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What Your Zodiac Sign Can Tell You About Your Language-Learning Habits

Do Geminis approach language-learning differently than Leos? You may or may not think astrology is dumb, but admit it: these things are fun to read.

Horoscope junky, strict skeptic or somewhere in between: if you clicked on this, you’re probably part of the vast cross-section of people who take pleasure in reading internet listicles that claim to have them all figured out.

Unbeknownst to most people, astrology is an incredibly complex system that’s been studied and fine-tuned for thousands of years, and it involves a lot more than merely lumping you in with the millions of other people born in the same month as you. But that’s not what we’re doing here today.

This, my friends, is a pop-culture serving of frivolous fun — but if some of what you read here is a little too real for comfort, don’t rule out looking up your natal Mercury placement for an even more targeted read on your learning and communication style.

Aries

You probably impulse-clicked your way into this article, and you’ll probably impulse-buy your next language-learning subscription. There’s no real "why" behind your decision to pick up a new language. Asking "why" would be like asking why neurons "fire" instead of "sploosh." They just do, and Aries "just does." You’re a Nike commercial personified, and you’re the zodiac’s initiator. Your best habit is your bravery, which is what lets you start something new without waffling near the edge. Your worst habit is never finishing what you start. You might struggle to stay the course with your secondary language, which is why you should opt for a language app that’s simple, direct, and to-the-point — like you. But maybe one that’s gamified, so it can trigger your competitive instincts. A Capricorn "succeeds." An Aries "wins."

Taurus

You might initially bristle at the thought of disrupting your routine (or learning any sort of new trick, really), but when you do eventually come around to pulling the trigger on a new course of language study, you’re in it for the long haul. The long haul will involve small, predictable rituals that appear to revolve around your learning, but are in fact calibrated to deliver your daily recommended serving of dopamine hits: a particular armchair you only sit in when you review your grammar tables; a mug of artisanal hot cocoa to savor as you nail your pronunciation; or frequent trips to the pantry to "reward yourself." You don’t generally like "new" unless "new" gives you an excuse to be cozy and well-fed. It is probably an actual fact that if only Tauruses learned languages from now on, language education stocks would rise in tandem with Seamless. Once you’ve got your snacks lined up, opt for a tool that takes a gradual, methodical approach.

Gemini

Why does Gemini have a twin? So it can have someone to talk to while it’s stuck in the womb for nine boring months. Geminis are known for their chattiness, but they’re also arguably the zodiac’s best language whizzes. You’re quick, curious and inexplicably capable of retaining an entire database worth of useless trivia. In this case, the trivia has a practical application, but you’re more concerned with information that’s stimulating (versus useful). Ever a jack-of-all-trades, you probably already have a mediocre grasp on nine different languages, but unlike your perfectionist Virgo cousin, you’re also way more likely to actually work a room and forge connections with your rudimentary French basics. Gemini is also the sign of communications (like, you know, Wi-Fi and Twitter). You’ll probably love absorbing new languages through foreign-language podcasts, or with a mobile app that offers quick, bite-sized lessons.

Cancer

Cancer does love its nest, so you’ll probably be amenable to any sort of language class that doesn’t require you to put on pants. Fortunately, there are all sorts of online courses you can take from the comfort of your home, and you’ll probably resonate best with the section that teaches you to talk about your feelings. Crabs aren’t just weepy homebodies who eat their emotions, though. They’re also wacky creative types who will probably find a way to weave their learnings into a bracingly absurd spoken-word performance. With all of that said, Cancers function best when "caretaker mode" is activated. You might go further in your language studies if you can find a beginner student to mentor, or appoint yourself as the mother hen of an intimate study group.

Leo

You either love the spotlight, or you love pretending to hate attention. Whether you’re the appointed social ringleader of your pride or a slightly more subdued stand-up comedian with an audience of one or two, you’re a natural entertainer, and you love to feel appreciated for your performance. Language-learning is probably less of a solo venture for you than an art form you can cultivate for bragging rights (or, you know, expressive purposes. Madonna’s "Express Yourself" is basically Leo in pop-song form). Things generally start to click for you around the point where you can sass someone in a different tongue, but as a culture vulture, you’ll also love boosting your studies by watching foreign-language plays or movies, or heading out to see that Icelandic band that’s in town.

