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Linguaholic

Learning more than one language at a time


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Would any one recommend that you learn more than one language at a time or do you become proficient in the one you are studying and then move on to another one.  I am wondering this because a lot of languages are so similar and I wonder if this would be a hindrance or if it would help you.

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I have been trying to learn two languages at once. I don't think that this is working for me . I feel like I am picking up a little of this and a little of that. I think that if you focus on a single task at time you will be able to excel one language at a time.

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It really depends on the language and if it has dialects or similar languages which can be learned simultaneously. If the language you are learning has synonymous languages which can be picked up easily then go ahead and learn them at the same time. The problem is when there are 2 different and no-similar languages which can actually confuse you because of different writing styles, grammar, and words used so I guess you better stick with one language for that matter.

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I tried it, but it didn't really work for me. I started mixing up the words and grammar and had to think really hard whether a specific rule belonged to one language or the other. I realised that I can only concentrate on one thing at a time if I want to become really good at it.

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I'm currently doing this, though to be fair I didn't start both languages at the same time. I got to the upper intermediate/advanced level in Korean and then decided to pick up Japanese. As you probably know, it's not ideal. I knew this coming in as well, but I really wanted to learn Japanese and at the same time wasn't ready to give up studying Korean. Anyway, after about six months, I haven't experienced much confusion (probably because I'm at a different level in each language), but I am absorbing information and improving much more slowly than I would if I were just doing one language. For languages especially, I think putting all of one's time and attention into improving is ideal for reaching what I'd call "fluency." With that said, if you're willing to accept the slower pace, I'm proof that it's certainly possible to make progress in two languages at once (with a few caveats, of course).

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If you can pull it off, go for it. I just know that I wouldn't be able to do it. It's hard enough for me to complete one project, let alone two at once. Learning a language is not an easy thing to do at the best of times.

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For me, I'm not that good so I'll go with one first before starting on another. Too many things at once may confuse me as I will mix them up. If you have no problems learning a few languages at a time then I don't see why not.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have tried to learn two languages at once and it did not work for me. I guess because they had nothing in common. I guess if they are similar it is okay. I much prefer to become very well in one language and then move on to another. And the next one I move on to would be similar to the last so that it would be easier for me to pick up on and learn.

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I think it entirely depends on your ability. If the two languages are similar then you can learn by understanding words with the similar meanings. To tell an example, Malayalam and Tamil are very similar to each other and you can easily learn them both at a time. But you will end up saying a Tamil word while speaking Malayalam and vice versa. But it will not be a problem with these languages because words will be almost similar, and most of the people can understand it. But if you are learning unrelated languages, then it is better to learn one by one.

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