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11 Things You Should Never Say To a Languages Student

Language students feel very hard-done by sometimes – mainly because other students don’t seem to think we do any actual work. Sure, the whole point of our degree is to learn how to talk to people in another country in a coherent and inoffensive way (or in an offensive way when it’s really needed) but please don’t hold that against us.

1. “I don’t even know why you’re bothering, everyone speaks English anyway.”

They don’t. They really, really don’t.


2. “Oral exams only last 10 minutes, they can’t be that bad.”

They’re 10 minutes of pure hell. You don’t have to look at your examiner’s face when they’re marking your essays, do you?

3. “Grammar can’t be that hard, native speakers do it all the time, right?”



4. “Won’t it be harder to get a job with a language degree instead of something like science?”

Actually, we’re extremely employable.


5. “Your year abroad is basically a year-long holiday, why are you moaning about it?”

We’re being dumped in another country knowing only how to argue about nuclear power and the justice system. You’d be scared, too.

6. “What’s the point of getting a language degree if you’re not going to move abroad?”

It’s allllll about the transferable skills.


7. “How do you say this in your language?” 

I’m not a dictionary – why do you think Word Reference is my most visited site?


8. “So you just do languages, right? Nothing else?”

They’re hard, ok?


9. “Can’t you just use Google translate?”

If you want a load of unintelligible mush then yeah, sure.


10. “You can’t have THAT much prep to do, don’t you just talk all lesson anyway?”


11. “You must be fluent by now.”

It really is nice you think that, but realistically it won’t be true for a while yet.

The struggle is real.

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