Not a Gift

On a forum I belong to, someone asked me if I was learning Korean for personal or professional reasons. I explained that it was for personal reasons. (Namely, I married someone who’s first language is not English, which obligates me to learn his language; to communicate with in-laws; because we plan on living in Korea again someday; because I’ve studied two foreign languages other than Korean and mastered neither; because I like the secret code of Hangul.)

The person who asked wrote back that she wanted to learn a foreign language but didn’t have “the gift” for languages.

I replied that it’s not a gift unless you’re raised in a bilingual household. Then it’s a gift that’s been given to you.

For nearly every other person who learns another language, it’s really hard work that gets them there. I’m not going to take that accomplishment away from Good Man, Father, Special Forces, and anyone else I know who’s bilingual. And heck, when I eventually feel accomplished in Korean, I’m not going to take that away from me.