Don’t Be Condescending to Other Language Learners
Don’t Be Condescending To Other Language Learners
We’ve all been in two situations in our life. The first, where we know a lot more than someone and their lack of knowledge is painful. The second situation is when we know absolutely nothing about a subject and we’re in an environment which terrifies us. With both in mind, we should always make sure that we don’t be condescending to other language learners.
It is a case of treat others how you would like to be treated, but it’s also more than that.
As language learners, we’re all on a continuous scale of progression. Someone is always worse than you, and someone is always better than you. Help out others lower down on the scale than you, and get help from those higher up on the scale. We’ll all be better off.
Learning a new language isn’t an opportunity to show off. Yes, you’re learning a new skill. Yes, it’s something a lot of people wish they could do. But if you want to use the skill to be more attractive and generally great to be around, then you need to let your talking do the talking for itself.
Talking to other learners is just the same as talking to foreigners. Being nice goes a long way, and it helps you and the other person out. Doing the opposite will give you the opposite.
Also, different people have different goals. Don’t be condescending to the guy who only wants to know enough to get him out of an emergency situation: If you both get stuck on a mountain, the fifty word vocabulary he has might save your life.
Learning a language should be about expanding your horizons and making the world a better place. That’s never going to happen if you encourage people to give up. It’ll also mean you’re less likely to reach your own goals, because the point of socialising is to socialise, not to sit around and correct people and make them feel they’ve wasted their time.
In short, don’t be condescending. It gets you nowhere, and makes people hate you.
Short post today. Catching up on my Mandarin Project, as I spent yesterday setting up the Mailing List and Writing 5 Things You Need To Know Before You Start a New Language.