From what point is it safe to start another language?

General discussion about learning languages
YtownPolyglot
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Re: From what point is it safe to start another language?

Postby YtownPolyglot » Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:16 pm

Tarvos and I are pretty much in agreement about needing a B2 level. Where I live, it isn't easy to get to a place that offers the CERF exams, so you may want another way to measure your progress.

When I was in high school, I started out with a year of French. The next year, I started Spanish and kept taking French. I didn't find any real problems in language-to-language interference. I'd recommend a vocabulary of at least 1000-1500 words before moving on. Sooner or later, you run into the problem of maintaining all of your languages, and this gets to be a progressively greater challenge, especially if you live in the boonies (= not in a large, cosmopolitan area).
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Re: From what point is it safe to start another language?

Postby learnersenpai » Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:07 pm

blaurebell wrote: Spanish and English has indeed lots of vocabulary overlap and Spanish has the simplest grammar of the popular romance languages. Also, there is no pronunciation ambiguity, so if you know how a word is spelled you know how it is pronounced. After English it's probably the easiest language to learn, so you will probably progress very fast. In your position I probably wouldn't even take a break from Japanese. I don't think you will have much problem with interference and Spanish is so easy that you can probably learn it on the side without much effort, especially if you have prior knowledge already.


Oh, that's good to hear. Lots and lots of overlaps for sure. It's either like I don't know that I know those words or I can connect it to something I know really well. On the other hand, I know all languages have their difficulties. Is there any part where Spanish learning people say, "Yeah, that's tough."? Voytek mentioned something like "Spanish subjunctive".

YtownPolyglot wrote:I didn't find any real problems in language-to-language interference. I'd recommend a vocabulary of at least 1000-1500 words before moving on.


I think I can achieve 1000-1500 Japanese words till June. From that point, my plan is to learn Spanish with Babbel and with a Hungarian learning method called "Creative Language Learning" by Gaál Ottó. I Don't know if you guys have any experience with those. As I've looked around it seems that even the beginner book gives B2 and that people can achieve it in 3 months from absolute 0. A girl got 10 certificates(new language in every 3-4 months) in 3 years with it and I've also heard from people I know that it's solid. Babbel also seemed promising. I hope it will work for me too. :)
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Re: From what point is it safe to start another language?

Postby tastyonions » Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:16 pm

My experience was that French grammar was noticeably easier than Spanish, especially if you are not too interested in writing it.
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Re: From what point is it safe to start another language?

Postby blaurebell » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:06 pm

learnersenpai wrote:"Yeah, that's tough."? Voytek mentioned something like "Spanish subjunctive".


The past tenses can be a bit confusing, especially if you switch a lot between Latin American Spanish and Iberian Spanish. The subjunctive drive me nuts too. But then, natives learn some more complex subjunctives late - adolescence - and many natives don't use the more complex ones correctly either! The problem is that they are used a lot and if you use the simple ones incorrectly then you sound worse than every 5yr old.
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Re: From what point is it safe to start another language?

Postby Serpent » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:54 am

see this wikia article and the follow-up :)
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Re: From what point is it safe to start another language?

Postby bpasseri » Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:16 pm

Serpent wrote:see this wikia article and the follow-up :)


What an awesome resource! Thanks Serpent!
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Re: From what point is it safe to start another language?

Postby Voytek » Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:10 am

I don't want to be shabby but just look at Luca Lampariello's articles and you're going to find out that this internet polyglot supertar, who has been learning English for over 20 years (also admits that English is his strongest foreign language) and claims that he knows 11 or 12 languages, is making many elementary mistakes which shows that he doesn't understand some basic English grammar concepts like the use of the articles.

