How important is learning a language? - November 17th 2010, 12:01 PM

I wouldn't say learning an language is the be all and end all but it definitely will make you stand out from the crowd when applying for jobs.

If it's putting this much stress on you then I'd say don't force yourself to learn one but if you decide you do want to learn one then maybe try different ways of learning or try other languages other than French.

I found it really hard learning at school and learning French was really difficult for me but I'm teaching myself Chinese now using the Nintendo DS and I'm finding it a lot easier learning by myself than when I was taught in school, maybe you could think about something like that?

Also, there's Rosetta Stone, apparently that's supposed to be really helpful but it is expensive. Your local library might have some books with CDs so you could try those too
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Re: How important is learning a language? - November 17th 2010, 01:04 PM

Hey Maia,

I'm really sorry to hear that you're so frustrated when it comes to learning a language but I'm sure that you aren't alone, I'm sure there are many people who feel just as frustrated as you trying to learn a new language.

I personally don't think that learning a new language is all that important. When I was doing my GCSE's we had to take a language as one of our subjects because my school was a language college. I did German for five years while at school and I've now been left school for little over a year and I can't say that I remember all that much other than the key phrases and words.

I think if it's stressing you out that much and putting so much pressure on you then you shouldn't force yourself to do it as learning a new language should be an enjoyable experience and if you aren't enjoying it then it's much more likely to be more difficult to pick up. However, if you do want to try and learn a new language there are plenty of other different ways of learning one that you could try as we all have different learning styles and learn best in different ways.

I hope that I've managed to help you out and I hope that you start to feel better about this situation soon. If you ever want to talk then feel free to PM me at anytime as I'm always more than happy to listen and talk about everything and anything.

Take care and stay strong.

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Re: How important is learning a language? - November 17th 2010, 03:55 PM

It's good practice, but most of the people who take a second language are past the key age to start learning a language. If you plan on never leaving your country to a country that speaks French, then I wouldn't be too concerned.
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Re: How important is learning a language? - November 18th 2010, 01:46 PM

Well a MFL is quite important because communicating with foreigners in thier own country is so much better in thier tounge. I learnt german and don't regret that.
Sometimes it is just nice to know how to say hello!

Konnicchiwa (japan)
Guten Tag (germany)
Bonjour (france)
Ciao (italy)

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Re: How important is learning a language? - November 18th 2010, 02:03 PM

If you're pursuing a career in business? It's important. Otherwise, not really.
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Re: How important is learning a language? - November 18th 2010, 08:29 PM

If it is compromising your degree work then no, I would not continue.

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Re: How important is learning a language? - November 19th 2010, 04:38 AM

It can be good to have on a resume if you can speak another language very well, even if it's not fluent. But if you're finding it too hard despite putting in lots of effort and time, either consider getting a tutor for it or drop it. It can be useful simply for social interaction if nothing else. I learned French since Grade 3 until Grade 12 where I did a 1st year university level course in high-school. I'm not fluent in it and haven't spoken it in conversations for a while but it has been useful at times, mostly in social interactions as I'm not sure if the jobs I had cared if I spoke French. All they wanted was for you to speak English and that's about it.

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Re: How important is learning a language? - November 22nd 2010, 04:00 AM

depends on where u live...

but in general it is overrated.

real issue is... WHAT CAN YOU REALLY DO with english.

Can you do some accounting? engineering, medicine? Teach? and how well will the "other" languane will impact you.
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