Bill Gates probably doesn’t have a lot of regrets in life in general. After all, you don’t get to be the fourth richest person in the world with a net worth of $146 billion (per Celebrity Net Worth) by second-guessing yourself a lot. That said, it is pretty impossible to get to adulthood without wondering about a path not taken, a person not pursued, an opportunity not grabbed, or a passion not explored.

Gates has already admitted that he regrets not thanking Melinda Gates enough during their marriage, but that’s not his biggest regret. He’s also expressed regret over another thing: the Covid-19 pandemic. Gates warned people six years ago that the biggest threat to humanity was a pandemic, not a war, per the Wall Street Journal. He’s spent considerable time and hundreds of millions of dollars trying to create systems to track diseases and find ways to get vaccines to market faster. “I wish I had done more to call attention to the danger,” Gates said to the WSJ. “I feel terrible. The whole point of talking about it was that we could take action and minimize the damage.”

But this doesn’t appear to be Gates’ biggest regret; he had little control over getting people to take him seriously. Keep reading to find out Gates’ totally relatable regret.

There's one thing Bill Gates wishes he'd spent time learning

Bill Gates’ primary regret in life is both simple and common, and it may surprise you. His biggest regret is that he doesn’t know any foreign languages, per Insider. “I feel pretty stupid that I don’t know any foreign languages,” Gates shared during a Reddit AMA (via CNet). “I took Latin and Greek in high school and got A’s and I guess it helps my vocabulary but I wish I knew French or Arabic or Chinese.”

Most people learn a foreign language through their family or in school. But consider the case of Gates, who was introduced to computers in high school. He taught other students about them and even hacked the school’s scheduling system to put himself in classes with girls, per CNBC. Gates learned a language in high school, but it was the old programming language BASIC, rather than Spanish or French. After high school, he was off to Harvard, where he’d have another opportunity to learn a foreign language. But we all know what happened next: He dropped out in 1975 during his sophomore year to found Microsoft, per CNBC.

Gates should have a little extra time on his hands now that he’s a bachelor again. The good news is, there are plenty of opportunities for him to learn a language now via Berlitz, Duolingo, and other apps, or via a private tutor. He has the time and the money to eliminate this regret from his life.

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