Studied A Lot, Learned Little

When I was 13 or so, I had completely no idea what I should do in future. I doubt many know what they will become at that age, but for some reason it bothered me quite a lot, especially when I apparently was quite okay in almost everything but good at nothing. The school offered many optional courses and I went along, choosing a bit of everything. I was determined to find the one thing that was my talent. Something I was outstandingly good at.

Not surprisingly, I didn't. It was a naive belief, hoping that I would discover the "hidden potential" in myself and know instantly what path I should choose later in life. Anyway, I ended up taking up a lot of languages.

I'm fluent in Finnish, pretty good in English, passable at Swedish and Japanese (when talked, I'm a complete failure in reading and writing) and barely passable at French and Germany.

Even if I never reached the communicational level in the latter ones, I don't regret trying to learn them. It fascinates me how differently people can think, and how many of the most self-evident things in my own language which I had never questioned could be completely illogical from another person's view point (classifying the world 'no' as a verb, for example).

I guess our native language forms a great part of how we see think, and thus how we see and understand the world. Knowing their language is essential when trying to really understand another person, and not only because of the translating issues.
Fearofsilence Fearofsilence
18-21, F
1 Response Aug 8, 2010

I feel the same way. You can learn so much from languages even if you never reach a high/fluent level. They really make you think about some of the strange aspects of your native language, like idioms.