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Learning two languages at the same time

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Learning two languages at the same time

Postby Reemas » Thu Mar 18, 2004 11:15 pm

Does anyone has any experience of learning two languages at the same time?

I've recently started latin, but I would like to actually start spanish as well. Seeing as both the languages are related, is there an optimal way of learning both the languages?

thanks.
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Re: Learning two languages at the same time

Postby Kerastes » Fri Mar 19, 2004 8:22 am

Reemas wrote:Does anyone has any experience of learning two languages at the same time?

About a hundred years ago, it was traditional in the U.S. to begin the study of Latin at the ninth grade and, when Greek was studied, to begin that in the tenth grade, continuing both languages to the end of secondary school. My old school did it that way, and I came out with a good grounding in both. Latin and Greek are taught together with good effect because, although you have no advantage in vocabulary, the grammatical concepts to be mastered are virtually identical.

I've recently started latin, but I would like to actually start spanish as well. Seeing as both the languages are related, is there an optimal way of learning both the languages?

Perhaps someone else can answer this more specifically, as I don't have sufficient experience with learning Spanish.

You might actually have trouble studying two languages when they are very closely related. Your success may depend on how your mind works, i.e., whether you can keep the two distinct. For instance, I would not recommend learning Homeric Greek and Attic Greek or New Testament Greek at the same time — the "same" words often have slightly different forms and are used in different senses. In the case of two forms of Greek, I'd say pick one, stick with that for awhile, and add another later.

The closeness of languages are also relative and depend upon your language background. My native language is English. I once made the mistake of thinking that just because I could read French (tolerably) and Spanish (just barely), I could make sense of Catalan. It may as well have been Chinese to me! On the other hand, because I can read German (and English, of course), I can usually puzzle out an article in Dutch.

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Re: Learning two languages at the same time

Postby solitario » Fri Mar 19, 2004 8:34 am

Reemas wrote:I've recently started latin, but I would like to actually start spanish as well. Seeing as both the languages are related, is there an optimal way of learning both the languages?
I studied Spanish for 5 years in high school/college. I think the similarities are amazing, especially in verb structure. Though I think if I had a good foundation in Latin first, that I could have learned the amount of Spanish I learned in probably half the time, or less.
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Postby chad » Fri Mar 19, 2004 10:06 am

hi reemas, i'm learning ancient greek and french at the same time: i spend about the same amount of time on each.

learning 2 languages at the same time makes it much easier. after you get past the inertia and pain of learning grammar and forms (in either language), your mind figures out how to learn languages quicker, and it helps you with both languages, no matter how different they are.

if you pick up spanish after starting latin, you'll probably see lots of formal similarities in the vocab and morphology, e.g. the declension and conjugation endings. but things like idiom i find are the hard parts about learning a language--the things which take the most time to learn--and here the latin might not help your spanish that much. (i'm guessing though: i haven't done spanish. but i see this in french; it might be similar).

cheers, chad. :)
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Postby Emma_85 » Fri Mar 19, 2004 11:02 am

Again, I can't say if learning Spanish and Latin will be a problem because of how closely related they are, I'm learning Latin and ancient Greek. At one time I was learning French too, but I didn't start learning Latin and French at the same time, I already knew some Latin (about as much as I know now :wink: )... How are you going to learn Spanish? I think that might make a difference, because if you're going to be learning to speak Spanish properly (as in having lots of conversations in Spanish) then I doubt you'll have much trouble keeping the two appart.
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Postby Episcopus » Fri Mar 19, 2004 5:17 pm

Try five languages and 10 British GCSEs. Not healthy :lol:

And that does not include German as I officially quit it.

(But I'm attempting I fear in vain to compensate for many a wasted year in the past)

I should have discovered Latin when 11
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