17 Things You’ll Only Understand If You Studied A Foreign Language At University

Beyond being able to swear, obviously.

1. A long time ago, when you decided that you liked foreign languages, you thought one of these would be useful and probably bought one.

2. But quickly realised that searching for words you don’t know online is actually a lot quicker.

3. While you may never open that dictionary, you know that remembering vocabulary is the hardest thing in the world. But that swear word you learnt when you were 10 has never been forgotten.

4. You also now know the shortcut to every accent.

5. You also know the quickest, and cheapest, places to buy translations of the books you were meant to read in the original language.

6. But you can probably spin off a couple of recited lines from a French book.

7. Speaking of work, the words ‘oral exam’ stopped being funny a long time ago.

8. And despite the fact you’ll never match up to this kid who can speak 11 languages

9. …you can speak a foreign language and that’s pretty awesome.

10. You probably got the chance to travel abroad, too.

11. When someone tells you: “OMG You speak [insert language here]”, you act like this.

12. Although, secretly, you feel like this.

13. And when you overhear someone having a private conversation in the language you’ve learnt, you’ll secretly smile because you know.

14. You still get a little excited when you’re walking around and hear someone speaking that language.

15. If you speak French, you’ve probably heard the phrase, “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi, ce soir”, about 42 times.

16. When you go to another country, you always try and learn some phrases. I mean, you’re obviously a language genius. And despite receiving this reaction:

17. At least you don’t look silly, like these Apprentice contestants in Dubai.

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Siraj Datoo is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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