Is learning a foreign language considered derogatory?

For fun, I’ve been doing Duolingo lessons in a foreign language. When I mentioned it at work, some coworkers thought it was funny, but one seemed really disturbed by the idea. It seems ridiculous to me since our intelligence agencies pretty much could not exist without lots of American clearance holders knowing languages other than English, so I hadn’t expected a negative reaction just from trying to learn a new skill. I’m not developing foreign contacts or talking to anyone abroad or even a tutor locally, just playing a free language game app on my phone. Is that still something that can be considered foreign allegiance?

Your coworker is narrow minded, disregard their opinion. I can tell you from personal experience language skills open a lot of doors, including in gov and outside it.


Not at all. That coworker sounds ridiculous. People with foreign language knowledge are highly sought after in the IC/government community.


Not at all, your coworker is silly.


Thanks all, that’s about what I thought, but I was so thrown that I thought maybe I was completely off-base with my expectations lol.

You’re playing a “free app” game on your phone that teaches you a language? I would have some concerns, not about your desire to learn a language but about the potential risks of the app itself. Did you do any research on the app or it’s developer?

OP mentioned they were using Duolingo which is a pretty reputable developer. I myself am coming up on a 160 day streak on their app

I understand that but my question was for the more general case. Did the OP (or anyone else using such an app for a similar purpose) perform their due diligence before using the app.