Arguments Against Learning a Foreign Language

Learning other languages might help you, but it can also hurt you.

The process of learning another language may have some benefits. But before you decide to take the plunge and begin studying a second language, it might be advantageous to take the time to think about the disadvantages of learning a foreign language.

1 Expensive Classes

Learning a second language in or out of a college classroom is costly. In college, not only will you have to pay tuition for the class, but you will also have to purchase expensive textbooks, learning aids and even tutors in some instances. Most financial aid packages do not cover these supplemental materials. Because language textbooks, like other textbooks, are changing all the time, do not expect to get much when you resell your textbooks, either.

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2 Difficult Courses

No matter what a brochure tells you, courses are not easy. In fact, foreign language courses are some of the more difficult ones that you can take. It will take you at least a year to get a working knowledge of the basics of the vocabulary and usage, and many years more to master the language. If you have been out of school for some time, foreign language classes may be a difficult place to start when you return to the classroom.

3 Huge Time Investment

When learning a second language, be prepared to spend many hours in tedious study and memorization of grammar and vocabulary. Because learning a new language is largely based on memorization, you will have to memorize thousands of words over the course of your study. This, in addition to the multiple forms that many languages have for similar words, will take you years to master.

4 Limited Usefulness

Think about why you want to learn the language. If you are moving to another country for a long time, that might be reason to learn a language. If you are taking a vacation to a country where another language is spoken, perhaps trying to learn the language is not the best idea. Unless you are planning to use the language for a long period of time consistently, learning a second language is useful only up to a point.