Learning two languages in the same time


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Learning two languages in the same time

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Modifié : Août 10, 2012, 2:55pm

Hi , i have intermediate level in German language at university , and i started learning Russian few months ago to occupy my self ,i thought sure i'll need it ..? is learning two languages at the same time is possible ?
thank you

Août 10, 2012, 3:44pm

Sure. Kids growing up in bilingual families do it all the time.

Août 10, 2012, 4:30pm

yeah , i know but i have to focus a lot on German to finally get a scholarship in Germany , and i'm afraid that it won't happen if i give an importance to Russian .

Août 10, 2012, 4:44pm

I think it's possible to do both, but only you can judge if your work in German is suffering due to your work on Russian.

Best of luck, whatever you decide. May I ask what your native language is?

Août 10, 2012, 4:46pm

I study French and Japanese and I find I can put my mind to whichever I am studying at the time. It is certainly possible to learn more than one language at a time. Look at people in Switzerland who grow up learning 4 languages (English, French, Swiss and German).

Modifié : Août 10, 2012, 5:58pm

you guys are probably right . thank you
and yeah Amy , as i live in Algeria , my native language is Arabic , and our second language is French .

Août 11, 2012, 2:08am

It probably becomes increasingly difficult older you get, I'm not sure if comparisons between living in a bilingual family and studying in university are good...
Back in school I was learning three languages at the same time (English, Swedish, French beside my native Finnish) and that worked well, but now I am trying to refresh my French a bit, but since I learned Spanish between school and now, when I try to think of something in French it's usually the Spanish word that comes to mind.
German and Russian are further apart so that mixing of languages might not be that easy, so try it out (but be prepared that it might be necessary to drop the Russian class).

Août 11, 2012, 2:08am

Wow, I'm impressed with the number of languages you have already mastered, let alone those you are still tackling. Unfortunately, most people in the United States do not even manage a second language at all. I used to be fairly fluent in German but have since lost much of my fluency, which I'm working on regaining. I'm also trying beginner Japanese.

Août 11, 2012, 5:44am

Even though German and Russian are not closely related (the way a non-linguist views it, at least), they are both similar in phonology and the nominal inflection system and how prepositions govern the choice of nominal case, so there might be some interference. For someone who speaks only English, Arabic and French, I think German and Russian might seem similar. (Of these languages I have no Arabic, so I'm just guessing on that aspect.)

However, if you discover that you start to mix them up, you just have to postpone your hobby Russian studies, no?

Août 11, 2012, 6:23am

I'm pretty sure I couldn't do it but back when I was taking Greek lessons there was another student who (in addition to Greek) was taking three other languages. I beleive he did pretty well in all of them.

Modifié : Août 11, 2012, 4:48pm

I think i can do that , but sure if i see that Russian is affecting my German learning i'll just slow down for a moment .
Amy , If you want to regain your level in German , i recommend you to work with Lagune 2 or 3 , it depends on your level , or you can listen Online to Berlin Radio and sure you can contact me if you need help , no prob .
Japanese is a very nice language too , and it's not that hard to learn , you just need to be focused when you're learning . i started learning it couple years but i had to give up because of studies . Now Zenzen Wakaranai :)

Good luck everybody

Nov 23, 2012, 9:17pm

Sure you can! I'm Swedish but I grew up in Kenya with English, Swahili, Kikuyu around me all the time, so I snatched those up pretty fast. Then I moved to Germany, France and Saudi Arabia and learned their languages. Back in Sweden I've studied Arabic, Russian, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. They're all present in this skull every day of my life and I use them as often as possible. I do think I'm a language nerd, though - I guess one had to be, huh.. :)

Nov 24, 2012, 4:52am

Wow Daffobint, that's a heck of a lot of languages! Fabulous!

Jan 27, 2013, 8:45pm

shouldn't be a problem given the differences. I was studying Russian and Serbo-Croatian at the same time and that was tough given how relatively close the languages are -- main problem not so much grammar but vocab, with false cognates, different stresses on the same word, etc. Also for me learning them in different spaces (classrooms) was very important as well.

Jan 29, 2013, 6:14am

After I learned Chinese, I found it difficult to remember the French I'd learned previously. Even though the two languages couldn't be more different, whenever I tried to remember something in French, I came up with the Chinese word.

Modifié : Déc 27, 2013, 7:48am

>15 madpoet:
Exactly the same thing happens to me with those two same languages. I read fairly fluently in French, but when I try to speak it, it comes out as Chinese. Weird isn't it?

I do not have the same problem with German, though, which I also read and speak fairly well. If I'm trying to put together a German sentence, out comes a German sentence, not a Chinese one.

Avr 17, 2015, 11:41pm

On Duolingo.com quite a lot of people study one ore more languages through a secondary language in order to bolster the secondary while learning the new.

Modifié : Avr 18, 2015, 12:49am

I am told that once you know 4 or 5, they get easier. But that means really speak them. A friend of mine once asked me to come shopping with her because after only a year here her German was 'so bad'. She didn't need me at all. I later asked what languages she spoke:

My mother tongue is ------. And I went to school in English. Of course I also speak Kiswahili and my husband's mother tongue _______. And I learned French at school. She could also communicate in another African language or two.

In a year of mostly speaking other languages (kid's school, church, husband's office all English, and I know the school told them to use the children's mother tongue at home.) she had picked up a workable amount of German. OK, the German wasn't good - but she could shop at a market and be easily understood.

I only really speak English and German, although I have tried to learn a few others. If I really have to, I can make myself understood in French and Spanish, although in both cases the person will try to find a better option. The two I work on intermittently now are Hebrew and Greek, in both cases the Biblical versions. I can't work on both at the same time.