This is assuming you do neither now. Would you like to be conversational in a language other than your native tongue, or would you like to be proficient on a musical instrument?
Well, I do play a couple musical instruments. I also speak another language than the one I learned at home. So… given a choice between *another *instrument and *another *language I’ll go for another language.
I’d love to do both, but I think another language would offer more pleasure (if I could choose the language- wouldn’t particularly care to become fluent in Hungarian or a Tibetan dialect). For purely practical reasons I’d choose Spanish, though I’d really rather learn Italian.
I picked language. 20 years ago I would have picked instrument.
Well, I’m bilingual and I can play a musical instrument, but I’d rather learn another new language than learn to play a new musical instrument. Which is why I’m always studying languages and not musical instruments.
I already play a bunch of instruments. Language for the win!
I picked instrument. I play flute, oboe, piccolo, tenor sax, piano, djembe, and dunduns, and there’s about a quadrillion other instruments I want to learn.
My three years of high school French were enough to get me through Europe for three months, so I hope no one takes offense at this, but music for me is a more universal language.
I would like to become good at playing music again. I’m way out of practice.
Instrument, no question. Just like Kolga said, music is a universal language.
I’d say playing drums like Neil Peart beats speaking Spanish by a longshot.
If I believed in the soul, I’d sell it to play piano like Nat King Cole.
Seriously, why not a ‘both’ option? Even if I didn’t do both now, I wouldn’t want to choose between the two.
be proficient on a musical instrument
I love music, but am content to appreciate music played well by somebody else, while not being able to understand or communicate with people frustrates me deeply on occasion.
Plus, maybe my standards and/or talents are different from others here, but to me it’d also be a LOT less effort to get up to practical speed on another language than to be performance-level proficient at an instrument. Mastering playing a few songs well like “Shenandoah” on the harmonica doesn’t count as “I can play the harmonica”, I’d want to be able to play melodies as they stream through my head. Similarly, I wouldn’t consider mastering a few phrases and responses like “where’s the bathroom?” or “This is Mr. Thibaud, he is an engineer” as speaking another language.
In that context, I am pretty certain I could get to ungrammatical and bad-friend-word-using fluency in Spanish in under a year with part-time studying, but would take a lot longer before I’d stand to listen to myself play anything on an instrument.
And, with each language learned, my domain for making and appreciating puns or cross-language loan or root words grows!
I speak six languages in addition to my native language, so with that in mind I picked musical instruments: the only instrument I play is air guitar :(. However, if I imagine being reduced to zero instruments and one native language, I would always pick learning a second language over playing an instrument, provided that I would be able to reach a high level of fluency (otherwise it wouldn’t be worth it, and it would just be frustrating).
I already know a second language well enough to read it, and I would love to be a musician.
I already know a couple of different non-natal languages to varying degrees. I also play (played) a musical instrument. I’d definitely prefer to add another language to the repertoire. Maybe French, so I’d not have to use the spell checker for “repertoire.”
Play an instrument. I’m handy with languages anyway, but music transcends language, and I’ve never mastered an instrument.
I’m working on my third language. I think I made my choice.