Gustav Aschenbach wrote:PeterMollenburg wrote:
Yeah, Arabic seems to be calling me again. But seriously, where will I got doing 30 minutes of Arabic every so often (not even necessarily daily), and same for Spanish and Norwegian... I think I'm always going to be facing dilemma's of time, like most of us language learning wanderlusters. That sort of thinking drives me to wondering whether I'm better of doing a hard 6 months/12 months of one language, turning it into 30 min slow progress afterwards and doing the same for the next language (6 to 12 months harder study, then slow progression mode)... Whatever.
I would say don't do to much, don't spread yourself to thin, better focus on few things, that's the way to go for most people (there are exceptions to the rule of course). I personally would love to study many more languages, but I know that's not possible, I just don't have the time. It would end up in a lot of stress and frustration and chaos. And there are other things I want to do in my life. For example finally enjoying the fruits of my language studies by just using the languages.
While I would normally agree with you, I don't necessarily this time around. 'Last time around' which is actually still current, has involved 6 years of French only. That has served me well - taught me a lot about what it takes to bring one language to advanced level, taught me a lot about myself and my learning methods, what works, what doesn't work, what i'm still unsure of, and where I can improve efficiency, and it also taught me a lot of French! And, I truly think your words are full of wisdom...
However, we must adapt to our circumstances according to our goals. While I must boost my Dutch into the stratosphere over the coming two years, I also want to introduce the three - Dutch, Spanish and Norwegian into my learning routine with my children. I don't necessarily expect fluency (a loose term) in these languages in the near future, but I expect to activate Dutch considerably for them and have them very familiar with Norwegian and Spanish vocabulary/grammar structures (more than likely passively) and perhaps know how to carry on/understand a basic conversation in these two. All this will be done age-appropriately (i.e. predominantly through stories and other such child friendly methods), but I cannot accomplish it without some study devoted to each of these languages myself. It's somewhat time critical as my eldest is 5 and a half and I don't want to miss the boat with her language-flexible child mind.
Why Dutch? It's a favourite of mine, a heritage language (my father was born in NL) and it holds employment opportunities for me. Ressurrecting it should be much easier than starting from scratch, having gone beyond B1 level 8 years back. Spanish - i see it as more accessible now that I have reached a decent level of French, and although I see it opening few to no doors in terms of employment, I see it as an important (as well as an interesting) world language that my children will benefit knowing/understanding some career or travel-wise. Norwegian, is rather limited, but it's simply a language my daughter would love to learn, and she's been somewhat fascinated with it for a couple of years now perhaps. I have good friends in Norway too, so perhaps it's a little bit of a fun language this one.
I'd like to squeeze in other languages too, that changes depending on my moood. Lately it's Arabic, but I think going beyond four languages could be a real squeeze and likely result in definitely spreading myself too thin. It's a shame, as I've some excellent resources I'd just love to sink my teeth into, but perhaps they'll have to wait... a... long.... time...!
If I had my time over, or if I imagine some alternative life in an alternative dimension, there are certainly very many years in my 20s where I could've lived a language-learning monastic existence much like prof Arguelles... but could I? No, not really. Still, it's nice to dream unrealistic dreams. Maybe I wouldn't be learning languages today, had I taken a different path. The thing is at various moments in my 20s I did have masses of time, and very much had the idea of learning multiple languages, and yet I just couldn't bring myself to act on those desires. I collected resources, would study a bit and well stop again. It seems as though I needed to toughen up mentally to be ready for such challenges. I had no idea what it really took (to learn a language thoroughly).
MorkTheFiddle wrote:Eating right and getting sufficient rest always do wonders for my state of mind. For a busy person, getting enough rest may not always be possible, but eating right can be possible at least most of the time. Being no expert in these matters, I will leave it at that.
You sure sound like an expert, and wise one at that, and I mean that sincerely. Such wisdom needs few words. I agree with you MorkTheFiddle, but sometimes living up to my idealism is a little hard - my ego (and advertising) get in the way! I shall do my best to get back on track