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How many languages are too much?


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I don't think any number of languages learn is "too much". There are plenty of different reason to learn a language, for some its a hobby and for some its a skill. No one should ever think that they have learn too many languages.

Man, I would love to speak 4+ languages! Imagine being able to travel to all these places and be able to communicate with different people across the world.

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I do not think there is such a thing as learning too many languages. However, if you do not use the language then it will begin to fade. Overtime, it could be a wasted effort. Of course, it is not hard to use different languages.

I speak mine to my family and friends. Yeah, they don't know what half of it means, but they ask. In the act of speaking, and then teaching, it can reinforce the language that you learned.

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You can never learn too much of anything, which includes languages. But after a certain number, it usually becomes useless, I agree. For me that would be 3, but I'll say that knowing more than 4 is pretty useless for a regular guy. But it is one of the best way of expanding your knowledge, so if you can, learn 10!

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I think knowing any langauge no matter how little or how much awesome. I also don't think there is ever too many. I don't think anyone can learn 20 languages fluently but even just knowng basics can be good. I think the more you know of anything the better.

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As we all know, knowledge is power, so I don't think we should put a limit on how many languages one can learn, even if they're not able to use it. Who knows, the knowledge of that certain language might come in handy in the future.

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I do not think there is such a thing as learning too many languages. However, if you do not use the language then it will begin to fade. Overtime, it could be a wasted effort. Of course, it is not hard to use different languages.

I speak mine to my family and friends. Yeah, they don't know what half of it means, but they ask. In the act of speaking, and then teaching, it can reinforce the language that you learned.

Indeed. "Use it or lose it" in terms of language acquisition and retention.

My boyfriend's mother is fluent in around seven? languages? I'm not fully sure what all of them are but most of them I believe are southeast Asiatic languages. She talks to her sister every day or every other day on the phone, and they mostly speak Tagalog with a few English words mixed in that always catch my attention if I'm in the room when she's on the phone (whee cocktail party effect). I'd like to ask how fluent she is in most of them. I know she's lived in a lot of different places and she's almost 60.

I don't think there's such a thing as "too many languages". I've got a sort of Pokemon mindset when it comes to languages. I'd love to learn all of them. :) I took a semester of Spanish in 7th grade (I'm not sure why only a semester) and took German through high school and most of my college career. My major is German studies now but I'm also taking Japanese 101, and 102 next semester. I have another semester after that so if I have room I'd like to take Japanese 203 and French 101.

I mean... with like 7+ languages you might not have a fully fluent grasp of all of them, like, you probably won't be able to discuss philosophy and abstract concepts in all of them, but having a basic working knowledge of a lot of languages in order to get around, make friends with people, meet your needs and whatnot doesn't seem like a bad idea. It's a lot of fun learning about a new language and culture. And for me I like to pick apart the structure, behavior, demeanor and other characteristics of the language and speakers to understand why the language and culture grew and developed into its modern form. It's so very interesting. :)

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I do agree with the saying that goes, "too much of one thing is good for nothing".Knowing alot of language but not being able to use it hardly make much sense. Pretty soon you begin to forget some words or use words from one language in the other :confused:.

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  • 3 weeks later...

If a person chooses to learn many languages as one wishes, I don't think there's anything wrong with that. :) Knowing a lot of new languages will be part of one's abilities and skills and he can always use them when the situation permits. It's like stock knowledge of things that we have studied in school. :)

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There isn't a limit to how many languages a person should learn. In fact, the more you know the better. Wouldn't it be fantastic to be able to understand every language there is? I know it's impossible but as irrelevant as some languages may be, knowledge learnt is knowledge earned.

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Think of how the sky is the limit, buddy. Ever heard of a few of those known language learners who knew hundreds of languages by the time they were in their 20s? For me personally, around the 5 or 6 languages mark, assuming I have nailed down most regional language groups of the world, would be enough, but we shouldn't limit ourselves anyway.

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For me learning a language I'll not even be using regularly is a waste of time.  Would I be learning Dutch if it wasn't because I might be moving there in the future?  Of course not!  Because I know there is no way I'd ever need to speak that language, so why learnt it?

With english it was different: I use it on a daily basis and it has opened a lot doors to me.  I guess as long as you focus on languages that are very international and you'll be using them often the effort is totally worth it. 

But learning for the sake of learning or bragging?  No way!  You'd forget everything you have learnt sooner or later; you need to use a language constantly in order to retain everything you have learnt.

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Some people just have a natural affinity with language and can learn a new one fairly easily.  Learning new languages is fun and it really doesn't matter how many that someone knows or whether or not they get a chance to use it.  Learning is continual, just like life!

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I think it depends on personal preference. I have known a customer who speak 9 languages, which i think is too much because i don't think I'm able to keep track of so many languages. Not to mention 2 or 3 languages are already too much for me because I tend to focus on only 2 languages. It really depends on whether or not the person is willing to learn the languages.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's a really difficult question to answer and I guess there is no good answer to it. As others have mentioned, it really depends on the person and it also highly depends on your aims/goals. One thing that can be annoying when studying too many languages is the fact, that you will not be able to maintain the level you achieved in each of the languages. If you speak more than let's say 6 languages, it will be really really hard to keep up your skills in each of those languages as you might not have enough time to speak them on a regular basis..but even then..this is maybe not even your goal/aim, so that would be fine too then :=) :emo:

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I don't think there's such a think as speaking too many languages - for me, the importance of learning a language lies not in how often you'll use it but the processes involved in learning it. It teaches you so many important skills, and you need to be dedicated, passionate and diligent.

The real debate should be whether it's better to know a few languages very well, or many languages at a more basic level - I'm still undecided. Knowing a language well takes a lot more dedication, which is admirable, but at the same time, knowing a few phrases in many languages is probably more practical.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have often heard people say that they can speak three or four different languages and it makes me wonder if they have a good reason for it. If you learn these languages in order to use them on a regular basis or you'll have need to use them at some point in time then that is alright. However, if the only reason is obsession, then I think anything over five is too much.

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I don't think there is a "too much" as long as one still uses the languages they know and keeps themselves practised. It opens up all sorts of doors and possibilities and just seems to expand the number of things life has to offer.

Though I think it would be better to be completely fluent in two or three languages rather than having a shallow basic knowledge in five or six.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I do not think it would ever be useless. Learning languages exercises your brain. This has been shown to reduce your risk of dementia and Alzheimers. Further, if you do not use a language often, all is not lost! When the time comes for you to recall what you learned there is a good chance you will be able to catch on quickly. You will be able to adapt to the situation better than you would had you never learned a thing about that language!

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