I’m learning Russian. It seems this group of people that have it as their native tongue aren’t willing to speak it as much as say Spanish speakers or Chinese speakers. I have a feel this is a cultural thing and these people are more closed off/“stick to themselves” and would rather speak Russian within themselves and/or speak English only.
It is a bit disappointing but at the same time impressive. I get hit or miss reactions when I say I’m learning Russian. One side is “why??? Why would you waste your time?” and another “Wow, that’s pretty exotic!” because it’s not typical for an American to learn it.
On my college campus we have quite a few ethnic groups now.
-We have the Spanish speakers that are more extroverted and would be very likely to amuse you with some Spanish.
-Japanese. They stick to themselves (being exchange students, this is expected) but are looking for friends and will likely help you with Japanese.
-Saudis. They like to hang out with everyone but they prefer to speak English.
-Russians/Ukrainians: Either they hangout with everyone and speak English or they stick with themselves and speak Russian with ONLY themselves. The latter is usually the case.
My goals in language learning are to have conversations and communicate with people. To polyglots out there, are there certain people out there that are willing to appreciate the effort that you’re trying to speak their language or do they look the other way and prefer to speak the country’s language?