Do you think it's a good idea to learn languages simultaneously? - TennisForum.com

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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old Apr 22nd, 2006, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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Do you think it's a good idea to learn languages simultaneously?

Has anyone done it successfully? Any tips? Does anyone not recommend it?

I want to learn French and German just purely out of interest. Right now, I know the basics like the alphabet (pronunciation) and some phrases. Should I tackle both at the same time?

I'm 26. I don't know if that means anything for my linguistic potential but I do know that adults languages differently to children?

Any help/advice will be appreciated. Once I can master French and German (if ever), I plan to learn Russian too. I'm not crazy enough to take on three at the same time.
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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old Apr 22nd, 2006, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam L
Has anyone done it successfully? Any tips? Does anyone not recommend it?

I want to learn French and German just purely out of interest. Right now, I know the basics like the alphabet (pronunciation) and some phrases. Should I tackle both at the same time?

I'm 26. I don't know if that means anything for my linguistic potential but I do know that adults languages differently to children?

Any help/advice will be appreciated. Once I can master French and German (if ever), I plan to learn Russian too. I'm not crazy enough to take on three at the same time.
it should be no problem if languages are significantly different from each other, so it should work with french and german. and it does not matter how old you are once you get older than 14. children below that age learn languages "better", at least when it gets to pronounciation. just make sure you can practice regularly.
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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old Apr 22nd, 2006, 12:40 PM
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I was taking a Spanish and French at the sametime. Since they are both romance languages they have some things incommon and things would get confusing at times. Since the languages u want to learn are so different it shouldn't be too hard.

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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old Apr 22nd, 2006, 01:05 PM
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i don't think you'll have much problems with that, german and french couldn't be further apart from eachother

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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old Apr 22nd, 2006, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
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Guys, I thought it would be harder to learn two languages that are different from each other?

I thought it'd be easier to learn like say two Romance languages at the same time like French/Spanish or two Germanic languages at the same time like Dutch/German?

No?
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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old Apr 22nd, 2006, 01:13 PM
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Yes I think it's a good idea. There may be occasional slip-ups but your brain should be more than capable of handling all the information. The downside is that you have to spend twice as long studying to reach a certain level in each language. The upside is that, if you do it, you will have a real sense of achievement and nobody will be able to call you lazy (not even yourself).

Just out of interest, what method are you planning to use? I would recommend either evening classes or a linguaphone+textbook-type product; you may find it difficult going alone if there is no-one to practise with or correct you. I have heard that French and German are considered quite difficult to learn (well, not as difficult as Chinese or Russian but more difficult than Spanish or Italian)... but I can't really comment because I was taught both of them at a young age.

I am trying to motivate myself to learn some Italian and Dutch but I need someone to stick a red hot poker up my behind.
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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old Apr 22nd, 2006, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam L
Guys, I thought it would be harder to learn two languages that are different from each other?

I thought it'd be easier to learn like say two Romance languages at the same time like French/Spanish or two Germanic languages at the same time like Dutch/German?

No?
no. the main problem is the similarity in vocabulary, and that can lead to a lot of "false friends". also, if their grammars are very similar you can confuse things.

it could be difficult to learn 2 languages of different types at the same time, because in that case you would need to learn completely new grammatical structures at the same time, and that is a lot of work (french and german are both flexional languages and belong to the same language family). but even that is easier than learning similar languages.

also, it's easier to learn foreign languages if you have already learned one.
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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old Apr 22nd, 2006, 01:23 PM
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Sam L, which languages do you already speak?

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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old Apr 22nd, 2006, 01:31 PM
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I think if you learned French+Spanish, you would make faster progress, but there would be a lot more potential for confusing elements of the grammar and vocabulary between the two languages.

If you try French+German, the progress will be slower, but there is little chance of crossover confusion.

If it is your first foreign language learning attempt it might be better to start with just one language and then add another after 6 months if you feel that your brain has strong language learning capabilities.
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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old Apr 22nd, 2006, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by controlfreak
Just out of interest, what method are you planning to use? I would recommend either evening classes or a linguaphone+textbook-type product; you may find it difficult going alone if there is no-one to practise with or correct you. I have heard that French and German are considered quite difficult to learn (well, not as difficult as Chinese or Russian but more difficult than Spanish or Italian)... but I can't really comment because I was taught both of them at a young age.
Thanks. Classes which will also require me to buy and learn from textbooks.
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post #11 of 39 (permalink) Old Apr 22nd, 2006, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azdaja
no. the main problem is the similarity in vocabulary, and that can lead to a lot of "false friends". also, if their grammars are very similar you can confuse things.

it could be difficult to learn 2 languages of different types at the same time, because in that case you would need to learn completely new grammatical structures at the same time, and that is a lot of work (french and german are both flexional languages and belong to the same language family). but even that is easier than learning similar languages.

also, it's easier to learn foreign languages if you have already learned one.
Thanks. Well, I'm definitely determined to learn these two so it's too late for me to turn around anyway.
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post #12 of 39 (permalink) Old Apr 22nd, 2006, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowcard
Sam L, which languages do you already speak?
Just English.
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post #13 of 39 (permalink) Old Apr 22nd, 2006, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by controlfreak
I think if you learned French+Spanish, you would make faster progress, but there would be a lot more potential for confusing elements of the grammar and vocabulary between the two languages.

If you try French+German, the progress will be slower, but there is little chance of crossover confusion.

If it is your first foreign language learning attempt it might be better to start with just one language and then add another after 6 months if you feel that your brain has strong language learning capabilities.
I think I'm beginning to see what you mean. Are you talking about false cognates? Like French and English as a lot of them. Like "chance"? I can see where this will be confusing.
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post #14 of 39 (permalink) Old Apr 22nd, 2006, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam L
Just English.
I'd suggest you started by French (a lot of words have a linguistic "place of where they come from") and later you could start German (do you already get the cases system?), but it'll be harder, since it's a lot like Dutch (but not the same) and from my experience, English people learning to speak Dutch have a lot of troubles doing so.

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post #15 of 39 (permalink) Old Apr 22nd, 2006, 02:02 PM
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I found it difficult

example: writting/speaking something in German i would automatically think how to write/speak in English!

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