Virgo

Oh, diligent, meticulous one: you’ll probably attain U.N. interpreter levels of fluency before you ever take your new language skills for a spin in public. That’s okay, though. Language is something you learn for your own nerdy purposes — and to give you an excuse to make more color-coded flash cards. You’ve got a knack for workflow and systemization, which is why you’ll probably appreciate a language app that has a method to its madness (and a proven efficacy rate). Give your hyper-analytical mind an outlet by reading language blogs, or schooling yourself in the nitty-gritty field of linguistics. Virgo is also the sign of service, so a natural next step would be to practice your language skills in a "helper" role: perhaps as a nurse or a vet with foreign clients, or a medical interpreter. If all else fails, you could always train your efforts on developing an extremely well-rounded sense of sarcasm.

Libra

You’re a natural socialite and arbiter of good taste, and people with good taste love to feel cultured. You know who’s cultured? People who know multiple languages. You might be motivated by a desire to expand the delicate touch of your fine social graces to an even larger swath of people, but let’s be real: you’re also a bit of a snob. Still, Libras are constantly going out of their way to accommodate others, so it makes sense that you’d want to be able to offer directions to tourists in your own city. Libra is also the sign of partnership, and you hate doing things alone. You’ll probably be more inclined to learn a new language if it’s a thing you can do with bae. Single? There might be a multilingual speed-dating night in your area where you can charm two birds with one stone.

Scorpio

Scorpios don’t "do" moderation. You’re either all in, or you’re all out. When you set your sights on something, you skip the training wheels completely and you head right for the stick-shift. It’s really no different with any language you decide to learn, so don’t expect to waffle too long over basic greetings and polite "my name is" fodder. You came here to learn the art of seducing sexy foreigners and telling people off. Because you might binge on language lessons the same way you binge on House of Cards, a language app that paces itself with timed repetition and spacing is probably your best bet. Having said all of that, you might cut to the chase and simply skip ahead to the part that teaches you how to ask probing, provocative questions.

Sagittarius

As the zodiac’s requisite globe-trotter, your room is probably already littered with discarded travel guides and basic language tutorials from that time you backpacked through Laos. Centaurs shoot their gleeful, optimistic arrows all over the world, but they tend to know where most of them landed: an organizational system to defy organizational systems (and horrify the Virgos in their midst). You probably know where to find your Dutch primer if and when you’ll need it again, but you’re happy to do at least a few things partially well. Sagittarius is also the sign of higher education, so it’d be fitting for you to learn in a more academic setting — or maybe teach English abroad while you master the host language if that sounds too stuffy. Either way, you’re not an armchair linguist: you’d just rather learn through cultural immersion.

Capricorn

As the sign of authority and tradition, you’re probably the least inclined of all the signs to buy into a new-fangled language app. You trust institutional knowledge and academia, or maybe whatever’s been tried and tested (by your dad). You’re the goddamn adult in the room, and you know that real mastery takes years of hard work. If you do opt for a more tech-forward approach, it’ll probably be one that’s been thoroughly vetted by experts and proven to work. And you’re proven to work. You’ll diligently tackle lessons one through 40, and then move on to something more advanced when you’re done. The only way out is up the mountainside, ya goat, and you might not stop until you’re leading a lecture hall or giving a TED Talk in your new language.

Aquarius

Forget your grade-school implements. You’re the sign of technology, innovation, and all things "future," and as the ultimate early adopter, you’re probably already fiddling around with a bevy of other apps your normie friends will hear about in five months. Lifehacks? Love it. Disruption? Name of the game. Your approach to language-learning is the same as your approach to everything else: innovative and bleeding-edge. You might be one of the most community-oriented signs, but you also relish maintaining your brilliant weirdo status. You might look to online forums like Reddit and Quora to answer some of your language-related questions, or you might even find some sort of meet-up in your area to practice your skills (and your cool, aloof stance).

Pisces

What day is it again? You might struggle to nail down the specifics of a language (or stay tethered to planet Earth long enough to memorize a conjugation table), so you’ll want to leave plenty of time for daydreaming during your lessons. You’re more likely to decipher the intonation and the emotional content of the language you’re studying than its grammar and syntax rules, but in a lot of ways, this makes you more talented at intuiting your way through conversations in your studied language. What’s the point of communicating if you can’t really communicate? You’re forever fluent in "energy," and "energy" is a universal tongue.

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