I have heard that it isn’t worth learning languages like Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian and Danish because almost all of their speakers speak really good English. How true is it? If any of you have learned any of these languages, do you feel like locals get more excited as you speak their language (or any small language) as they normally would get when you speak a bigger one? I’m not planning on learing another Germanic language anytime soon, I may learn one in the future, but for right now I’m just curious.
Edit: I know that learning a language is more than just speaking to people, I’ve experienced that myself
learn langauges because you like them the way way the grammer works or how it sounds and want to know more about them or you feel like you need to know that langauge. in my opinonin i think very close minded to toss away a lamgauge because “the native speakers speak english so theres no point” or “theres not very many native speakers so theres no point”
Yeah, the there’s no reason to learn languages X and Y because of Z types of comments gets on my nerve as well. From a perspective of a native speaker of a small Germanic language, I would say that I am glad that people study Swedish.
Would I me more exited for someone speaking Swedish than German ? Absolutely, although I am a quite stoic person so I might not be as expressive as someone else. Given the fact that I speak English so well, (and Scandinavians and Finns generally) I am afraid that it might be very difficult to get people to speak your target language with them.
I have a feeling that most people will want to naturally communicate in a language where both participants are more or less on the same level. In my case it is a two way street as I am quite uncomfortable speaking a language that I don’t know very well.
If you just want to communicate with people who also speak English, I guess don’t bother, but if you want to ingratiate yourself with people … I’ve certainly had more Dutch people react with a ‘surprised and delighted that you know any of our language at all’ attitude than a ‘why bother?’ attitude.
It wouldn’t matter to me if everyone in Japan spoke perfect English. Everyone will still speak their native language with each other. Everything around you in the country will still be in their language. Any sort of media you happen to like from a certain country will often be in their language. There’s always more reasons to learn a language than just for communication.
I must say though that where I live we’re very, very used to immigrants speaking perfect Swedish, so people of any ethnicity might find it difficult to impress us. However, if you explain that you are learning Swedish because of your own interest in the language and culture then that will be a lot more exciting and appreciated.
I think we all learn languages because of that, but there are many languages, that may be the deciding factor between learning Swedish or learning another language that interests you about the same
I have to admit, I’ve passed up learning in the past Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian due to their knowledge of English. To be honest, this is more of an excuse for me because I had no real reason to learn any of these language except for the fact they’re fairly simple for a native English speaker to learn.
The important thing with language learning is the motivation you have to learn X language. If your motivation isn’t strong or you don’t have a set goal, in the long run you won’t keep learning that language.
I’ve recently started languages that are interesting to me, whether it’s just the sound, the grammar, or the fact that it’s an uncommon language to learn. It’s all about having motivation keep you interested