Languages I am currently learning

Contrary to what many people may think, linguistics is not about knowing a lot of languages. Linguistics is the study of language in itself, not a specific language. It’s about the structure of language too, sure, but it’s mainly about how humans learn and use language. It’s entirely possible to study linguistics while only knowing one language.

This linguist, however, does also want to learn a lot of languages. A part of me really wants to be a polyglot who speaks at least 10 languages fluently, but I think that goal might be a little too ambitious. I still enjoy learning languages though, and speaking a lot of languages just enough to get by on vacation would already be pretty awesome too. So in this post, I am going to talk about the languages I am currently learning or trying to improve on Duolingo.

Phone with Duolingo open

1. Swedish

The language I am currently giving the most priority is Swedish. I’ve always wanted to learn a Scandinavian language, and originally wanted to learn Norwegian because it is said to be the “middle” between Danish and Swedish, making you able to understand all three languages. However, I am a huge lover of Ikea and already knew some Swedish songs, so when I was going to click Norwegian on Duolingo… I clicked Swedish instead and never looked back. I have been practising it on Duolingo for 1,5 years now, finished the tree almost half a year ago and am now trying to improve it.

2. Spanish

I took a year of Spanish when I was in high school, but back then that was too much on top of all my other subjects, so I didn’t put a lot of effort into it. I still remember some of it though, so when I finished the Swedish tree I decided it would be nice to pick it up again on Duolingo. I exclusively practised Spanish for around two months, but then I noticed I started to forget my Swedish already and started to prioritize Swedish again. I wanted to do both at the same time, but I’m not even close to practising Spanish as often as I want to. I would love to speak the language at least well enough to get by on vacations in Spanish-speaking countries though, so I definitely should start working on it a little more.

3. German

I actually understand German pretty well, as I had German classes in school for 6 years. However, my own speaking and writing skills are not so good anymore, and my listening skills have always been a little rusty (for any language, really). So I’ve been trying to improve my German on Duolingo as well, but my writing skills were too bad to test out on anything and now I’m stuck doing lessons that are generally way too easy. And I keep mixing it up with Swedish, too! So that hasn’t been working out too great. I did do some Duolingo Stories though, which was a nice way to at least read and hear German again. But to actually improve it, I probably need to find another way to practise than Duolingo. So if anyone has a recommendation for a good German tv show (preferably on Netflix), let me know!

4. French

Although I had French classes in school for 5 years, it’s a lot worse than my German. I can still understand a lot of it when written down, but it definitely takes some more effort. I would love to improve it though, as there’s a lot of knowledge still buried in my brain somewhere and I don’t want to let that go to waste. So I tried several times to practise French on Duolingo, but it never really worked out so far. I’ve forgotten a lot more French than German, so I don’t mind the easy lessons here, but I could still never really commit to it. Someday I will try again though… someday.

5. High Valyrian

For those who don’t know – High Valyrian is a fictional language on Game of Thrones, and yes, you can learn it on Duolingo. It’s made up by a linguist who has actually created a grammar for it, which is super cool! What is less cool, though, is that the grammar contains all sorts of complicated constructions that are really hard to learn if your own language doesn’t have them. Point in case: there are four genders, and they are called lunar, solar, aquatic and terrestrial. No matter how incredibly awesome that sounds, it’s really hard to learn. Especially as the language also has number and case, and adjectives always have to agree with the noun. And I just didn’t have the motivation to learn all of that for a fictional language. I still think it’s really cool that you can learn the language on Duolingo though, so I thought I’d mention it here.

Other than these languages, I’d also love to learn either Chinese or Japanese someday, or pick up Zulu or (modern) Hebrew again since I had some classes in both back in school. But for now the ones I mentioned are more than enough.

Do you like learning languages? What languages are you learning or what ones do you want to learn someday? Let me know in the comments!


13 thoughts on “Languages I am currently learning

    1. Actually speaking a language is definitely one of the hardest things! If you’re not a native it’s nearly impossible to not have an accent. English isn’t my native language so although I would consider myself fluent I still feel self-conscious actually speaking it. But the only way to become better is practice!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I love learning languages. I started learning Korean before I started learning Spanish but I fall off but I plan to learn it again maybe next year haven’t decided it yet but I will keep going with Korean


  2. I’ve always wanted to learn French. I took a beginning French class in college and I really love the language and for some reason for me it was more fun to learn. I didn’t continue my studies after that class, but I would love to go back. I never heard of Duolingo I’m going to have to check that out!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am currently learning Spanish since last 30 days .. Because its the second most spoken language supposedly and lot of material is available online.
    Next I wish to study French! I wish to visit Paris one day.


    1. Well, I don’t technically all learn them at the same time 😉 I’ve been focussing mainly on Swedish but now that I’ve reached lvl3 on all Duolingo lessons I’ve switched to Spanish. As for German and French my main goal is to just use them occasionally to not forget what I’ve learned in high school but in practice I rarely use them.

      Liked by 1 person

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