Motivation to learn languages
Our motivation is what determines success or failure in language learning. So what motivates us to learn different languages? For myself over the last few years, I can see a variety of different motivations. I am learning Romanian, a language that had not interested me before, simply for the reason that I will be visiting Romania in June. So now I am putting in an hour or two a day into learning Romanian.
I decided to learn Russian because I wanted to read Russian novels in the original. I also wanted to prove my approach to language learning, which focuses less on grammar, would work with Russian. I decided to learn Czech because my parents grew up in Czechoslovakia. I wanted to learn more about the country and it’s history.
I am also motivated to learn languages that are related to languages I already know. I learned Czech after Russian and Portuguese or even Romanian because I know other Romance languages. My reason for learning Korean has many motivations. Yes, it is easier because I already know Chinese and Japanese. But my short-term motivation for learning Korean is my golfing buddy Mr. Choi. Sharing language learning with friends is a great experience. It is a great way to practice and keep you inspired. It’s those initial motivations that get you going in the language. I find that once I start learning a language the motivation becomes to reach fluency. The pleasure of discovering a new language and culture becomes it’s own motivation and reward.