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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Wang

I don’t really like talking about the languages I speak unless it is in a full conversation

While I am very interested in language learning, have many thoughts about it, and can share many personal experiences relating to it, I don’t really like talking about the languages I speak unless I’m having a full conversation about it.

This is because one or more of these three things happen.

1. I feel like I’m bragging, which is not what I’m trying to do. It’s not who I am.

2. I feel like a circus animal or a clown. It feels gimmicky and reductive. It’s like I’m just there to put on some kind of superficial show. It is kinda like how people yell at someone to take off their shirt or do a backflip; it’s dehumanizing.

3. I kinda feel like a fraud because I know my proficiency level and what exactly I am able to do in each language. I am comfortable with that. I’m trying to improve; I would like to learn more but I accept the level I’m at. However, without having an actual conversation about it, I can’t just articulate that, so if I say I speak X amount of languages, it just lacks nuance and accuracy, which makes me feel like I’m falsely advertising my abilities.

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