PM’s French Adventures in the Matrix

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Ice Blue
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Re: PM’s French Adventures in the Matrix

Postby Ice Blue » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:18 am

I think learning two languages at once is very possible - three might work too but could also mean you'd be stretching yourself a bit too thin (that mostly depends on you and how motivated you are in the long run). I used to work on three languages at once and it was fun but I noticed more progress once I started focusing on two. Notice that I wrote "more" progress, not that there wasn't "any" progress when I studied three... but it sure did help when I started spending more time on only two languages instead of three.

Three hours everyday seems like a lot to me - I know if it were me I'd burn out quickly! Reading your post, if I were in your position, I'd choose to start by learning Dutch/Spanish or Dutch/Norwegian (Dutch/German seem a bit too similar for comfort, I know I'd end up mixing them up).

30 minutes French/40 minutes to 1 hour Dutch/40 minutes to 1 hour Norwegian a day seems already like some heavy work (I know you said you could have up to three hours a day but burning out is still a possibility and 40 minutes a day each language would already be good). Also, that depends on what you're planning to do with French at this point : active studying or more like, maintaining what you already know ? (intensive/extensive reading/listening?)

You coul also rotate your languages ; one day you could go for an hour and a half of Dutch, the next an hour and a half of Norwegian.

I know I like to familiarise myself with languages I see myself learning in the future by listening to a lot of songs in that target language, or by watching short videos in it to get used to the sounds of the language. You could do that with Spanish ; find some some songs you like in it, try to see how much you understand, maybe have some fun translating part of those songs or watch short videos on subjects that interest you in Spanish once or twice a week. Nothing that would require too much effort, just little things that'd give you a headstart with that language for when you decide to really get started with it (maybe in a year and a half, when you have made sufficient progress in Dutch or Norwegian and feel like you could add a new language to your daily studies).

Sounds like you have interesting plans :)
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Elsa Maria
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Re: PM’s French Adventures in the Matrix

Postby Elsa Maria » Sun Jul 21, 2019 12:05 pm

I would not combine Dutch and German - I think it would be hard to avoid interference and mix-ups.
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Re: PM’s French Adventures in the Matrix

Postby overscore » Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:28 pm

Elsa Maria wrote:I would not combine Dutch and German - I think it would be hard to avoid interference and mix-ups.

are there really that many false friends?
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Re: PM’s French Adventures in the Matrix

Postby Elsa Maria » Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:08 pm

overscore wrote:are there really that many false friends?


I don't know any German, so I have no idea. Maybe Kat or trui will give an answer. I think that there is a lot of overlap with vocabulary but the grammars are very different. That would be hard for me to keep straight until I was really strong in one of them. But, hey, we're all different.
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Re: PM’s French Adventures in the Matrix

Postby PeterMollenburg » Mon Jul 22, 2019 2:25 am

Thanks for the input guys. I've studied both German and Dutch, but never together. I've also studied French, Spanish and Dutch at the same time but rarely had any confusion, if it all. The occasional slip of the tongue. However I never reached the intermediate or advanced levels simultaneously, and I'd imagine that trying to learn both the subjunctive in French and Spanish at the same time would be a real problem. Fortunately that's not likely to be as much of an issue now, given my French level.

For Dutch and German I'd assume I'd not mix them up, as I've a good record of keeping languages separate. However I'd be nervous about ever learning Italian and Spanish alongside each other, or Norwegian and Swedish or Danish together. I think if I end up learning German and Dutch together and come into some serious conflict between the two, I'll just ditch German.

I'm thinking my order of importance goes like this:
French (must not go backwards, preferably keep advancing)
Dutch
Norwegian + Spanish
German

Therefore, were I to attempt to learn them all alongside each other, German would be the first to be dropped. If the problem persisted in German's absence then I'd have to consider dropping Norwegian or Spanish, or even both. French must always be there, but how much it will be present in my intensive study routine is up in the air and depends in part any exam results (and which level taken) in November. Dutch is highly important too and I'm not willing to drop it (once I take it on more seriously).

I'm wondering whether I could put French into a kind of maintenance/slow growing mode, since it is the second working language of the family, in which i'm always in touch with the language outside of intensive study anyway - reading with the kids, some of my own reading, watching here and there, podcasts etc. Whether I can find time to improve my level would remain to be seen, and again whether it's a 'need' will again depend on November.

French aside, I'm hypothesising a 45min x 4 language intensive study routine. 45 minutes for 4 languages (NL, ES, NO, DE), would provide 500 hours of study (547 to be precise, but if I allow for interruptions...) in two years. I'd likely reach B1 in all four and maybe go close to B2 in NL and maybe even ES as well, both due to previous study. Can I do it, is the question, is it manageable?