Once again, it's better to speak excellent English than speak it feebly for speaking another language in the same or worse manner. We all know that English is the global language and you can communicate in that language with people in (almost?) any country in the world so it's better to improve the English language skills to make communication feasable, easy, sweet, nice and so on. :) And then one can go ahead and learn another, yet important from the pragmatic point of view, language. If you have some Spanish and Japanese knowledge it's good to stay in touch with those languages to maintain them and improve a bit, but, in my opinion, you should concentrate almost all your study effort on English. That's what I did and I see how massively I'm benefiting from it. Although I'm at C2 level I can see how much more work I must put into my study of that language. Luca is at C2 level too but, as I mentioned, he hasn't gone deeper into the language yet, and probably he wont, and it's necessary to make it excellent. But it requires the passion for a language and plenty of time.
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Re: From what point is it safe to start another language?

Postby aaleks » Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:38 pm

Voytek wrote: ...is making many elementary mistakes which shows that he doesn't understand some basic English grammar concepts like the use of the articles.

I've thought it is mostly Russian (or Slavic) thing, since we don’t have any articles in our native tongues.

Voytek wrote:Once again, it's better to speak excellent English than speak it feebly for speaking another language in the same or worse manner. We all know that English is the global language and you can communicate in that language with people in (almost?) any country in the world so it's better to improve the English language skills to make communication feasable, easy, sweet, nice and so on. :) And then one can go ahead and learn another, yet important from the pragmatic point of view, language. If you have some Spanish and Japanese knowledge it's good to stay in touch with those languages to maintain them and improve a bit, but, in my opinion, you should concentrate almost all your study effort on English. That's what I did and I see how massively I'm benefiting from it. Although I'm at C2 level I can see how much more work I must put into my study of that language. Luca is at C2 level too but, as I mentioned, he hasn't gone deeper into the language yet, and probably he wont, and it's necessary to make it excellent. But it requires the passion for a language and plenty of time.


I agree with you. I’ve come to the same conclusion about English too. Although I have some plan to learn French but English is my first priority in learning language now.
Probably for someone else it will be some other language but the main principle is the same.
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Voytek
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Re: From what point is it safe to start another language?

Postby Voytek » Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:06 pm

aaleks wrote:
Voytek wrote: ...is making many elementary mistakes which shows that he doesn't understand some basic English grammar concepts like the use of the articles.

I've thought it is mostly Russian (or Slavic) thing, since we don’t have any articles in our native tongues.



Yes, we have a hard time trying to understand the concept of using the articles (not only the English ones) but as I'm learning Swedish and Spanih too I can see that there're some differences in that matter in those languages.

What I was trying to convey is that if you want to be really proficient in a language, you just have to be inquisitive and keep trying to comprehend at least basic things till get there. In that case, not using the articles right may cause many unecessary misunderstandings thus it's crucial to master them and that, so called, polyglot didn't do this and he teaches people how to learn languages. For me it's a bit ridiculous. Besides it is his business and the English language should be his business card.

To gain a deep knowledge of a language you just have to be patient and do things methodically. I had been learning English in a very chaotic way therefore now I'm struggling to get rid off "the false knowledge" and learn "the right one" to avoid making mistakes which can confuse my interlocuteur. I don't want to force anyone to learn a language to speak it perfectly but I encourage any of you to put a bit more effort into your study and learn a basic grammar if you haven't done it yet. It doesn't hurt even if you're making mistakes... like myself. :)
Last edited by Voytek on Sun Apr 23, 2017 11:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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blaurebell
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Re: From what point is it safe to start another language?

Postby blaurebell » Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:20 pm

Voytek wrote:To gain the deep knowledge of a language you just have to be patient and do things methodically.


Personally I have never noticed any mistakes in Luca's English. I just listened to a video of his in English and specifically kept my ears open, but I couldn't find a single problem in a 6min video. And since you specifically speak about his use of articles, I hope you don't mind if I point out to you that there are several mistakes with articles in your own sentences. In the sentence I quote up top it would be "To gain deep knowledge ..." Overusing articles is a common problem depending on your L1. Today I actually figured out that I overuse articles in Spanish myself :?
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