Languages Are for Everyone
Reflections on the Instagram language learning community
I spend much of my screen time on Instagram. It’s an incredibly inspiring and, from my experience, positive place — an anomaly inside a digital world that feels increasingly abrasive. Through Instagram, I’ve found and followed artistic figure skaters, movement experts, world-class dancers, female entrepreneurs and so many other talented and passionate creatives.
Instagram has also given me a community of people from across the world who share my hobby of language learning. This has not replaced my actual community, the friends and family I can physically hug, laugh with and cry on. But it’s enhanced my life and my #joyoflanguages because these are “my people.” They get what it’s like to have the burning desire to consume, create, curate and communicate content in another, foreign language. They, too, love the joy of the journey and the pursuit of the goal.
As I reflect on the language learning community I’ve found through Instagram, what I love, maybe the most, is that it confirms that languages are for everyone.
Languages are for everyone.
Young. Old. Tall. Short. Black. White. From Europe. From Asia. From Mexico. From Wherever. Liberal. Conservative. City Person. Country Person. Millionaire. Less Affluent. Religious or Not. Musical or Not. Athletic or Not. Whatever.
Languages connect people who otherwise might not have been connected.
“Communication leads to community — that is, to understanding, intimacy, and the mutual valuing that was previously lacking.” Rollo May
Through Instagram, my circle of friends has widened, and through the diversity of that circle, I am able to continue learning, growing, taking in and giving back. As we’ve all heard, we’re the average of the people we’re the closest to, and “my people,” the language learning community, are brilliant, motivated humans. They also keep me accountable to staying on top of my language studies.
Languages are approachable.
Language learning today is not as it was when I was in high school and college. Creative entrepreneurs have used today’s technology to make languages more approachable and easier (and more fun!) to learn. Now, you can easily turn your personal time into a language-immersive experience. YouTube, Netflix, Spotify, italki, Duolingo, Amazon (for books and software), blogs, apps, social media, local Meetup groups…the potential is there and for you to grab.
It’s not just languages that are approachable, either. Language learners are approachable. I can ask anyone in my Instagram circle any question and know that I will receive a thoughtful and educated answer.
Join the language learning community on Instagram.
If you are inspired to start learning a language, or to continue where you left off years ago, I’d be happy to share my favorite language learning Instagram accounts. If you want hashtags to search on Instagram, use #polyglot, #languagelearning, #learninglanguages, and any other variation on those.
Happy language learning!