Reasons to Learn a Language, #926: Indulge Your Other Obsessions

Posted on 31/01/2014


When I switched on my DVR today, I found that something new had recorded: Little Manhattan. I muttered something about how I already have that, you silly machine, but before I deleted it I hovered over it just long enough to notice that it had recorded in Spanish. So I kept it.

This is a film I have seen many times. Soooo many times that I almost can’t justify watching it again. But, but. It’s important to keep up my language skills. Isn’t it?

How about you? Are you obsessed with celebrity gossip, but mocked mercilessly by your spouse for this? Buy People En Español. Do you feel a little silly watching The West Wing for the nineteenth time? Bet you won’t when you watch it in French. Can’t justify buying yet another cookbook? Oh yes, you can: this one’s in Italian.

Tell yourself, tell your spouse, tell your friends: no, no, it’s language study. It’s virtuous and I get to be productive and tick something off the New Year’s Resolution list before January is over. I get, should I be so inclined, to feel smug and superior.

Obsession, what obsession? It’s all in a good cause.


— for more hints and tips on language learning, buy Conquering Babel: A Practical Guide to Learning a Language here in the US and here in the UK.

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