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Romance Languages: Does learning one help or hinder the others?


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Hi everyone! This is something I'm struggling with at the moment. I used to speak french (Canadian, so we learn in school) and then when I was 16 I stopped learning it, and haven't spoken it since.

I then lived in Spain for a year, and became fluent in Spanish.

Now, my boyfriend's parents are French, and I'm trying to go back and re-learn the language, but I'm finding it harder than I thought because my brain seems to 'flip' into Spanish any time I hesitate on a word.

Any tips to help with this? Have you found the same? In some ways the spanish is helpful, and in some ways it seems to be hindering my progress in french.

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I think that the only way that you have to pick up your French again is hard work. Sure, if you speak English and Spanish it won't be easy because your mind will try to turn to those languages, you'll just have to put the French of first place. Nothing you can do about the Spanish because it's already there!

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My suggestion would be to just try your best to keep focused and don't be detered by the fact that your brain is flipping into Spanish. Also, do all the oral communications that you can in French.

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I call French my paternal language, since my late dad was brought up in French, and I was taught French by my parents from age 3 onwards.

I also studied Latin at highschool level and now that I am learning Spanish I find both to be very helpful indeed.

Latin is at the origin of both Spanish and French and to me Spanish seems to be influenced by both.

However, I can understand that knowing another Romance language may be confusing at times. When words sound similar, it can become confusing because they do not necessarily have the same meaning in related languages.

Sometimes it can be helpful, at other times confusing.

I suppose it can be regarded as a personal thing too.

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I am not sure how much you still speak Spanish, but you may have to shut that off for a while in order to focus.  So, quit watching novelas and speaking so much in that tongue.  Concentrate on learning only French in order to regain your knowledge of that language.


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