Earlier this month I had a car accident, which, in the end, left me with a lot more free time than I knew what to do with. For reasons unknown, I immediately started studying Spanish. Why Spanish, when I could continue mastering Korean, Japanese, or French? Yes, I asked myself the same thing.
Maybe there are a few reasons, though.
To one friend, I replied reason #1: "Well, whenever I'm with this group of friends, we are constantly switching between English, Japanese, and Korean. There's always 2+ people in the group who will understand what has been said, so it's easy to get carried away and make horribly mix-matched sentences. ...but he doesn't know Japanese or Korean. He doesn't have a second language to share with us during conversations. So, I figured I could learn some Spanish and then the ratios would be back in order!"
This is actually true. I am learning Spanish for him. I do want to help him fit in and feel involved. Besides, there are others in larger versions of our group of friends who know Spanish as well. He and they are just never around at the same time!
Reason #2 is even simpler: I need to! How dare I live in Texas for so long without making more of an effort! There are television channels to practice with, people to practice speaking with, food labels to read! Spanish is everywhere down here, and I'd be a fool to continue ignoring it just because "I can get by."
Reason #3 (I'm struggling now because I said a "few" reasons, and a "few" is 3): Job prospects. It has been a goal of mine to work in an international setting, as well as to work with multiple languages. In the event that I had to live and work in the U.S., Spanish-English language pairings in the career world would outrank any other language pairings. It just sucks that I still have to learn Spanish when I've gotten so far with other languages.
...but, you know, reason #3 sounds awfully close to reason #2, so here's one more.
Reason #4: I think I liking picking up new languages. I'm always more eager to start learning a new language, and less eager to master fluency. It's just what I'm used to, how I grew up. However, I hope that mindset will start to change. It really is disturbing thinking of all the languages I could be fluent in by now if I had studied them all for at least 4 years straight!