I’ve attempted learning many different languages over the years, for a number of different reasons. At high school, we learned French and German. For fun, I tried to pick up Esperanto. To learn more about the culture whilst I lived in New Zealand, I took classes in Maori. In addition to these, I’ve picked up a few words of various languages through friends and travel.

Whilst I often wonder why none of these languages have ever really stuck, I mostly put it down to laziness on my part. Becoming proficient in any language requires a degree of dedication that I appear not to have (at the moment at least). The prevalence of English and the countries I’ve lived in (all of which have been predominantly English-speaking) have all contributed to this laziness.

So I’m really in awe of people who dedicate their time to practising and really getting to grips with all aspects of their chosen tongue. The main thing these people seem to have in common is a real reason for wanting to speak the language, whether it be family connections, an upcoming holiday or a move overseas.

What’s your motivation for learning?