Are polyglots underappreciated?

Hi chums!

Today's language post is about how those who are able to speak more than one language are often under appreciated. I am not writing to be bitter or negative, I just think it's interesting how such a major skill doesn't always seem to be big deal to anyone but that person who has achieved fluency.

Also I would like to add before you start reading that I am not fluent in any other languages other than English (and barely that to be honest!)

I think that it is true in lots of cases that you can't appreciate how hard something is until you try it yourself. For example some people are quite happy to sit at home watching the Olympics and cringe when a diver makes a mistake in their dive or if a gymnast falls off the vault etc. Often we can under appreciate other's skills and the amount of effort they put into what they do. We can watch the Olympics for the two weeks they're on and often forget that the athletes have put in 4 years of training. I know I'm definitely guilty of this!

It will never fail to amaze me how quickly people can pass over the fact that someone can speak another language in a conversation.

"So you can speak Spanish and French?" - "Yes" - "Oh ok cool"

I feel like this can be passed over so quickly but to me it's like "omg you are a genius I want to be you how did you do it?!" At the same time I guess that's what interests me so maybe that's why I get a bit nerdy/fangirl about it!

I feel like learning a language is such a hard thing to do and it's easy to just pass over how talented polyglots are.

This is just one view, but on the other hand I don''t know what could be done to show just how impressive it is. Learning a language doesn't quite work like other things. For example, (carrying on with the Olympics example) thousands of people pay to see the athletes and through this they are showing their appreciation for the sport and the sportsmen and women themselves (and the medals are a pretty obvious reward!)

But what about languages?

"So you can speak Spanish and French?" - "Yes" - "Brilliant I've got a medal right here for you!"

That just would never happen in a million years, but that doesn't mean it's not impressive. I always thought in school that the more I learn a subject, the more I appreciate how clever my teachers were because I found a lot of things super hard!

So, for me, the more I try and learn a language, the more appreciate just how hard it is to become fluent and I have so much respect for anyone who has achieved fluency in another language.

Although I feel this way, I don't think I show it enough because I'm not sure there is any way that you can show how amazing polyglots are. That's why I wanted to write this post, because I know I've got a long, loooong, loooooooong way to go before I become fluent (because hopefully that will happen one day fingers crossed!) and I wanted to show the love for all the polyglots out there!

Please let me know in the comments below:

What language are you studying/fluent in? How you think people could show more appreciation towards polyglots?

Thanks for reading!



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