learning two or more languages at the same time
I tried in a period to combine between Turkish and Spanish but I could not manage it, that made me focusing on Turkish and the beginning and studieng little spanish and now it is opposite I am focusing on Spanish, since I have begun to go to a spansih course , and I do not spend much time wth Turkish. I feel that my ability to learn spansih words phrases has become stronger.
Two years ago I also tried to improve my English knowledge and took a Spanish course for beginners both at the same time. (Our local community college offered a Spanish course for adult beginners that time). So I thought I have to take that chance to learn Spanish.
The complete course was a total disaster for me and a waste of time. Every time that I had to respond to the teacher in Spanish my brain was stuck with the English vocabulary.
Sometimes I responded in English that came almost naturally out of my mouth. The teacher asked me why I sometimes try to speak English at the Spanish course. I answered to her that I try to learn English and Spanish both at the same time.
She told me that this is not a good idea and my brain might get confused even if I am a little bit under pressure to speak correctly in the Spanish couse.
Today I try to improve my English and Spanish knowledge by myself both at the same time without any pressure to get things done. It works fine although I have to admit that my progress in Spanish is very slow. :(
Hi you all
I thank you all for your posts, nice to know the experience of others in learning languages. I thought that there are few poeple like me who are interested in languages :) But I became suprised that there many people who really love languages...
Four years ago I studied in England for one study-year as an exchange student. And it happened with me that sometimes I was talking Norwegian or Kurdish to my non-norwegian and non-kurdish freinds and some time I talked English with my norwegian friends...It happened without my control. One time I was talking to a german friend, she was smiling at me and I did not pay attention to why she was smilieng ,as I was finished with talking. She said Brusk sorry I understand nothing from you because I do not understand Norwegian :) :)...
I should read my posts better before I send them . I should have written "I've learned" and " I think that my reading and listening abilities.."
The idea of mixing up two languages by studying them at same time used to bother me also. If I try to think of word in Spanish sometimes I will come up with the word in Russian before I can think of the Spanish one. I think that, (or at least I hope that) this is because I have studied Russian a lot more than I have studied Spanish, (not because I have actually confused the two languages.) Perhaps, I don’t know a word well enough in Spanish to recall it when I’m trying to speak. Or maybe it's because I’ve learn the word by rote and when I say ‘to read” to myself in English,”читать” in Russian just comes to mind automatically and I have to make an extra effort to recall “leer” in Spanish. I don’t know.
I used to think that my reading and listening abilities used to be about the same in Russian and Spanish. But I’ve been concentrating on Russian, using LingQ for over 6 months now, and my passive Russian has improved. Right now I am just listening to Spanish and not trying to say much. When I reach to a goal that I have set for myself in Russian I will concentrate on Spanish.
Also, because of the different ways I studied in the past; (when I was more clueless about language learning than I am now), I could speak some Russian, but I could not make conversation in Spanish, even though I probably understood Spanish just as well or better than Russian at one time.
I find that when the weaker I am in a language, the more likely that one of my neural networks wants to go to another language. I will be struggling to say something in Russian and my brain is giving me Japanese sentence structure. I just keep going and ignore the signals my cowardly brain is giving me.
I'm currently studying four languages at once, unless you count my study of English as another one, for I am studying new vocabulary words daily. These languages are, in order of how well I know the languages, Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), German, and French. To tell you the truth, I don't really mix up any of them with Arabic, which is pretty distinct, and only very rarely do I mix up Chinese with any of them. However, more often do I speak German when trying to speak French, and that is because I spend only a few hours a week working on French as opposed to a greater time on German. I think that with greater proficiency this changes, and I'm slowly feeling that myself. German and French I'm finding have some similar vocabulary words that are also in common with English, so that seems to be the main cause of this confusion.
Also, I think that it's probably a better idea to study languages that are more distinct at the same time rather than those closer to each other. I write this from my personal experience. For example, in my case, Arabic is semitic, German is germanic, French is romantic (along with Spanish, Italian is very much from Latin), and Chinese is different than them all. I don't want to begin Persian or Hebrew until my Arabic is a little bit higher and I feel more comfortable reading novels and watching the news, which should be less than 6 months away. I was recommended not to begin those other languages earlier because I would mix them up.
I'm currently learning 3 languages at the moment - but my main focus still remains on one, yet I do spend some time (here and there) in the other 2. Probably because I am more advanced in the main one, I can go through material that isn't so boring, whereas with the other 2 languages, I'm still at a relative beginner level.
Debbie, I'm getting a little "cross-talk" but I find it from slightly another angle. Some words in language B are written the same way in language A but have a different meaning, so when I am reading language B (one that I'm fairly new to and I'm still trying to catch it's rhythm) my brain shoves the meaning of language A in my face while I'm reading it. I'm not worried as I'm certain it will fix itself in the long run. It's just annoying at the moment as it can really break my train of concentration.
Do you ever find yourself mixing your languages when you speak? I'm at different levels in three languages and when speaking in one language, I frequently inadvertently throw in words from another language. I'm hoping that with more proficiency this will change. Is this something you've dealt with?
I think it is quite OK to study more than one language at a time. It probably is good for the brain. The only difficulty I find is that I am usually more motivated to study one language than the other, and end up being obsessed by it, so that I am unable to spend enough time on the second language. But if you can do it, go for it.
I like also to ask others members the same question :) I like to know what "you members" think about learning a two lanugaes or more at the same time?
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