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10 False Assumptions Every Language Student Will Have Heard

It feels pretty good to tell someone you’re studying a foreign language at university. The same old preconceptions you also have to deal with on a regular basis? Not so good.

1. You want to be a teacher.

When you’re forever being told that there are hardly any jobs for graduates these days, the last thing you want to hear is your degree will only land you the one job you know you’ll never have the patience for.

2. Or an interpreter.

After completing a few interpreting exercises at university, you now have a new found respect for interpreters. HOW DO THEY DO IT SO PERFECTLY? It’s.too.hard.

3. You are fluent in your chosen language.

Define fluent. If you mean still having to rely on word reference to complete a piece of uni work then yes, you’re fluent.

4. You can translate anything.

You don’t even know what some words mean in English let alone another language.

5. You know everything about the country and culture.

How can you not recite the names of every German Nobel Prize winner?

6. And the rest of the world.

Of course you know the capital of the Pitcairn Islands and you DEFINITELY know where they are on a map…

7. You have very strong political views.

No, you still don’t know where you stand on the EU debate.

8. You have a really good memory.

Just because you can remember hundreds, if not thousands, of foreign words doesn’t mean you can remember what you did last weekend.

9. You love everything about the country.

You haven’t quite grasped what it is the French love about snails yet.

10. You want to learn more languages.

As much as you love being able to say you can speak another language, for some, learning one language has caused enough sweat and tears for one lifetime.

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