Learning languages for fun
There are many different reasons to learn languages, some practical, some intellectual, and some sentimental. Have you learnt, are you learning, or would you like to learn any languages purely for fun? If so, which languages and why?
I’m learning, or plan to learn, all the Celtic languages mainly for fun. I fell for Irish because of my interest in traditional Irish music. Same story with Scottish Gaelic. In the case of Welsh, I’m also studying it for practical reasons – before securing my current position, one of the jobs I applied for was based in Bangor in the heart of Welsh-speaking Welsh (y Fro Gymraeg) and a knowledge of Welsh was desirable for that job. Welsh is an ancestral language for me as well – my mum’s family are from Wales and spoke Welsh a few generations ago.
Czech is another language I’m learning mainly for fun, and to surprise and impress my Czech friends. I’d also like to visit the Czech Republic at some point, so my studies are partly practical.
Other languages I’d quite like to learn for fun, if I had the time and could find the relevant materials: a Polynesian language such as Hawai’ian or Maori; a Native American language such as Cherokee or Navajo; a ‘click’ language such as Xhosa or Zulu; and maybe Tibetan and Mongolian, mainly because I really like their alphabets. These are all interesting languages unlike any I already know and I’d like to find out more about the people who speak them.