Feeling at home in a language and culture

The other day a friend of a friend asked me whether I’d found a language and/or culture in which I felt ‘at home’. She told me about someone she knows who has studied many languages and is always looking for a language community (other than his native one) where he fits in and feels comfortable – he has yet to find one. I hadn’t really thought about language learning in this way before. Have you?

I suppose that whenever I visit other countries and communities I kind of try them on for size and imagine what it would be like to live in them in the medium to long term. Each one has aspects that appeal to me, and others that I’m not so keen on – things like language, food, climate, scenery, music, etc. I’ve felt reasonably at home in various parts of British Isles and Ireland, in Taipei and Hong Kong, and in Australia and New Zealand.

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This entry was posted in Language, Language learning.

One Response to Feeling at home in a language and culture

  1. bronz says:

    Definitely. In the past, I have always learned languages that I felt or at least wanted to feel at home with. But I think it easily becomes a wild goose chase; searching for the ideal can be fun, but getting the ideal is near impossible. There are a few languages that I have grown fond of, but the chances of me going to these speech communities for an extended or repeated number of times is very low. My life is where it is right now and I have other things to nurture in my own (speech) community.

    I think very often, for many (though certainly not all) linguaphiles, the fun is in the journey of learning itself. Once you’ve reached a certain goal or plateaued, it becomes easy to seek that fun in yet another language, unless you have a pragmatic goal to begin with that makes sticking with a select (few) language(s) a priority.