learning multiple languages at once

2 years, 7 months ago

So, has anybody else tried to learn multiple foreign languages at once?

My native language is English, I speak French fluently, I started learning Dutch about a year and a half ago, and am also learning German. I would love to become proficient in all four languages, but it seems that to make progress in one language, the others have to suffer.

I have the most trouble with Dutch and German because I started them around the same time and they are relatively similar and easy to confuse!

Any advice? Anybody else on a similar quest to be able to talk to the world?

September 8, 2012 at 8:06 pm

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Profile photo of EternallyCurious EternallyCurious (@eternallycurious) 2 years, 7 months ago ago

@senseless, wow! You have really learned a lot of languages. How do you make time for them all? Are you able to practice them all daily/on a regular basis with either native speakers or friends?

Also, your English was outstanding in your reply, I probably would not have guessed that it was not your native language! Congrats :)

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Profile photo of Filip Filip M (@filipek) 2 years, 7 months ago ago

I was raised Dutch and Polish at the same time, but you cannot compare that, because those are languages that I know since my birth. I have learned English pretty early as well, and it has developed to an academic level in the last years, since my classes used to be in English only last year, and my whole study I have only been reading English study books. Plus the fact that Holland is a small country and the Dutch language is not a prominent nor an important language at all. Therefore I think almost every Dutch person speaks English one way or the other.

Anyway, I have had German, French, Latin and Greek at highschool and I have done 2 Spanish courses during my University. The advantage of knowing more languages is that newer languages will be easier to learn as well. You will recognize certain words, grammar etc., and I do not think it is a big struggle to learn multiple languages at once. It might even help you, especially when you recognize certain words in both languages. In that way you learn more words at the same time.

I would not say I am an expert at all those languages though; only Dutch, Polish and English are the three languages that I speak fluently. German is quite easy to understand as well, because of the similarities as mentioned already.

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