Forum 2 Languages at once?

2 Languages at once?

Keyatta-B1

Keyatta-B1

I really want to learn Japanese and Spanish. But, everytime I learn Japanese when I am interested I end up forgetting some Spanish. And, when I become more interested in Spanish, I forget some Japanese. Is it possible to learn 2 languages at once? Because I want to learn both languages. Should I learn one language at a time? Or, if I can learn 2 languages at once, how should I learn it? Please reply! :)
Dionna-Monique

Dionna-Monique

I was thinking of learning Chinese and Spanish together, or maybe Chinese and Arabic, but I read in an article online (can't remember what website though) that it's better to just focus on one language at a time. Of course, learning two languages at once IS possible, especially if the languages are completely different from each other. It's just better to focus on one language at a time though so that you can put all your energy into becoming proficient in that language. So I'm just learning Chinese by itself, then afterwards I can move onto Spanish. Ultimately it's your call though.
Keyatta-B1

Keyatta-B1

Thanks for the advice Dionna! :)
Dionna-Monique

Dionna-Monique

No problem!
maha266

maha266

learning 2 languages can be confused if they related for example spanish and Portuguese. but it can be fine if they are way different, for example Arabic and English. As in your case Spanish&Japanese, i guess it is fine. However my advice is focus in one in the beginning until u feel u r kind of fluency or near by - u can make a conversation easily- then start learning the other one and keep proving the first one and learn more on it . if I were your place i might start with Spanish first, guess couse it seems easier and will take shorter time. good luck
Ava Dawn

Ava Dawn

I actually bought Spanish, Italian, French and German. I thought I will just learn them all. It doesn't work that way because of the time constraint. So, once a week I would peek on the other languages rather than Spanish. Maybe when I retire those other languages will be offered in the Senior Center and I would just attend it. It will only happen if there is a group close by that will offer the different languages or just travel. I should have learn Italian first because I keep going back to Rome, but because I experienced Spain last year, I wanted to do Spanish now.
コウ日本語

コウ日本語

It is NOT impossible to learn several languages at the same time. I remember when I was in elementary and secondary schools many years ago, It was mandatory to learn three languages (Malay, English and Chinese) at the same time. After 12 years in the schools, eventually I managed to "master" the three languages. Now I am learning the Japanese language only and I find it easier to focus on just one language. After I obtain JLPT N1 level, I may learn Spanish just for fun.
Steven-W15

Steven-W15

Interesting. I was once on the board of a multilingual school (I live in a multilingual culture) and I wonder if your school is one of the ones we looked at as part of our research, JK日本語. I believe we visited one in Hong Kong and another in Thailand. Learning more than one language has worked in our school, but there was a distinct and heavy concentration on one target language. School, however, is an immersion environment and age is extremely influential in the ease of learning a language. I would exercise caution in trying to extrapolate too much from that. I have seen a countless number of foreigners (so now we are talking about adults) come through here trying to learn more than one language at once and the end result has always been that they speak "pigeon" in the end (fragments, set phrases only, bad grammar, ...). Not pretty. So yes, I agree with all, I would encourage anyone to concentrate on one language until you are fluent (and can maintain that fluency!) before moving on to another.
Robert-C7

Robert-C7

I also agree that you can learn several languages simultaneously provided the languages are different enough from each other so as not to confuse the learner. The real constraint is time and for that reason, one probably should focus most of one's energies on one language.
Dan-H24

Dan-H24

I am putting all of my excess time and energy into learning Spanish and I cannot imagine making the kind of progress I want in 2 languages at once. Maybe I'm just too focused on accomplishing my goal of learning a second language well. Perhaps once I do achieve that goal I would be more interested in another language. But if I were to attempt to study 2 language at once I would think that there would be some advantages to studying related languages. Some words are common (or similar) between, say Spanish and Italian, along with similar sentence structure? (I don't really know this, I am just guessing since they both evolved from Latin.
rodrigo-gomes

rodrigo-gomes

You're right Dan, they have saveral common structures. I'm Brazilian, learnt English 6 years ago and now I'm studing French, there are a lot of things that remind me to the Portuguese rules and it is very interesting. Good to know some related French/Portuguese words and French/English words as well. As everybody said, the real constraint is time, so better focus in only one and go to another when you feel confident. I'll do that to Italian or Hindi, didn't decide yet which one will be my 4th language.
コウ日本語

コウ日本語

Hi Steven W15, I am from Malaysia. In my country, learning all three languages in schools are mandatory. The reasons are Malay is the national language, Chinese is my mother tongue language, and English is a compulsory language as well. All these languages were taught at the first language level which means considerable depth and length were covered in the classrooms. Obviously it is extremely stressful trying to learn three different languages at first language level at the same time. This situation was made worse because I don't speak any one of the languages at home (I speak Cantonese at home). There was no home advantage. Having gone through this type of rigorous language learning system, I think learning a foreign language as a second language like the Rocket Languages program is relatively easy. Having said that, I think we still need to spend time and effort learning a new language. That is no short cut in learning.
Steven-W15

Steven-W15

Wow, your case is the very one we were looking at: trying to learn 3 languages simultaneously where none of them are spoken at home. I can only imagine how difficult / stressful that must have been (and how easy Rocket Languages must be for you now by comparison! ). I stand in admiration. All the best, JK日本語.
khaduj

khaduj

After teaching Hebrew for 11 years, I took up Arabic. I am constantly mixing the two whenever I try to speak using one or the other. I guess maybe, hopefully, I'll end up causing world peace LOL
Jeanne--18

Jeanne--18

I am learning two languages at once, plus now and then trying to keep up with a third (the first foreign language I learned). I have found that concentrating on one of the two new ones a bit more than the other helps. (I need to learn both languages, but one is more important than the other.) When I'm studying, I try to concentrate fully on one language. Then I change gears in my mind to study the other one. If I start to confuse similar-sounding words, I remind myself of what the similar-sounding word means in both languages and try to plant the difference in my mind. It is probably best to learn one language at a time, but I think learning two at once can be done if you work hard and concentrate when you're studying. Also, it helps to study one for a few weeks or months before starting other one. I agree with other posters that it is probably best if the languages are not too similar. For example, I wouldn't try to learn French and Spanish (or another Romance language) at the same time. Japanese and Spanish are very different, so it shouldn't be a problem to keep working on both at once. I have found that I have to keep practicing a language to retain it, so I wouldn't do just Japanese and expect to be able to jump back into Spanish without practicing it. I think you need to keep reviewing both if you want to retain what you've learned. I hope this helps you.
Matthew-H68

Matthew-H68

I'd have to state that it is easier for me to focus on one language at a time, rather than learn two or more languages at once. Maybe there are other people who operate the same way, but then maybe I'm wrong. Everyone is different no matter where they are. 
beckysarahi

beckysarahi

its something that i have been wanting to do for a long time but i decided to learn more french and ones i have at least undestanded the french i would love to learn sign language... good luck

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