I study German because it helps me reconnect with a heritage and culture that was suppressed for decades in my family. My grandmother arrived in the United States from Germany after World War II at a time when her language and traditions were stigmatized, and subsequently, they became lost family history. Learning the language has helped rekindle some of those lost traditions and reconnect with my extended German family. (Incidentally, my interest in German also led me to my role here at Babbel, so there were unexpected, pleasant professional benefits as well.)
Americans Have Inspiring Reasons For Learning Languages
Speaking with my fellow U.S. teammates, it became clear that everyone has a story to tell about why they chose to learn a language.
Stepping Out Of Your Comfort Zone
“I grew up learning Spanish in school, but I got slightly more serious about it in college after I made the decision to study abroad in Madrid. I initially thought about going somewhere like New Zealand or Australia, but I felt that an English-language program would have been too much of a cop out. I decided to immerse myself in a new country and a much less familiar language as well. It was significantly more challenging — and significantly more rewarding.”
—Steph, Content Producer
Getting To Know Your Local Community
“My hometown in New Jersey had a relatively large Spanish-speaking population. I studied Spanish because I wanted to better connect with my community — my classmates, my neighbors, the other players on my soccer team. Added bonus: I could impress the workers at the empanada shop with my language skills.”
—Dylan, Senior Content Producer
Connecting With Your Cultural Heritage
“Despite being born in the United States, I’ve considered myself Irish my entire life. This illusion was somewhat shattered, though, when I went to Ireland on a major holiday there and was left standing awkwardly as everyone in the bar I was at burst into the Irish national anthem — in Gaelic. Since then, I’ve tried to learn at least a little of the language to connect with my ancestors.”
—Thomas, Editorial Fellow
Your Turn—Tell Us Your Reason For Learning A Language
Now it’s your turn to share your story. Over the next few weeks, the Babbel U.S. team will be collecting and sharing anecdotes from language learners and enthusiasts, and we want to hear from you. Tell us your humorous, practical or heartfelt story of why you’ve chosen to study a new language, and we may feature it on the magazine or our social channels! Don’t worry — we’ll reach out to you before we publish anything.
Your stories are important to us. We can’t wait to hear from you!