What All Language Students Hate To Hear

10th March 2017 Leigh Horan Careers and Finance

Image of annoyed woman

Every student has certain things they don’t want to hear, such as questions surrounding their future career and challenges to prove how knowledgeable they are now. These questions are often frustrating and irritating. Trying to get your relatives to understand that you don’t want to be an X, is something of a fruitless exercise. Every course comes with its pet peeves so with this in mind we’re taking a look at the few things language students just hate to hear.

Translate this!

Learning another language is an incredibly difficult task, and though you’re spending your degree learning it, that doesn’t mean you’re fluent. You could be learning a language your whole life and still get stumped by the conjugation of a certain verb. Being asked to translate a passage in a book or a phrase is harder than it may seem to those not studying languages, especially as it’s rare to ever find a literal translation.

Image of someone using an app to translate

Hey, I know some (insert language here)!

Cool, it’s nice that people are interested in sharing their language skills but if you can’t say more than ‘hello’ and ‘where is the toilet?’ then you don’t know much of that language. At least, you don’t know enough to boast about, and this means your efforts can come across as a bit patronising to someone who has been studying the language seriously.

Being asked if you’re fluent

It can take years and years of constant learning to become fluent in a language, and even people who have been learning a second language from the moment they could speak will struggle from time to time. Asking a language student if they’re fluent, or throwing out a random word and asking for a translation is like asking a history student to tell you a significant historical event for a random year.

Being judged for your language choices

No, I didn’t know that learning Chinese would make more sense *rolls eyes*. The language you choose to learn will depend on a lot of things, and sometimes you don’t choose for the purposes of making yourself more employable. Obviously, the result of a degree is usually to make getting a better quality of life more achievable via a well-paying job, but a lot of language students are often simply pursuing their passions.

Ooh, a holiday!

Image of holiday abroad


Look, we’re not going to deny that being able to study or work abroad for a year of our studies isn’t a major perk, and it’s something all language students eagerly look forward to. However, it can be a bit annoying when our year abroad, in which we’re far from home, family and friends and have to work out nearly everything on our own, is referred to as a holiday. A holiday is a time in which you relax and rest. A year abroad involves usual life, simply in another country. Plus, we’re often without as much money as we would like and sometimes our chosen language means we’re living in countries that don’t exactly have hospitable climates.

What are the course related things you hate to hear? Let us know in the comments.

Leigh Horan

Leigh Horan

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