How many languages is it practical to learn at once?

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Keegan
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How many languages is it practical to learn at once?

Post by Keegan » Sun May 15, 2005 4:52 am

Lately, I have been finding there are more and more languages that I want to learn; definately more than it is practical to study at once. I am currently studying Japanese and Latin, and am a novice at both of them. I think I might be able to handle a third language, but I don't want to find myself confusing the rules of one language with the rules of another. The languages I wish to learn are Ancient Greek for the literature of that language (same reason I'm studying Latin), Biblical Hebrew so I can read the Old Testament in it's original language, French to prepare myself for the possibility that I may find myself in Quebec at some point in the future, Mandarin and Cantonese due to the statistically improbable amount of native speakers of those languages living in my hometown, and Old English (Anglo-Saxon) just for giggles. How many of these is it practical/possible for me to study at once? Should I wait until I become much better with the languages I am currently studying?

mingshey
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Post by mingshey » Sun May 15, 2005 5:34 am

Hello,
As many impractical languages as you can devote, I'd say, plus a practical one, like Japanese as you mentioned.

0 * x + 1 = 1.

:lol:

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1%homeless
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Post by 1%homeless » Sun May 15, 2005 6:23 am

I've been wracking my brain over this issue ever since I developed an obssession with language. For me, my limit is two at once. The third, you can just dabble and play around, but I don't recommend doing even that because before you are able to admit it, you're studying three languages at once. Then you become despondent and just say what the heck, I'll just add another one since {insert subjectively rational excuse here}. And then... well, you get the idea.

cweb255
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Post by cweb255 » Sun May 15, 2005 10:44 am

Hrm, I hardly ever get the rules mixed up, unless they're similar languages, like sometimes I'll transpose Latin onto Greek or Hebrew onto Arabic. Currently I'm learning Latin (when do we ever truly finish?), Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, French, Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Coptic, Hieroglyphic, Old English, Old Icelandic, Gothic...I think that's it. Now, I may be much better at some, and I may not really now anything of others, but the way I found best is to just keep a notebook in didactic style and go through cycles, i.e. Latin translation for a while, than Greek translation for a while, then learn more Hebrew, than learn more Korean, than learn more Chinese, than go back to Latin, then again to Greek, than some Egyptian, than some Chinese again, etc...
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Post by Adelheid » Sun May 15, 2005 12:31 pm

Who has experience with studying modern and ancient Greek at the same time? Can that be done without mixing the two up too much?


Regards,
Adelheid

cweb255
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Post by cweb255 » Sun May 15, 2005 1:18 pm

Adelheid wrote:Who has experience with studying modern and ancient Greek at the same time? Can that be done without mixing the two up too much?


Regards,
Adelheid
Who would ever want to learn Modern Greek? The pronunciation makes my ears bleed.
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Post by Adelheid » Sun May 15, 2005 1:37 pm

cweb255 wrote:Who would ever want to learn Modern Greek?
Well, I do, obviously.

Is a pronunciation that makes your ears bleed a reason to dismiss a language?


Adelheid

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Post by Bert » Sun May 15, 2005 9:51 pm

Adelheid wrote:
cweb255 wrote:Who would ever want to learn Modern Greek?
Well, I do, obviously.

Is a pronunciation that makes your ears bleed a reason to dismiss a language?


Adelheid
I think that pronunciation that makes cweb255's ears bleed is not a reason for Adelheid to dismiss the language. :)

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Post by cweb255 » Mon May 16, 2005 10:59 am

come on, efcaristO?
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Post by Adelheid » Mon May 16, 2005 11:26 am

cweb255 wrote:come on, efcaristO?
My question to you remains: is a pronunciation that makes your ears bleed a reason to dismiss a language?

I didn't say that I think Modern Greek sounds beautiful (but I wouldn't say that either about ancient Greek, having listened to some of the links from another thread right here :D )

Regards,
Adelheid

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Post by Adelheid » Mon May 16, 2005 12:29 pm

And perhaps I will ask my original question in a separate thread :D .


[size=134]ευχαριστώ[/size],

Adelheid

cweb255
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Post by cweb255 » Mon May 16, 2005 8:34 pm

Adelheid wrote:And perhaps I will ask my original question in a separate thread :D .


[size=134]ευχαριστώ[/size],

Adelheid
What reasons do you have for learning it? Are you going to travel to Greece? Sure! Go for it! Are you interested in evolution of Greek? Sure! Have fun!
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Adelheid
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Post by Adelheid » Tue May 17, 2005 9:04 am

cweb255 wrote:Go for it!
Approval was not what I asked for, but thank you nevertheless :wink:

Any thoughts on what I actually asked are still welcome.

Regards,
Adelheid

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Re: How many languages is it practical to learn at once?

Post by edonnelly » Tue May 17, 2005 12:46 pm

Keegan wrote: How many of these is it practical/possible for me to study at once? Should I wait until I become much better with the languages I am currently studying?
It is easy to study many languages at once, but it is much more difficult to study them well. I am reminded of an old Chineese proverb: The hunter who chases two rabbits catches neither.

If your goal is to study for the joy of studying itself (the hunt) then you need not worry -- you can study as many as you like. If, however, you really want to master a language, you may want to be wary of taking on any more new languages.

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Post by William » Tue May 17, 2005 1:13 pm

Wouldn't an important question be "how much time does one have"?

Currently I have a block of about six extra hours a day in which to study. I am able to work on German and Latin at the same time, but I doubt that with my modest skills that I would be able to do that if I had only one hour a day.

WB

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Post by Carola » Tue May 17, 2005 10:59 pm

William wrote:Wouldn't an important question be "how much time does one have"?

Currently I have a block of about six extra hours a day in which to study. I am able to work on German and Latin at the same time, but I doubt that with my modest skills that I would be able to do that if I had only one hour a day.

WB
I am somehow managing 3rd year University Latin, the White Greek group and music practice on about 1 1/2 hours per day, but I have to admit that sometimes things get done in a rather sketchy way. But life's too short - try everything. You'll soon sort out how much you can do without collapsing. :lol:

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Post by William » Wed May 18, 2005 10:22 pm

Carola wrote:But life's too short - try everything. You'll soon sort out how much you can do without collapsing. :lol:
Great advice, Carola!

WB

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