As mentioned, if DE/NL became an issue, i'd simply drop DE. If NO also meant interference with NL, NO would be dropped, and ES if I just become frustrated with slow progress in more than two languages, but NL must remain and I'd like to still advanced gradually with FR. Why am I pondering all five languages now?

I've done French solely for so long, I'm getting major wanderlust and given a possible move to EU in just over 2 years, I'm thinking it might be nicer to arrive with 5 languages under my belt at B1-sh (+ for some) for employment opportunities than just 2 (FR + NL) at a more advanced level.... Really, it's probably more about wanderlust than anything, but it could open up a door or two.

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Re: PM’s French Adventures in the Matrix

Postby rdearman » Mon Jul 22, 2019 7:35 am

I wouldn't start out going full-throttle on all that. I'd advise just doing French and concentrate on getting your C1/2 exam out of the way. Meanwhile, just do 15 minutes of Dutch every day. No more and you should only get to do Dutch as a reward for completion of your C1/2 studies in French each day. 15 minutes will allow you to build up a respectable level of Dutch, and meanwhile the French goes forward toward C1/2 until you've passed the examination.
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Re: PM’s French Adventures in the Matrix

Postby PeterMollenburg » Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:45 am

rdearman wrote:I wouldn't start out going full-throttle on all that. I'd advise just doing French and concentrate on getting your C1/2 exam out of the way. Meanwhile, just do 15 minutes of Dutch every day. No more and you should only get to do Dutch as a reward for completion of your C1/2 studies in French each day. 15 minutes will allow you to build up a respectable level of Dutch, and meanwhile the French goes forward toward C1/2 until you've passed the examination.


My plan is to wait until after the French exam in November whether I pass or fail before taking on any more languages including Dutch. The only language other than French that I will dabble in very occasionally before the exam, will be reading the odd Dutch story to the kids. I won’t be intensively or even extensively studying any language except French until November.

The reason I most certainly will introduce other languages pass or fail post November exam is that, I feel I’ve done enough years of French only and as my studying is less focused/determined these days than in the beginning first couple of years of French, continuing multiple hours of French each day brings limited returns to the point that the difference between one hour/day of French and three is minimal. I might as well start one or more other languages.

If I miserably fail C1 in November, I’ll likely maintain one hour per day of French after the exam, and if on the other hand I pass C2 with flying colours, I may go as far as doing no intensive French studying and actively working to maintain the language through reading, TV, podcasts, activities in stolen moments and so forth, while I have some fun with new languages.
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Re: PM’s French Adventures in the Matrix

Postby rdearman » Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:15 pm

PeterMollenburg wrote:If I miserably fail C1 in November, I’ll likely maintain one hour per day of French after the exam, and if on the other hand I pass C2 with flying colours, I may go as far as doing no intensive French studying and actively working to maintain the language through reading, TV, podcasts, activities in stolen moments and so forth, while I have some fun with new languages.

I thought you had to pick an examination to take? E.g you couldn't take a test and they say: Oh you're C1 not C2.

I thought you had to take the C1 test and if you fail it tough, you lost your money and you had to try again. Same with C2...
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Re: PM’s French Adventures in the Matrix

Postby DaveAgain » Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:26 pm

rdearman wrote:I thought you had to pick an examination to take? E.g you couldn't take a test and they say: Oh you're C1 not C2.

I thought you had to take the C1 test and if you fail it tough, you lost your money and you had to try again. Same with C2...
There is the TCF test, that just gives you a grade.

Sctroyenne took one for her Quebec visa.

https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 687#p21687
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Re: PM’s French Adventures in the Matrix

Postby PeterMollenburg » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:57 pm

rdearman wrote:
PeterMollenburg wrote:If I miserably fail C1 in November, I’ll likely maintain one hour per day of French after the exam, and if on the other hand I pass C2 with flying colours, I may go as far as doing no intensive French studying and actively working to maintain the language through reading, TV, podcasts, activities in stolen moments and so forth, while I have some fun with new languages.

I thought you had to pick an examination to take? E.g you couldn't take a test and they say: Oh you're C1 not C2.

I thought you had to take the C1 test and if you fail it tough, you lost your money and you had to try again. Same with C2...


Yes, you are correct, but I haven’t decided whether I’m going to sit the C1, C2 or even both. I will decide as I get closer based on a mixture of preparation, confidence/lack of confidence and feedback from tutors yet to be obtained.
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