Lesson learned: There is no such thing as a useless language. They will all come in handy sooner or later, so don’t let others determine what you learn. Allow yourself to be guided by your own interests and convictions.
I met Lotte, a Dutch girl, whilst camping in Northern Sardinia. She didn’t speak much English and we both became frustrated at our inability to communicate. We still had a great time together, but something was missing: a sense of incompleteness kept nagging at me, so I decided to learn Dutch. Lotte and I lost touch, but the language stayed with me. People insisted that Dutch was a completely useless language – they all speak English – but I stuck to it. I read books and magazines that my friends would bring back from the Netherlands. I knew I would use the language sooner or later, and have been proved right. Now I speak Dutch every day with my Dutch housemate. Speaking and expanding Dutch has become easy, effortless and interesting. The old adage that one must move to a country to learn the language is simply not true.
Comment: Indeed, there is no such thing as a useless language. If I didn’t listen to my mother when I was thirteen, I’d know Swahili, not Russian.